Best NFL Defenses: 2004-15

Six years ago, I wrote a column ranking the greatest defenses in NFL history. In the wake of the Denver Broncos' dominant defensive performance in the 2015 season — and the postseason in particular — this seems like a good time to revisit the topic. I don't think a lot has changed in the all-time top 10, so instead we'll focus on the last 12 seasons: the Illegal Contact era. Defense is different now than it was in 1963, or 1985, or even 2000.

In the previous article, I used a formula to help me sort the contenders, and then applied my subjective opinion to refine the results. I don't think you can do an analysis like this without relying on stats, but I also don't think the stats tell us everything. The statistical formula I used is below. It's complicated, and you won't miss anything if you skip it. Lower scores are better.

points per game + (yards per game / 25) - turnovers per game + (yards per carry / 4) + (passer rating / 50) + rank in points per game + [ (ranks in yards per game, rush yards per game, pass yards per game, rushing average, passer rating, and turnovers) / 5] - (regular season winning percentage * 5)

As a point of reference, here's the system in action, scoring the best-rated team of the Modern Era, the 1969 Minnesota Vikings:

9.5 points per game + (194.3 yards per game / 25) - 3.0 turnovers per game + (3.2 yards per carry / 4) + (42.1 passer rating / 50) + 1st in points per game + [ (1st in yards per game, 2nd in rush yards per game, 1st in pass yards per game, 1st in rushing average, 1st in passer rating, and 2nd in turnovers) / 5] - (.857 regular season winning percentage * 5)

That is, 9.5 + 7.77 - 3.0 + 0.8 + .842 + 1 + [ (1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 2) / 5] - 4.285, equaling 14.2. This formula is obviously imperfect. It underrates sacks, it doesn't credit defensive touchdowns, it doesn't account for penalties, it's not adjusted for strength of schedule, it doesn't include the postseason, it doesn't recognize the scheme or the players or the historical context. There are a dozen more little things wrong with it. But it's a good starting point.

These are the top 10 best defenses of the Illegal Contact Era, as I see them. Where I've gotten away from the formula, I'll make a note and try to explain why.

10. Seattle Seahawks, 2014
267.1 yards per game (1st in NFL), 15.9 points per game (1st in NFL)

Over the 12 seasons covered in this project, there have been seven teams to lead the NFL in both fewest yards allowed and fewest points allowed. Five of the seven are ranked higher than this, and one missed the top 10 entirely: the 2011 Pittsburgh Steelers, who finished dead last — 32 out of 32 — in takeaways, generating only 15 turnovers all season, less than one per game. You may also remember that as the team that lost to Tim Tebow's Broncos in the first round of the playoffs. Tebow passed for a career-high 316 yards, with a 122.3 passer rating and no sacks.

The Seahawks right now are a defensive dynasty. They were very good in 2012, excellent in 2013, and great in 2014 and 2015. They're very strong up front, with Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett. Linebacker Bobby Wagner was first-team all-pro and K.J. Wright led the team in tackles. But the heart of Seattle's great defense is its secondary, the Legion of Boom. Richard Sherman is, along with Darrelle Revis, the finest cornerback of this generation. Free safety Earl Thomas is a three-time all-pro. Kam Chancellor is a ferocious hitter, the leader of the unit.

The 2015 Seahawks didn't make the top 10, but they led the NFL in points allowed and ranked 2nd in yards allowed. They led the league in rush defense (81.5 yds/gm) and allowed just 3.6 yards per carry, with the 2nd-ranked pass defense.

9. Chicago Bears, 2005
281.8 yards per game (2nd in NFL), 12.6 points per game (1st in NFL)

No team in the Illegal Contact Era has allowed under 200 points in a season, but the '05 Bears came close: 202. Brian Urlacher won Defensive Player of the Year, and Lance Briggs was first-team all-pro for the only time in his career, earning the most votes of any outside linebacker. Nathan Vasher, Tommie Harris, and Mike Brown were all named second-team all-pro. And then, well, this is interesting. The AP voters clearly recognized that Chicago was a great defensive team. But other than Urlacher and Briggs, they weren't sure who the good players were. Four Bear defenders received exactly one all-pro vote, and that doesn't include Vasher, who got 21 votes at cornerback and 1 at safety. The four were Alex Brown, Adewale Ogunleye, Ian Scott, and Charles Tillman.

This was Kyle Orton's rookie season. Orton eventually became a solid pro, but in '05, he was a disaster. I like Kyle Orton, but this season, he was probably the worst starting QB ever to lead a team to the playoffs. With Rex Grossman injured, Orton started 15 games. He passed for 1,869 yards and 9 TDs — in 15 games! — with 18 turnovers and a 59.7 passer rating. The Bears won the NFC North almost exclusively with their defense. Chicago made the Super Bowl the following year, but that was with Grossman and a rookie returner named Devin Hester. This season was the team's best defense since the '80s.

8. Baltimore Ravens, 2008
261.1 yards per game (2nd in NFL), 15.3 points per game (3rd in NFL)

This was the rookie season for head coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco. Harbaugh has proven one of the finest coaches of this era, and Flacco has done some good things. But — Ravens will be Ravens — this team made the playoffs with defense. They were particularly effective shutting down opposing passers. Baltimore ranked 2nd in pass defense (179.7 yds/gm) and allowed the lowest passer rating of any defense (60.6).

Ed Reed was a unanimous all-pro, 50 votes out of 50. He led the NFL in interceptions (9), with 264 return yards and 2 touchdowns (including a 107-yard TD), plus 16 more passes defensed. He forced a fumble, recovered two fumbles, and scored on a 22-yard fumble return as well. If you include 2 INTs and a TD return in the playoffs, Reed had 13 takeaways, for 367 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Baltimore's other standouts were defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and linebackers Ray Lewis, Bart Scott, and Terrell Suggs. The Ravens went 11-5 and reached the AFC Championship Game, with an offense whose only Pro Bowler was fullback Le'Ron McClain.

7. Denver Broncos, 2015
283.1 yards per game (1st in NFL), 18.5 points per game (4th in NFL)

There's been a lot of hyperbole the last couple of weeks, suggesting that the Broncos might be the best defense of all time. I get it. Denver's defense played extremely well in the regular season, and carried the team through the playoffs, never more visibly than in the Super Bowl. But the Broncos ranked 4th in the league in scoring defense. You would think that the best defense of all time would at least be clearly the best in its own season.

No two years are exactly the same, but not a lot has changed in the game of football in the last three years. So let's compare the 2015 Broncos to the 2013 Seattle Seahawks.


There are some good things Denver did that aren't apparent in such limited statistics, but the Seahawks allowed fewer yards and many fewer points, with almost 50% more takeaways. And Seattle's Super Bowl performance was even more dominant than Denver's, holding Peyton Manning's record-breaking offense to 8 meaningless points in the fourth quarter. The 2015 Broncos had a great defense, but it wasn't the best of all time, and it wasn't particularly close. I don't think there's a good argument to rank it among the top 30 defenses in history.

I did rate the Broncos significantly higher than my formula suggested. By the numbers, it's the 19th-best defense of the Illegal Contact Era, a little better if you adjust for the 2009 rule changes that further facilitated passing offense. The formula is just a starting point, and it clearly underrates this team, but it's one more illustration that we're overreacting to the latest big thing.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers, 2004
258.4 yards per game (1st in NFL), 15.7 points per game (1st in NFL)

The '04 Steelers went 15-1, including back-to-back regular-season wins over the AFC and NFC Super Bowl teams. They had four Pro Bowlers on defense: Aaron Smith, Joey Porter, Troy Polamalu, and all-pro linebacker James Farrior. Porter and Polamalu were second-team all-pro, but Farrior was the standout, with the best season of his fine career. He had 3 forced fumbles, 3 recoveries, and 4 interceptions for 113 yards and a touchdown.

Pittsburgh had a balanced defense. It was the league's top-ranked rush defense, just 81.2 yards per game, and held opponents to a 68.0 passer rating, about the same rating as Kyle Boller. If the Steelers' opponents were a quarterback, they would have ranked second-to-last in rating, ahead of only A.J. Feeley. The same defense carried Pittsburgh to a victory in Super Bowl XL the following season, but this year's team relied more on its defense and was more dominant over the course of the whole season.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers, 2010
276.8 yards per game (2nd in NFL), 14.5 points per game (1st in NFL)

Even though six years had passed, a lot of the key pieces from 2004 were still here. Farrior had the second-most tackles on the team, and Polamalu was named Defensive Player of the Year. To illustrate how good Farrior was in '04, compare that year to Polamalu in his DPOY season:


Ed Reed deserved to win Defensive Player of the Year in 2004, but it's a shame that his excellent season prevented Farrior from receiving recognition for a DPOY-quality performance.

Anyway, back to 2010. I rate this team ahead of '04 because it had comparable stats (more yards, fewer points, more turnovers) in an age when offenses are more productive. The 2010 Steelers were particularly outstanding against the run. They allowed just 3.0 yards per carry, and only 5 rushing touchdowns all season. Furthermore, they gave up just 1004 rush yards, one of only three teams ever to allow under 1,050 yards in a 16-game season. The others were the 2000 Ravens, one of the truly outstanding defenses in the history of professional football, and the 2006 Vikings, who had a terrific run defense but a porous pass defense that opponents were happy to exploit. The '06 Vikings went 6-10. The 2000 Ravens and 2010 Steelers both reached the Super Bowl.

Polamalu's excellence notwithstanding, Pittsburgh's linebacking corps truly powered this year's defense. Both of the outside linebackers, LaMarr Woodley and all-pro James Harrison, had double-digit sacks and multiple interceptions. The inside linebackers, Lawrence Timmons and Farrior, were equally outstanding. Farrior had 80 tackles and 6 sacks. Timmons had 96 tackles, 3 sacks, and 4 takeaways.

4. New York Jets, 2009
252.3 yards per game (1st in NFL), 14.8 points per game (1st in NFL)

In my opinion, this is one of the really underrated defenses in recent history. With Mark Sanchez and his 63.0 passer rating directing the 20th-ranked offense in the NFL, the Jets held seven of their 16 opponents to 10 points or less, including two shutouts, and reached the AFC Championship Game.

The Jets are particularly remarkable for their pass defense. Despite the new defenseless receiver rules and the Tom Brady rule protecting quarterbacks from low hits, the Jets held opponents to a 58.8 passer rating and 4.6 net yards per attempt. That's the lowest passer rating allowed by any defense under the illegal contact rules, one of only four defenses to hold opponents to a sub-60 rating in the last 20 years. All of the other three were Super Bowl champions: the 1996 Packers, the 2002 Buccaneers, and the 2003 Patriots.

Remarkably, this historic defense featured only two Pro Bowlers. Fortunately, one of them was Darrelle Revis. In 2009, Revis had probably the best season I've ever seen from a cornerback. This is why we talk about receivers being stranded on Revis Island: Andre Johnson, 4 catches for 35 yards. Randy Moss, 4 for 24 and 5 for 34. Steve Smith, 1 catch for 5 yards. Roddy White, 4 for 33. Reggie Wayne, 3 for 33.

The Jets didn't have an offense that allowed them to compete for a championship, and they didn't sustain their excellence long enough to register as a dynasty, so it's easy to overlook them. But for one season, this was a really special defense.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008
237.2 yards per game (1st in NFL), 13.9 points per game (1st in NFL)

The 2008 Steelers allowed 3,795 yards all season. The last defense that allowed so little yardage was the 1991 Philadelphia Eagles. The '08 Steelers were better than the '91 Eagles, and the '91 Eagles had a great defense. But that's a much different context. In '91, there were only 28 teams, not 32. Free agency was just getting started. Quarterbacks had fewer protections, receivers had fewer protections, conventional wisdom still said that running the ball was the key to success. Few teams used a Bill Walsh-style West Coast Offense. The 1991 Eagles also had a truly miserable offense, which reduces yardage allowed.

The '08 Steelers held half their regular-season opponents to 10 points or less, including a 31-0 shutout of the Browns in the final week of the season. They also swept the Ravens, 3-0 including a playoff win, and won Super Bowl XLIII. The key players were much the same as in 2004 and 2010. The defense produced three Pro Bowlers: James Harrison, Troy Polamalu, and James Farrior. Polamalu (7 INT) was first-team all-pro, and Harrison (16 sacks, 7 forced fumbles) won Defensive Player of the Year.

But this was also the height of Pittsburgh's defensive line. Casey Hampton, Brett Keisel, and especially Aaron Smith created opportunities for the teammates behind them. Smith had 44 tackles and 5.5 sacks, excellent stats for his position and responsibilities, and critical on a team that relies so heavily on its linebackers being free to make plays. LaMarr Woodley, in his first year as starter, was rightly overshadowed by Harrison, but he compiled 11.5 sacks and 5 takeaways, including a fumble recovery for a touchdown.

2. Seattle Seahawks, 2013
273.6 yards per game (1st in NFL), 14.4 points per game (1st in NFL)

Why do I rank the 2013 Seahawks ahead of the 2008 Steelers, who allowed fewer yards and fewer points, and who also won the Super Bowl? Because Seattle was facing more rules that favor offense, and the Seahawk defense was more dominant in the postseason. Seattle also generated 39 takeaways, compared to just 29 for Pittsburgh. That's a massive swing, 10 takeaways. Is it worth 400 yards? Probably. Even when turnovers don't set up scoring opportunities, or deprive the opponent of easy points, a punt usually gains about 40 yards, so ten 40-yard punts would probably save about 400 yards.

Facing new rules to protect quarterbacks and receivers, the 2013 Seahawks allowed the same 63.4 passer rating as Pittsburgh in '08. Seattle played a more aggressive style aimed at generating turnovers, whereas the Steelers played a more conservative game aimed at limiting yardage. Both were immensely effective.

The Seahawks held seven opponents to single-digit scoring — that's less than a touchdown and a field goal — including the record-breaking 2013 Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. They forced at least one turnover in every game, and four or more turnovers five times, including the Super Bowl. In the playoffs, they beat the high-flying Saints 23-15, then defeated the 49ers 23-17 in the conference championship game, before embarrassing the Broncos, 43-8, in the Super Bowl.

Richard Sherman didn't win Defensive Player of the Year, but he easily could have, with 8 interceptions, returned for 125 yards and a TD, plus two fumble recoveries. He was a true shutdown corner, but also a highly effective ballhawk, and dangerous with the ball in his hands. Earl Thomas, with 5 INT and 78 tackles, joined Sherman on the all-pro team. Kam Chancellor made the Pro Bowl, Bobby Wagner led the team in tackles (with 5 sacks and 2 INTs, not too shabby), Michael Bennett led in sacks and forced fumbles. This defense had talent at all levels, and superior play from the defensive backfield lifted it to perhaps the greatest defense of the era.

1. Baltimore Ravens, 2006
264.1 yards per game (1st in NFL), 12.6 points per game (1st in NFL)

They started the season with a shutout of the defending NFC South champions and went on to a franchise-best 13-3 record. Six defensive players made the Pro Bowl, and it wouldn't have been crazy for all 11 to go. Consider this honor roll: Trevor Pryce (13 sacks), Kelly Gregg (3.5 sacks, 3 FR), Haloti Ngata (60-yard INT return), Samari Rolle (3 INT), Dawan Landry (5 INT, 3 sacks). Those are the guys who didn't make the trip to Hawaii. Now add Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, Chris McAlister, Bart Scott, and Adalius Thomas. That is one seriously loaded defense. For across-the-board, weakest-link talent, I don't think there's been a defense like it since the Steel Curtain. Maybe never.

These Ravens ranked 2nd in yards per carry against (3.3) and led the league in opponents' passer rating (63.4). They didn't allow any of their last eight opponents to score 20 points. Even in their playoff loss, they held the eventual Super Bowl champions to five field goals and no touchdowns. The '06 Ravens allowed the fewest points, 201, of any team in the Illegal Contact Era. I think the 2000 Super Bowl champions had the best defense in franchise history, but there's an argument to be made that the '06 version might have been even better.

Comments and Conversation

February 23, 2016

Tavio Dock:

The Steelers should be above the Seahawks because they won the Superbowl………

February 23, 2016

Brad Oremland:

Not that it’s really what this ranking is about, but the 2013 Seahawks won the Super Bowl too.

February 23, 2016


Stats per drive shouldn’t be overlooked to rank a defense. I believe they tell a more accurate story than raw numbers.

Without any formula, my top 10 of the best defenses from the illegal contact era would contain (chronological order):
‘04 Bills (way too often forgotten) or 2004 Steelers or 2004 Ravens
‘05 Bears
‘06 Ravens (2006 Bears were very good too)
‘08 Steelers
‘08 Ravens
‘09 Jets
‘12 Bears (tons of yards but 9 defensive TDs)
‘13 Seahawks
‘15 Broncos

Anyway, good job. I like the ‘06 Ravens as the #1. To my mind, one of the best defense ever that nobody never talks about.

However, I don’t agree with you on the ’91 Eagles. They were absolutely dominant. Almost the ’00 Ravens run defense with almost the ’02 Buccaneers pass defense. Their offense and special teams was among the most inept of all the all-time greats (43 giveaways, only 250 points scored!), and they played arguably the toughest schedule of them all with 4 different starting QBs, Despite this adversity, the Eagles reached a 10-6 record. If it wasn’t for the defense, the team could have gone winless. As far as I am concerned, in the top 5 of the greatest defenses of all time.

February 24, 2016

Brad Oremland:

Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Tili. I hope I didn’t give the wrong impression in the article: the ’91 Eagles had a fantastic defense. They carried the team to a 10-6 record, in a very tough NFC East, with no offense to speak of. They allowed the fewest yards of any defense in the 1990s.

But I don’t think there’s a compelling argument to rate a team that ranked 3rd-best in points allowed among the top five defenses of all time. I realize the Eagles were handicapped by their offense, but so were the ‘63 Bears, and the 2000 Ravens, and the ‘02 Bucs, and many other excellent defensive teams. The ’91 Eagles were great, but not that great.

Our lists of the greatest defenses from the illegal contact era mostly agree, but I think you’re underselling the 2010 Steelers. Statistically, that’s basically the same team as the 2013 Seahawks. Seattle had a better pass defense, but Pittsburgh had a much better run defense: 63 yds/gm and 3.0 yds/att.

February 24, 2016


You are welcome. It is always a pleasure to talk about defense because I love it. I only watch football for this side of the ball. Needless to say I am very sad in this era where the defensive players can’t play anymore. Anyway!

The ’91 Eagles hold the record for the fewest yards allowed in a 16 games season, not only for the 90s. And by a decent margin: 264 yards (it is almost worth an entire game). This is where your points allowed argument comes short: it takes into account the TDs surrendered by the offense and special teams, and forget the defensive scores. The Eagles (the team) allowed 244 raw points, 5th best (in the raw points ranking). Offense and special teams are directly responsible for 30 (!): 2 pick-sixes, 1 fumble returned, 1 punt returned and 1 safety. As a result, the defense allowed 214 net points, 3rd best (in the net points ranking). But the defense scored 27 on its own (1 pick-six, 3 fumbles returned and only 3 extra-points). So, the ’91 Eagles defense allowed 187 adjusted points, 2nd best behind the Saints (163) and in front of the Redskins (189). The Redskins had a great offense to support the defense. Even if the Saints offense wasn’t that good, it didn’t give the ball back 43 times and scored more than 236 adjusted points (I was wrong in my previous post : the Eagles offense and special teams only score 236 points, not 250, my bad ^^). You can’t blame the Eagles defense for not being number one in terms of points when it has to protect short fields all day and all year long. Despite those two other all-time greats (Redskins and Saints defenses), the Eagles finished #1 in: total yards, yards per play, turnovers, fumbles recovered, 1st downs allowed, percentage on 4th down, passing yards, percentage of completions, QB rating, sacks, net yards per pass attempt, adjusted net yards per pass attempt, sack percentage, rushing yards, rushing TDs and rushing yards per attempt. And if you believe in DVOA, this defense owns the best actual (from 1989 to 2015) and estimated (from 1950 to 2013) DVOA, and it’s not even close in both cases.

The ’00 Ravens were great, but played the easiest offensive schedule of the league in the regular season. The ’02 Bucs were great, but played one of the easiest offensive schedules in the regular season too. In 1991, the Eagles played one of the greatest team of all time twice (the Redskins), the defending champion twice (the Giants), the upcoming dynasty of the 90s twice (the Cowboys), the best passing offense on the road (the Oilers) and one of the best teams to ever miss the playoffs (the 49ers).

This ’91 Eagles defense WAS that great! ^^

Yeah, I like the ’10 Steelers but tough call and I had to make a choice. To my mind, you can’t be that strict when you look at stats because the game evolves so quickly. The Steelers were very good on defense in 2010, but not on the same level as the ’13 Seahawks. Run defense doesn’t make you win anymore (ask the Vikings of the Williams Wall). Pass defense does.

February 25, 2016

Brad Oremland:

You’re right to adjust for defensive scores and offensive points allowed, but the Eagles still come in 24 points behind the ‘91 Saints. I think a top 5 all-time defense should be clearly the best in its own year, at the very least. I like DVOA in broad strokes — it recognizes good performances as good, and bad performances as bad — but I don’t think it’s especially precise. I doubt we’re going to convince each other about this, but you definitely make some good points.

However, I’m not sure I agree about the ’10 Steelers and the importance of pass defense compared to run defense. Obviously pass defense is more important now than it was even 5 or 10 years ago, and certainly more important than it was 25 years ago.

But run defense still matters, and it was more important in 2010 than 2015. You wrote that “run defense doesn’t make you win anymore”, but this year’s Broncos and Panthers both ranked in the top 5 in fewest rush yards allowed, and the top 10 in lowest rushing average (Denver led the league). The ‘10 Steelers went 12-4 and reached the Super Bowl. That’s not too shabby for a team whose offense was barely above average. You’re right about the growing importance of pass defense, but stopping the run continues to be an important foundation for winning teams.

And unlike the Williams Wall Vikings, the 2010 Steelers had a GREAT pass defense. They gave up 15 pass TDs, compared to 21 INTs, and they led the NFL in sacks. They ranked 2nd in passer rating, ANY/A, and NY/A, the latter by .025 of a yard — less than an inch.

And their run defense wasn’t just “pretty good”, it was historic: 1004 yards, 3.02 avg, 5 TDs. That makes it one of the five best run defenses in the 16-game schedule. Combine that with excellent pass defense, and I believe it’s one of the top five overall defensive teams of the illegal contact era.

February 26, 2016


In 2008, the Ravens gave up 163 adjusted points and the Steelers 182. There is a 19 points difference which is a significant margin. Knowing that fact, which one was the best according to you?

I like your arguments about the ’10 Steelers. But the Walliams Wall was also historically great against the run, four years in a row. So were the Chargers between 1998 and 2000, so were the ’07 Ravens. But those defenses didn’t make anything special because they lacked a decent pass defense, which propels a unit to the next level. As you say, the ’10 Steelers were very good because they had a really good pass defense to complete their historically good run defense. The more we talk about them, the more I’m convinced they definitely belong to the best of the illegal contact era. However, I just can’t put them in the top 10 (even if I believe they were better than the ’04 Steelers). Top 15 easily, maybe 11th. ^^

February 28, 2016

Brad Oremland:

This is a great discussion, Tili. I still rank the ‘08 Steelers ahead of the Ravens; I don’t believe adjusted points are the *only* important statistic. The Steelers allowed fewer rushing yards AND fewer passing yards, and they won the Super Bowl.

Is it possible for a team to be better than one that allowed fewer points? Of course. But is it possible for a defense that should rank among the top five in the history of professional football to not be clearly and indisputably the best defense in the NFL that year? In my opinion, no.

February 28, 2016


The ‘08 debate between the Steelers and the Ravens is a great one.
> The Steelers come on top in several raw stats and per attempt stats.
> The Ravens reduce the gape on a per drive basis.
> There is a tie in the various advanced stats.
Both defenses were so closed that year. The AFC Championship basically decided which one would cement its legacy.

Otherwise, what do you think about those stats:
25 TDs
228 points
4302 yards
4.3 yards per play
48 turnovers
45 sacks
3.1 yards per rushing attempt

March 6, 2016

Brad Oremland:

Those stats would seem to describe a very good defense. Who’d you have in mind?

March 7, 2016


Those are the stats of the ‘91 Eagles offense…

March 8, 2016

Brad Oremland:

Haha, I should have guessed. In the article, I called it “a truly miserable offense.” Randall Cunningham went down and the ship sunk.

March 8, 2016


It is more than a truly miserable offense. It is arguably the worst offense of any all-time great defense. Despite playing with an offense posting defensive numbers, the Eagles defense was a record-breaking unit which played absolutely lights outs and which nearly carried an awful team to the playoffs. And there you are! GOAT. ^^
I hardly understand how you can’t put this group as the clear best in 1991, and thus among the very bests of all-time.

But I still appreciate our conversation. Very interesting to share differents points of view.

March 23, 2016


Wow the 2013 Seahawks definitely do not get enough respect they deserve anymore. They are definitely ahead of the 2006 Ravens. The Ravens played well against the Colts holding them to 15 points in the playoffs but many people forget that they needed a stop to give their offense a chance to win the game. Instead they gave away their season by letting the Peyton Manning and the colts convert third down after third down. The Ravens had 7:01 left to give the ball back to their offense, they finally gave the ball back to their offense with 20 seconds left and at that point had already given up the game sealing field goal. For that they can’t be number 1.

March 27, 2016


I get it Jason. But let’s face it: the ’06 Ravens outplayed and shut down the Colts offensive juggernaut all day but for one crucial drive. I agree with you: as great as the unit was, as great as they played against the Colts, I suffered my most agonizing moment while watching sport when a below average running offense ran over the defense, drove down the field, kept on moving the sticks and eating the clock. For an interminable drive of 7+ minutes. Still a hard one to swallow. However, it is crazy how many times fate didn’t favour Baltimore that night. To quote an article on the subject: “The number of painful, even stunningly unlucky, plays in this game almost defies understanding though”. That being said, referees have their fare share of responsibility too, with a few awful calls that prevented the Ravens from getting the momentum back. Especially when those silly refs stopped and interception return because they considered Ed Reed out of bounds on his lateral to McAlister, who was on his way to the end zone. At that moment, the Ravens trailed 12-6 early in the fourth quarter.

As for the ’13 Seahawks. The defense was great, even historically great. But I have to say that the 49ers were better in the NFC Championship: they exposed Seattle’s defense, especially against the run. The Seahawks should have stay home for the Super Bowl. Please, take a close look at this:

Leave a Comment

Featured Site