Best run defenses of the Super Bowl Era

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Mar 31, 2008



For the second year in a row, the NFL witnessed one of the great run-stuffing defenses of all time.
 
And for the second year in a row, that team sucked.
 
The "pundits" like to stress the need to stop the run. But stopping the run really won't get you too far if you can't do anything else well. Just ask the 2007 Ravens.
 
They allowed a miniscule 2.84 yards per rush attempt last season, making them the fourth stingiest run defense of the Super Bowl Era. Yet they went just 5-11 and, for large stretches of the season, were one of the worst teams in football. They even suffered a loss to the Dolphins, who finished the year 1-15.
 
The 2007 Ravens finished just behind the 2006 Vikings on our list of stingiest run defenses. That Minnesota team surrenndered a mere 2.83 YPA. They went 6-10, another nobody team who could stuff the run. The 2006 Vikings actually threatened to become the No. 1 run defense of the Super Bowl Era. Entering their season finale against St. Louis, the 2006 Vikings had allowed just 2.63 YPA. But the Rams shredded the Minnesota D (relatively speaking) for 82 yards on 22 attempts, an average of 3.7 YPA, on their way to a 41-21 victory.
 
As a result, the Vikings ended the season allowing a still-very-stingy 2.83 yards per rush attempt.
 
Here's how the Vikings now stack up against the greatest run defenses of the Super Bowl Era. As we discussed in the past, one thing will jump out: Most of these teams were not very good. Note the 2000 Chargers. Only four defenses in the Super Bowl Era were tougher to run against. The 2000 Chargers went 1-15.
 
Interestingly, 2006 went down as a year in which the Colts ended the season with the very worst run defense of the Super Bowl Era. But they went 12-4 and easily won the AFC South. Click here to see how they stack up historically.
 
BEST RUN DEFENSES of the SUPER BOWL ERA
Team
Att.
Yards
YPA
Record (Result)
2000 Ravens
361
970
2.69
12-4 (won Super Bowl)
1998 Chargers
422
1,140
2.70
5-11
2006 Vikings
348
985
2.83
6-10
2007 Ravens
446
1,268
2.84
5-11
1991 Eagles
383
1,136
2.97
10-6
2000 Chargers
470
1,422
3.03
1-15
1995 49ers
348
1,061
3.04
11-5 (lost div. playoffs)
1966 Bills (AFL)
344
1,051
3.06
9-4-1 (lost AFL title game)
1999 Chargers
432
1,321
3.06
8-8
1994 Vikings
355
1,090
3.07
10-6 (lost wild-card game)
1966 Patriots (AFL)
369
1,135
3.08
8-4-2
1967 Rams
361
1,119
3.10
11-1-2 (lost div. playoffs)
2004 Redskins
419
1,304
3.11
6-10
 
You may notice that on the "worst run defenses" list we include every defense in history. Here on the "best run defenses" list we look only at the Super Bowl Era. The reason is simple: In the pre-Super Bowl Era, especially back in the first three decades of the NFL, there were dozens of defenses that stuffed the run better than any modern team. But the worst run defenses of today do stand high among the worst run defenses of all time.

From our partners




Must See Videos
NFL Draft Changing Cities, Moving Out Of New York City | FootballNation.com
2014 NFL Draft: No Dunking In Football
2014 NFL Combine Winners

Team Pages
AFC East NFC
South
North
West

Connect With Us
Sign up for our newsletter to recieve all the latest news and updates...
Privacy guaranteed. We'll never share your info.




The Football Nation Network

© Copyright 2014 Football Nation LLC. Privacy Policy & Terms of Use
Some images property of Getty Images or Icon/SMI