The greatest defenses of the Super Bowl Era

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Jun 26, 2008



Below you'll find a list of the all-time stingiest defenses of the Super Bowl Era. Remember, there are two distinct phases of modern NFL history: the Dead Ball Era (1966 to 1977) and the Live Ball Era (1978 to present).
 
What's the difference? Well, scoring became exceedingly difficult during the Dead Ball Era, culminating in a 1977 campaign that marked the low point for offense in modern NFL history. The 1977 season featured the stingiest defense in the Super Bowl Era – the Falcons – a team which surrendered just 9.21 PPG but won just half its games (7-7) because of its inability to score in a season dominated by defense (the 1977 Falcons offense averaged just 12.79 PPG).
 
The 1977 season offered three of the 11 toughest defenses to score upon in the Super Bowl Era. It also included the worst offense of the Super Bowl Era: Tampa Bay scored just 7.36 PPG in 1977. To put that into perspective, the 2007 Patriots scored 7.36 points every 12 minutes.
 
Thirteen of the 14 stingiest defenses in modern NFL history played in the Dead Ball Era from 1968 to 1977.
 
The 2000 Ravens boast the best defense of the Live Ball Era.
 
The NFL finally instituted a series of rule changes before the 1978 season in an effort to open up scoring. Their efforts succeeded remarkably well and NFL scoring shot up quickly in 1978. The NFL's Live Ball Era was born.
 
THE 25 STINGIEST DEFENSES OF THE SUPER BOWL ERA
Team               
Games
Pts. Allowed
PPG
Record
Result
1977 Falcons
14
129
9.21
7-7
Missed playoffs
1969 Vikings
14
133
9.50
12-2
Lost SB IV
1975 Rams
14
135
9.64
12-2
Lost NFC title game
1976 Steelers
14
138
9.86
10-4
Lost AFC title game
1971 Vikings
14
139
9.93
11-3
Lost div. playoff
1971 Colts
14
140
10.00
10-4
Lost AFC title game
1970 Vikings
14
143
10.21
12-2
Lost div. playoff
1968 Colts
14
144
10.29
13-1
Lost SB III
2000 Ravens
16
165
10.31
12-4
Won SB XXXV
1977 Rams
14
146
10.43
10-4
Lost div. playoff
1977 Broncos
14
148
10.57
12-2
Lost SB XII
1973 Dolphins
14
150
10.71
12-2
Won SB VIII
1975 Steelers
14
162
11.57
12-2
Won SB X
1966 Packers
14
163
11.64
12-2
Won SB I
1986 Bears
16
187
11.69
14-2
Lost div. playoff
2000 Titans
16
191
11.94
13-3
Lost div. playoff
1973 Vikings
14
168
12.00
12-2
Lost SB VIII
1968 Chiefs (AFL) 
14
170
12.14
12-2
Lost div. playoff
1978 Steelers
16
195
12.19
14-2
Won SB XIII
1972 Dolphins
14
171
12.21
14-0
Won SB VII
2002 Buccaneers
16
196
12.25
12-4
Won SB XXXVII
1985 Bears
16
198
12.37
15-1
Won SB XX
1978 Broncos
16
198
12.37
10-6
Lost div. playoff
1971 Dolphins
14
174
12.43
10-3-1
Lost SB VI
1972 Steelers
14
175
12.50
11-3
Lost AFC title game
1973 Raiders
14
175
12.50
9-4-1
Lost AFC title game
 

From our partners




Team Pages
AFC East NFC
South
North
West

Connect With Us
Sign up for our newsletter to recieve all the latest news and updates...




The Football Nation Network

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