Worst run defenses in NFL history

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Dec 31, 2006



 
The 2006 Colts will go down in the record books as the team with the 7th worst rush defense in NFL history. As we noted earlier this season, most of the teams at the top of the list had deep institutional reasons for their inability to stop the run.
 
The 1934 Cincinnati Reds, the 1950 N.Y. Yanks and 1950 Colts each went out of business soon after finding they were unable to compete in the NFL. The 1961 Vikings, meanwhile, were an expansion team that season. That leaves only the 1958 49ers and 1959 Redskins as functioning NFL teams who fielded run defenses worse than the 2006 Colts.
 
The Saints and Rams each flirted with making this list, as well. But both ended the season allowing a shade under 5.0 YPA.
 
Interestingly, 2006 may go down as a year in which the Vikings end the season as the very best run defense of the Super Bowl Era. Click here for more on how they stack up historically.
 
The worst run defenses in pro football history (5.0 YPA or worse)
 
Team
Record
Attempts
Yards
YPA
1
1934 Cincinnati Reds
0-8
255
1,631
6.40
2
1950 N.Y. Yanks
7-5
434
2,445
5.63
3
1950 Colts
1-11
514
2,857
5.56
4
1959 Redskins
3-9
404
2,214
5.48
5
1961 Vikings
3-11
493
2,667
5.41
6
1958 49ers
6-6
380
2,038
5.36
7
2006 Colts
12-4
519
2,768
5.33
8
1965 Oilers (AFL)
4-10
507
2,683
5.29
9
1955 Bears
8-4
398
2,100
5.28
10
1951 Bears
7-5
372
1,958
5.26
11
1953 Colts
3-9
445
2,315
5.20
12
2003 Chiefs
13-3
453
2,344
5.17
13
1976 Chiefs
5-9
555
2,861
5.15
14
1956 Packers
4-8
512
2,619
5.12
15
1961 Raiders (AFL)
1-13
478
2,440
5.10
16
1973 Patriots
5-9
560
2,850
5.09
17
1969 Bengals (AFL)
4-9-1
523
2,651
5.07
18
1960 Cowboys
0-11-1
447
2,242
5.02

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