Worst Super Bowl-winning defenses

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Feb 18, 2007



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Some teams play defense about as well as the French army. Here's a look at those shoddy defensive clubs that still managed to stumble into a Super Bowl championship.
 
Your 2006 Colts top (bottom?) the list, the team with the worst Super Bowl-winning defense of all time.
 
WORST SUPER BOWL-WINNING DEFENSES
Team
Record
Points Allowed
PPG
2006 Colts
12-4
360
22.50
1983 Raiders
12-4
338
21.13
1968 Jets
11-3
280
20.00
1998 Broncos
14-2
309
19.31
1980 Raiders
11-5
306
19.13
 
You'll notice that these defensive Froggies each had a secret weapon, a little offensive-minded Pigskin Patton to save their bacon: a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback. Joe Namath, who led the 1968 Jets, and John Elway, who led the 1998 Broncos, are already in the Hall of Fame. Peyton Manning, who led this year's Colts, is destined for the Hall of Fame. And Raiders great Jim Plunkett probably should be in the Hall of Fame: he stands second only to Joe Montana as the most productive passer in Super Bowl history.
 
One of the most remarkable aspects of Indy's 2006 season is that they captured a title with the worst Super Bowl-winning defense in history.
 
In fact, it wasn't even close: The 2006 Colts surrendered nearly 1.5 PPG more than the next worst team on the list, the 1983 Raiders. Those Raiders of the early 1980s twice won Super Bowls with poor defensive clubs, while the Jets' victory in Super Bowl III always looks more impressive the more you break it down.
 
The Jets that year didn't just upset Baltimore in Super Bowl III, they beat the single most dominant regular-season team in NFL history. (The Colts' average game in 1968 was a whopping 18.4-point victory and they surrendered just 10.3 PPG.) The Jets also upset this juggernaut with one of the worst defenses ever fielded by a Super Bowl champion. (Last year, the Cold, Hard Football Facts named the 1968 Colts the greatest team never to win a Super Bowl.)
 
The 2006 Colts were the polar opposite of their 1968 forefathers. They were unimpressive in the regular season. But when the games counted most, they played their best football and finished the job that their 1968 counterparts could not.
 
In addition to fielding a poor defense in 2006, Indy's average game was a narrow 4.2-point victory, making the Colts one of the least dominant teams among all 41 Super Bowl champions. They were also one of just six teams in history to win four games in the same postseason.
 
History and common sense tells us it will be a long, long time before another team wins a Super Bowl after surrendering more points than the Colts did this year.

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