Know the adage that defense wins championships? Well, we’ll take half a sack, please. Balance wins championships more.
Yet as we shall see soon, an elite D can remove a lot of warts, turn an average team into a good one or even a good team into a great one on occasion.
Here is the best defense for each franchise in the expansion era, and to make things even more interesting, we ranked them.
The criteria was a combination of historical achievement, statistical data, metrics, strength of schedule, the Simple Rating System (courtesy of Pro Football Reference) and the eye test, not necessarily in that order.
Defenses with Super Bowl pedigrees received bumps in the order. In a few cases, they made the cut over ones that performed better in the regular season.
Note: All stats are per-game averages.