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On Tuesday, I looked at the passing offenses, as measured by ANY/A, of each of the Super Bowl champions. Today, let’s do the same for passing defense. Just over half (26) have ranked in the top 4 in ANY/A, although as we saw with passing offenses, there isn’t a trend towards pass defense mattering more than it used to. If there’s a conclusion to be drawn, it may just be that worse teams are winning it all now than ever before.

In the last seven years, we saw the team with the best pass defense win twice, and a third win with a historic defensive performance and the second best pass defense in the NFL. The other four years, though, we saw two Patriots teams and two surprise teams win it all with more average pass defenses.

Here’s something interesting: are more Super Bowl champions better on pass defense or pass offense? That depends how you measure things. Of the 51 champs, 25 were better on pass offense, compared to 23 on pass defense (with three ties), but the more extreme teams were better on pass defense. Here are the ranks in both ANY/A and ANY/A allowed for each Super Bowl champion.

TeamYearPass O RkPass D RkDiff
GNB1966110
GNB196781-7
NYJ196832-1
KAN196941-3
BAL197074-3
DAL1971165
MIA1972110
MIA197372-5
PIT1974171-16
PIT197553-2
OAK197621816
DAL1977121
PIT1978242
PIT1979341
OAK1980185-13
SFO198153-2
WAS19825116
RAI1983119-2
SFO1984297
CHI198561-5
NYG1986127-5
WAS1987396
SFO1988682
SFO1989165
NYG199053-2
WAS1991132
DAL19923107
DAL19932108
SFO1994154
DAL1995495
GNB1996110
DEN1997341
DEN199831411
STL1999132
BAL2000234-19
NWE200111132
TAM2002151-14
NWE2003101-9
NWE2004781
PIT200575-2
IND2006198
NYG20072212-10
PIT2008191-18
NOR2009286
GNB201031-2
NYG201141713
BAL20121413-1
SEA201351-4
NWE20146126
DEN2015302-28
NWE2016297
Avg6.65.8-0.8

As always, please leave your thoughts in the comments.

  • Four Touchdowns

    Going by ranks, the best total pass-controlling teams were the ’66 Packers, ’72 Dolphins, ’96 Packers… while the best of the new millenium were the 2010 Packers.

    Surprised the 2000 Ravens weren’t a #1 ANY/A allowed defense based on their reputation.

    • The 2000 Ravens had a historically great run defense, but they weren’t particularly special against the pass. Overall, they weren’t much better than the Titans. If they hadn’t won it all, they’d be forgotten like the 91 Eagles or Saints.

      • sacramento gold miners

        We didn’t have a chance to see those 2000 Ravens play a HOF passer, but based on how they handled Steve McNair and Rich Gannon, I think they would have been up to the challenge.