## Putting the 2013 Seahawks Pass Defense in Perspective

Still number one.

After 15 weeks, I wrote that Seattle’s pass defense looked to be one of the most dominant since the merger. With the regular season now over, and the Seahawks getting ready for their first playoff game, I wanted to revisit this question and slightly tweak the methodology.

We begin with the base statistic to measure pass defenses, Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt.  Team passing yards and team passing yards allowed, unlike individual passing yards, count sack yards lost against a team’s passing yards total. So to calculate ANY/A on the team level, we use the formula (Passing Yards + 20*TD – 45*INT) divided by (Attempts + Sacks).  The Seahawks allowed just 3.19 ANY/A this year, which was 1.20 ANY/A better than any other defense this season.  In fact, it was so good that it enabled Seattle to easily post the best ANY/A differential (offensive ANY/A minus defensive ANY/A) in the league, too.  The Seahawks 3.19 average is the 4th best average in the least 20 years (behind only the 1996 Packers, 2002 Bucs, and 2008 Steelers). But what makes Seattle’s accomplishment more impressive is the passing environment of the NFL in 2013.

When I graded the Seahawks three weeks ago, I defined the league average ANY/A in the customary way: the ANY/A average of the passing totals of the league as a whole. This time around, I decided it would be more appropriate to (1) exclude each team’s own pass defense when calculating the league average, and (2) take an average of the other team’s ANY/A ratings, as opposed to taking an average of the totals. In 2013, the other 31 pass defenses allowed an average of 5.98 Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt. That means Seattle allowed 2.79 fewer ANY/A than the average team this year: that’s better than every defense since 1990 other than the 2002 Bucs.

Next, I calculated the Z-Score for each pass defense. The Z-Score simply tells us how many standard deviations from average a pass defense was. The standard deviation of the 32 pass defenses in 2013 was 0.95, which means the Seahawks were 2.93 standard deviations above average. That’s the 4th best of any defense since 1950.

You can probably guess which team has the top rating.  In 2002, Tampa Bay faced 510 pass attempts, allowed 2,490 net passing yards and 10 touchdowns, while creating 31 interceptions and 43 sacks. Tampa Bay’s defense allowed just 2.34 ANY/A, while the average of the other 31 teams was 5.50. That means those Buccaneers were 3.11 ANY/A better than average. Since the standard deviation among the 32 teams that year was 0.93, they gives the Bucs a Z-Score of 3.33. The table below lists the top 200 pass defenses by this method:

RkYearTmAttPydTDINTSkANY/ALgAvgDiffstdevZ-Score
12002TAM51024901031432.345.453.110.933.33
21988MIN48024891236372.155.112.970.893.32
31970MIN3671438628490.724.343.621.183.06
42013SEA52427521628443.195.982.790.952.93
51982MIA2261027719291.224.883.651.332.75
61965SDG47421681728382.444.151.720.662.61
71985CHI52228161634642.744.972.230.92.49
81974PIT33914661425521.594.012.420.982.47
91977ATL3201384926421.093.682.591.062.44
102008PIT53325111220513.175.832.661.092.44
111961SDG48523631649420.914.353.441.432.41
121980WAS39221711733432.364.972.611.082.41
131998MIA50429241729453.575.41.830.762.4
141969MIN4101631830490.964.93.941.652.38
152005CHI55028721024413.375.422.050.862.38
161965GNB38319811127442.315.212.91.242.35
171952RAM36018831838461.313.322.010.862.34
181973PIT35916721137330.584.013.441.482.32
191963CHI35317341036360.815.134.331.872.31
201987SFO46724841325373.215.121.910.832.29
212003NWE61832321129413.265.32.040.892.29
221969KAN42620721032481.764.572.811.232.29
231986CHI51326671231622.635.082.451.072.28
241962GNB35517461031421.395.273.881.742.23
251956CRD2871524833180.654.133.471.572.21
261997SFO50926472325543.525.241.720.782.19
272006BAL50930111628603.645.451.810.832.19
282001CLE55230891833433.35.291.980.912.18
292010GNB52731071624474.095.81.710.792.17
301994DAL52227521922473.765.461.690.782.16
311991PHI46724131626552.995.32.311.072.15
322009NYJ5012459817323.485.742.261.062.13
331960BUF42921301933362.24.322.1112.12
342007IND49827641622283.985.581.60.762.11
351950CLE2921390831240.493.292.81.332.1
361964WAS40622471634432.314.792.481.182.1
372004BUF48626242024453.665.692.030.962.1
381990PIT4602500924343.245.382.141.022.09
391991NOR49127201229503.065.32.241.072.09
401971BAL3611739928331.674.072.391.152.09
411964SDG48425182230383.084.341.260.612.07
421996GNB54427401226373.125.242.131.032.06
432009BUF51929481428323.575.742.161.062.04
441995SFO61133371926403.915.471.560.772.03
452012CHI59234231924414.361.70.842.03
461997GNB56329511021413.655.231.580.782.02
472008BAL52828751726343.645.812.171.091.99
481966GNB3901959728471.924.512.591.31.99
491967GNB33713771326291.284.453.181.61.98
501975OAK39818441435551.214.2231.521.97
511986SFO60433251839512.955.062.121.071.97
521999TAM57328731121433.495.261.770.91.97
532000MIA53029001328483.295.281.991.021.95
541971MIN40518061027271.834.062.231.151.94
551962HOU48625611835322.63.951.350.71.93
561960BAL2981726830431.574.332.761.431.92
572007SDG55534122030424.125.581.450.761.92
582006CHI58131161824403.865.441.580.831.91
591973MIA3221290521451.213.992.781.481.87
601970KAN40820101531352.074.282.221.181.87
611992MIN50827821228513.154.981.820.981.86
621994PIT532287412175545.451.450.781.85
632003BAL53128051924473.645.291.650.891.84
642010PIT59334251521484.345.81.460.791.84
651958BAL3631993935321.514.943.421.861.84
661991WAS54829471327503.335.291.961.071.83
671955GNB25916881331102.063.81.740.961.82
682011HOU53830351817444.525.961.440.791.82
691950PHI27714461031220.843.262.421.331.82
702011PIT53027511511354.525.961.440.791.82
711972MIA34817491026332.044.412.361.311.8
721953DET35419651338251.363.442.081.161.79
731995PHI49928161419484.15.461.370.771.78
741990CHI49529201931413.555.371.811.021.77
751987NOR48928002530473.645.111.470.831.76
761979SDG47225491128422.944.661.730.981.75
771993MIN47828701124453.845.191.350.771.75
781981PHI50726961226403.235.081.851.071.74
791978RAM39920481528472.444.121.680.971.73
801974WAS39918461325312.283.981.70.981.73
811975MIN36016211428461.584.22.621.521.72
821951NYG37720611141351.063.62.541.481.71
831961NYG38622012133502.614.672.061.211.71
842011BAL53531401115484.615.961.350.791.71
851968BAL4322038929451.914.682.771.621.71
861984SEA52131741838553.175.121.951.141.7
871972PIT4112056928402.164.42.241.311.7
881959BAL35123421340192.174.872.71.581.7
892012SEA56432501518364.5761.430.841.7
902007TEN56931872122404.35.571.270.761.68
912000TEN46624231017553.575.271.71.021.67
921983NOR49626912023563.725.061.330.81.66
932000TAM59431521525553.595.271.681.021.65
941972MIN33116991326212.244.42.161.311.64
951999BAL59929912021493.775.251.480.91.64
961989MIN48825011818713.675.341.671.021.63
972013CIN61433442220434.395.941.550.951.63
981970DAL39919131024412.354.271.921.181.62
991994CLE58731571318384.175.441.270.781.62
1001992NOR51124701318573.384.971.590.981.62
1011990NYG49627471223303.715.361.651.021.61
1021981TAM54131401032233.375.081.711.071.6
1031987DEN45627961528313.775.11.330.831.6
1041998NYJ54430401621364.165.381.220.761.59
1051954PHI34516841328431.764.222.461.541.59
1061976RAM39720921132451.974.182.211.391.59
1071979HOU46527651834513.094.661.570.981.59
1081980BUF43322821524333.224.931.711.081.58
1091985RAM54830621929563.544.941.40.91.57
1102005CAR52830571523454.055.41.350.861.56
1112008TEN57531961220444.15.81.71.091.56
1121975PIT3961836927431.824.192.371.521.55
1131997NYG596361610275445.221.220.781.55
1141951PIT26614861230251.293.582.291.481.54
1151957CLE2421300819262.264.312.051.341.53
1161976CIN36417581326462.074.182.111.391.52
1171985NYG53528382024683.584.941.360.91.52
1181959NYG30415821122292.444.842.41.581.52
1191989SDG51329511525483.795.331.541.021.51
1201971WAS41121271129362.334.041.711.151.49
1212001TAM49329512028423.915.271.360.911.49
1221969OAK42221091526472.644.471.831.231.48
1232013BUF56132712823574.525.931.410.951.48
1241954NYG35220161133381.934.22.281.541.48
1251965WAS31821171527453.315.141.821.241.48
1261978DEN4382470931302.684.111.430.971.48
1271966KAN49426141833262.864.71.841.261.47
1281991DEN47627551223523.715.271.561.071.46
1291984DAL52728102328573.445.111.671.141.46
1301968RAM35318131225512.34.662.361.621.45
1311962DET36719861124572.665.172.511.741.44
1322010SDG48828451816474.645.791.140.791.44
1331977DAL37015621421532.123.641.521.061.43
1341999STL59635091929573.965.251.290.91.43
1351981SFO51428451627363.555.071.531.071.43
1361963NYG36820892234572.355.022.661.871.43
1371978TAM41922791329332.734.111.380.971.42
1381961GNB41423571329342.934.641.721.211.42
1391988CHI54530341826433.785.051.270.891.42
1401993CHI50428181218464.095.181.090.771.42
1411979CHI45825282129473.254.651.40.981.42
1421973ATL32414301122291.873.962.091.481.41
1432004PIT48428351419414.35.671.360.961.41
1441996PIT54729471723513.775.221.461.031.41
1451956CLE2261103718141.84.022.221.571.41
1461979PIT48025611927493.264.651.390.981.41
1471989DEN50428271321473.895.331.441.021.41
1481983CIN50228281723413.935.051.120.81.4
1491966SDG38221551327262.944.71.751.261.4
1502013CAR56334291720604.615.931.330.951.39
1511967CHI38418751428302.164.392.231.61.39
1521980RAM51026012325563.424.931.511.081.39
1531961HOU49323911333412.184.161.981.431.39
1541995KAN59632221616474.395.451.060.771.39
1552009GNB54032182930374.245.711.471.061.38
1561971ATL3431638920312.454.041.581.151.38
1571955CLE32316521525152.453.761.320.961.38
1581965DET34420972126493.435.131.71.241.38
1592007TAM49027251816334.525.561.040.761.38
1601980PHI54328251625443.444.931.481.081.37
1612006NWE51832031022444.295.431.140.831.37
1622001GNB58331681420524.015.261.250.911.37
1631992KAN45825371924503.624.961.340.981.37
1641964BAL38521321423573.124.731.611.181.37
1652000BAL52829971123353.885.261.381.021.36
1661968HOU35916711320332.634.451.821.361.34
1672012DEN55931942516524.875.991.120.841.33
1681964GNB31816471116453.164.721.561.181.33
1692002GNB53129872424434.165.41.240.931.33
1701995NYJ49727402117434.445.451.020.771.32
1711953WAS3501752827251.863.41.541.161.32
1722006JAX52330781220354.335.431.090.831.32
1731984CHI43524861421723.595.11.511.141.32
1742000PHI55229901119503.915.261.351.021.32
1751986KAN56931952131443.625.041.421.071.32
1762012SFO56732031914384.885.991.10.841.32
1772011NYJ50732161519354.915.951.040.791.31
1782010CHI58235881421344.755.781.040.791.31
1791978PIT44223941027442.844.111.270.971.31
1801999SEA58234921930384.075.241.170.91.3
1812011SFO57936952023424.935.951.020.791.29
1822012ARI49732132022384.95.991.080.841.29
1831960DTX50326531932412.934.211.2811.29
1841968CLE43922481932262.554.642.091.621.28
1851989CLE54031612027454.015.321.311.021.28
1861981DAL51133701737423.75.071.371.071.28
1871993GNB52929001618464.195.180.980.771.28
1881976MIN3231575819452.394.161.771.391.28
1891974BUF31116111120322.713.971.250.981.27
1902006OAK41024131718344.385.431.050.831.27
1911998OAK49728762221414.415.370.960.761.26
1921972CIN35017371120382.724.381.651.311.26
1931967OAK45921651830672.234.2321.591.26
1941977PIT35719691631322.33.631.331.061.26
1951994GNB60534012021374.455.430.980.781.26
1961976DET31316861124282.424.161.741.391.26
1971976WAS35419171126442.434.161.731.391.25
1981994SFO58335011523384.455.430.980.781.25
1991982SEA2461333413173.154.81.661.331.25
2002007NWE52630412319474.625.560.940.761.25

The Z-Score is an interesting way to measure across eras, but it’s not the only way. A simpler approach would be to look at the difference between each team’s ANY/A allowed average and the league average, and the above table is sortable so you can do just that (the ’63 Bears rank #1 by this metric). Another method would be to calculate how many Adjusted Net Yards over average each team prevented. Since the 2013 Seahawks allowed 2.79 fewer ANY/A than the average team, and Seattle faced 524 pass attempts and recorded 44 sacks, we could say that the Seahawks allowed 1,582 Adjusted Net Yards less than the average team would have allowed had they faced those 568 dropbacks.

I performed that calculation for every team since 1950. Chuck Noll’s great Steelers defenses made the list every year from 1972 to 1976, but according to this method, the best pass defense he ever coached was the 1961 Chargers. Keep in mind that in the early years of the AFL, nearly all of the players were there because they did not have the talent to play in the NFL. As a result, you probably need to put a significant discount rate on San Diego’s rating that year. But the raw numbers are amazing: in addition to allowing only 4.5 net yards per attempt, the Chargers allowed 16 touchdowns and forced 49 interceptions, while the other nine pass defenses allowed an average of 24 touchdowns and picked off 26 passes.

Putting aside those Chargers, the rest of the top five brings about familiar names: the 1969 Vikings, led by Pro Bowlers Carl Eller, Gary Larsen, Alan Page, Jim Marshall, and Paul Krause, allowed just 9.5 points per game. That’s the 2nd lowest figure since 1950 (trailing only the ’77 Falcons). The 2002 Bucs are well-remembered: Tampa Bay had five borderline Hall of Fame players in Warren Sapp, Simeon Rice, Derrick Brooks, Ronde Barber and John Lynch, and led the league in passing yards, touchdowns, interceptions, and net yards per attempt. The 1963 Bears had five All-Pro players (Doug Atkins, Joe Fortunato, Bill George, Richie Petitbon, and Rosey Taylor), won the NFL championship, and the team’s 10.3 points allowed per game average was the 2nd best average in the ’60s. The fifth team in the top five? The 2013 Seahawks.

RkYearTmAttPydTDINTSkANY/ALgAvgDiffValue
11961SDG48523631649420.914.353.441813
21969MIN4101631830490.964.93.941808
32002TAM51024901031432.345.453.111721
41963CHI35317341036360.815.134.331683
52013SEA52427521628443.195.982.791582
62008PIT53325111220513.175.832.661552
71962GNB35517461031421.395.273.881540
81988MIN48024891236372.155.112.971535
91970MIN3671438628490.724.343.621506
101986CHI51326671231622.635.082.451406
111986SFO60433251839512.955.062.121387
121975OAK39818441435551.214.2231361
131958BAL3631993935321.514.943.421352
141973PIT35916721137330.584.013.441347
152003NWE61832321129413.265.32.041345
161969KAN42620721032481.764.572.811332
171968BAL4322038929451.914.682.771321
181985CHI52228161634642.744.972.231307
191965GNB38319811127442.315.212.91240
201996GNB54427401226373.125.242.131237
212008BAL52828751726343.645.812.171221
222005CHI55028721024413.375.422.051214
231991NOR49127201229503.065.32.241211
242009NYJ5012459817323.485.742.261205
251991PHI46724131626552.995.32.311203
262009BUF51929481428323.575.742.161193
272001CLE55230891833433.35.291.981181
281991WAS54829471327503.335.291.961170
291967GNB33713771326291.284.453.181162
302000MIA53029001328483.295.281.991152
311980WAS39221711733432.364.972.611134
321963NYG36820892234572.355.022.661133
331966GNB3901959728471.924.512.591130
341984SEA52131741838553.175.121.951124
351964WAS40622471634432.314.792.481113
361999TAM57328731121433.495.261.771093
372000TAM59431521525553.595.271.681093
382012CHI59234231924414.361.71078
392004BUF48626242024453.665.692.031077
401962DET36719861124572.665.172.511066
411975MIN36016211428461.584.22.621065
421956CRD2871524833180.654.133.471060
431961HOU49323911333412.184.161.981058
441990PIT4602500924343.245.382.141057
452008TEN57531961220444.15.81.71053
461967OAK45921651830672.234.2321051
471951NYG37720611141351.063.62.541048
481975PIT3961836927431.824.192.371039
492006BAL50930111628603.645.451.811030
501992MIN50827821228513.154.981.821020
511973MIA3221290521451.213.992.781019
522013CIN61433442220434.395.941.551017
531981PHI50726961226403.235.081.851014
541995SFO61133371926403.915.471.561014
551972PIT4112056928402.164.42.241009
561998MIA50429241729453.575.41.831006
571959BAL35123421340192.174.872.7998
582010GNB52731071624474.095.81.71984
592006CHI58131161824403.865.441.58984
601970KAN40820101531352.074.282.22982
611960BUF42921301933362.24.322.11982
621976RAM39720921132451.974.182.21976
631984DAL52728102328573.445.111.67973
641990CHI49529201931413.555.371.81971
651968CLE43922481932262.554.642.09970
661997SFO50926472325543.525.241.72966
671981TAM54131401032233.375.081.71964
681994DAL52227521922473.765.461.69963
691971MIN40518061027271.834.062.23963
701987SFO46724841325373.215.121.91962
711966KAN49426141833262.864.71.84958
721999BAL59929912021493.775.251.48958
731968RAM35318131225512.34.662.36954
741997GNB56329511021413.655.231.58953
751954PHI34516841328431.764.222.46953
762003BAL53128051924473.645.291.65951
771974PIT33914661425521.594.012.42948
781971BAL3611739928331.674.072.39943
791960BAL2981726830431.574.332.76940
801977ATL3201384926421.093.682.59937
812010PIT59334251521484.345.81.46935
821989MIN48825011818713.675.341.67931
831982MIA2261027719291.224.883.65931
841967CHI38418751428302.164.392.23924
851992NOR51124701318573.384.971.59902
861972MIA34817491026332.044.412.36900
871961NYG38622012133502.614.672.06899
881954NYG35220161133381.934.22.28889
892000TEN46624231017553.575.271.7888
901979SDG47225491128422.944.661.73887
911950CLE2921390831240.493.292.8886
921967RAM44524071432432.564.371.81884
931965SDG47421681728382.444.151.72879
941980PHI54328251625443.444.931.48872
951963GNB3782013922392.884.972.09871
961996PIT54729471723513.775.221.46871
972013BUF56132712823574.525.931.41871
981986KAN56931952131443.625.041.42869
991990NYG49627471223303.715.361.65868
1002007SDG55534122030424.125.581.45867
1011989SDG51329511525483.795.331.54865
1021976CIN36417581326462.074.182.11865
1032012SEA56432501518364.5761.43858
1041969OAK42221091526472.644.471.83856
1051980RAM51026012325563.424.931.51853
1061994PIT532287412175545.451.45850
1072009GNB54032182930374.245.711.47849
1081985RAM54830621929563.544.941.4847
1091970DAL39919131024412.354.271.92846
1101963OAK44025572335552.914.621.71844
1111999STL59635091929573.965.251.29842
1122007IND49827641622283.985.581.6842
1132011HOU53830351817444.525.961.44840
1141981SFO51428451627363.555.071.53839
1151967BUF37718251727432.264.231.97826
1162013CAR56334291720604.615.931.33826
1171991DEN47627551223523.715.271.56824
1181985NYG53528382024683.584.941.36821
1191952RAM36018831838461.313.322.01816
1202011PIT53027511511354.525.961.44813
1212000PHI55229901119503.915.261.35811
1221979HOU46527651834513.094.661.57808
1231968KAN46128231437452.844.421.58801
1241959NYG30415821122292.444.842.4800
1251968OAK44622571325492.814.431.62800
1261980BUF43322821524333.224.931.71797
1271994CLE58731571318384.175.441.27795
1281989DEN50428271321473.895.331.44793
1292001GNB58331681420524.015.261.25793
1301997NYG596361610275445.221.22791
1311953DET35419651338251.363.442.08790
1322011BAL53531401115484.615.961.35789
1331962CHI36320741423483.215.131.92788
1341987NOR48928002530473.645.111.47786
1351984GNB55131461627443.785.091.31780
1362000BAL52829971123353.885.261.38780
1371975CIN38917291122272.314.171.87776
1382007TEN56931872122404.35.571.27776
1391958RAM38120512128322.934.811.88775
1401975RAM38717891122432.374.171.8774
1412005CAR52830571523454.055.41.35773
1421961GNB41423571329342.934.641.72768
1431989CLE54031612027454.015.321.31768
1441980OAK52433121735543.594.921.33767
1451984CHI43524861421723.595.11.51766
1461971WAS41121271129362.334.041.71764
1471972MIN33116991326212.244.42.16759
1481981DAL51133701737423.75.071.37756
1491978RAM39920481528472.444.121.68751
1501995PHI49928161419484.15.461.37748
1511988CHI54530341826433.785.051.27748
1521963BOS47726272129663.214.581.37743
1531958CHI32717691422472.834.821.99743
1541973ATL32414301122291.873.962.09739
1551983NOR49626912023563.725.061.33736
1561962CLE34119841524373.195.131.94735
1571979PIT48025611927493.264.651.39734
1581974WAS39918461325312.283.981.7732
1591999SEA58234921930384.075.241.17728
1601968NYJ40321681728432.84.431.63728
1611958PIT33418921124312.834.821.99726
1622001TAM49329512028423.915.271.36726
1631950PHI27714461031220.843.262.42725
1642004PIT48428351419414.35.671.36716
1651966SDG38221551327262.944.71.75716
1661968HOU35916711320332.634.451.82713
1671964BAL38521321423573.124.731.61712
1682002GNB53129872424434.165.41.24710
1691979CHI45825282129473.254.651.4706
1701998NYJ54430401621364.165.381.22705
1711993MIN47828701124453.845.191.35704
1721960DTX50326531932412.934.211.28698
1731962HOU48625611835322.63.951.35698
1742008PHI52529131915484.575.781.21695
1751976WAS35419171126442.434.161.73690
1761995KAN59632221616474.395.451.06685
1772012DEN55931942516524.875.991.12684
1781989PHI52932892630624.165.321.16683
1791992KAN45825371924503.624.961.34683
1802009PHI58034622725444.615.71.09681
1811984RAI50827521920643.95.091.19680
1821967KAN46225361331382.84.161.36679
1831966OAK40521181523363.144.671.53677
1841978DEN4382470931302.684.111.43671
1852012SFO56732031914384.885.991.1668
1861969DET35018611521463.074.761.69668
1871965DET34420972126493.435.131.7668
1881951PIT26614861230251.293.582.29666
1891976PIT3731866922412.554.161.61666
1901965WAS31821171527453.315.141.82662
1911964SDG48425182230383.084.341.26656
1922009CAR49530561422314.465.711.25656
1931976DEN3912025824322.614.161.54653
1941976MIN3231575819452.394.161.77653
1951963HOU42426002436373.174.581.42652
1961966CLE40623721430352.954.431.48652
1971987DEN45627961528313.775.11.33648
1981996CAR55632141722604.165.211.05644
1991972CIN35017371120382.724.381.65642
2001977DAL37015621421532.123.641.52642

By either metric, Seattle has one of the top five pass defenses of the last 64 years. And for good reason: cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas were both selected as first-team All-Pros by the Associated Press, and safety Kam Chancellor was named to the Pro Bowl. Defensive linemen Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, and Brandon Mebane had outstanding years, Bruce Irvin and Chris Clemons are great edge rushers, and linebacker K.J. Wright had been very good in pass coverage, too, before missing the final three games of the season (will be interesting to see how this impacts the plan to stop Jimmy Graham on Saturday). This is a pass defense without a weakness, and I think, after accounting for era, it’s the second best since at least 1970.

Finally, let’s close with a look at the 100 worst pass defenses using this metric. Two teams from 2013 make the list:

RkYearTmAttPydTDINTSkANY/ALgAvgDiffstdevZ-Score
11963DEN40833664015228.123.87-4.240.98-4.32
21981BAL49141283716138.234.9-3.330.89-3.76
31969NOR38231833212218.154.42-3.731.65-2.25
41967ATL42133923117217.354.05-3.31.6-2.06
51984MIN49037793511257.744.95-2.791.14-2.44
61969STL46535323815337.264.48-2.781.65-1.68
71999SFO52140683613327.65.12-2.480.9-2.75
82008DET4433716254308.535.65-2.881.09-2.64
91973STL41730292310296.813.77-3.051.48-2.06
102009DET5454249359267.965.59-2.361.06-2.22
111996ATL4853745266367.675.09-2.581.03-2.5
121966NYG35728923617267.434.11-3.321.3-2.56
131968ATL38930853014297.314.32-2.991.62-1.84
141991RAM43435452511177.875.12-2.751.07-2.57
151967SDG46431522613316.243.73-2.511.59-1.58
161975NYJ31627192615197.653.96-3.71.52-2.43
171954WAS38729053318196.793.76-3.021.54-1.96
181962DAL43736743320297.374.81-2.561.74-1.47
191978BAL35729012917307.023.95-3.060.97-3.15
202004OAK5103924309257.75.56-2.140.96-2.22
211972NWE32625332410157.524.19-3.331.31-2.54
222006WAS4863491306197.575.32-2.240.83-2.71
232004KAN52242033213417.565.56-20.96-2.07
241966HOU43831623518216.654.23-2.421.26-1.92
251976MIA34726702011207.023.99-3.021.39-2.18
261979NYJ57041153121226.44.53-1.870.98-1.9
271986TAM48436852313197.084.91-2.171.07-2.02
281986NYJ60343893520286.644.93-1.711.07-1.59
292010HOU54742803313307.555.69-1.860.79-2.34
301963SFO45033712714256.914.67-2.241.87-1.2
312005SFO57644272816287.065.3-1.760.86-2.04
321975CLE36125912510346.694-2.691.52-1.77
331996NYJ45633643311287.295.1-2.191.03-2.12
341968PIT41331612917286.754.36-2.391.62-1.47
351990RAM50137623012307.25.23-1.971.02-1.92
361980SFO49537512917316.784.8-1.981.08-1.83
371991CIN50539902617217.125.15-1.971.07-1.84
381963MIN40429983111456.964.66-2.291.87-1.23
392002MIN54241033316277.115.3-1.80.93-1.93
401994DEN56841552812237.065.34-1.730.78-2.21
411960WAS32125642415266.833.89-2.941.43-2.05
422005HOU4693521247377.285.3-1.990.86-2.3
431958WAS30026682116147.544.39-3.151.86-1.7
441989NWE44936662716317.265.2-2.061.02-2.02
452001TEN55940842713326.835.17-1.670.91-1.83
461989NYJ51438583115287.025.21-1.811.02-1.77
471982HOU2842213183317.744.63-3.111.33-2.34
481989DAL4883565217297.15.21-1.891.02-1.85
492000SEA48939372317277.045.15-1.881.02-1.84
501966ATL39631002619346.434.18-2.251.3-1.73
511992ATL43932552411316.894.84-2.060.98-2.1
521956BAL29722602213256.573.59-2.981.57-1.89
531977NYJ37724032311265.883.5-2.381.06-2.24
541984SDG53140852719336.684.99-1.71.14-1.48
551979CIN49236922720326.364.54-1.820.98-1.85
561964CHI36626222710306.854.44-2.411.18-2.04
571999CIN52237982812356.855.15-1.70.9-1.89
582010JAX50640042813267.485.69-1.780.79-2.25
591986IND51037392816246.74.92-1.781.07-1.65
602009STL4913764228257.455.61-1.841.06-1.73
611961WAS40932753726276.534.37-2.161.21-1.79
621958GNB33625752413107.144.43-2.711.86-1.46
631967BOS42328562817315.843.78-2.061.59-1.3
642007NOR52439243213327.165.48-1.680.76-2.22
651996BAL53739692715306.765.12-1.641.03-1.59
661992PHO45234912416276.794.84-1.940.98-1.98
672002DET59141502710336.795.31-1.480.93-1.59
682002CIN4543262309247.235.3-1.940.93-2.07
691980NOR44531123112276.764.8-1.961.08-1.81
701973PHI37026392215216.153.79-2.361.48-1.59
711979ATL48735961715296.324.54-1.780.98-1.81
722013OAK5494092339387.415.84-1.570.95-1.65
731984DET46635112714376.84.98-1.821.14-1.59
741967WAS46834032520385.934.14-1.791.6-1.12
751960PIT36127912016366.223.94-2.281.43-1.59
762012KAN4643533297277.745.89-1.840.84-2.19
772003ARI49735892913216.925.18-1.740.89-1.95
782012NOR60246813115307.325.91-1.410.84-1.68
791962WAS41236023528326.854.85-21.74-1.15
801968DEN42931632520316.014.07-1.931.36-1.42
811993ATL50536372713276.755.08-1.670.77-2.17
821988DAL52335563010466.514.95-1.560.89-1.74
832011MIN5384019348507.385.87-1.510.79-1.91
841951NYY35525942422235.513.2-2.321.48-1.56
851979SFO44131802515296.394.53-1.860.98-1.89
862013ATL51638973110327.425.84-1.580.95-1.66
871968CIN41126202510326.034.07-1.961.36-1.44
882003ATL50838002815366.775.19-1.590.89-1.78
891986MIA48535572213336.594.93-1.661.07-1.54
902010DEN50237802610237.335.7-1.630.79-2.06
911959WAS31924302613226.944.43-2.51.58-1.58
922004GNB5183663338407.15.58-1.520.96-1.58
931997OAK55238702110316.595.13-1.460.78-1.86
941953CHI36423761414195.293.09-2.21.16-1.89
952000MIN5843913238316.535.17-1.351.02-1.32
961963PHI37528362815296.744.68-2.061.87-1.1
971976TAM3212241199246.424.02-2.411.39-1.74
982011TAM48138143014237.515.87-1.640.79-2.07
991954CRD35627942924275.993.83-2.151.54-1.4
1002011CAR49039492814317.455.87-1.580.79-1.99
• Ben Stuplisberger

People forget how great Pittsburgh’s 2008 pass defense was. It puts perspective on how great Warner’s Super Bowl performance was against them.

• Tim Truemper

Not surprised to see the 2012 New Orleans Pass defense listed in the worst 100 (#78) but was mildly suprised not to see the 2013 Dallas team listed. The TD and Int ratio must have helped.

• Nathan

I’m not sure how or who calculates the schedules but “DVOA knocks the Seahawks down a peg for playing the second-easiest schedule in the league this year.” Doesn’t make sense to me at all. Hawks played Colts, Niners (2), Panthers, Saints who are all playoff teams. Add in the Cards (2) who were 10 game winners, more than NFC East or NFC North winners.

The rest weren’t great, but at the beginning of the season it was considered one of the toughest, who knew that the Giants and the Falcons would suck so bad!

• James

Advanced NFL Stats has the Seahawks with the 3rd easiest schedule, Eagles the 4th, but the Packers against an above average schedule.

• Stu

3rd easiest schedule ?… Facing the Niners 3 times.. The Saints 2 times the Cards 2 times…. The Colts and Carolina on the road… That’s BS… Seattle has had a tough schedule…

• James

Regular season only, so you only get to count the Niners twice and Saints once, and everyone has four road/home games so that cancels out.

They also played the Jaguars and Bucs who were by far the worst two teams in the league, and that drags them way down. If you don’t consider those two teams then the Seahawks would have had the 11th hardest schedule by Adv NFL Stats.

• Nick

That’s exactly what I was thinking Nathan

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• Jacob

I wonder if adding the defensive TD’s stat makes much of a difference in some of these. 2002 Bucs had 4 INT’s returned for TD(3 by Derrick Brooks). Seattle had 3 pick 6’s themselves.

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• Doug

Pete Carroll was the DBs coach for that 1988 Vikings team that was so good. Coincidence? I think not.

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• David

Interesting article, but how would you measure overall defensive units (both pass AND run)?