2008 Pittsburgh Steelers 3-4 Defense. PFF graded as the best Defense that season over the Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia Eagles, and Minnesota Vikings. Some claim one of the best Defenses of all time.
Next in the raw numbers statistics comes the 1991 Eagles. They have many arguments to support them as the best of the remaining 3 defenses. They were the only defense (post '70s) to have a positive Opponent Offensive Factor. In fact, not only did they play a very balanced schedule in terms of top half and bottom half offenses, but they played 3 games against top 3 scoring offenses and 4 against top 5 offenses (both scoring and yards). Both of these are more than any other defense.
2013 Regular season Net Total Yards Leaders
- 1 Denver 7317
- 2 Philadelphia 6676
- 3 Green Bay 6404
- 4 New Orleans 6391
- 5 San Diego 6293
Very nice article on the Steelers 2008 Defense, but HOW did the actually do it?
- RCB Ike Taylor* 1000
- SS Troy Polamalu* 994
- LILB James Farrior* 960
- ROLB James Harrison* 940
- LOLB Lamarr Woodley* 934
- FS Ryan Clark* 864
- LE Aaron Smith* 860
- RILB Larry Foote* 567
- LB Lawrence Timmons 512
- LCB Bryant McFadden* 475
- SCB William Gay 472
- RE -2 Travis Kirschke 470
- RE -1 Brett Keisel* 468
- SCB Deshea Townsend 454
- NT Casey Hampton 416
Fairly clearly defined roles on their 3-4 Defense.
Keisel was the starter at RE and when injured/winded Kirschke played the position. McFadden was the starter at LCB and when injured Gay first got the call out of the slot and then Townsend went to slot. 3 man rotation. The Steelers appeared to have a 5 man rotation at Linebacker with Farrior and Foote inside, Woodley and Harrison outside and Timmons would sub for any and all of them as needed. Nose Tackle Hampton would come off for the Nickel. 15 players pretty much held down the Defensive side of the ball.
In Sundays Star Newspaper Eric Berry moving to Free Safety came up.
In fact, Riddick even called Berry a "very good" 3-4 scheme safety and compared him to a future Hall of Famer who was used in a similar capacity.
"He is a young Troy Polamalu-type, a guy who can play linebacker, play down in the box, play tight ends," Riddick said. "I mean, he’s perfect for that."
Mayock agrees, and thinks the Chiefs would be better served using him in the same manner next season.
"He’s aggressive, he’s comfortable playing that dime linebacker slot that (defensive coordinator) Bob Sutton had him play a lot," Mayock said. "He could take a tight end out of the game for you … he struggled with some big tight ends recently, but for the most part, I think he’s best in the box because of his physicality and ability to cover tight ends and running backs."
Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2014/01/25/4776089/move-to-free-safety-is-unlikely.html#storylink=cpy
What about that Troy Polamalu guy? In 2008 he had an awesome year. Troy was 27 that year and garnered 69 tackles, 8 interceptions, while only allowing 2 TD's and 243 yards in pass coverage. His NFL coverage ranking was a 26.6. That is rediculous right there. In comparison, Charles Woodson was the best CB in 2008 and he had a 35.4 coverage rating.
So how close are the Chiefs to emulating the 2008 Steelers position by position?
Dontari Poe is far superior to Hampton on his ability to play every down.
Mike DeVito vs Smith?
Keisel/Kirsche vs nobody?
Woodley and Harrison vs Tamba Hali and Justin Houston?
Farrior vs Derrick Johnson?
Foote/Timmons vs nobody?
Taylor/McFadden vs Brandon Flowers and Sean Smith?
Eric Berry vs Troy Polamalu?
Clark vs nobody?
Nickel and Dime CB's vs Nickel and Dime safeties?
Twas interesting that the 2008 Steelers ran 4 CB's and 2 Safeties, the Chiefs were forced to run 4 CB's and 3 Safeties.
Maybe 2008 and 2013 are a lot different eras due to even more rule changes?