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The Patriots Defense: An All-Time Great?

Five games into the 2019 NFL season and the New England Patriots have proven to be the best defense in the league. The question is, have they begun to establish themselves as one of the best defenses of all-time? We’ve all heard how they haven’t allowed a passing touchdown yet, or how prior to last week they hadn’t allowed an offensive touchdown at all. 

I took a look at some of the per game numbers to see how they stack up against ten of the most dominant defenses from the past 35 years. The defenses included the ’84 49ers, ’85 Bears, ’86 Giants, ’91 Eagles, ’08 Steelers, 2000 Ravens, ’02 Buccaneers, ’06 Ravens, ’13 Seahawks, and the ’15 Broncos.

Let’s look at the following numbers and how they compare to this year’s Patriots defense. All statistics compiled are based on a per game average.

Points Allowed
19 Patriots 6.80
00 Ravens 10.31
02 Bucs 12.25
85 Bears 12.38
06 Ravens 12.56

Yards Allowed per game
91 Eagles 221.81
08 Steelers 237.19
19 Patriots 238.40
00 Ravens 247.94
02 Bucs 252.75

1st Downs Allowed per game
91 Eagles 12.58
19 Patriots 13.20
00 Ravens 13.50
02 Bucs 14.75
06 Ravens 14.75
85 Bears 14.75

Pass Completion % Against
91 Eagles 44%
85 Bears 48%
02 Bucs 51%
19 Patriots 54%
06 Ravens 55%
84 49ers 55%

Pass Yards Allowed per game
91 Eagles 150.81
02 Bucs 155.63
08 Steelers 156.94
19 Patriots 160.40
13 Seahawks 172.00

Pass TD’s Allowed per game
19 Patriots 0.00
02 Bucs 0.63
00 Ravens 0.69
08 Steelers 0.75
84 49ers 0.88

Interceptions per game
19 Patriots 2.20
85 Bears 2.13
02 Bucs 1.94
06 Ravens 1.75
13 Seahawks 1.75

Rush Yards Allowed per game
00 Ravens 60.63
91 Eagles 71.00
06 Ravens 75.88
19 Patriots 78.08
08 Steelers 80.25
86 Giants 80.25

Rush TD’s Allowed per game
91 Eagles 0.25
13 Seahawks 0.25
00 Ravens 0.31
06 Ravens 0.31
85 Bears 0.38
19 Patriots 0.40

As you can see, based on the measurements, the 2019 Patriots are on track to becoming one of the best defenses in NFL history.

Photo Credit: USA Today

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