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Preacher
11-30-2008, 11:27 PM
So I was bored, and didn't really want to do anymore writing on my paper. Plus I am still too excited by the game. So I decided to do a little comparison to the 76 Steeler team. Here is what I found.

(Methodology. T-test, 1 tail, allowing for unbalanced numbers. In other words, the test takes into account the fact that the Steelers have not played 14 games yet (which was the number of games in the 76 season).


1. Rushing. The 08 defense is allowing an average of 71 yards. 76 D, 104 yards. The difference in yardage is 99.3% statistically significant, which means the threshold of statistical significance is met (95%). It can be said with confidence that the 2008 team is better at stopping the run than the 76 team was.

2. Passing. The 08 team is allowing an average of 169 yards passing. The 76 team allowed 237 yards passing. The difference in yardage is 98.3 percent statistically (Meeting the threshold for statistical significance). Thus, it can be said again with confidence that the 2008 team is better at stopping the pass than the 76 team.

3. 1st downs. 08 team. average just under 16. 76 team, just under 14, Does the 2008 team have a statistically significant higher number of first downs allowed? Almost. 94% significance, which means that it the differnce in 1st downs may or may not be significant between the two teams.

So.. Does that tell the whole story? Nope. The 76 team (I can visualize this, don't even have to run the numbers) have a statistically significant difference in points allowed. . . 9.9 in 1976 to 14.5 today with 5 shutouts and 2 or 3 more games without a TD. The Steelers of this year have no shutouts and what looks like 2 games without a TD. However, that is only a 4.6 point differentiation between the two teams.

What's more, The Steelers of 2008 are averaging about half the turnovers of the 76 team, which may be the reason for the low score.
Here is the kicker. In 1976, each team scored an average of 19.2 points a game. This year, the average team is scoring 22.6 points a game.


So is the 2008 defense the best defense ever for a Steelers team?

Yes to Rushing
Yes to Passing
Just a little under on 1st downs
No on turnovers
On points. . . that is where it gets sticky. Yes the Steelers of 76 shut down teams in the stretch. However, over the long hall, when you look at the average point differential, the 76 team only has 1.2 points per game difference (when adding in the difference in average team scoring). Factor in the strength of schedule for this year, and the actual scoring difference is negated IMO.

Thus, in my conclusion, the 2008 defense is a little more dominant than the 76 defense on average, but not quite as able to take over a game as the 76 defense did down the stretch.

Let the arguments begin!

mesaSteeler
11-30-2008, 11:35 PM
Much to early to say this yet.

steelreserve
11-30-2008, 11:46 PM
From year to year, we've had a few defenses that compared to the dominance of the '70s teams. But let them keep it up for 6 or 7 years straight and then we'll see.

Preacher
11-30-2008, 11:48 PM
Much to early to say this yet.

Statistically, its not as we are only 2 games away from meeting the number of regular scheduled games in 76. Granted, we have some of our toughest teams ahead. However, we also have Tennessee, Ravens, and Browns, who are lower scoring, drag out games. That should actually work in the favor of the 2008 defense.

Preacher
11-30-2008, 11:48 PM
From year to year, we've had a few defenses that compared to the dominance of the '70s teams. But let them keep it up for 6 or 7 years straight and then we'll see.

Absolutely. That is why I have only compared one year, and didn't discuss the "Dynasty Defense"

Edman
11-30-2008, 11:50 PM
Well, they're definately the best Steelers Defense in recent memory. Even better than 1994 Blitzburgh Team. The 1994 Steelers allowed 300+ yards of offense six times throughout the year.

The 2008 Steelers have yet to have an opposing offense to put up 300+ total yards of offense in twelve consecutive games this year.

LVSteelersfan
11-30-2008, 11:54 PM
Even though we had the socalled toughest schedule in the league this year, we will still not be respected for being 9-3. The naysayers will just say that the teams we played were not really the toughest ones because they are all having down years. We just can't get any respect in that matter. Everyone has GOT TO SEE however that we have a pretty monster D going here.

tony hipchest
12-01-2008, 12:29 AM
polamalu, harrison, and a. smith are the best at their position.

hampton, taylor, clark, woodley, farrior are easilly top 5.

that leaves-

mcfadden/townsend (both injured)
keisel (injured)
foote (definite top 10 interior 3-4 LB)

....who arent "pulling their weight".

this is one of the best steelers defenses in a long time. (hard to knock the 95 team if they had a healthy woodson, but even they werent quite as deep).

i still think the 08 team needs to go on a statistical run AND win a championship to be considered the best ever,

its exciting enough just to think its possible though...

fordfan485
12-01-2008, 12:47 AM
Another interesting point is the difference in rules with regards to passing under the '76 rules. With today's rules its much easier to pass and the fact that were are better in that stat i think speaks volumes.

Steelman16
12-01-2008, 12:52 AM
Is the 2008 Steelers D, their best defense ever?

If we win the Super Bowl, yes, I think the 2008 defense is better hands-down, no questions asked.

However, if that doesn't happen, then I still think the 2008 D is one of the best ever, if not second-best behind the '76 D.

For fortitude, depth, and people stepping up when their number is called, the 2008 D tops the bunch. That has been the story of this season, and even if we don't win a playoff game, I'll remember this season.

But in answer to your question. Is it the best yet? No. Can it be? Absolutely. It's very close.

Preacher
12-01-2008, 12:59 AM
polamalu, harrison, and a. smith are the best at their position.

hampton, taylor, clark, woodley, farrior are easilly top 5.

that leaves-

mcfadden/townsend (both injured)
keisel (injured)
foote (definite top 10 interior 3-4 LB)

....who arent "pulling their weight".

this is one of the best steelers defenses in a long time. (hard to knock the 95 team if they had a healthy woodson, but even they werent quite as deep).

i still think the 08 team needs to go on a statistical run AND win a championship to be considered the best ever,

its exciting enough just to think its possible though...

yeah, 3 or 4 shutouts over the next 4 games and a SB would seal this discussion.

If they keep playing at that level, and we have our offense tighten up just a bit. . . this could be a real magical next 4 to 8 years.

Michael Keller
12-01-2008, 01:12 AM
I am at the age that I can say I followed very closely the original Steel Curtain. I am very loyal to those guys but I honestly believe this current defense is across the board as a group as good and arguably better because the players are bigger and faster today.

This current team is a shut down defense and appear to be getting better each game. When we were ahead 23 to 13 and Reed missed the field goal my game viewing friend said " if Reed makes it we we clinch the victory." My response was "with our defense the game is already over right now ." I never thought I would say it but this defense can be better then the 70"s defense but it has to finish the year out srong and at least go deep into the play offs and if not ideally win the Super Bowl.

They are damn good and certainly deserve to be mentioned with the best all time defense. They are making for an exciting season

lilyoder6
12-01-2008, 01:28 AM
this def rly needs to add a sb ring to there resume 2 cap off a great def yr... i think ppl are just amazed by how good this def is playing.. the last def that played this good was the 2000 ravens

fansince'76
12-01-2008, 01:50 AM
At this point, I would say no. In '75, our offense turned the ball over thirteen times in 2 playoff games and we still won both games. Although this is a great D we have now, there's a reason our '70s defense(s) is/are still widely considered the best ever.

Preacher
12-01-2008, 02:46 AM
At this point, I would say no. In '75, our offense turned the ball over thirteen times in 2 playoff games and we still won both games. Although this is a great D we have now, there's a reason our '70s defense(s) is/are still widely considered the best ever.

I think we may actually be on the same page... though of course your name gives a way a bit of bias :chuckle:

I go back to my last line in the beginning of the thread... Thus, in my conclusion, the 2008 defense is a little more dominant than the 76 defense on average, but not quite as able to take over a game as the 76 defense did down the stretch.

Would you agree with that?

What I REALLY think is interesting, is that no one is coming in here saying no way, uh huh, what a silly thread (Though some smart alec- - - ahem ahem TH- - will probably post it now :laughing:). It is a testament to the defense that people are even will to talk about these two versions of the team in the same breadth (Or post).

BrandonCarr39
12-01-2008, 03:00 AM
Like I said in another thread-I wish we played you guys(and the Ravens, for that matter) back in Sept or Oct b/c of the physical nature both defenses bring to the table.

ShutDown24
12-01-2008, 03:31 AM
We had a similar discussion to this near the end of last season. While we're a little further along in the season this time around, I thought that was a good point to make as we all remember what happened at the end of last year.

Anyway, I'm not going to be a downer - the D has been great this year. No doubt one of the best any team has ever fielded statistically and the best I have yet to see in my short lived career as a football fan.

Hines0wnz
12-01-2008, 03:46 AM
The caveat to the mentioning of needing to wait a few years and find out if they can dominate over a few seasons is free agency. We all know that star LBs are made on this team and become too expensive to hold on to sometimes. That being said, if the Rooneys can afford to re-sign Harrison, Woodley, Timmons and Polamalu (yes, I know he is a safety) then the core (along with Hampton, Smith and Farrior) is there to kick ass for a few more years. And these guys are fun to watch!

stillers4me
12-01-2008, 06:01 AM
I'll let you guys do the arguing. All I know is watching the Steelers D gives me the heebie jeebies.......in a very good way!

I was at a gas station in Cinci yesterday and I got a compliment on my BLITZBG license plate. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/sueincinci/Smileys/yess.gif

scsteeler
12-01-2008, 09:42 AM
I am at the age that I can say I followed very closely the original Steel Curtain. I am very loyal to those guys but I honestly believe this current defense is across the board as a group as good and arguably better because the players are bigger and faster today.

This current team is a shut down defense and appear to be getting better each game. When we were ahead 23 to 13 and Reed missed the field goal my game viewing friend said " if Reed makes it we we clinch the victory." My response was "with our defense the game is already over right now ." I never thought I would say it but this defense can be better then the 70"s defense but it has to finish the year out srong and at least go deep into the play offs and if not ideally win the Super Bowl.

They are damn good and certainly deserve to be mentioned with the best all time defense. They are making for an exciting season


I would agree this 2008 defense is awesome and still getting better. The one thing that stands out to me is constancy in play each week. This Defense is getting better each week and with the playoffs not to far away this is good.

Edman
12-01-2008, 09:48 AM
I agree with the sentiment with some people.

Don't get me wrong, the Steelers Defense have been absolutely magnificent this year, but if this years' Steelers Defense is truly legendary and want to be recognized as such, they'll go on a run and finish out this season, with a championship.

That starts with shutting down another Highlight Offense. That means the Cowboys.

LambertIsGod58
12-01-2008, 11:05 AM
Another interesting point is the difference in rules with regards to passing under the '76 rules. With today's rules its much easier to pass and the fact that were are better in that stat i think speaks volumes.


Ford, you stole my thunder here. You are 100% right on this one. I'd have to say from what Preacher posted, the 2008 team is probably in essence better than the 1976 team. With the statistics as close as they are and then encompass the fact that the league hadn't come up with the "Mel Blount" rule yet, that would put the 2008 team over the top IMO. But we are talking one year here.

Preacher
12-01-2008, 05:18 PM
Ford, you stole my thunder here. You are 100% right on this one. I'd have to say from what Preacher posted, the 2008 team is probably in essence better than the 1976 team. With the statistics as close as they are and then encompass the fact that the league hadn't come up with the "Mel Blount" rule yet, that would put the 2008 team over the top IMO. But we are talking one year here.

And you are exactly right. That was my only focus.

However, the scary part is that Harrison and Farrior both seem like they can go for another few years, the Line is just turning thirty, and since we just need them to take up space for the LB's. they can play probably into their mid 30. We have young DB;s.

It is just one year so far. . . but do you remember the old 80's song?

The future's so bright I gotta wear shades.

LambertIsGod58
12-01-2008, 05:55 PM
BTW Preacher, I forgot to mention what a great post this is. It kinda puts in perspective how good this defense is this year. I had admitting that any team is better than one our Steeler teams from the 1970's. They're the ones I grew up with....

LambertIsGod58
12-01-2008, 06:02 PM
And you are exactly right. That was my only focus.

However, the scary part is that Harrison and Farrior both seem like they can go for another few years, the Line is just turning thirty, and since we just need them to take up space for the LB's. they can play probably into their mid 30. We have young DB;s.

It is just one year so far. . . but do you remember the old 80's song?

The future's so bright I gotta wear shades.

I agree about the possible longevity....but with free agency the way it is today. I don't have much optimism. Don't get me wrong, I'd love nothing more than to keep this defense together.

Makaveli
12-01-2008, 08:30 PM
polamalu, harrison, and a. smith are the best at their position.

hampton, taylor, clark, woodley, farrior are easilly top 5.

that leaves-

mcfadden/townsend (both injured)
keisel (injured)
foote (definite top 10 interior 3-4 LB)

....who arent "pulling their weight".

this is one of the best steelers defenses in a long time. (hard to knock the 95 team if they had a healthy woodson, but even they werent quite as deep).

i still think the 08 team needs to go on a statistical run AND win a championship to be considered the best ever,

its exciting enough just to think its possible though...

Very well said. I'm with you as well as regarding the 95 unit. I still have memories of Greene and Lloyd meeting up at the Qb., along with the play of Brown, Kirk, Buckner, Carnell, Figures and the greatest of all time,..Rod Woodson.(well, at least until Barry ruined his career the Steelers,..."Damn you Barryyyyyyyyyy "):laughing:

VTsteel
12-01-2008, 09:02 PM
Wow - Great post man

Preacher
12-02-2008, 03:31 PM
I agree about the possible longevity....but with free agency the way it is today. I don't have much optimism. Don't get me wrong, I'd love nothing more than to keep this defense together.

The other question though, is with this production, are players willing to stay around because they understand that they have something special here. How many core players have the Ravens lost? COuld it be for the same reasons?

BrandonCarr39
12-02-2008, 03:35 PM
The other question though, is with this production, are players willing to stay around because they understand that they have something special here. How many core players have the Ravens lost? COuld it be for the same reasons?

If the Ravens lose Rex Ryan-that's a HUGE blow.

PalmerSteel
12-02-2008, 03:38 PM
good observation. i can see it for sure BUT i want to wait just one more week for this one year best ever argument to see if we can shut down 2 white-hot offenses in a row.

OX1947
12-02-2008, 04:26 PM
If the Steelers play 4 more games like they have and then go on to win the title, this might be the best single season defense ever.

The bears in 85 for a single season were the best. I say this because had the Steelers won the title in 76, that defense would be number 1. But in order to be the best, the ending must have a Lombardi Trophy.

The Ravens defense in 2000 was really good and some considered it 2nd all time, however, they weren't even ranked first in defense that year, it was the Titans. And they were a wild card team that year so I don't know how valid that is.

Steelers have the greatest defense of all time in terms of sustained dominance. But for one year, this steeler D may be able to knock off the Bears of 85 and make its own mark against some of those 70's defenses.

Take this into consideration also, we had the most points scored in one weekend last week in NFL history. So you have to factor in that the Steelers have been dominating with the current rules on top of it. Rules where you cant tackle anymore and can;t really touch anyone. Which makes this even more remarkable if they can finish the last 4 games the way they have been playing and then go on to win it all.

xfl2001fan
12-02-2008, 04:46 PM
If the Ravens lose Rex Ryan-that's a HUGE blow.Same could be said of you guys and LeBeau.

PalmerSteel
12-25-2008, 10:56 AM
good observation. i can see it for sure BUT i want to wait just one more week for this one year best ever argument to see if we can shut down 2 white-hot offenses in a row.

well, we slipped a little on the run against the ravens and boys and didnt played inspired enough against the titans, so the verdict is still out on considering the best ever. guess it will have to be proven in the playoffs.