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triphahn
05-13-2009, 12:56 PM
Looking back on last year I feel our defense was perhaps the best ever fielded by a Steelers team. I was around in the 70's and know the 76 team that did not win the Superbowl(Blier and Harris out against the Raiders for the AFC Championship) was incredible. But last years team did not have a dominant offense or more precisely a dominant run game to control the clock and keep the D off the field. It follows that generally the less time your defense is on the field the less yards they will surrender.
So what I am looking at is how would you guys rank last years defense? And second would a "yards per minute" stat be more pertinant to actual performance? Thus a good defense that was on the field all the time because their offense sucked would get some recognition.

scsteeler
05-13-2009, 01:13 PM
I think last years Defense was on of the best for the Steeler's! It is hard for me to compare the 70's Defense with current defenses because of the time periods in which they were played. The NFL rules were different and in most cases the guys you drafted never went anywhere unless the team traded them.

I willing to bet this years Defense will be even better and this will most likely be due to better offensive performance and a better run offense.

steelreserve
05-13-2009, 01:45 PM
This is the best defense in football at least since the '80s. It's been excellent for several years and completely dominant last year. If we can maintain last year's type of dominance for another year or two, I honestly think it would rival the original Steel Curtain. Not to mention that would virtually guarantee us at least one more Super Bowl.

slippy
05-13-2009, 01:53 PM
giving up the lead in the SB and against BAL (first game) keeps them out of the "best ever" discussion.

but they are still one of the best in modern times (post 1960).

pancake
05-13-2009, 01:58 PM
I think last years Defense was on of the best for the Steeler's! It is hard for me to compare the 70's Defense with current defenses because of the time periods in which they were played. The NFL rules were different and in most cases the guys you drafted never went anywhere unless the team traded them.

I willing to bet this years Defense will be even better and this will most likely be due to better offensive performance and a better run offense.

I hope the run offense will be better, but I think our overall offense should have better stats. With that said, I don't like having Gay as the starter on the corner. Maybe he will rise to the challenge or a rookie will step up. I am also concerned with our aging DL, but least we have Hood in the wings. I think the D can be as good, but not sure we can be better.

BlastFurnace
05-13-2009, 04:11 PM
Looking back on last year I feel our defense was perhaps the best ever fielded by a Steelers team. I was around in the 70's and know the 76 team that did not win the Superbowl(Blier and Harris out against the Raiders for the AFC Championship) was incredible. But last years team did not have a dominant offense or more precisely a dominant run game to control the clock and keep the D off the field. It follows that generally the less time your defense is on the field the less yards they will surrender.
So what I am looking at is how would you guys rank last years defense? And second would a "yards per minute" stat be more pertinant to actual performance? Thus a good defense that was on the field all the time because their offense sucked would get some recognition.

If I had to rank our all time defenses that I have seen since 1974:

1. 1976 Defense - Rule Changes or not, what they did in their past 10 games puts them at the top of the list.

2. 1974 Defense - Team pretty much won the whole thing because of this defense. It isn't as good as the 1976 defense, but it is close.

3. 2008 Defense - The challenges of today's game, the depth of the Secondary and how it played the entire season puts this bunch here.

4. 1978 Defense - I believe this was the first year of the rule changes to open up the passing game and they only gave up 195 points. Not bad.

5. 1994 Defense - If only that team had an offense. I know the 49'ers were a great team that year, but if we had an offense, we could have played with them. I still hate Alfred Popunu and Tony Martin

Honorable mention goes to 1979, 1995, and 2001.

Psyychoward86
05-13-2009, 04:21 PM
If I had to rank our all time defenses that I have seen since 1974:

1. 1976 Defense - Rule Changes or not, what they did in their past 10 games puts them at the top of the list.

2. 1974 Defense - Team pretty much won the whole thing because of this defense. It isn't as good as the 1976 defense, but it is close.

3. 2008 Defense - The challenges of today's game, the depth of the Secondary and how it played the entire season puts this bunch here.

4. 1978 Defense - I believe this was the first year of the rule changes to open up the passing game and they only gave up 195 points. Not bad.

5. 1994 Defense - If only that team had an offense. I know the 49'ers were a great team that year, but if we had an offense, we could have played with them. I still hate Alfred Popunu.

Honorable mention goes to 1979, 1995, and 2001.


I tend to agree with this. All time, i think the '08 defense is in the top 10.

steelreserve
05-13-2009, 04:37 PM
giving up the lead in the SB and against BAL (first game) keeps them out of the "best ever" discussion.

but they are still one of the best in modern times (post 1960).

Don't forget that the defense was also responsible for scoring 7 points in an all but impossible situation, and the Cards' last score came right after our offense got flagged for a safety. I don't fault this defense for "giving up the lead", so much as a lot of weird stuff happened in the Super Bowl and if our defense wasn't strong throughout, we never would've won.

Cheppy
05-13-2009, 04:56 PM
and the Cards' last score came right after our offense got flagged for a safety. I don't fault this defense for "giving up the lead", so much as a lot of weird stuff happened in the Super Bowl and if our defense wasn't strong throughout, we never would've won.

I think it had more to do with the play-calling than the actual play of the D. Dick Lebeau is the best defensive coordinator in history & I've never questioned him until that 4th quarter of the Super Bowl. I was screaming at my tv asking why were the safeties setup 30 yards away from the line of scrimmage. They basically gave the entire field to the Cards on a silver platter instead of staying aggressive.

As for the topic at hand, it's hard for me to say. The 70s Steelers D was a juggernaut through most of the 70s into 1980 and they forced the league's hand into creating rules to help offenses out. Then you have what the thread creator mentioned of the present day unit doing great things while their offense struggled mightily in spots & without a consistent run game. (not to mention all of the terrible field position they had to deal with courtesy of one mitch berger) Both units make compelling arguments but I really can't say either way. It's a push for me.

Steelerfreak58
05-13-2009, 05:30 PM
I don't give a rip how great they are. All I want is for Lebeu to stop using the prevent defense in the 4th quarter when we have a lead. Every t me he uses prevent it never works and damn near cost us the SB.

It was a good D last year and will be just as good if not better this year. I think Timmons has a break out year teams will be so focused on stopping Harrison and Woodley that Timmons will be wrecking teams in the middle.

Slanted August
05-13-2009, 08:21 PM
Awesome thread,

My vote is last years. I was only 8 in 1978 so I cant even comment on the original curtain defenses of the 70's.

I truly only saw last year's D get outphysicaled once against the Titans and out schemed once for 1.5 quarters in the Super Bowl.

I wish I could see a snapshot again of Both Hampton and Hoke both on one knee stareing into the Giants huddle @ the 1 yard line. The goal line stand is something to appreciate with a beast like Jacobs trying to ram it in.

I can go on with the sacks, the interceptions, and even the beating up of a team on national TV (Redskins). Can they play offense?

Edman
05-13-2009, 08:32 PM
Excellent Defense? Yes. Best D Ever? No.

Lebeau's prevent in the fourth quarter of XLIII hurt their chances. Before that, they contained one of the most explosive offenses that season, and then there's that 100 yard pick six by Harrison that should've more than sealed the game. The Whisenhunt Offense was doing little all night until we went prevent and let Fitz run free. Why do these coordinators insist on using prevent? It works against crap offenses with crappy quarterbacks or with less than 20 seconds in the game. We were against a very patient and smart QB and one of the most explosive WR's in the game, left with a lot of time to work their magic. Lebeau's brainfart nearly cost the game.

The 2008 Defense rescued games on their own all season when the Offense was getting stuffed. Stopping Brandon Jacobs in the Giants game was a thing of beauty.

tony hipchest
05-13-2009, 09:54 PM
Excellent Defense? Yes. Best D Ever? No.

Lebeau's prevent in the fourth quarter of XLIII hurt their chances. Before that, they contained one of the most explosive offenses that season, and then there's that 100 yard pick six by Harrison that should've more than sealed the game. The Whisenhunt Offense was doing little all night until we went prevent and let Fitz run free. Why do these coordinators insist on using prevent? .what is it about that single play that leads you to believe lebeau was running a "prevent" D?

i cant be sure w/o checking the tape, but im pretty sure it was our standard 3-4 or nickel package in the game.

:hunch:

from everything ive heard, that was just the perfect call at the perfect time against a near perfect defense. it was executed perfectly.

advantage= offense.

CanadianSteel
05-13-2009, 10:00 PM
Major props to our defense this year... One of the toughest schedules in NFL history and they "brought it" every single game...
Imagine if the rules were set so they could actually hit people like the 70's.
Still cant put them above 76 but I say close second... IMHO

Ravnet
05-13-2009, 10:36 PM
2000 Baltimore Ravens - 165 points (10.3 p/g), 3967 yards, and 49 turnovers forced throughout the course of the regular season.

2008 Pittsburgh Steelers - 223 points (14.0 p/g), 3795 yards, and 29 turnovers forced throughout the course of the regular season.

2000 Baltimore Ravens - 5.75 points allowed per game, 209.25 yards allowed per game, and 3 turnovers forced per game during the playoffs.

2008 Pittsburgh Steelers - 20.3 points allowed per game, 298.3 yards allowed per game, and 2.6 turnovers forced per game during the playoffs.

Both won Super Bowls.

I would say that the Steelers are definitely in the top 10, but the Ravens have the clear edge in terms of all-time best units, especially considering that they turned it up during the postseason.

Cheppy
05-13-2009, 10:40 PM
what is it about that single play that leads you to believe lebeau was running a "prevent" D?

i cant be sure w/o checking the tape, but im pretty sure it was our standard 3-4 or nickel package in the game.

:hunch:

from everything ive heard, that was just the perfect call at the perfect time against a near perfect defense. it was executed perfectly.

advantage= offense.

The safeties were 30 yards away from the line of scrimmage & it wasn't just one play. In 2 1/2 weeks you can see it till your heart's content.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51znJ%2B5ONzL._SL500_AA240_.jpg

MaidenIndiana
05-13-2009, 11:12 PM
Last years defense was great, but as far as the best Steelers defense I don't know. The 70's defense had: Mean Joe, Ham, Lambert, and Blount who are all in the HOF. I might add that I believe that L.C. should also be in the HOF.As it stands now the only member of last years defense that could possibly have a chance at the HOF is Troy. Of course that could change in the following years but for now I don't think you can put last years defense above the 70's defense IMO

Cheppy
05-13-2009, 11:33 PM
Last years defense was great, but as far as the best Steelers defense I don't know. The 70's defense had: Mean Joe, Ham, Lambert, and Blount who are all in the HOF. I might add that I believe that L.C. should also be in the HOF.As it stands now the only member of last years defense that could possibly have a chance at the HOF is Troy. Of course that could change in the following years but for now I don't think you can put last years defense above the 70's defense IMO

Even though he won't get in Aaron Smith deserves to be in the hall & the man should've made the last 4 pro bowls. But being a defensive end in a 3/4 scheme is probably the most thankless job there is in the league.

Imagine his sack numbers if he played in a 4/3 scheme.

wootawnee
05-14-2009, 10:02 AM
I would have to say this unit was the best since the 86 Giants or 85 Bears.........That Bears D might not have the stats of last years d, but they were fearsome.......I remember that they were on tv just about every week that year in Pittsburgh cause they were awesome.........They blitzed more dudes then Baltimore blitzs us.........It was frightening for the qb's.........Here is a couple of names........d-line: Dan Hampton, Richard Dent, Steve McMicheals, Fridge........Lbs: Singletarry, Otis wilson, WIlbur Marshal, Ron Rivera.....Safety's: Dave Duerson, Gary Fencik,...........And 2 corners.........Pre salry cap....Here is their post season scores...........

Round Date Opponent Result Game site TV
Divisional Round January 5, 1986 New York Giants W 21-0 Soldier Field CBS
NFC Championship January 12, 1986 Los Angeles Rams W 24-0 Soldier Field CBS
Super Bowl XX January 26, 1986 New England Patriots W 46-10 Louisiana Superdome NBC

[edit]
NFC Divisional Playoff: Chicago Bears 21, New York Giants 0
1 2 3 4 Total
Giants 0 0 0 0 0
Bears 7 0 14 0 21

at Soldier Field, Chicago
Game time: 12:30 p.m. EST/11:30 a.m. CST
TV announcers (NBC): Pat Summerall and John Madden

The Bears defense dominated the game by allowing only 32 rushing yards and sacked Giants quarterbacks for 60 yards. Chicago's first touchdown resulted on a New York punt attempt from their own 12-yard line. The wind caught the ball just enough for punter Sean Landeta to completely miss it, and Shaun Gayle picked it up and ran 5 yards for a touchdown. Bears quarterback Jim McMahon later threw two touchdown passes in the third period, both to Dennis McKinnon. McMahon finished the game with 216 passing yards, while running back Walter Payton rushed for 94 yards.
Scoring
CHI - Shaun Gayle 5 yd punt return TD (Kevin Butler kick) (CHI 7-0)
CHI - 23 yard TD pass from Jim McMahon to Dennis McKinnon (Butler kick) (CHI 14-0)
CHI - 20 yard TD pass from Jim McMahon to Dennis McKinnon (Butler kick) (CHI 21-0)

[edit]
NFC Championship: Chicago Bears 24,Los Angeles Rams 0
1 2 3 4 Total
Rams 0 0 0 0 0
Bears 10 0 7 7 24

at Soldier Field, Chicago
Game time: 12:30 p.m. EST/11:30 a.m. CST
TV announcers (CBS): Pat Summerall and John Madden
Referee: Jim Tunney

The Bears defense dominated the game by limiting Rams running back Eric Dickerson to 46 yards, and holding quarterback Dieter Brock to 10 out of 31 completions for 66 passing yards. Los Angeles only gained 130 yards of total offense. Chicago quarterback Jim McMahon scored on a 16-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, and later threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Willie Gault in the third quarter. Kicker Kevin Butler kicked a 34-yard field goal in the first period. In the fourth quarter, defensive lineman Richard Dent forced Brock to fumble, and linebacker Wilber Marshall picked up the loose ball and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown.
Scoring
CHI - Jim McMahon 16 yd TD run (Kevin Butler kick) (CHI 7-0)
CHI - Kevin Butler 34 yd FG (CHI 10-0)
CHI - 22 yd TD pass from Jim McMahon to Willie Gault (Butler kick) (CHI 17-0)
CHI - Wilber Marshall 52 yd fumble return TD (Butler kick) (CHI 24-0)

[edit]
Super Bowl XX: Chicago Bears 46, New England Patriots 10
For more details on this topic, see Super Bowl XX.
1 2 3 4 Total
Bears 13 10 21 2 46
Patriots 3 0 0 7 10

at Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Game time: 5:25 p.m. EST/4:25 p.m. CST
TV announcers (NBC): Dick Enberg, Merlin Olsen, and Bob Griese
Referee: Red Cashion


Scoring
NE - Tony Franklin 36 yd FG (NE 3-0)
CHI - Kevin Butler 28 yd FG (3-3)
CHI - Kevin Butler 24 yd FG (CHI 6-3)
CHI - Matt Suhey 11 yd TD run (Butler kick) (CHI 13-3)
CHI - Jim McMahon 2 yd TD run (Butler kick) (CHI 20-3)
CHI - Kevin Butler 24 yd FG (CHI 23-3)
CHI - Jim McMahon 1 yd TD run (Butler kick) (CHI 30-3)
CHI - Reggie Phillips 28 yd interception return TD (Butler kick) (CHI 37-3)
CHI - William Perry 1 yd TD run (Butler kick) (CHI 44-3)
NE - 8 yd TD pass from Steve Grogan to Irving Fryar (Franklin kick) (CHI 44-10)
CHI - Safety, Steve Grogan sacked in end zone by Henry Waechter (CHI 46-10)

BlastFurnace
05-14-2009, 10:43 AM
2000 Baltimore Ravens - 165 points (10.3 p/g), 3967 yards, and 49 turnovers forced throughout the course of the regular season.

2008 Pittsburgh Steelers - 223 points (14.0 p/g), 3795 yards, and 29 turnovers forced throughout the course of the regular season.

2000 Baltimore Ravens - 5.75 points allowed per game, 209.25 yards allowed per game, and 3 turnovers forced per game during the playoffs.

2008 Pittsburgh Steelers - 20.3 points allowed per game, 298.3 yards allowed per game, and 2.6 turnovers forced per game during the playoffs.

Both won Super Bowls.

I would say that the Steelers are definitely in the top 10, but the Ravens have the clear edge in terms of all-time best units, especially considering that they turned it up during the postseason.

I agree that the 2000 Ravens were better. As dominant as they were, sometimes I think that defense is overshadowed by how terrible the offense was.

steelreserve
05-14-2009, 11:21 AM
I agree that the 2000 Ravens were better. As dominant as they were, sometimes I think that defense is overshadowed by how terrible the offense was.

And by the fact that a lot of people probably saw them as just another artificial one-year success story of the kind that's been happening in the NFL since the salary cap crackdown. In the same vein as other Super Bowl appearances by pretend teams like the Falcons, the Panthers and the Seahawks.

True, they've had a good defense for a number of years, but a lot of people might still regard that one season as a flash in the pan and they didn't sustain at that same level before or after.

Vincent
05-14-2009, 12:07 PM
The 76 Steelers were the best D ever. Period. They allowed 23 points over 9 games, including 5 shut outs in that stretch. The O was decimated. The D stepped up.

Its arguable from the 80s on. The 2000 rats D were truly great. The 2008 Steelers D was great. The game has changed. Different schedules. I could make an argument for both, but won't. Honorable mention to the 85 Bears.

BlastFurnace
05-14-2009, 12:17 PM
The 76 Steelers were the best D ever. Period. They allowed 23 points over 9 games, including 5 shut outs in that stretch. The O was decimated. The D stepped up.

Its arguable from the 80s on. The 2000 rats D were truly great. The 2008 Steelers D was great. The game has changed. Different schedules. I could make an argument for both, but won't. Honorable mention to the 85 Bears.

I agree with you about the 76 Defense being the best ever. It's a shame what happened to Franco and Rocky before the AFCCG against Oakland.

Vincent
05-14-2009, 01:43 PM
I agree with you about the 76 Defense being the best ever. It's a shame what happened to Franco and Rocky before the AFCCG against Oakland.

Gotta love Lambert - "Give us a case of beer and we'll play 'em again".

You've got to believe it would have been the 3rd Lombardi. We would have trashed the Vikes again.

Ravnet
05-14-2009, 08:34 PM
And by the fact that a lot of people probably saw them as just another artificial one-year success story of the kind that's been happening in the NFL since the salary cap crackdown. In the same vein as other Super Bowl appearances by pretend teams like the Falcons, the Panthers and the Seahawks.

True, they've had a good defense for a number of years, but a lot of people might still regard that one season as a flash in the pan and they didn't sustain at that same level before or after.

Huh? The Ravens have had great defenses and poor offensive units for virtually every year following their Super Bowl win, and Baltimore has had six playoff appearances in the past decade.

Sure, they haven't weren't able to sustain the best defense in the history of football, but Pittsburgh and Baltimore have by far been the two superior units of the decade.

The Ravens haven't won multiple Super Bowl, but would you call the Colts a "flash in the pan" because they weren't able to go all the way more than once?