NFL: The 20 Best Defenses in Football History Part II (Fewest Points Against, Single Season)
Defense. Smash mouth football.
Throughout the history of the NFL, these teams in particular have been mostly associated with a defensive underpinning. How’d they get this reputation?
Sure offense played a part in some of their successful campaigns, but from the beginnings of the pro game to today, these great franchises drafted, schemed, went back to and counted on defensive mindedness and core to win football games and carry the season more often than not.
Through its formative years (1922-1939, say), the NFL was a low-scoring affair. Football was executed mostly with ground assaults and countering D. There were halfbacks, tailbacks, fullbacks and wingbacks. Passing was a part of the game, but its priority came later – it picked up steam in the 1940’s, hit another level in the 1950’s and 1960’s, exploded in the 1980’s and has been off the charts in the 2000’s (especially the past six years).
But I digress a bit. There is a point.
Yesterday, we looked at the 20 best defenses (Part I) of the modern era. Because of the continued exponential reliance on the passing game in the past 30 years as opposed to, previously, the running game, I felt it fair to split up “the 20 best defenses” into separate rankings.
First, yesterday, the best defenses of the 14-game (1961-1977) and 16-game (1978-2012) schedule eras. Today, its the best defensive teams from the earliest my source (pro-football-reference.com) goes back, 1940, to 1960. Before that, there wasn’t much consistent, high-powered offense in the game, anyway. Football was slow and grinding.
Here are the 20 best defenses of the transitionary era (1940-1960) based on fewest points against (PA) per game, led by the 1944 New York Giants and followed by the 1942 Chicago Bears – both of whom gave up less than 100 points in total on the season.
Those five franchises mentioned in the first line of this post? They make up 17 of the 20.Follow @VinGetz
|TEAM||SEASON||POINTS AGAINST PER GAME||PA||G||W||L||T|
|1.||New York Giants||1944||7.50||75||10||8||1||1|
|4.||New York Giants||1941||10.36||114||11||8||3||0|
|7.||Green Bay Packers||1941||10.91||120||11||10||1||0|
|11.||New York Giants||1940||12.09||133||11||6||4||1|
|13.||New York Giants||1950||12.50||150||12||10||2||0|
|15.||New York Giants||1942||12.64||139||11||5||5||1|
* Won NFL Championship
Posted on October 7, 2013, in NFL Football and tagged best, chicago bears, defenses, fewest, football, history, List, new york giants, nfl, pittsburgh steelers, points against, season, teams, washington redskins. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.