Seattle Seahawks' Ricardo Lockette celebrates after a defensive stop against the Denver Broncos during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Updated: February 24, 2014 10:17PM
Most NFL fans are hostages of the latest hour. That’s why the declaration has been made that the 2013 Seattle Seahawks arguably just put a stamp on best defense ever in their 43-8 Super Bowl win over Denver.
Then there’s Bears fans, who are hostages of 1985, insisting that the best defense ever played in Soldier Field that season.
The numbers can be bent and twisted in many different ways, but what can’t be is where did that defense do it’s damage, and more importantly, who did they do it against.
Read carefully, Bears fans. Reality hurts.
5. 1985 Bears — This group barely edges out the 2002 Tampa Bay defense, and that’s because of the way they manhandled Phil Simms in the first round. But Dieter Brock in the NFC Championship Game and then Tony Eason in the Super Bowl? It’s like going to a retirement home and pushing old people over. It was a gimmick defense that was made extinct by the evolution of the West Coast offense, and had no staying power.
4. 2013 Seahawks — Drew Brees and Peyton Manning will both be Hall of Fame quarterbacks. Book it. Brees, however, did throw for 309 yards against the Seahawks in the 23-15 Saints loss. San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick was held to 153 yards passing, but ran for 130, and the 49ers lost the game in the final moments. The win over Manning was by far the most eye-opening performance, picking him off twice. Like the Bears, however, this defense didn’t travel in the playoffs until the Super Bowl.
3. 2000 Ravens — Getting past Gus Frerotte in the Wildcard game was basically a bye, but going on the road to beat Steve McNair and then Rich Gannon, and allowing just 13 total points in those two games was a bit more impressive. The problem with this group was the Super Bowl, and facing off against Kerry Collins. Three road wins away from Baltimore is what carries weight.
2. 1986 Giants — Not only did this group humble Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana in the first round and knock him out of the game, but after beating Jay Schroeder in the NFC Championship – the same Schroeder who beat the ’86 Bears – they handed quarterback John Elway a 39-20 beating in the Super Bowl. Two Hall of Fame quarterbacks under the tires is impressive.
1. 1974 Steelers — Forget the fact that the core of this unit won four Super Bowls in six years, but it started with the ’74 team, who held Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson to 49 yards rushing in their first playoff game, travelled to Oakland and beat a two-loss Raiders team led by Ken Stabler, and then humiliated Hall of Fame quarter Fran Tarkenton in the Super Bowl, picking him off three times, holding the Vikings to 17 yards rushing and 119 yards total. The next season, they beat Stabler and Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach.