When it comes to Super Bowl rankings, offenses usually get the most attention, so we decided to come up with a list of the best defenses to ever play in the Super Bowl ahead of this Sunday’s 2018 matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots.
5. 2013 Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks finally won their first Super Bowl thanks to a defense that featured one of the best secondaries in NFL history.
During the regular season, the Seahawks held opponents to an average of 14.4 points per game, and held opposing offenses to 5.8 yards per completion in a season in which the worst offense averaged 6.1 yards per pass.
The Seahawks dominated the record breaking Broncos offense, and forced four turnovers en route to a 43-8 win over Denver.
4. 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers defense was very dominant under head coach Tony Dungy, but peaked under Jon Gruden, who took over for Dungy after he was fired.
The defense, which was anchored by Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp, dominated offenses and held 11 opponents to 10 points or less. During the season, they held opponents to 12.2 points and opposing quarterbacks to a 48.4 passer rating.
In the Super Bowl, the Buccaneers went up against the top offense in the league that year and finished the game with five interceptions and three defensive touchdowns.
3. 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers
You can’t have a defensive list without mentioning the Steel Curtain.
The Steelers finished the 1974 season with a defense that was the best in the league in yards allowed, takeaways, sacks and opponent passer rating.
Even though some people consider the 1976 Steelers defense to be the best of the Steel Curtain era because they had eight Pro Bowlers on defense, the 1974 team won the Super Bowl, while the 1976 team lost to the Oakland Raiders, which eliminates them.
Joe Green won the Defensive Player of the Year Award, while Jack Lambert won the Defensive Rookie of the Year award on a defense that was stacked with future Hall of Famers.
2. 2000 Baltimore Ravens
The defense was one of the greatest defenses in NFL history, and arguably the toughest one to run against.
The Ravens held opponents to 2.6 yards per carry and allowed only 970 rushing yards during the season despite playing the likes of Eddie George, Jerome Bettis and Corey Dillon twice, and playing against Emmitt Smith, Curtis Martin, Tiki Barber, and Fred Taylor.
After devouring their opponents during the regular season, the Ravens allowed an average of four points per game during the postseason and held the New York Giants without an offensive touchdown in their dominant Super Bowl win.
1. 1985 Chicago Bears
The 85 team was probably the most complete defensive unit in NFL history. The Blitz happy Bears forced seven quarterback substitutions over the course of the season, and was loaded with Hall of Famers.
The Bears marched to a 15-1 record as they finished with the best record in the league but saved their best performance for the playoff.
The Bears shutout the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams before giving up 10 points to the New England Patriots in their 46-10 win in the Super Bowl.