Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Best D in the League?

Who has the best defense the NFL?  Some say Houston.  Some say Chicago.  Some say Seattle.  How could anyone say anything but San Francisco?  Let's compare their rankings:

Houston- 4th fewest points, 3rd fewest yards
Chicago- 3rd fewest points, 5th fewest yards
Seattle- 2nd fewest points, fewest yards
San Francisco- Fewest points, 2nd fewest yards

Those are pretty close, but what about the competition they have faced?  Here's the rankings of the offenses that each has faced:

Houston- 19.8 ppg, 320.3 ypg
Chicago-18.7 ppg, 321 ypg
Seattle- 19 ppg, 299.9 ypg
San Francisco- 22.9 ppg, 345.9 ypg

Some would say that points per game and yards per game aren't extensive enough.  Using advanced stats, Football Outsiders ranks the defenses as follows: Chicago, Houston, Seattle, San Francisco.  The crazy part?  Here's Football Oustiders' average ranking of each of their opponents:

Houston- 23.8
Chicago- 19.6
Seattle- 20.2
San Francisco- 16.6

By Football Outsiders' own rankings, the Niners have faced the best offenses.  The Niners have given up the fewest points in the league, to better offenses than Houston, Chicago, or Seattle faced, and they're not the best defense in the league?  How does that make any sense?  I'm sorry, but San Francisco has the best defense in the league.

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