FanPost

In Manning's Defense...

So I was curious how this years defense compares with the defenses from Manning's past, so I put together this little comparison for those who are interested. When ranking teams in various categories, I much prefer using yards/per play rather than total yards, as is typically done. Total yards are easier and sexier, but really don't say anything. At any rate, I'm using yards per play below.

So in this chart you see the categories, and the number is the ranking across the NFL by year and category. "Average Rank" is the average ranking across all categories. The idea being that the lower the number the more consistent the defense performed across all areas. At the bottom in bold is the 2012 Broncos.

Pts

Total

Yards/play

Pass

Yards/play

Rush

Yards/play

TO

Forced

Sacks

QB

Rating

Avg Rank

Outcome

1998

29

28

25

30

29

18

30

27

DEN SB

1999

17

21

12

26

27

12

22

20

DIV

2000

15

23

18

21

26

14

19

19

WC

2001

31

29

27

28

24

16

28

26

06-10

2002

7

16

13

21

21

16

25

17

WC

2003

20

19

18

23

13

23

21

17

CONF

2004

19

28

23

31

5

6

23

17

DIV

2005

2

23

10

28

10

5

23

14

DIV

2006

23

28

13

32

23

30

15

20

SB Win

2007

1

3

5

8

2

26

3

7

DIV

2008

7

12

10

19

13

16

11

13

WC

2009

8

5

4

19

18

16

12

12

SB Loss

2010

23

19

16

26

28

23

27

23

WC

2012

4

3

5

2

14

2

11

6

???

This is hands down the most complete defense Manning has had since 2007 when Indy overlooked the Chargers and lost via a Volek TD run in the Divisional round. They had a SB team that year, but choked in the playoffs. That team had a major Achilles heel though--they couldn't rush the passer. Manning has proven that he can win without much of a defense, since his SB winning team had a sieve that was effective just in time for the playoffs. This year though he has a bonafide defense, that should help considerably in January. Our biggest weakness is our turnover number, which has improved as the season has progressed. In a number of areas, we currently have the best ranked defense in Manning's career.

Pts: 3rd best

Total Yards/play: tied for best

Pass Yards/play: tied for 2nd best

Rush Yards/play: best by a mile

TOs Forced: 6th best

Sacks: best

Opp QB Rate: tied for 2nd best

Overall Average Rank: best

Don't fill up too much on the koolaid, as none of this matters if we turn the ball over on offense or let opponent TEs score at will, but for comparison purposes, we have the best or 2nd best defense in Manning's career, IMO.

This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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