Lewis, secondary spark Ravens' defense

Prolific passers and versatile backs get the headlines, but it still comes down to defense in many instances. Here's a ranking of the league's top 10 units.

Updated: September 16, 2005, 3:38 PM ET
Pro Football Weekly

They take no prisoners. They're the best of the best. Football's tightest, toughest and stingiest of groups. They hit hard and then come at you harder the next time. Sacks. Fumbles. Interceptions. Pain. These are the words associated with these units. They are this year's top defenses.

For most of these teams, if they are to be crowned NFL champs at the conclusion of this season, it will be due in large part to the efforts of the men doing the tackling. It's often said that defense wins championships, and it isn't simply a tired cliché. The numbers back it up.

In the past 10 years alone, eight of the teams to win the Super Bowl have finished the season ranked in the top 10 in both overall defense (yards allowed) and scoring defense (points allowed). Seven of the last 10 Super Bowl runners-up finished in the top 10 in both categories as well. Furthermore, four of the last 10 NFL champs led the league in scoring "D."


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