NFL Defensive Rankings: 2012 Regular Season
Year-end reviews and regrets
The Sun has finally set on this 2012 NFL regular season. Which can only mean one thing. It’s time to stack these defenses up and see how they looked according to the Black and Blue Defensive Rating System! (To see past posts on the Black and Blue Defensive Rating System, click here.)
So step right up, whip out that Casio calculator, and put up on those horn-rimmed glasses, because it’s time to rate some defense! Here are the league-wide defensive standings according to the Black and Blue Defensive Rating System:
NFL Defensive Rankings: 2012 Regular Season
|3||San Francisco 49ers||89.97|
|10||New York Jets||76.67|
|11||Green Bay Packers||73.28|
|12||St. Louis Rams||72.16|
|14||San Diego Chargers||70.85|
|15||New England Patriots||68.63|
|20||New York Giants||62.15|
|27||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||56.62|
|29||New Orleans Saints||51.82|
|30||Kansas City Chiefs||51.61|
All good things must come to an end. Such is life in the NFL. This season saw one of the best first halves (the Chicago Bears) and one of the worst second halves (the Philadelphia Eagles) in a very long time. Here are some thoughts on how they, and the rest of the league, held up as the season played out.
The Chicago Bears’ stellar first eight games propelled them to the top of the Black and Blue Defensive Rankings, and they never looked back.
They had a few slip-ups — against Green Bay for example — that brought them back down closer to earth, but for the most part they played tough. Their players, grabbing the most interceptions and second-most fumble recoveries, always kept their slipping offense in the game.
Chicago finishes out as the only team to earn a triple digit DRS (Defensive Rating Score) but still couldn’t manage to sneak into the playoffs. Hopefully their aging core of defensemen will be able to perform as admirably next season.
The Philadelphia Eagles (excuse me as I vomit) were without a doubt the worst defensive team of the last eight games. They had completely given up in the second half of the season, and it was ugly to watch. They slipped from the 10th-best defense in the nation at the halfway mark, to the dregs of the league eight games later. Allowing 24.3 offensive points per game, 20 first downs per game, and a 99.6 opponent passer rating on the season, the Eagles were, in one word, disgusting.
For the most part, the perennial defensive teams are at the top, but there are a few exceptions.
The Seattle Seahawks finished strong to jump six spots in the last four weeks to the No. 2 ranking, pushing down San Francisco from their season-long perch at the position. The Arizona Cardinals did all they could to make up for their atrocious offense by playing lights-out defense for most of the season, but seemed to lose their will to fight in the last few games.
The Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos continued their climb up the standing as the year went on. The Broncos finished the year with 11 straight victories, climbing from the No. 9 spot all the way to No. 4 in eight games. The Bengals finished strong enough to make it into the playoffs, tying with the Rams and Broncos for tops in the league in sack count at 3.2 a game.
Other teams of note were the Indianapolis Colts, who have the worst DRS of any playoff team, adding more fuel to the Andrew Luck Fan Fire, and the New York Jets, who despite finishing ranked No. 10 in DRS, had an abysmal year on and off the field. The Saints, who spent much of the year at the bottom of this ranking, did pull themselves up from No. 32, but were never able to rise to the level needed to accomplish anything of worth. Meanwhile, the New York Giants’ vaunted defense of a year ago only managed to finish ranked 20th.
In terms of the NFC North and South divisions, it was an interesting year.
The NFC North begins with the Chicago Bears, who somehow failed to make the playoffs despite ranking tops overall in defense, while the Green Bay Packers won the division with the help of their 11th-rated defense and the arm of quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Minnesota Vikings, falling to No. 22 in defense, can thank running back Adrian Peterson for their spectacularly unexpected year, and their playoff berth. The Detroit Lions — oh, those Lions, fell all the way to 23rd.
The NFC South, led by the Atalanta Falcons at No. 9, takes a steep nosedive after that, with the Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and New Orleans Saints finishing 17th, 27th, and 29th, respectively. It was not a year of parity in the NFC South.
Not too many surprises in this list if you have been watching the NFL this season. Many of the top teams leveled out, while others finished stronger than anyone could have predicted. The Black and Blue Defensive Rating System had a strong year of giving you a true value of each defense’s on field performance. All that’s left now is to sit back and enjoy the playoffs!
About the author
Creator of the innovative Water Cooler Sports Black and Blue Defensive Rating System, Patrick Bates spent most of his life growing up in a small farm-town about an hour southwest of Detroit, MI. Because his family consisted of either happy Green Bay Packers fans, or downtrodden Detroit Lions fans, as a child he decided to chose the path of least depression and gear up in a Packers Starter jacket. After receiving his Bachelors degree in Economics from the University of Michigan, he moved to the great state of Colorado. His articles are either humorously farcical, or nerdy and stats-driven; and sometimes they are humorously nerdy and farcically stats-driven. Feel free to drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with Patrick on Google+
I sure as hell wouldn't bet on Houston after this game, not that I would have before, but today they really suck.
@Houndog Well looks like the Broncos have a easy trip to the AFC championship game
@Joedirte If Webb beats the Packers it's real simple, the Packers sucked!
@Houndog well it is a deep DL and LB draft so i think the can still get s a good front 7 guy in the third 3rd 4th round
@Joedirte eh Jennings and Driver are both all but gone. that leaves Jones who's a FA after next year, Cobb and Nelson, along with Boykins and Ross who are very unproven
@Joedirte personall i'd like TT to take a gamvble on Lattimore in the late second if he's there
@Joedirte IMO the top priorities in the draft are
3) anywhere on the defensive front 7
As shitty as they've played, the Bungles are only down by 6, another take away could win it
@Maized and Confused Kind like Lions vs Jaguars
I always thought the vikings single-horn logo looks like a sperm.
That TV-Affect of the logo fluttering REALLY makes it look like one.
@Maized and Confused You're 9 inches away from a 12 inch dick!
@Maized and Confused whahooo!
@WCSN Postseason Pick'em Contest . . . It's on! I'm sure there'll be a group of people watching.
@WCSN Postseason Pick'em Contest . . . It's on! Wait its 5 days after New Years??? Are you sure you aint celebrating MLK Day early?
@WCSN Postseason Pick'em Contest . . . It's on! Because if you fall asleep at the party you too can have a Dream
@Joedirte The company vice-president, who set this whole debacle up, is half-Filipina, half-Korean and grew up in Panama. Maybe she doesn't know any better?
Tell them all I said to go fuck themselves.
- Ranking the NFC North: linebackers May 24, 2013
- Black, Blue, and Ornery: NFC North News for Friday, May 24th, 2013 May 24, 2013
- Why, Charles Woodson, why? May 23, 2013
- Ranking the NFC North: defensive lines May 23, 2013
- Black, Blue, and Ornery: NFC North News for Thursday, May 23rd, 2013 May 23, 2013