Top 5 Defenses in the NFL 2016
In the National Football League, defense plays a crucial role in determining the success of a team. A strong defense can stop opponents from scoring and create opportunities for the offense. The 2016 season witnessed some remarkable defensive performances, with several teams showcasing their prowess in this aspect of the game. In this article, we will discuss the top five defenses in the NFL in 2016, along with some interesting facts and tricks associated with these teams.
1. Seattle Seahawks:
The Seattle Seahawks have consistently been known for their exceptional defense, and the 2016 season was no different. They allowed the fewest points in the league, with an average of just 18.3 points per game. Led by the “Legion of Boom,” a nickname for their formidable secondary, the Seahawks defense proved to be a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks. They had the most interceptions in the league, with 18, and also recorded 42 sacks throughout the season.
Interesting Fact: The Seattle Seahawks’ defense was so dominant in 2016 that they held their opponents to single-digit points in five games.
Trick: The Seahawks’ defense often utilized a cover 3 defense, where they divided the field into three deep zones and assigned each defensive back to one of these zones. This created a challenging situation for quarterbacks, as they had limited options for throwing the ball.
2. New England Patriots:
The New England Patriots have always been known for their strong offense, but their defense in the 2016 season was exceptional. They allowed the fewest yards per game, with just 326.4 yards on average. Led by well-known players like Dont’a Hightower and Malcolm Butler, the Patriots’ defense showed great discipline and versatility.
Interesting Fact: The New England Patriots’ defense was particularly effective against the run, allowing the fewest rushing yards per game in the league, with an average of just 88.6 yards.
Trick: The Patriots’ defense often employed a “bend but don’t break” strategy, where they allowed short yardage plays but tightened up near the end zone. This approach minimized the number of touchdowns scored against them.
3. Kansas City Chiefs:
The Kansas City Chiefs had an incredibly strong defense in the 2016 season. They recorded the most takeaways, with 33, and had the best turnover differential in the league. The Chiefs’ defense was characterized by their ability to force fumbles and intercept passes, making life difficult for opposing offenses.
Interesting Fact: The Kansas City Chiefs’ defense scored eight touchdowns in the 2016 season, the most by any team.
Trick: The Chiefs’ defense often utilized a disguised blitz, where they would initially line up as if they were dropping back into coverage but would quickly rush the quarterback. This surprise element caught many offenses off guard.
4. Denver Broncos:
The Denver Broncos had a formidable defense in the 2016 season, despite facing challenges after losing key players from their Super Bowl-winning team the previous year. They recorded the most sacks in the league, with 42, and had an impressive pass rush led by Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware.
Interesting Fact: The Denver Broncos’ defense allowed the fewest passing yards per game in the league, with an average of just 185.8 yards.
Trick: The Broncos’ defense often employed man-to-man coverage, where each defensive back would be assigned to cover a specific receiver. This strategy worked well for them, as it limited the number of open targets for opposing quarterbacks.
5. Baltimore Ravens:
The Baltimore Ravens had a tenacious defense in the 2016 season, finishing with the second-fewest points allowed. They had a strong pass rush, recording 31 sacks, and were particularly effective at stopping the run, allowing just 89.4 rushing yards per game.
Interesting Fact: The Baltimore Ravens’ defense had the most forced fumbles in the league, with 18.
Trick: The Ravens’ defense often employed a zone blitz, where they would send unexpected blitzers from different areas of the field while dropping defensive linemen into coverage. This created confusion for opposing offenses and disrupted their passing game.
Now, let’s answer some common questions about the top defenses in the NFL in 2016:
1. Which team had the best defense in terms of points allowed in 2016?
The Seattle Seahawks had the best defense, allowing just 18.3 points per game.
2. Which team had the most interceptions in the 2016 season?
The Seattle Seahawks recorded the most interceptions, with 18.
3. Which defense scored the most touchdowns in 2016?
The Kansas City Chiefs’ defense scored the most touchdowns, with eight.
4. Which team had the fewest yards allowed per game in 2016?
The New England Patriots had the fewest yards allowed per game, with an average of 326.4 yards.
5. Which defense had the most forced fumbles in 2016?
The Baltimore Ravens’ defense had the most forced fumbles, with 18.
6. Which team had the most sacks in 2016?
The Denver Broncos recorded the most sacks, with 42.
7. How did the Seattle Seahawks’ defense manage to hold their opponents to single-digit points in five games?
The Seahawks’ defense had exceptional teamwork and discipline, along with a strong pass rush and an excellent secondary that created turnovers and limited their opponents’ scoring opportunities.
8. What made the New England Patriots’ defense so effective against the run in 2016?
The Patriots’ defense had a strong front seven that consistently won battles at the line of scrimmage, shutting down running lanes and tackling efficiently.
9. How did the Kansas City Chiefs’ defense force so many turnovers in 2016?
The Chiefs’ defense had an aggressive approach, focusing on stripping the ball and creating opportunities for interceptions. They often targeted the ball carrier’s arms and swarmed to the ball, resulting in forced fumbles.
10. What contributed to the Denver Broncos’ defense allowing the fewest passing yards per game?
The Broncos’ defense had a talented secondary that provided tight coverage on opposing receivers, giving their pass rushers enough time to disrupt the quarterback’s rhythm and forcing hurried throws.
11. What made the Baltimore Ravens’ defense effective at stopping the run in 2016?
The Ravens’ defense had a stout and disciplined front seven that maintained gap integrity, filled running lanes, and tackled effectively. They also had exceptional tackling linebackers who made it difficult for running backs to gain extra yards.
12. How did the New England Patriots’ defense employ the “bend but don’t break” strategy effectively?
The Patriots’ defense focused on preventing big plays and tightening up in the red zone. They allowed short yardage plays but tightened their coverage and increased pressure near the end zone, minimizing the number of touchdowns scored against them.
13. What was the key to the Kansas City Chiefs’ defense’s success in scoring touchdowns?
The Chiefs’ defense had a knack for creating turnovers, with excellent ball awareness and the ability to convert interceptions and forced fumbles into touchdowns. Their aggressive playstyle allowed them to capitalize on these opportunities.
14. How did the Denver Broncos’ defense manage to record the most sacks in 2016?
The Broncos’ defense had a fearsome pass rush, led by elite edge rushers like Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware. They employed various stunts, blitzes, and creative schemes to confuse offensive lines and exploit weaknesses.
15. What was the key to the Baltimore Ravens’ defense’s ability to force fumbles?
The Ravens’ defense had players with excellent ball-stripping skills who were trained to target the ball carrier’s arms. They also had a swarming mentality, with multiple defenders converging on the ball carrier to increase the chances of forcing a fumble.
In conclusion, the 2016 NFL season witnessed some outstanding defensive performances by teams like the Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, and Baltimore Ravens. These defenses showcased various strategies, such as the Seahawks’ cover 3 defense, the Patriots’ bend but don’t break philosophy, the Chiefs’ disguised blitz, the Broncos’ man-to-man coverage, and the Ravens’ zone blitz. These teams excelled in different aspects of defense, including interceptions, sacks, forced fumbles, and stopping the run, making them formidable opponents for any offense. The success of these defenses relied on teamwork, discipline, and the ability to create turnovers. Overall, the 2016 NFL season demonstrated the importance of a strong defense in achieving success on the football field.