Michael, Flemington, NJ
Subj: Getting defensive
I’ve had plenty of arguments with friends, but I believe the 86 NY Giants had the best defense ever. Others tend to point to the 85 Bears and the 2000 Ravens. Who is your choice and why?
It’s hard to find fault with your selections, Michael, although my personal vote goes to the 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers. The dreaded Steel Curtain was loaded with Hall of Fame talent like Mean Joe Greene, Jack Lambert, Jack Ham and Mel Blount as well as bruising hitters like J.T. Thomas, L.C. Greenwood, Glen Edwards and Mike Wagner, all of whom were selected to that year’s Pro Bowl team. Given their incredible personnel it’s easy to see how Pittsburgh ranked fourth or better in nine key defensive categories while also holding opponents to a paltry 28 points during their final nine regular season games. In fact, the Steelers’ defense was so dominant that Greene was famous for frequently telling the offense “You guys hold-'em, and we’ll score!" as they came off the field.