The Seattle Seahawks put on a defensive performance to remember last night in Super Bowl XLVIII, holding the record-setting Denver Broncos offense to just one touchdown and eight points.
Thus, the conversation of the greatest defense of all-time has begun once again.
The 1985 Chicago Bears, the 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers and 2000 Ravens are the three most often in the conversation.
The Ravens have gone head-to-head with each historic defense in past debates countless times, so we won’t get back into that.
Now there’s a new contender.
Are the Ravens better than this year’s Seahawks?
Here are five reasons to argue in favor of Baltimore:
1) Fewer points per game
It all comes down to points. The Ravens allowed just 10.3 points per game over the 2000 season. The Seahawks surrendered 14.4 points per game. That’s more than a field goal difference.
2) Fewer yards per game
Baltimore’s 2000 defense surrendered 247.9 yard per game. The Seahawks led the league, but gave up 273.6 yards per contest. That’s more than 25 yards per game, or over 10 percent more.
3) More turnovers
The Seahawks got four turnovers out of the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. They led the league with 39 takeaways during the regular season. But the 2000 Ravens defense was even more ball hungry. That unit had 49 turnovers on the season. The Ravens forced 26 fumbles and had 26 recoveries. There were 14 different players with at least one fumble recovery and eight with at least one interception.
4) Fewer points allowed in Super Bowl
The 2000 Ravens are still the only team not to allow an offensive touchdown in the Super Bowl. The New York Giants only scored on a 97-yard kickoff return by Ron Dixon in the third quarter. The Broncos also could have scored more points with field goals had they not been in such a big hole. The Ravens defense didn’t have a huge lead for much of the game.
5) Fewer yards allowed in Super Bowl
Despite their low point total, the Broncos moved the ball on the Seahawks at times. They put up 306 total offensive yards. Peyton Manning set the Super Bowl record for completions (34). The Giants hardly moved the ball against the 2000 Ravens. They had 152 yards of offense and punted 11 times. The Broncos were a better offense than the 2000 Giants, but New York was not a bad offense. They scored 41 points in the NFC championship.