NFL Playoff Teams Critical Defensive Stats: Where Is Your Team?

NFL Playoff Teams: These stats are compiled through the final game of the regular season in the National Football League with each team having 16 games under its belt.  The following charts show the top contenders for the Super Bowl along with their respective rankings in the NFL for each stat.  Lower numbers are better meaning higher ranked in the league.  We chose these particular stats because A) winning and holding down points is the name of the game, and B) the league is clearly oriented around the passing game and the quarterback.



at Gillette Stadium on September 18, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

Scoring Defense: This is a statistic that is exactly how it sounds.  It measures the total pints given up by each team.  Bear in mind this does not account for scores given up by the offense or special teams or horrendous field position for the defense.

Scoring Defense
Team NFL Rank
Patriots 1
Dolphins 18
Steelers 10
Texans 11
Raiders 20
Chiefs 7
Cowboys 5
Giants 2
Packers 21
Lions 13
Falcons 27
Seahawks 3


Sep 25, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Eric Berry (29) intercepts a pass intended for New York Jets wide receiver Jalin Marshall (89) during the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 24-3. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Passes Defensed: This measures the total number of passes blocked, tipped, and swatted away by the defense.

Passes Defensed
Team NFL Rank
Patriots 18
Dolphins 12
Steelers 9
Texans 23
Raiders 17
Chiefs 1
Cowboys 27
Giants 2
Packers 3
Lions 28
Falcons 4
Seahawks 20



Sacks: This statistic simply measures the total sacks recorded.

Team NFL Rank
Patriots 18
Dolphins 21
Steelers 11
Texans 24
Raiders 32
Chiefs 28
Cowboys 13
Giants 14
Packers 7
Lions 30
Falcons 16
Seahawks 4




ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 11: Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys is tackled by Damon Harrison #98 and Kelvin Sheppard #91 of the New York Giants during the first quarter at AT&T Stadium on September 11, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Team Opponent Scoring Efficiency: This statistic measures the rate at which opponents have had scoring drives as a percentage of all drives.  This would include drives that result in a touchdown or a field goal.  This tells you how effective your team’s defense is at keeping points off the board regardless of field position and the number of drives the opponent had for the game.

Opp Scor Eff
Team NFL Rank
Patriots 1
Dolphins 14
Steelers 12
Texans 7
Raiders 17
Chiefs 8
Cowboys 15
Giants 5
Packers 27
Lions 26
Falcons 23
Seahawks 3


epa05107366 Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll watches his team against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of their NFL American football NFC divisional playoff game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, 17 January 2016. The winner will face the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship game. EPA/ERIK S. LESSER ORG XMIT: ELX03


Ever find yourself watching your team and saying “we really need a stop here”??? If so then you might want to zero in on Team Opponent Scoring Efficiency.  That stat is telling you how good your team is at getting off the field defensively without giving up points.  That is, after all, the primary objective of any defense.

Now let’s take a look at the average of all four categories. Remember, the lower the number the better for your team’s DEFENSIVE productivity.

Total Rankings (Average of four Categories)
Scoring D Sacks Passes D Opp Scoring Eff Average
Team NFL Rank NFL Rank NFL Rank NFL Rank Raw Number
Patriots 1 18 18 1 9.5
Dolphins 18 21 12 14 16.25
Steelers 10 11 9 12 10.5
Texans 11 24 23 7 16.25
Raiders 20 32 17 17 21.5
Chiefs 7 28 1 8 11
Cowboys 5 13 27 15 15
Giants 2 14 2 5 5.75
Packers 21 7 3 27 14.5
Lions 13 30 28 26 24.25
Falcons 27 16 4 23 17.5
Seahawks 3 4 20 3 7.5



Here are the Top 5 Defensive Teams in the NFL among playoff teams based on this analysis:

  • Seattle Seahawks
  • New England Patriots
  • Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Kansas City Chiefs





NFL Playoff Teams


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