Power Ranking Every NFL Defense Heading into the 2012 Season

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Power Ranking Every NFL Defense Heading into the 2012 Season
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Think you know which team has the best defense in the NFL? Forget those NFL defense rankings—a statistic that looks only at yards allowed per game; not taking into consideration time of possession, the score or turnovers—here's a definitive ranking of the best defenses in the NFL heading into the 2012 season.

Defense used to win championships, but in today's NFL a dominant defense may not be enough to take home the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the playoffs. The San Francisco 49ers of 2011 would be Exhibit A.

That's not to say a good defense isn't required anymore. Teams must be able to shut down high-profile offenses if they hope to get through the playoffs (see: New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers). A dominant defense can set the table for a good or great offense to seal the deal.

With the NFL season approaching, which defenses stand out as the best in the game? 

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