Ranking the Defenses Heading into Conference Championship Weekend

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Ranking the Defenses Heading into Conference Championship Weekend
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The NFL's conference championship weekend is upon us, and NFL fans everywhere want to know who's going to win their matchup. We all know what they say wins championships: defense.

Statistically, it's true. Defense really does win championships—especially good scoring defenses that sack the quarterback a lot and snag many interceptions. Teams may gain yards, but a defense that disrupts the passing game and stops drives is a defense that's going to win playoff games.

That's true in the regular season too. But at this point in the season, when championships are won, teams are physically and emotionally exhausted. Even the healthiest player on the field has a collection of bumps and bruises under his uniform, and all players know these are some of the most important games they'll ever play.

A defense that can make the other team turtle in fear of the sack or turnover is a team that's going to win.

Which teams' pass-rushers are felling quarterbacks like timber? Which teams' defensive backs are jumping routes and flipping the field? Which of the four remaining contenders has the toughest defense?

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