Comparing New England Patriots' Defense to NFL's Top-Ranked Defensive Units

Mike StangerCorrespondent IDecember 14, 2011

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 21:  Tyler Palko #4 of the Kansas City Chiefs is pressed by  Jerod Mayo #51 of the New England Patriots and  James Ihedigbo #44 of the New England Patriots in the second half at Gillette Stadium on November 21, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Statistics and breweries have one thing in common—both can create a product that makes people look better than they really are.

The New England Patriots' defense is the NFL equivalent of coyote ugly. No self-respecting defensive coordinator would give it the time of day.

But is there anything out there that can make it look good? Enter the NFL Statistics Bar and Grill to find out.

Once you mosey up to the bar, you notice to the right of you the sexy top-ranked defenses of the NFL—the Houston Texans, Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. You can't take your eyes off them.

For a moment, you do, and look to your left. Horrified, you recognize the monstrosity at the other end of the bar as the Patriots' defense. In this lighting, it resembles Bill Belichick in drag. You quickly look away.

The night is young and you want to stay hydrated, so you order the statistical equivalent of water—yards allowed per game. Since it contains no alcohol, you still have your faculties about you after drinking a few.

Without a distorted view, you're able to see the slim stat figures of the Texans (274.9 yards allowed per game), the Steelers (276.1) and the Ravens (278.1). 

Not wanting to look, but drawn to it like a train wreck, you briefly get a view of the Pats' obese number (416). 

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 11:  Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots watches play between the New England Patriots and Washington Redskins at FedExField on December 11, 2011 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Absolutely ghastly!

Nauseated, but not wanting to make a scene, you pull yourself together and order a statistical beer—points allowed per game.

Downing them with the ferocity of a sailor on shore leave, you look over at the top-ranked defenses again. The Steelers (15.2 points allowed per game), Ravens (15.5) and Texans (16.0) are still smoking, but another hottie has entered the scene—the San Francisco 49ers, sporting a petite 14 points per game.


Reluctantly, you turn toward the Patriots. The beast has morphed into the former high school English teacher that you had a crush on. You check out her numbers—21 points per game. That's 14th in the NFL. Not bad.

You give her a wink. She smiles coyly.

Feeling brave, you order the Jägermeister of NFL stats—the "bendability index."

The bendability index is an interesting concoction created by the guys at It is derived by taking yards allowed and dividing it by points allowed. The higher the number, the better.

After pounding five of these in a minute, you take a look again at the beauties and their bendability indexes—the Steelers (18.1), the Ravens (17.9), the Texans (17.2) and the late-arriving, yet unbelievably hot 49ers (21.8).

LONDON - JUNE 19:  Ambassador For Ebel Gisele Bundchen attends a press conference to announce Ebel as official timing partner of Arsenal football club at The Hospital on June 19, 2007 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Those are some fine numbers!

Curious, you check out the Pats. Remarkably, the Pats' defense has turned into Brady—Mrs. Tom Brady, that is—with a sultry 19.7 bendability index.

At first, you can't believe that Gisele Bundchen is at the end of the bar. You take a moment to reflect on the bendability index.

You start to doubt it, but then you remember that the top two teams in the bendability index last season were the Green Bay Packers (20.6) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (19.1), the two Super Bowl participants.

Statistics don't lie!

You run over to the Patriots' defense and throw down your best pickup lines.

The next morning, you wake up with a wedding band on your finger and the homely Pats' defense lying beside you. 

You begin to realize that, just like every other Patriot fan, you're stuck with this defense for better or for worse, until death do you part.

Or, at least until next year.