Pittsburgh Steelers and the 5 Most Intimidating Defenses in the NFL Right Now
Intimidation is a necessity if you want to be an elite team in the NFL.
There is no greater feeling than sensing an opponent's fear. Stars like Patrick Willis and Ray Lewis thrive on their opposition's anxiety.
Although some offenses can instill fear into the hearts of others by putting up points at an alarming rate, trepidation occurs when elite defenses step on the field.
These units possess hard-hitters and turnover machines, who have no concern over their physical health.
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Although this defense is usually regarded as elite, they have suffered from inconsistent play this season. Darrelle Revis and company are still feared by opposing offenses, though.
Jacksonville actually owns one of the league's most underrated defenses, as the team currently ranks fifth in the NFL in yards allowed per game and 11th in points allowed per game. Jacksonville is no cake walk for any offense.
The Seahawks defense is another vastly underrated unit, as they currently rank sixth in the league in points allowed per game. Seattle's defense has made some of the game's elite offenses look sluggish.
The defense has finally begun playing elite football like it was expected to when the season began. The unit currently ranks fifth in the NFL in points allowed per game. The Dolphins have shut down some of the best offenses in football this year.
The Bengals have been a very solid defense this year, as they currently rank 10th in the league in points allowed per game and sixth in yards allowed per game. This young and growing unit will be one of the most intimidating in the league in a few seasons.
5. Chicago Bears
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The Chicago Bears have had one of the most intimidating defenses over the last decade.
The formidable unit possesses numerous stars, including tackling machines Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs.
The imposing defense has a knack for making big plays, as they currently rank in the Top Five in turnovers.
Superstar Julius Peppers leads a terrific pass-rush, and Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Tillman leads an underrated secondary.
The veteran defensive unit has been keeping Chicago in games for weeks now as the depleted offense fails to put up points consistently.
The Monsters of the Midway rank 11th in the NFL in points allowed per game, despite facing potent offenses on a weekly basis.
Chicago's intimidating unit has been one of the most feared in the league for several seasons and will continue to be for years to come.
4. Houston Texans
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The Houston Texans have been one of the most surprising defenses in the league this season.
After owning the distinction of being the NFL's worst passing defense last year, the Texans have really turned it around.
Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has reinvigorated a once-depleted unit by bringing in young stars at important positions.
Newly acquired cornerback Jonathan Joseph has been one of the best defensive backs all season long, as he has drastically improved Houston's secondary.
The unit currently ranks second in the NFL in yards allowed per game, as well as fourth in points allowed per game.
The Texans' pass-rush, even without Mario Williams, has been one of the best in the league this season. The team currently ranks seventh in the NFL in sacks, largely due to the emergence of rookie defensive end JJ Watt and outside linebacker Connor Barwin as elite pass-rushers.
Houston's defensive turnaround has helped lead the franchise to it's first ever postseason appearance. The unit is a complete group, as they rank in the Top Five in numerous statistical categories.
This makes any opposing offense fearful.
3. Baltimore Ravens
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The Baltimore Ravens are one of the best teams in the NFL, largely due to their outstanding defense.
The stifling defensive unit boasts stars at almost every position.
Mammoth nose tackle Haloti Ngata blocks opposing runners and leads a stingy Ravens rush defense.
Superstar linebacker Terrell Suggs leads one of the most feared pass-rushes in all of football.
Former Super Bowl MVP Ray Lewis is a jack of all trades, as he is superb in rushing the passer and dropping back in coverage, and ball-hog safety Ed Reed instills fear into any opposing quarterback.
These four players are all perhaps the best in the league at their respective positions. They help lead an amazing defense that currently ranks third in points allowed per game, third in yards allowed per game and first in sacks.
Without this colossal unit, the Ravens would be just an average team. The Baltimore defense is superb in all aspects of the game and is one of the most complete groups in the league today.
2. San Francisco 49ers
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Much like the Houston Texans, the 49ers defense has experienced a momentous turnaround this season.
The shocking unit has been one of the league's best all season, as they have carried the franchise to a divisional title.
The unit is led by its suffocating rush defense that ranks first in the league in rush yards allowed per game.
The defense is one game away from becoming the first team in NFL history to not allow a rushing touchdown in its first 14 games.
The defense has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 35 consecutive games.
San Francisco boasts the best linebacker corps in the league. All-Pro Patrick Willis leads a young group that includes rookie standout Aldon Smith and the surging Navarro Bowman.
The 49ers secondary is also a formidable batch, and they have forced the second-most turnovers in the NFL.
San Francisco's incredible defense currently ranks first in the league in points allowed per game and second in yards allowed per game.
The energized unit has become one of the most feared in the NFL this season by opposing offenses.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers
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Could it be anyone else?
The Steelers' amazing defense currently ranks first in yards allowed per game and second in points allowed per game, even when facing explosive offenses week after week.
Pittsburgh boasts some of the most feared defenders in the NFL. These include superb pass-rushers James Harrison and Lamar Woodley, who have combined for 17 sacks.
Those two beasts, along with elite inside linebackers Lawrence Timmons and James Farrior, form one of the league's best linebacker corps.
The Steelers run defense ranks among the best in the game, as monstrous nose tackle Casey Hampton shuts down opposing running backs.
The Steel Curtain's secondary is also one of the best in the league.
Safety Troy Polamalu is one of the most feared defenders in the game today. He is a complete player, as his skills range from rushing the passer to covering some of the league's most dominant wide receivers.
The secondary also included safety Ryan Clark, who is responsible for some of the most bone-crushing hits in recent history, and underrated cornerback Ike Taylor.
Pittsburgh's defense is far and away the most feared unit in the league. Opposing offenses dread facing this completely unmerciful group, especially in Heinz Field.