Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Eleven Most Dominant Pass Rushing Teams in NFL History.

A LOOK BACK AT LEN FORD AND DOUG ATKINS
by T.J. Troup

Len Ford, colorization by John Turney
In honor of Len Ford's birthday, the 18th of February, listed below are the 11 best pass rushing teams in league history using the following criteria: Yards lost attempting to pass divided by opponent pass attempts.

Since this is a territorial game; yards sure do count. When a team sacks the quarterback for big losses in yardage, and your opponent does not attempt that many passes you have gained an unquestioned advantage in field position.

Ranking 11th is the '51 Browns (1.30) led by the first great pass rusher Len Ford (recorded over 20 sacks in a 12 game season). The '77 Patriots rank 10th (1.32), while the '65 'Skins (1.32) hold down the ninth spot. While much has been written about the '85 Bears defense, the pass rush in '84 comes in 8th (1.34).

Returning to the championship game for the third consecutive season; the New York Giants set records for passing, yet their pass rush led by left end Jim Katcavage earns 7th place in the rankings (1.35). The '52 Eagles fill the 6th spot (1.37) on this list. The rule changes in '78 did not impact Detroit as Al "Bubba" Baker and his "Silver Rush" cohorts pillaged the pass pocket to rank 5th (1.37). Clark Shaughnessy had a myriad of "red dogs" and in '60 the Bears continued to attack the pass pocket as they rank 4th(1.44).

We all can debate just how angry the 11 defenders of the Oakland Raiders were in '67, yet no doubt AFL passers came under siege as the Silver & Black finished 3rd in our rankings (1.45). For the first half of the '76 season the 49ers "Gold Rush" had the look of destiny, and though they could not sustain their dominance; finishing second on this list is quite an achievement (1.53).

More myth than man? Not if you have seen him come off the edge from his right defensive end position. Doug Atkins finally began to fulfill his promise in '57, and as such the Bears rank #1 as they recorded 479 yards in sacks, while opponents attempted only 306 passes(1.56) for first place on this list.

Doug Atkins, colorization by John Turney

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