Originally Posted by Rey
There is not really an individual factor you can look at to see the best defenses.
If an offense can hold onto the ball and control top/the flow of the game, they can limit opprotunities for the opposing offense to score. Conversely if your offense absolutely sucks even a good defense might give up td's. If your offense can't move the ball and you are punting and giving the opponent short fields their yardage might not be as high, but their point totals will be.
In the past game, the patriots defense didn't allow 4 field goals. Your special teams played a part in that. If your special teams allows a return to the one yard line and they pound it in from the one, that doesnt mean your defense sucks because they gave up 7 points.
Offense is straight forward. Either you can consistently move the ball and put points up or you can't. Defense has a lot of variables that can come into play.
Over the course of the season pts allowed will even out all the noise like a poor ST play or 2.
Teams like the Pats (and the Parcells Giant's for example) play a bend don't break D, the theory being that if yo make someone take 12-15+ plays on a drive there is a good chance the O will make a mistake, penalty sack, ect that will end the drive.
We knew the Pas D wasn't playing well early in the season because of all the big plays they were given up, that was not the case when the Secondary was revamped.
Another D stat that is far more important than yards allowed is Turnovers. the Stats on chances of winning based on turnover differential are amazing.
If you choose to take a simplistic view of D performance be my guest.