They say defense wins championships and if you are a regular NFL bettor, you know that defense wins bets too. At Odds Shark, we rank the best NFL defensive teams in more than a dozen important categories. And studying these defensive rankings in yards per play, fewest first downs allowed, fewest passing yards per attempt can give you a real advantage at online sportsbooks. This page loads with the defense allowing the fewest points per game, which is the ultimate defensive stat. However, it can be misleading if they are facing lousy red-zone offenses or if they have gotten lucky with turnovers. Starting the 2012 NFL season, three teams were 3-0 and they ranked second, third and fourth in that category. Click the headings on each column to re-sort the category and see the best NFL defensive stats page on the Internet. And scroll to the bottom for a listing of the acronyms and what they mean and why they are important to your NFL betting this weekend.
Defensive Rankings Stat Categories:
Score: Self-explanatory - which NFL teams gives up the fewest points. Said another way, what is the best defensive team. You will see the League Average as well.
Y/PL: Yards per play - a key handicapping indicator that indicates how many yards each NFL team gives up per play. The lower the number, the better the defense. Fewer yards per play equals fewer first downs and less time of possession for opponents.
FD - First downs - which NFL defense teams allow the fewest first downs. Not always an indicator of time of possession or victories.
RA - Rushing Attempts - which NFL defense faces the fewest rushing attempts per game. This can indicate a tough run defense or can indicate that the team's offense scores so many points that opponents are forced to pass more.
RY - Rushing Yards - rankings of best NFL run-stop defenses.
YR - Yards Per Rush - which defense allows the fewest yards per rush. This is a major handicapping stat and should be check weekly!
PA - Passing Attempts - fewest NFL passing attempts per game.
PY - Passing Yards - which defense allows the fewest passing yards per team, ranked by each NFL team.
YP - Yards per Pass - which NFL teams allow the least yards per pass.
Time - Time of Possession - which NFL defenses are on the field the least? Who has the best time of possession stats? This is important category and can mean the defense is very good or it can mean their offense holds the ball very well.
TO - Turnovers - which NFL teams create the most turnovers? Which NFL teams generate the most takeaways? This is often an opportunistic defense which makes an average team good and a good team excellent.
Pen - Penalties - This is an overall ranking of which NFL teams take the most penalties (it is NOT broken down by offensive or defensive penalties.