For the second year in a row, the NFL witnessed one of the great run-stuffing defenses of all time.
And for the second year in a row, that team sucked.
The "pundits" like to stress the need to stop the run. But stopping the run really won't get you too far if you can't do anything else well. Just ask the 2007 Ravens.
They allowed a miniscule 2.84 yards per rush attempt last season, making them the fourth stingiest run defense of the Super Bowl Era. Yet they went just 5-11 and, for large stretches of the season, were one of the worst teams in football. They even suffered a loss to the Dolphins, who finished the year 1-15.
The 2007 Ravens finished just behind the 2006 Vikings on our list of stingiest run defenses. That Minnesota team surrenndered a mere 2.83 YPA. They went 6-10, another nobody team who could stuff the run. The 2006 Vikings actually threatened to become the No. 1 run defense of the Super Bowl Era. Entering their season finale against St. Louis, the 2006 Vikings had allowed just 2.63 YPA. But the Rams shredded the Minnesota D (relatively speaking) for 82 yards on 22 attempts, an average of 3.7 YPA, on their way to a 41-21 victory.
As a result, the Vikings ended the season allowing a still-very-stingy 2.83 yards per rush attempt.
Here's how the Vikings now stack up against the greatest run defenses of the Super Bowl Era. As we discussed in the past
, one thing will jump out: Most of these teams were not very good
. Note the 2000 Chargers. Only four defenses in the Super Bowl Era were tougher to run against. The 2000 Chargers went 1-15.