Poll: Best names in defense


Richard Sherman photo courtesy of the Seattle Seahawks
Richard Sherman photo courtesy of the Seattle Seahawks

(Photo courtesy of the Seattle Seahawks)

What is the best nickname given to an NFL defense?

Doomsday Defense – The Dallas Cowboys’ defense of the 1960s and 1970s was the backbone of a team that won two Super Bowls and went to three others. The Doomsday Defense had two generations, the first from the club’s inception to 1974 – a team that included the first-ever Super Bowl defender to be an MVP (Chuck Howley) -- and the second a club that flourished in the late 1970s to 1982.

Purple People Eaters – The name comes from a popular song in the 1960s and was given to the front four of the Minnesota Vikings in the late 1960s and early 1970s, a unit that featured Hall-of-Famers Carl Eller and Alan Page. Though they didn’t win a Super Bowl in four tries they’re considered one of the game’s best defensive units.

Killer Bees – The name given to the 1982 Miami Dolphins defense, largely because it featured so many stars with surnames that began with the letter B – including Hall-of-Famer Nick Buoniconti. The Dolphins held five of their nine opponents in the strike-shortened season to 14 or fewer points and went on to play Washington in Super Bowl XVII.

The Steel Curtain – Arguably the greatest defense of all time, the Steelers of the 1970s won four Super Bowls and put 10 players – including four on defense – into the Hall of Fame. Ironically, their best defense was one that didn’t reach a Super Bowl. The 1976 Steelers held their last nine opponents to 27 points and pitched five shutouts.

Monsters of the Midway – A commonly used nickname for the Chicago Bears, particularly the dominant teams of 1940 and ’41, and one that returned to favor in 1985 when the Bears led the league in defense with a unit that had three Hall of Famers and won a Super Bowl. The Bears have always been about physical play, with linebacker Dick Butkus the “monster” we most associate with the Bears.

Legion of Boom – Introducing your Seattle Seahawks, the unit that last year led the league in total defense and punished Denver in Super Bowl XLVIII … and the unit that over the past five games this season allowed just 33 points. There may be future Hall of Famers here, but, for the moment, enjoy this defense for what it is: The best in today’s game.

 (Photo courtesy of the Seattle Seahawks)

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