Calais Campbell, Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, Myles Jack, Telvin Smith, Marcell Dareus. This Jaguar defense has been exceptional all year long, and they’re carrying a team that is led by arguably the worst quarterback in the league in Blake Bortles. So the time has come to truly ask the question, is this the best defense of all time? Personally, I think we aren’t there yet. We’ve seen a lot of great defenses over the years, and yes this one is up there, but I don’t think it’s number one yet.
Do The Jaguars Have The Best Defense Of All Time?
The Jaguars Place Among The Greats
The ’76 Steelers, ’85 Bears, 2000 Ravens, 2013 Seahawks and 2015 Broncos are all in the conversation as the best defenses of all time. They had superstar names everywhere and dominated their opponent, no matter who it was.
The Jaguars defense is definitely among the greats. Their highest allowed point total this season is 37 to the Titans in week two. And since the ’85 Chicago Bears are considered to be the greatest defense of all time, let’s compared the two.
The Bears And The Jags
During the 1985 season, the Bears gave up 30 plus points only once, and that came in their one loss to Dan Marino’s Miami Dolphins. The Bears also threw up four shutouts that year, including the playoffs. The Jaguars have registered one through 13 weeks.
There are definitely comparable numbers though, for example, Richard Dent was the Bears’ leader in sacks that year with 17, the Jaguars Calais Campbell has 12.5.
The Bears finished with 64 sacks in 1985, the Jaguars currently have 45. That’s an insane number at this point in the season, but it’s still 19 off of what the Bears did.
The Jags have the advantage in the defensive secondary, as A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey are putting up historic numbers at corner. Ramsey is rated a 94.5 by Pro Football Focus, and Bouye owns a respectable 89.7.
These two have not allowed a single touchdown in coverage all season long, and have contributed a combined seven of the team’s 16 interceptions, which is second in the NFL behind the Ravens who sit at 20.
Turn-overs Are The Difference
The reason the Bears still take the cake as the best defense of all time is that they have the turnover battle locked up by a massive margin. That team racked up 34 interceptions that year and forced a total of 64 turnovers. This Jaguar defense is good, but definitely not good enough to rival that number. The league definitely isn’t built the same way as it was in ’85, it was much easier to force turnovers then, but those numbers still exist and are incredibly hard to match.
As long as we’re talking about numbers, let’s look at the yardage totals from each of these defenses as well. The Jaguars are allowing 282.5 yards per game this season, while the ’85 Bears allowed 258.4.
The biggest defining factor of any team that wants to be considered among the best is winning the Super Bowl. What do all the teams listed earlier have in common? All but the ’76 Steelers won the Super Bowl (who lost in the AFC Championship game); and as good as this Jaguars team is, they currently don’t have what it takes to win the Super Bowl.
Can this Jaguar defense be considered one of the best of all time if they keep up this ridiculous pace over the next few seasons? Absolutely, but right now it’s incredibly premature to think about them among the best defenses of all time, but they definitely have the potential to be there.