When looking at the best pass defenses by yardage allowed over the last three games, one needs to look at which defenses are also effective stopping the run in order to avoid mistaking low PYAs as representative of a good defense. A low PYA can also mean the team has a high rushing YA. The Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Phialdelphia Eagles and St. Louis Rams all fall into that category.
The teams whose RYA ranks in the top 10 along are the Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Despite last week's embarrassing game agaisnt the Panthers, the New Orleans Saints are still highly ranked just missing being the 4th team with the 11th lowest RYA.
An interesting test comes as the Washington Redskins take their 2nd-ranked PYA to the Motor City and face QB Dan Orlovsky and deep threat WR Calvin Johnson. The pair hooked-up twice last week for a 154 yards, and orlovksy said he needs to look for Johnson much more. This will be the biggest test the 3rd-year QB from the University of Connecticut has faced. Coming out of this game with a quality effort will go a long way to eliminating his step out of the endzone two weeks ago.
Pity the Dallas Cowboys. The team has to take on the tough pass defense of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the weak-armed Brad Johnson. Johson does have as many, if not more, weapons than any team in the league, but, as he showed last week against the St. Louis Rams, it didn't mean a thing.
Top Ten Pass Defenses: