As the Detroit Lions showed on Thanksgiving having a top-ranked pass defense means little if it is accompanied by a horrid rush defense. The Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams also combine top PYAs with bottom RYAs. This is good news for Larry Johnson of the Chiefs and Ronnie Brown and/or Ricky Williams of the Dolphins.
From the more traditional angle of good pass defenses suppressing passing totals of the opposing offense, the New England Patriots travel to Pittsburgh to face the 9th-best PYA. Of note, Patriots' QB Matt Cassel has thrown for 400+ yards in consectuive games. Can he get a third? Not likely, but the Steelers are ferocious versus the run which may compel Cassel to the air to move the ball.
Top Ten Pass Defenses: