NFL analyst Gil Brandt made his picks for the top NFL defenses of all time. His list of five was missing a legendary powerhouse: The Pittsburgh Steelers. Whom did Brandt pick? His list was comprised of the 1985 Chicago Bears, 2000 Baltimore Ravens, 2015 Denver Broncos, 2013 Seattle Seahawks, and the 1986 New York Giants.
Brandt probably knew he would get slammed for not including any Steelers teams on the list, so he threw Steelers fans a bone, writing in his introduction on NFL.com, "I also considered the 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers and 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but those units did not make the cut."
Brandt neglected to mention his consideration of the 1975 and 1976 Steelers squads as well, both of which were arguably stronger than the 1974 defense. The 1976 unit in particular has made numerous top ten lists and is widely considered to be one of the best defenses in the history of the NFL.
The 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers allowed an average of 9.9 points per game, 237.4 yards per game, and an astoudingly effective 3.8 yards per play. Watch this video and try to figure out how the Steelers were snubbed.
The 1976 Steel Curtain had four consecutive shutouts and six total on the season. Had running backs Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier been healthy, the team would have fared much better in the postseason instead of losing the AFC Championship game to the Oakland Raiders. The defense certainly did its job that game, limiting the Raiders to 63 passing yards and 220 yards of total offense.
So Gil Brandt can keep his list, as Steelers fans everywhere know one of these legendary units deserves to be on every Top 5 list to ever be assembled.