2013 Preview: Ranking the Five Best Defenses in the NFL

5 of 5

1. Seattle Seahawks

While there are some good defenses in the NFL, there are no defenses that stack up with the talent and success of the Seattle Seahawks.

Seattle is led by star corner Richard Sherman and a ferocious pass rush, adding up to a defense that allowed a mere 15.3 PPG. Sherman intercepted eight passes, tied for second in the league, and defensed 24 passes, first in the league.

The star defensive back is entering just his third NFL season, so he’s bound to improve. The pass rush is bound to improve as well, partly because of Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett. Avril recorded 20.5 sacks over his last two seasons, and he is only being paid $7.5 million per year over two years. Avril has the potential to be great in Seattle, and he can do it for a relatively minimal amount of money.

Dec 23, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) carries the ball while San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Randy Moss (84) chases after Sherman caught the ball for an interception during the 2nd half at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated San Francisco 42-13. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Bennett recorded nine sacks with Tampa Bay in 2012, and he is great for Seattle’s 4-3 base scheme. He signed with the Seahawks on a relatively cheap one-year, $5 million deal, and it will be great for the Seahawks. With Avril and Bennett, the Seahawks can definitely harass opposing quarterbacks.

Seattle took on and shut down some stellar offenses, such as San Francisco, Green Bay and New England. New England scored 23 points against Seattle, and while that doesn’t seem like domination, it’s impressive that the Seahawks forced Brady into two interceptions, which accounted for 25 percent of his interceptions during the year.

While New England still managed points against the Seahawks, the Packers and 49ers had to scratch and claw for every point. There is lots of controversy over Seattle’s win over Green Bay in Week 3, but the fact remains that Seattle sacked Rodgers eight times in the first half, obliterated Green Bay’s offensive line and surrendered just 12 points.

The Seahawks held San Francisco to 13 points in two games, as 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick was rattled by Seattle’s defense and crowd. The Seahawks held two top-notch offenses, Washington and Dallas, to 14 and seven points. They have the potential to shut teams down, and with Avril and Bennett coming to Seattle, the defense will only be better.

There is a star on the Seahawks (Sherman) and a lot of other great supporting players (such as Avril, Bennett and Brandon Browner). Seattle’s defense will be great again in 2013, and because of the new additions and the wealth of talent, it’s going to be the best in the league. The numbers showed that the Seahawks dominated on defense, and the numbers were right. Seattle definitely has the NFL’s best defense.

And that’s terrible news for 31 teams.

This article was originally published on Bleacher Report.