The 2009 Saints were a pedestrian No. 20 in points allowed and No. 25 in yards allowed. But the defense was No. 2 in forcing turnovers, with 39. In fact, eight of the past 10 champions were top-nine finishers in turnover differential. In 2002, Tampa Bay's defense forced 38 turnovers, the league's third-best total.
The 2003 Patriots offense didn't exactly scare anyone -- Brady was still relatively inexperienced -- but the No. 7-ranked defense was first in fewest points allowed (14.9 per game) and second with 41 forced turnovers.
"Coach [Bill] Belichick always used to say, 'I don't give a s--- about our defense giving up yards; all I care about is scoring defense, turnovers and the red zone,'" Woody said. "That's really the key to football. A lot of coaches pound their chest and say, 'I've got the No. 1 defense.' Those numbers don't mean anything."