What NFL teams have allowed the most rushing yards in 2021 season?

Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos
Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos

The modern-day NFL is all about dynamic offenses filling up the stat sheet and outscoring their opponents, regardless of the play of the defense. But there is a reason why the phrase "defense wins championships" continues to hang around in the sports vernacular.

Bad defense has the chance to doom an NFL team in the postseason. That is true whether a team is bad against the pass or the run.

In particular, a bad run defense means opposing offenses don't have to worry about throwing the ball. Passing becomes a luxury and play-action becomes extremely easy.

So which NFL teams are struggling to stop the run this season? Some of the worst of the worst on the list features some surprises.

What NFL teams have allowed the most rushing yards in 2021?

Los Angeles Chargers

The Los Angeles Chargers enter Week 13 with the worst run defense in the NFL. They allow an average of 145.3 rushing yards per game, and are the only NFL team so far to allow over 1,500 rushing yards on the season.

The Chargers recently allowed 147 rushing yards to the Denver Broncos. The Broncos barely had to throw the ball and still won by a score of 28-13.

Honestly this Chargers run D is amazing me. They're on pace to give up 2470 rushing yards this season.I did some googling to see if there was another recent defense that was this bad against the run.The 2016 49ers are the only defense I found that's worse at 2654 yards.

Houston Texans

Such a reality is more in line with what NFL fans would expect from a team like the Houston Texans, who are next up with an average of 135.6 rushing yards per game. That defense was gutted of talent and is allowing nearly a total of 400 yards per game.

Minnesota Vikings

Another surprise on this list is the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings defense is 30th in the league with 134.4 rushing yards allowed per game.

Their most recent game provided all the evidence fans needed that maybe Mike Zimmer needs to make some changes on defense.

The San Francisco 49ers ran for 208 yards in a 34-26 victory. If the run defense had stepped up at any point, Kirk Cousins and the offense may have been able to do enough to win.

Detroit Lions

The same cannot be said for the Detroit Lions, who are just ahead of the Vikings with 133.9 rushing yards allowed per game. This is a team fans would expect to see on any list that features a negative topic.

The Lions defense did just hold the Chicago Bears to 68 rushing yards on Thanksgiving, but the fact they did that and still have such a high average shows how rough it has been for the unit in 2021.

Pittsburgh Steelers

There is another NFL team allowing over 130 rushing yards per game. That's the Pittsburgh Steelers, who enter Week 13 with an average of 133.1 rushing yards allowed per game.

Devin Bush’s run defense grade is ranked 86th out of 88 qualified LBs, per PFF.If the Steelers want to make some noise in the second half of the season, they’re going to need Bush to get back on track.

Yes...that is not a typo...the Steelers are on this list.

Week 12 was enough evidence to see that these are not the vintage Steelers defense fans are used to seeing under the leadership of Mike Tomlin. Joe Mixon ran for 165 yards and was openly taunting the Steelers over their inability to stop him.

Yes, the Steelers have dealt with injuries on defense this year. But there is no excuse for this franchise to be in the same category as the Lions and Texans this season.

Quick Links

Edited by LeRon Haire
Be the first one to comment