2012-13 NFL Playoffs: Conference Championship Fantasy Football DEF Rankings

Ryan LesterSenior Writer IJanuary 15, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 12:  Running back DuJuan Harris #26 of the Green Bay Packers catches a pass over inside linebacker Patrick Willis #52 of the San Francisco 49ers during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Candlestick Park on January 12, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Here are the Lester’s Legends team defense rankings for the the AFC and NFC Conference Championship games of the 2012-13 NFL Playoffs.

1. San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers easily have the best defense among the remaining playoff teams. They finished the regular season in the top four in total defense, scoring defense, run defense and pass defense. They are a very physical team and they will challenge the Atlanta Falcons. I expect they’ll do a much better job than the Seattle Seahawks did in stopping the run. Without that balance, they’ll make it tough on the Atlanta Falcons. Matt Ryan got over the hump by collecting his first playoff win, but he will be tested by a defense that kept Aaron Rodgers in check.

2. New England Patriots

The Patriots give up a lot of yards, particularly through the air. They buckle down when it matters. The Pats play the run well. Still, they struggle defending the pass and Joe Flacco seems to shine when the stakes are the highest. Other than the Niners, I don’t really like the defenses this week. The offenses are just that good.

3. Atlanta Falcons

Other than scoring defense, the Falcons were out of the top 20 in most defensive categories. San Francisco had their most productive playoff game ever last week. Considering their history, that is an impressive feat. They have a menacing offensive line that can have their way with just about any team. They had the fourth best rushing attack this year. Colin Kaepernick gives them an added dimension with his ability to produce with his arm and his feet.

4. Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens did a solid job on Peyton Manning, but Tom Brady doesn’t clam up when the playoffs come around. Plus, Bill Belichick isn’t going to take a knee. The Patriots led the league in total offense and scoring offense. They have more balance this year than in year’s past, finishing in the top seven in both rushing and passing. The Baltimore Ravens have been a good story, but I think we’ll see Ray Lewis’ career come to a close. Unfortunately, it will likely be his unit that will share the most blame.

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