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Seahawks first team since 1969-71 Vikings to lead league in fewest points allowed in three straight seasons

St Louis Rams v Seattle Seahawks

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 28: Running back Benny Cunningham #36 of the St. Louis Rams fumbles the ball across the goal line and out of bounds for a Seahawks touchback as free safety Earl Thomas #29 and cornerback Byron Maxwell #41 of the Seattle Seahawks close in during the fourth quarter of the game at CenturyLink Field on December 28, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

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Defensive end Michael Bennett made a boastful statement last week when he said the defense of the Seattle Seahawks is the “best defense to ever play football.”

Well, the Seahawks have joined some lofty company with their defensive accomplishments.

The Seahawks have led the league in scoring defense in each of the last three seasons. Seattle allowed 15.3 points per game in 2012, 14.4 points a game in 2013 and finished this season allowing 15.9 points per game.

It’s the first time that feat has been accomplished since the fabled “Purple People Eaters” of the Minnesota Vikings led the league in scoring defense from 1969-71.

“I think it’s a real point of pride that that kind of consistency is rare. When you match up with a team who has a nickname like that it’s pretty good stuff,” head coach Pete Carroll said Monday.

The head coach of those Vikings teams was Bud Grant. Carroll was an assistant on Grant’s staff in Minnesota in 1985.

“Having been an old Viking, I take a little extra pride in that,” Carroll added. “That was great time for them and the defense that they played. Great regard for those guys who played for all those years.”

Seattle also led the league in total defense, allowing just 267.1 yards per game. No other team in the league allowed less than 300 yards a game.

It’s the second straight season Seattle has led that category as well, making them just the fourth team in league history to lead the league in yards and points allowed in consecutive seasons, joining the 1954-55 Cleveland Browns, 1969-70 Minnesota Vikings and 1985-86 Chicago Bears.

The Seahawks allowed just 39 points (6.5 ppg) and just 202.2 yards per game over the final six weeks of the regular season. They didn’t allow a single fourth quarter point during that span. According to Tim Booth of the Associated Press, the Seahawks were the first team since Tampa Bay in 1996 to hold six straight opponents scoreless in the fourth quarter in the same season and the first to do so and win all six of those games since Washington in 1940.

No matter how you look at it, the Seahawks are playing defense at an incredibly high level and have been doing so consistently over the past three seasons. While Bennett’s claim that the Seahawks are the best defense of all-time is debatable, there is little question they’ve worked their way into the conversation.