Power Ranking NFL Defenses Through Week 9
Power Ranking NFL Defenses Through Week 9
Defense is one of the biggest components of any sport. Anyone can score points, but if everyone kept scoring points, the game would be boring.
Having a key defense determines a game. In this case, in football, stops are crucial. In this slideshow All 32 NFL teams will be ranked in order of what I feel to believe their strengths are. Looking at points allowed, tackles, not only on the season but per game, and forced fumbles. All of these little things are key to creating a solid defense.
Many teams are struggling this year, trust me, as the Tennessee Titans beat reporter, I know what you fans from Nashville are going through. But what about some teams like the Houston Texans and Chicago Bears? (Who is prepared for that week ten match up? That should be an excellent game.)
Defense can either make or break a team’s season. In order to win games, you obviously have to score points, but the whole object of any sporting event is to score more points than the other team. Well that is why you have a defense.
While the season is just halfway over, many teams have either proven themselves worthy of a good defense, or done just the opposite and dug themselves into a hole.
Here is a quick look at all thirty two NFL teams from worst to best in the ranking of their defenses through week nine. Agree or disagree there is still a lot of football to play in the 2012 season and change is always welcome. That’s what makes the sport fun.
32.) Buffalo Bills
The Bills sit last on my list in the ranking of NFL defenses. They just do not impress me, they are very inconsistent. With an average of 31 points given up per game they need to fix the second half of their season. They do know how to cause fumbles though, twelve so far this season. But that isn’t helping their 3-5 record.
31.) Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs are right along the same lines as the Titans with points given up but they can’t seem to comprehend the importance of time of possession when the opponent has the ball. Here is a hint, the longer they have the ball, the less time your offense will get the ball.
30.) Tennessee Titans
Don’t even get me started on this Titans defense. They have the worst team in the NFL as far as points given up. They sure didn’t help that fact this past week against the Chicago Bears. They have given up an average of 34.2. Who does that? They need to get their team into gear pronto.
29.) Oakland Raiders
They have given up the same amount of points as the Saints, but for the sake of not having two slides with the same reasoning we will pin point something different. How about the very simple fact of getting to the quarterback or holding their gaps.
28.) New Orleans Saints
For a team that is usually a Super Bowl contender it sure doesn’t look that way this year. There’s just not a whole lot you can say because there really is not excuse for it. They have given up 28.6 points per game.
27.) Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars have only won one game. They have already played their week ten game against the Indianapolis Colts and got killed. Jacksonville is the only thing that is making Tennessee not look absolutely horrible in the AFC South.
26.) Cincinnati Bengals
Ohio just isn’t made for football I guess. These poor Bengals are doing worst then the Browns. Another 3-5 record for the AFC. The team only has 23 sacks on the season. That is way too low They need to be more consistent with their playbook.
25.) New York Jets
With 25 points given up on average per game the Jets need some work. A big blow out home opener means nothing if you can’t back it up for the rest of the season. They need a few more wins this season to get out of a third place slump in the AFC East. They can start with their defense.
24.) Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins are hardly ever a threat and they are continuing that trend this season. They are sitting comfortably at a .500 with a 4-4 record but they need to get some defense going. It’s just that plain and simple.
23.) Washington Redskins
They have scored the 10th overall best average of points with 25.1 but as far as points allowed, not so good. They are the sixth worst team in the NFL with points given up with an average of 27.6 points per game.
22.) Detroit Lions
They are known as one of the meanest and dirtiest teams in the NFL and if the name Ndamukong Suh doesn’t scare you, you have a problem. If you are a quarterback, you should be even more afraid. But they still aren’t the best in their division, especially when it involves the Packers and Bears.
21.) Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck is doing a good job of keeping that team a float they currently sit second in the AFC South. But the defense just isn’t there. They won’t last long and if the Titans can actually kick it into gear sometime soon the Colts will have to worry again like they used to do a few years ago.
20.) Cleveland Browns
These poor Browns can’t catch a break. Their record is 2-7 and they are in the second half of the NFL teams when it comes to defense. D’Qwell Jackson and Buster Skrine are trying their best but there just isn’t enough clicking with the team.
19.) St. Louis Rams
Two words, Cortland Finnegan. If that wasn’t one of the smartest moves that Jeff Fisher did as soon as he got to St. Louis I don’t know what was. The fact that Tennessee did not put the franchise tag on Finnegan I’m not sure, but boy has he been an asset to that St. Louis team. Their record of 3-5 might not show it but Finnegan is doing his portion in preventing teams from scoring points.
18.) Philadelphia Eagles
Say what you want about Michael Vick, if it wasn’t for his defense they would be even worse than they already are. They have 494 combined tackles on the season compared to opponents that have played against them at 524. They sure have some work to do but they certainly aren’t the worst defensive team.
17.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been doing a pretty good job as far as splitting time of possession with their opponents. They average about twenty nine minutes possession with the ball per game. Mason Foster and Lavonte David have combined for over 100 tackles on the season.
16.) Dallas Cowboys
DeMarcus Ware is really the glue for the Dallas Cowboys’ defense. With 37 combined tackles he also has four forced fumbles on the season. They started out this season kind of shaky and can’t seem to get on a winning run. But the defense is able to pitch in a little bit.
15.) Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton was one of my favorite draft picks from the past couple of years. He sure has taken a good leadership role, I think, already. He is starting to understand the idea of playing professionally and for as much as he thanks his offense, he should thank his defense too. You know who was another great draft pick, how about that linebacker Luke Kuechly out of Boston College. The guy leads the team in total tackles with 44.
14.) Minnesota Vikings
When you are ranked sixth in the league in forced fumbles, you’re not doing too bad. Though their record doesn’t always support it, (5-4), at least they are above .500. They have an important division match up coming up here in week ten against the Detroit Lions. They have twenty four sacks for a combined total of 636 tackles this year as a team. They are in a competitive division though so it’s no surprise that they are ranked third.
13.) New England Patriots
The New England Patriots topple over their opponents in both sacks and forced fumbles. Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich lead the team in sacks while Jerod Mayo and Brandon Spikes are strong with tackles. You can’t forget either the rookie from Alabama, Dont’a Hightower, he has shown a lot of promise already this season.
12.) Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos currently own first place in the AFC West. I understand what a big hype it was for the Broncos to get Peyton Manning but let’s be real for a second. One hard hit and Manning is out. I can’t tell you how happy I was when I heard he wasn’t going to sign with Tennessee. As for the defense in Denver; Wesley Woodyard takes the cake for the team. With three sacks and 46 total tackles not to mention two interceptions he knows how to lead a team. Tracy Porter owns the longest interception return for the team. He ran one back for 43 yards.
11.) New York Giants
Ah yes, the defending National Champions. Boy did they start off shaky this year or what? Good thing that they have now improved to 6-3. It may seem like I point out a lot of individual players, but one guy is all it takes to make a difference and in the Giants’ case, it is Jason Pierre-Paul. He has 6.5 sakes on the season and has forced one fumble. Michael Boley is the guy that is going to make the tackles for New York so you better make sure you know where he is.
10.) Arizona Cardinals
Even with an injury to Kevin Kolb, the offensive line and Larry Fitzgerald would be no where without guys like Daryl Washington and Paris Lenon. Washington has eight sacks on the year. That’s one almost per game for those of you (like myself) who aren’t good at math. With a record of 4-5, the Cardinals just need an extra push to ensure a playoff spot. Giving up only 19.2 points per game is an okay start.
9.) San Diego Chargers
The most impressive thing to me when it comes to the Chargers defense is not the amount of interceptions that they have but the yards that they get per interception. They have an average of 11.2 yards over eight interceptions. The total yardage that San Diego has on interceptions is 232 yards. You can credit most of those yards to Quentin Jammer (two interceptions for 89 yards) and Demorrio Williams(one interception for 59 yards). Both players rushed for a touchdown on their interceptions.
8.) Pittsburg Steelers
No Troy Polamalu? No Problem says the Pittsburg Steelers. Between Larry Foote and Ryan Clark they have their defense down to a “T”. With over 100 tackle just between the two of them it no wonder they have only given up an average of 20.5 points per game.
7.) Green Bay Packers
Okay, raise your hand right now if you all think Clay Matthews is a beast. Yeah that’s what I thought. Even as a writer that grew up around Chicago, there is just no denying it. If you leave just the smallest amount of room open (which is ironic because he is not a little guy) he will get through no doubt. Go ahead, let’s see your best impersonation of Matthews, you know you want to.
6.) Baltimore Ravens
There needs to be an award for overall best team in the NFL, and to be honest I wouldn’t know who to pick between the Houston Texans and this team right here. The Baltimore Ravens just have it all together. This is even without Ray Lewis. But don’t think he doesn’t have an effect on the team. You know he is screaming from the sidelines every game.
5.) San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers rank so high, mainly for the simple fact that they do not give up a whole lot of points. How? Don’t ask me, because when you look at their stats, their offense is much more impressive than their defense. But it’s true. They aren’t too shabby when it comes to interceptions. The team has six on the year. Not completely impressive but better than none.
4.) Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks are probably one of the most hated teams for the simple fact that Green Bay fans are everywhere. But you can’t deny that they are a surprise with their defense this year. The simple fact that you can hang even with Green Bay all game says something in itself. When you have players like Marshawn Lynch, Golden Tate and Sidney Rice, it’s no wonder the defense gets so much time on the field. Their offense is a big part of it too.
4.) Atlanta Falcons
Matty Ice might have his high and low games, but his Falcon defense had been able to back him up for most of the year. They have only given up an average of 17.9 points per game. While the offense holds onto the ball just as much as the defense recovers from other teams. The Falcons are pretty solid when it comes to defense.
2.) Houston Texans
They are the team to beat in the AFC. No one in their division is even close to surpassing them. With guys like J. J. Watt, how can you compare? They came out of the tunnel this year with the thought of being the number one ranked team in the AFC South and have earned that. They are the second most feared defense in the NFL.
1.) Chicago Bears
The Bears’ defense is absolutely disgusting. The combination of cornerbacks and linebackers that they have is essentially unstoppable. They have a total of sixteen forced fumbles, Charles Tillman have over half of those with seven. Four of those, were last week against Tennessee. Herm Edwards was even quoted by stating they ‘have a super bowl defense’ Super Bowl shuffle time anyone? It seems as though they can’t be stopped.