Top 5 Defenses Following Week 8 | K.C. Chiefs’ Defense Carries Slumping Patrick Mahomes

Thus far this season NFL defenses have had the upper hand most weeks. During Week 8, that didn’t change much, as defenses won the weekend once again. 

Baltimore Ravens (6-2)

When you think Ravens you always think defense and physicality. While this 2023 version won’t make you think the 2000 Ray Lewis-led defense, they’re damn good. In the team’s big 31-24 road win over the Arizona Cardinals, the defense, led by their two inside linebackers Patrick Queen and Roquan Smith, forced two turnovers and two sacks. 

This season the Ravens lead the league in scoring defense at 13.9 points per game. They’re also second in red zone defense at 23.5 percent.

That, with an efficient offense under the direction of star QB Lamar Jackson, is a recipe for success come January. 

Kansas City Chiefs (6-2)

Even in a road loss to the Denver Broncos, their first since 2015, K.C.’s defense was up to snuff. On a day when QB Patrick Mahomes couldn’t get things going on offense, the Chiefs defense held the Broncos to just 14 points until a late muffed punt put the game out of reach. All-Pro defensive lineman Chris Jones continues to dominate, and cornerback Trent McDuffie looks like the stud he was drafted to be. 

They’ll need their young, talented linebacker group to get healthy after losing Nick Bolton and William Gay to injuries in consecutive weeks.  

Second-year pass rusher George Karlaftis has six sacks, including 2.5 on Sunday. 

Dallas Cowboys (5-2)

When the Cowboys’ offense gives them an early lead it unleashes their hellacious pass rush led by back-to-back DPOY runner-up Micah Parsons. That was the case in Sunday’s 43-20 blowout win over the Los Angeles Rams. Cornerback Daron Bland, who’s filling in for the injured Trevon Diggs, had his third pick six of the season, and overall, the Cowboys just completely overwhelmed the Rams, holding to them 280 total yards. 

New York Jets (4-3)

Another week and another standout performance by the Jets defense, this time in the battle of MetLife Stadium residents. In an ugly 13-10 win over the Giants, it was edge rusher Jermaine Johnson who came up big with two sacks and four QB hits. It wasn’t the recipe the Jets have used most of the season to stop opposing offenses, as most weeks they’re forcing a ton of turnovers. 

Sunday once again proved this Jets team is as legit on defense as we have in the league, and if their offense doesn’t lose games for them they’ll be in every game. 

Jacksonville Jaguars (6-2)

Since starting the season 1-2 the Jags have reeled off five wins in a row. While most would think their offense is leading the surge, it’s actually been their stingy defense that’s led the way, with timely sacks, forced turnovers and big third-down stops. That was the case in Sunday’s Road win at the Steelers, where they held a struggling Pittsburgh offense to 261 total yards and 10 points. 

Two big interceptions stymied Steelers drives and led to Jags points that proved to be the difference in the end. Edge rusher Josh Allen is becoming one of the best in the league, and the defense as a whole is growing each week. 

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