The NFL is a passing and points league, but defense is still the name of the game. These NFL units have been keeping teams out of the end zone and putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. You don’t want any parts of them in the trenches.
Rams Defense Returns
On Thursday Night Football the Los Angeles Rams got back to their defensive ways after being shredded by Kyler Murray and the Cardinals on Sunday. On a short week they went into Seattle and handed the Seahawks a 26-17 loss.
Couple that with their playoff win here 9 months ago and they’ve now won two in the Pacific Northwest. It wasn’t always the pressure applied to Wilson and Geno Smith (who replaced the injured Wilson) late in the third quarter, but it was the coverage on the backend as well. Rams got back to playing the type of defense that could have them hosting this year’s Super Bowl. Aaron Donald became the Rams all-time sacks leader (88.5).
1. Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills were suppose to light it up offensively with quarterback Josh Allen leading an offense that features wide receiver sensations Stefon Diggs and Emmanuel Sanders. The offense has been butter, but this defense has been a steel curtain and downright disrespectful to its opponents.
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) October 5, 2021
The Bills have given up a league-low 44 points and are surrendering just 11.1 points per game and yielding just 216.8 total yards per game. Buffalo has been stifling on the defensive side of the football, with the exception of the clunker in a season-opening loss to the Steelers. This is a Super Bowl-ready defense.
2. Cleveland Browns
Myles Garrett leads a defense that fourth-ranked in the NFL and third in rushing yards allowed per game. Quarterback Baker Mayfield has struggled a bit to put up points, but the Dawg Pound is capable of winning old school grind-’em-out contests.
— Good Morning Football (@gmfb) October 6, 2021
They held a very good Minnesota Vikings offense to 255 total yards and seven points in a 14-7 road win in Week 4. Cleveland’s D allowed a score on the Vikings’ opening drive and then closed the door the rest of the way.
3. Denver Broncos
Vic Fangio’s defense has allowed the second-fewest points in the NFL (49). The Broncos came into Sunday’s game with a game plan to make Ravens dual-threat quarterback Lamar Jackson beat them with his arm and not his legs. Just so happens that’s what Jackson was actually hoping for, as he missed practice from being banged up.
Denver Broncos defense is ranked:
– 1st in points allowed per game (8.7)
– 2nd in total yards allowed per game (221.7)
– 3rd in passing yards allowed per game (162.3)
– 2nd in rushing yards allowed per game (59.3)
– 7th in turnovers forced (5)
– 10th in sacks (8)
— Pedro H. Rhormes (@rhormes_) October 3, 2021
LJ8 caught fire throwing the football and beat the Broncos over the top with his second career 300-yard passing day. The Broncos are as stout as you’ll find on the defensive side. Few teams will have sustained success against this group.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers
We have another case of the defense holding up the offense in the early part of the season. The offense in Pittsburgh is about as stale as month-old iced oatmeal cookies. The defense is ranked in the NFL’s top 15, so Tomlin still has a solid unit.
The ineptitude of washed-up QB Ben Roethlisberger and a broken offensive line often leaves the defense tired and depleted late in games. They will improve and until further notice are elite.
Ask Joe Hayden.
Joe Haden spoke to the media today about the game against the Packers, the defense and more.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 5, 2021
5. New England Patriots
Bill Belichick’s boys are always going to get respect on the defensive side of the rock. The Pats are 1-3 but the defense has been money in the bank. Despite losing All-Pro corner Stephon Gilmore to a trade with Carolina on Wedensday, the defense is ranked fifth overall in the NFL, surrendering just 17.5 points per game.
Leonard Fournette on #Patriots: "That's a 1-3 team but they don't play like a 1-3 team."
Made note of New England's "disciplined" defense. pic.twitter.com/LvMtGJRNQw
— Dakota Randall (@DakRandallNESN) October 4, 2021
The Pats will be a tough draw for any squad once rookie Mac Jones gets that offense humming.
Dallas Cowboys — The Boys are playing well without their best defensive player in DeMarcus Lawrence. Cornerback Trevon Diggs has five interceptions in the first four games. Rookie Micah Parsons can play anywhere in the front seven and continues to dazzle.
Arizona Cardinals — Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph is bringing all kinds of heat with his stunts and twists up front. Having defensive specialists like Chandler Jones and JJ Watt at your disposal definitely makes scheming easier. If the defense holds, Kyler Murray and the offense will do the rest.
Los Angeles Chargers — “Monday Night Football” displayed the ferociousness of the Chargers’ pass rush. One that had been nonexistent in the prior three games. They also allowed a league-high 5.8 yards per carry.
That wasn’t supposed to bode well against an undefeated Las Vegas Raiders team that was clicking offensively coming in. The Bolts manhandled the Raiders, and the D is finally beginning to grasp head coach Brandon Staley’s system.
Remember, defense wins championships.