Top 5 NFL Defenses Following Week 5 | Fred Warner and Nick Bosa Hold Cowboys To 197 Total Yards

In sports the old adage has always been offense gets the glory but defense wins championships. In a league where scoring and offensive fireworks are at a level we’ve never seen before, getting defensive stops are still the name of the game.

Through five weeks of the 2023 season here are our top units.

1. San Francisco 49ers

In one of the season’s most-anticipated matchups, against the Dallas Cowboys, the Niners proved why they’re the most complete team in the NFL. Not only did they dominate offensively from the opening kick in the lopsided 42-10 win, they also completely shut down the Cowboys attack. The defense, led by All-Pro Fred Warner and Nick Bosa, held the Cowboys to under 200 total yards (197), eight first downs, had four sacks, and intercepted Dak Prescott three times. 

Reigning DPOY Nick Bosa loves that head coach Kyle Shanahan is involved with the defense. Earlier in the week he spoke about that team dynamic.

“He’s involved and he’s not completely offense or doesn’t have a clue what’s going on on the other side, which is sometimes how it is.” 

2. New York Jets 

After allowing a 75-yard touchdown drive to begin Sunday’s game at Denver, the Jets only allowed 233 yards the rest of the way, and some of that even came in garbage time. The relentless Jets defense also forced three fumbles, including one which was returned for a touchdown to put the game out of reach.

In all, it was what we’ve come to expect from this defense since last season. If they can muster up 21 points offensively per week, they’ll win a lot of games. 

3. New Orleans Saints

The Saints walked into Foxborough Stadium on Sunday and annihilated the struggling New England Patriots 34-0. In the win they held New England to 156 total yards, while also forcing three turnovers, which included a pick six by safety Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu. Head coach Dennis Allen, who earned his chops on the defensive side of the football, has this unit flying around and attacking opponents.

In a very winnable NFC South division, the Saints defense could be the deciding factor this season. Allen talked to reporters about the shutout after the game. 

“It ultimately boils down to the players going out there and executing their jobs.”

They’ve done it weekly through five weeks down on the bayou.

4. Kansas City Chiefs 

K.C. never gets credit for their defense because of future Hall of Famers Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, but defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has this young, fast and extremely athletic defense playing well.

Usually a bend-but-don’t-break unit, K.C. is now the aggressor on defense, and they have no problem bringing pressure when needed. That’s because of their steadily rising and uber-talented secondary, led by second-year cornerback Trent McDuffie, who’s ranked the top coverage corner in the league through five weeks. 

All-Pro defensive lineman Chris Jones looks as good as ever with 4.5 sacks in four games this season. 

5. Philadelphia Eagles 

One week after getting gashed by the Washington Commanders for nearly 400 yards of offense, Philly held the Los Angeles under 250 total yards in a 23–14 road win. The Eagles’ elite pass rush got after Rams QB Matt Stafford, sacking him four times and harassing him just about all game. Edge rusher Haason Reddick finished with two sacks, as did rookie Jalen Carter, who’s quietly putting together an All-Pro-caliber season thus far. 

Eagles still haven’t played that well but are 5-0. Scary for any NFC team. 

Back to top