Top 5 NFL Defenses Following Week 8 | Von Miller & Aaron Donald Will Make League’s Best Pass Rushing Duo

Photo: Twitter/@ramsNFL

It’s that time again to rank the top teams around the NFL on the defensive side of the football.

1. Buffalo Bills 

After a one-week hiatus from the top spot, the Buffalo Bills are back at No. 1. They harassed starter Tua Tagovailoa and the Fins all day on Sunday to the tune of two sacks, two forced turnovers and — get this — 19 QB pressures. Their third-down defense continued to be stellar against Miami, with the Dolphins converting only four times on 14 third downs.

This defense is only gonna get better as edge rushers Greg Rousseau and A.J. Epenesa continue to develop into the bookends of the future. Team is allowing an NFL-low 15.3 points per game.

2. New Orleans Saints

It’s time to show that New Orleans Saints defense some love. Led by edge rusher Cam Jordan, inside linebacker DeMario Davis and cornerback Marshon Lattimore, this group hasn’t been getting enough credit for their play at every level this season. Masking for an offense still trying to find it’s footing, this defense has been dynamite.

They force turnovers and get pressure on opposing QBs with their four down linemen, allowing their back seven to cover and play in space. Defensive coordinator Dennis Allen is one of the more underrated defensive minds in the league, and his schemes are dynamite. Confusing Tom Brady isn’t easy, but the Saints did that with a man coverage look that was really zone over. The play resulted in a game-clinching pick six for “Nawlins” in Sunday’s 36-27 upset of the Bucs.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense is subpar and lacks an identity again this season. But Mike Tomlin can flat coach and motivate, which is why his defense always gives them a fighting chance weekly. The past two weeks the defense has single-handedly won games against the Seahawks and Browns. On Sunday they held the rival Cleveland Browns to 306 total yards and a very frosty 3-10 on third downs. It’s going to take this defense led by TJ Watt playing lights-out weekly for Pittsburgh to make the playoffs.

4. Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys went into Minnesota on SNF and beat a decent Vikings football team (20-16) without Dak Prescott. Cowboy defenders played fast and furious while spending a lot of the night in the Vikes’ backfield. As a result there wasn’t much of the famous “SKOL” clap being done in the Twin Cities.

Rookie swiss army knife Micah Parsons continues to make his case for NFL DROY with 10 tackles and a half sack. This defense has improved leaps and bounds under first-year coordinator Dan Quinn.

5. Los Angeles Rams

The Rams were leading the hapless Texans 38-0 and then got outscored 22-0 in the fourth quarter. It was probably just a letdown, but a team with Super Bowl aspirations can’t afford mental collapses. The talent is there and the team is winning. L.A. already has the 14th-ranked defense in the NFL. The addition of future Hall of Famer Von Miller will stabilize the run defense and add another pass rusher.

Honorable Mention 

Arizona Cardinals — The loss of JJ Watt was felt in the Cardinals’ first loss of the season to the Green Bay Packers on TNF. They faced a Packers team devoid of its top three wideouts and All-Pro left tackle. The defense did a great job of containing Aaron Rodgers as he passed for a second season-low 184 yards, but the Redbirds couldn’t stop the run (151 rush yards allowed) in the Valley of the Sun.

Carolina Panthers — The debut of 2019 NFL DPOY, Stephon Gilmore paid off as he sealed the win over the Falcons with his interception. This defense is good, it’s the offense that’s holding them back.

New England Patriots — Bill Belichick and his Patriots went out to L.A. and knocked off the Chargers. Free agent edge rusher Matthew Judon has been a godsend, and in Week 8 he terrorized everyone on the Chargers offensive line not named Rashawn Slater, to the tune of ine QB pressures and 1.5 sacks. Cornerback JC Jackson is an elite man-to-man corner.