Top Five NFL Defenses Heading To Week 11 | Patriots Edge Rusher Matthew Judon Leading Team’s Defensive Renaissance

(Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

With dynamic edge rusher Matthew Judon leading the NFL in sacks with 11.5 and a rising opportunistic secondary, the Patriots are seeing a renaissance on that side of the football.

1. Patriots

Coming into the 2022 season the belief was the Pats would struggle on defense. In the offseason the team chose to let star cornerback J.C. Jackson leave via free agency. Jackson led the league in interceptions since his arrival. They also made some changes to their scheme and personnel, and those changes have benefited the aforementioned Judon, who’s terrorizing offenses. But he’s also getting pressure at a high clip as well with 44. The team is first in pressure rate and second in sacks with 32.

The cornerback duo of Jonathan Jones and Jack Jones has also developed. 

2. San Francisco 49ers

After another pretty dominant performance in a win over the Chargers, the Niners defense is looking as healthy as it has all season. They harassed Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert all night, with nine QB hits, three sacks and four tackles for loss. It was a complete performance for DeMeco Ryans’ unit and he knows how vital they are to the teams succeed based on how head coach Kyle Shanahan wants to play football.

Ryans preaches SWARM (Special Work Ethic And Relentless Mindset) to his players, and that’s what they do.

3. New York Jets

The Jets defense looks like it’s here to stay. Each week they dominate opponents. Led by Quinnen Williams up front, linebacker C.J. Mosley at second level and rookie corner Saude Gardner on the corner, this defense is amongst the league’s top five units from top to bottom.

Teams are completing just barely 60 percent of their passes against the Jets secondary, and tossing more interceptions, 11, than touchdowns, nine, is a direct result of the pressure the front seven is getting, and the back end is allowed to ballhawk. Even with all that, the aforementioned Mosley wants his teammates to continue to work hard in order to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2010.

“We’ve still got a long way to go. You can’t be too high or too low on what we’ve done. This record can change really quick. … Now we just have to make sure we stay focused on what we do and play ball.”

4. Denver Broncos

While Russell Wilson and head coach Nathaniel Hackett try to figure out the offense, Denver leads the league in scoring defense, allowing a league-low 16.6 points per game.  They held Titans star tailback Derrick Henry to 53 yards 19 rushing attempts and somehow still lost the game 17-10. This defense is playoff-worthy, but the offense not so much.

5. Washington Commanders

The Commanders were given no shot heading into Monday’s game at the previously undefeated Eagles. All they did was go into Philly and get a statement win, 32-21. Led by a dominant defense that controlled the Eagles’ running game and forced four turnovers this team deserves some recognition.

Cornerback Benjamin St. Juste and safety Darrick Forrest look like the real deal in Washington’s secondary.