We’re through seven weeks of the NFL season already, and as of now the Buffalo Bills look like the most complete defense in the league. They were so good through the first six weeks of the season that a bye week didn’t hurt their standing.
1. Buffalo Bills
Led by edge rusher Von Miller, who’s been a godsend via free agency, the Bills have already collected road wins at the defending Super Bowl champion Rams and the Super Bowl-contending Chiefs. And they’ve done that with two former All-Pros, Micah Hyde and Tre’Davious White, being out. They’ve only allowed scores on 25 percent of drives defensed, which is third-best in the league. QBs haven’t fared well against defensive coordinator’s Leslie Frazier’s defense either, with their 71.2 QBR. Bills also lead the league in rush defense, allowing just 76 yards per game.
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) October 25, 2022
2. Denver Broncos
Having a team with a 2-5 record so high might seem strange, but the Broncos defense has been good enough for the team’s record to be 5-2 instead. In last Sunday’s loss they gave up a 60-yard touchdown run to Jets sensational rookie Breece Hall, but outside of that they allowed just 190 yards on 52 snaps. That’s less than 4 yards per play.
The Broncos defense deserves all the praise 👏 pic.twitter.com/5uZDiKRqf7
— PFF (@PFF) October 20, 2022
3. Dallas Cowboys
Another week and another great performance by the Cowboys defense. The one area of concern is their run defense, but adding-run stopper Johnathan Hankins via trade on Tuesday should help them in that area. Facing a Bears team that struggles to pass could spell doom for second-year QB Justin Fields.
In an interview with “Blogging The Boys,” former Cowboys legend DeMarcus Ware had this to say about their defense resurgence.
“There aren’t any chiefs. What I mean by that … there aren’t guys who think they’re stars and better than the other guy. We are a team now. DeMarcus Lawrence has his Batman and Robin with Micah. And also, it’s a supporting cast with the interior guys. Everybody is taking on their role for the first time and we are actually starting to see that this whole defense is coming together, and they are playing lights out and playing great.”
4. Philadelphia Eagles
Another team that had a bye week, but because of strong performances the first six weeks still made the list. Philly leads the league with 14 takeaways while allowing just a 23 percent scoring rate, which is tops in the league.
Led by Pro Bowl corners Darius Slay and James Bradberry, the defense has permitted just 188 yards passing per game this season. A three-level defense with playmakers at all three levels, got better Wednesday when they traded for Bears pass rusher Robert Quinn, who’s one of seven active players to reach the 100-sack plateau in his career. He had 18.5 last season.
Eagles have agreed to acquire DE Robert Quinn from the Chicago Bears in exchange for a fourth round pick in 2023, pending physical. pic.twitter.com/xga6vJvK3V
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) October 26, 2022
5. San Francisco 49ers
Despite surrendering 45 points to the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday, the Niners defense is still one of the league’s best. Defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans was without some key pieces at the wrong time. They allowed Patrick Mahomes to shred them for over 400 yards and three touchdowns, while completing 75 percent of his passes. His 147 QBR was nearly double the average they allowed the first six weeks, 76.5.
They’ll tighten the ship against the Rams this week, a team they’ve beaten seven straight times in the regular season.