Top Five NFL Defenses Entering Week 10 | Justin Houston Is Alive, Ravens Are Becoming A Force On Defense

After some early season hiccups, the Ravens defense seems to be finding its footing. Edge rusher Justin Houston looked like the future Hall of Famer we watched terrorize offenses in Kansas City. Houston tallied 2.5 sacks and an interception on MNF. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Each week we rank the top defenses in the NFL, and each week we seem to have a new leader in that category. Entering Week 10, the Baltimore Ravens and their blitzing, stifling defense gets their due and enters the rankings.

1. New York Jets

After hitting some home runs in the past couple of drafts with defensive tackle Quinnen Williams and cornerback Sauce Gardner, plus free agent acquisitions like C.J. Mosley and Kwon Alexander, the Jets’ defense got an instant infusion of talent. 

They now have a top 10 defense surrendering less than 20 points per game.

Hiring defensive guru Robert Saleh as head coach has paid huge dividends. With his creative and innovative schemes designed to give offenses hell, the Jets have become one of the better units in the league. Sunday’s huge win over the Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills was just another step in the resurgent Jets’ story, which has taken the league by complete surprise.

Gang Green intercepted Bills QB Josh Allen twice on Sunday, but they also battered him with constant hits and pressures. The secondary has allowed nine touchdown passes, but they’ve also interceptions nine passes themselves. This is an ELITE unit.

2. Buffalo Bills

Sunday’s road loss to the division rival Jets isn’t on the Bills defense, which is still ranked No. 1 in points allowed (14.8 ppg) in the NFL. With an injury-marred secondary and banged-up front seven, the Bills surrendered some plays to the Jets, but they still only allowed 310 total yards.

The pass rush led by Von Miller bothered Jets QB Zach Wilson all day, but Buffalo didn’t force the turnovers they’ve become accustomed to getting each week. That in turn put more pressure on Allen and the offense to drive the length of the field against a young, healthy, spry and tenacious Jets defense.

The Bills could use some good news on the injury front as pertains to their defense.

3. Philadelphia Eagles

While their pass defense continues to be elite, Philly did give up 139 rushing yards to Texans running back Dameon Pierce. Part of the issue is not having injured 2022 first-round pick Jordan Davis clogging up the middle. The little things that are wrong with this very talented defense are fixable, because they can still rush the passer and stop the pass. Defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon wants his unit to tackle better as well.

“That’s a challenge on a short week going down there, not to make an excuse because everyone has to do it,” Gannon told reporters. “But I think getting back to a normal week of practice and going through our normal routine will help us with that part of the game.”

4. New England Patriots

Led by NFL sack leader and edge rusher Matthew Judon (11.5), the Patriots’ defense has been solid all season. On Sunday they dominated a Colts team in total disarray by holding them to 121 total yards and a measly two yards per play. It was a defensive performance for the ages. The wildest stat of the day had to be shutting Indy out on third down, as they went 0-14 in the game.

Even with an offense still trying to find its footing, Bill Belichick has a defense capable of keeping his team in games.

5. Baltimore Ravens

After some early season hiccups, the Baltimore defense seems to be finding its footing. Gone are the days of blowing double-digit leads and losing games late. In fact, the Ravens are the first team in NFL history to lead by double-digits in their first nine games. While they blew three of those leads, that doesn’t seem to be a problem anymore.

On Monday night, the Ravens’ imposing defense suffocated a depleted New Orleans Saints offense to the tune of 243 total yards and just 13 points in a road win. Edge rusher Justin Houston looked like the future Hall of Famer we watched terrorize offenses in Kansas City. Houston tallied 2.5 sacks and an interception. New addition Roquan Smith made his presence felt early and often as well.