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Old 11-20-2010, 05:48 PM    (permalink
umphrey
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Default Ranking the Defenses

  1. Chicago Bears
  2. Green Bay Packers
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers
  4. New York Giants
  5. Tennessee Titans
  6. New York Jets
  7. New Orleans Saints
  8. St. Louis Rams
  9. Atlanta Falcons
  10. Baltimore Ravens
  11. Kansas City Chiefs
  12. Oakland Raiders
  13. Miami Dolphins
  14. San Diego Chargers
  15. Philadelphia Eagles
  16. Indianapolis Colts
  17. Minnesota Vikings
  18. Seattle Seahawks
  19. San Francisco 49ers
  20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  21. Cleveland Browns
  22. Cincinnati Bengals
  23. New England Patriots
  24. Dallas Cowboys
  25. Houston Texans
  26. Washington Redskins
  27. Jacksonville Jaguars
  28. Carolina Panthers
  29. Detroit Lions
  30. Arizona Cardinals
  31. Denver Broncos
  32. Buffalo Bills
I looked primarily at points/game, yards/game, sacks, interceptions, quality of opponents, and blow out situations. Close games and closing out 4th quarter wins also get good marks. Some notes:

-I wanted to rank the Lions higher because I love their DL but they haven't been productive consistently yet as a unit. That has a lot to do with their secondary, specifically safeties.

-The Saints are ranked 27th in interceptions! Oakland, one of the best pass Ds in the league, is ranked last! Oakland doesn't surprise me much since teams usually make a gameplan avoiding receiver throws and emphasizing the run and screen game.

-The Chiefs are an interesting defense. They got big points for holding the Colts and Chargers to an average of 16.5. They lost big points for giving up an average of 42 to Houston and Denver, although it should be noted that offensive turnovers played a part in the Denver debacle.

-The Bears and Packers are 1 and 2 and I'm not sure there's much of a debate there. They are 1 and 2 in points/game, get turnovers, pressure the QB, and their defenses play 4th quarter football. The Bears did get a cake walk playing Miami on Thursday, but that doesn't take anything away from the other 9 great defensive games they've played. They have been extremely consistent. Complain about their secondary if you want, but they are obviously getting the job done, with a lot of help from Julius Peppers. He has pedestrian numbers but commands a ton of attention from the offense and draws a lot of holds and even false starts.

-The Jets are not impressing me this year. Their pass rush is average, and they struggle to win one on one battles. Their secondary has been inconsistent. Revis hasn't been Revis. Cromartie has been mostly really good but he'll make some costly mistakes and get penalized. Rookie Kyle Wilson has been picked on. I like his future but he's treading water right now.

-The Texans and Vikings have two elite pass rushers and are tied for 25th in sacks.

-The Steelers were flat out dominant early in the season but have consistently regressed. Aaron Smith's injury was a massive blow. Is the helmet to helmet controversy affecting them at all, particularly James Harrison?

-Rams are the most underrated defense in the league IMO.

-The Saints look good on the surface but digging deeper there is more to see. They have played some of the worst offensive teams as anyone. They even had 30 dropped on them by Arizona. They also had games like vs. Carolina that was 34-3, their offense did some work for them by turning it into a blowout.

-These teams have good personnel that is severely under performing:
49ers, Dolphins, Redskins, Cowboys

-Packers, Jets and Titans get the gold, silver, bronze medals (respectively) for making best use of their talent.

Gold Silver Bronze Awards:
Defensive Line: Giants > Rams > Titans (hon mention: Bears, Lions)
Linebackers: Steelers > Packers > Bears
Secondary: Packers > Raiders > Saints
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Old 11-20-2010, 06:16 PM    (permalink
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Honestly, the Oakland defensive line deserves to be rated higher than their secondary. Asomugha and Routt have played well, but Huff and Branch have been beat and give most of their value in the run game.

Right now, Oakland has the best defensive tackle duo in the NFL. Tommy Kelly is having his best NFL season by far and Seymour has been a total monster the last couple weeks (his game against Brian Waters may have been the best I've seen from a DT all year). Add in the incredibly underrated Shaugnessy and a rookie like Lamarr Houston (who I believe is still pretty high up the list of pressures by a DE in the NFL this season), and I wouldn't pick many defensive lines over Oakland.

The funny thing is that Oakland's pass defense is rated so highly but sucks so bad in the redzone while the run defense struggled so badly early in the season (they've averaged 75 allowed the last three games) but has largely been amazing in short-yardage situations.
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Old 11-20-2010, 06:26 PM    (permalink
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Default

Any success the Browns defense seems to have is smoke and mirrors, so only having them ranked #21 is probably fair. They're gritty for whatever that's worth.
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Old 11-20-2010, 06:36 PM    (permalink
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by umphrey View Post

-The Saints look good on the surface but digging deeper there is more to see. They have played some of the worst offensive teams as anyone. They even had 30 dropped on them by Arizona. They also had games like vs. Carolina that was 34-3, their offense did some work for them by turning it into a blowout.
Well in that game I would say our Offense was directly responsible for giving the Cardinals 21 points, with a Ladell Betts fumble return for a TD, and a Drew Brees Interception returned for a TD, Arizonas other TD came when Ladell Betts tipped a pass right to an Arizona Defender and was Intercepted at our 4 yard line. On the next series we forced a fumble of Max Hall but it bounced right to Levi Brown for a TD.

So I would say the Saints Defense should only be held accountable for 9 points that game, the Offense royally screwed up that day.

I would say in general I'm surprised at the Saints Defensive rankings this season. Greg Williams is probably doing his best Coaching job of his career with the personnel or lack thereof he's had to work with this year. He's had to get by with 2nd, 3rd string Secondary players for most of this year.
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Old 11-20-2010, 07:00 PM    (permalink
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Miami at 13? I think that's a little low.

Considering how awful their ST's has been, and how inept their offense has been, I think they deserve a little more credit.
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Old 11-20-2010, 07:08 PM    (permalink
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tennessee's defense has fallen off lately. the sacks have stopped coming, and the turnovers aren't coming as often either. might be a sign of overachieving earlier in the year. red zone defense has been very good, but there's been times where it seems like teams march down the field at will on us. it's kinda maddening really
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Old 11-20-2010, 07:08 PM    (permalink
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Our defense is good just because of the dline. Our dline has been one of the best the last few weeks.
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Old 11-20-2010, 07:31 PM    (permalink
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I'm surprised the Chiefs D is so high. I'm not going to complain though!
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Old 11-20-2010, 07:41 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
-These teams have good personnel that is severely under performing:
49ers,
Really feels good to see a non 49er fan notice that. With the players that we have our defense should be top 10 easily but Greg Manusky is really holding them back. Our only real weakness is safety and even there we are not that bad, we are merely slightly below average.
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Old 11-20-2010, 07:48 PM    (permalink
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Cromartie is getting better by the game, Revis is going to keep getting better after having the whole offseason off, and the hamstring injury. Our best pass rushes is still getting over a broken foot.

It's a fair enough ranking for now, But our D is going to get stronger as the year goes on. Our only problem is our pass rush, but I see our secondary getting better, which should help our sack numbers.
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Old 11-20-2010, 08:28 PM    (permalink
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paranoidmoonduck View Post
Honestly, the Oakland defensive line deserves to be rated higher than their secondary. Asomugha and Routt have played well, but Huff and Branch have been beat and give most of their value in the run game.
Can't argue much about the Raiders because they are on TV so rarely. What I do know is both starting corners make one of the best duos in the league, and they have shut down some very productive passing attacks. I'll have to take your word on the defensive line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wonderbredd24 View Post
Any success the Browns defense seems to have is smoke and mirrors, so only having them ranked #21 is probably fair. They're gritty for whatever that's worth.
They are a team I kind of wanted to rank higher. They lost points in my mind when I thought of all the trick plays and weird schemes they've been using. If it keeps working they'll definitely be moving up. They get a lot of credit for holding NE to 14 and NO to 17, but the rest of their performances were pretty meh. If they had more wins they would have more of a track record. I dropped them because they are near the bottom in sacks as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auron View Post
Well in that game I would say our Offense was directly responsible for giving the Cardinals 21 points, with a Ladell Betts fumble return for a TD, and a Drew Brees Interception returned for a TD, Arizonas other TD came when Ladell Betts tipped a pass right to an Arizona Defender and was Intercepted at our 4 yard line. On the next series we forced a fumble of Max Hall but it bounced right to Levi Brown for a TD.
I forgot how that happened, and that game stuck out like a sore thumb. It was a big reason I dropped them a few spots, because they have been playing at a very high level. I would probably move them, but I'm not changing the list now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhinsRock View Post
Miami at 13? I think that's a little low.

Considering how awful their ST's has been, and how inept their offense has been, I think they deserve a little more credit.
I struggled with where to put Miami more than any other team by far. I love Cameron Wake and their corners. Front 7 is pretty solid and unspectacular. I think I dropped them mainly because they gave up a combined 72 points when they played NE and NYJ back to back. What probably happened was they ended up in that 2nd/3rd tier where the difference between #6 and #14 isn't that big, and they just barely got pushed towards the back.
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Old 11-20-2010, 08:36 PM    (permalink
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Default

Revis hasn't been Revis until the last two weeks, where he shut down Megatron and had a solid game against the Browns. If he starts trending up, the Jets defense does too. I think you've got them in just about the right spot at the moment though, and share your concerns about the pass rush and pass defense in general. Not the same defense they had last year.
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Old 11-20-2010, 09:49 PM    (permalink
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Jacksonville last, please. We don;t even try to blitz or make things difficult in any way. You should hear Colt McCoy's interview on the Browns' website where he tries to say nice things about our defense.

We don't have all the players for it yet, but we really need a better DC than Mel Tucker.
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Old 11-20-2010, 10:01 PM    (permalink
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The typically more accurate FootballOutsiders rankings:

http://footballoutsiders.com/stats/teamdef2010
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Old 11-20-2010, 10:30 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by abaddon41_80 View Post
Really feels good to see a non 49er fan notice that. With the players that we have our defense should be top 10 easily but Greg Manusky is really holding them back. Our only real weakness is safety and even there we are not that bad, we are merely slightly below average.
playcalling isnt the problem, execution is.
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Old 11-20-2010, 11:04 PM    (permalink
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Having both Lewis and McGraw out for the Denver game was a huge factor (well...THE factor) in the way that one played out.
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Old 11-21-2010, 01:46 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Paranoidmoonduck View Post
Honestly, the Oakland defensive line deserves to be rated higher than their secondary.
Which is funny because the giants are the exact opposite. While Osi's had a big year and we've had some huge games, it's actually our secondary that's the best and most consistent part of this team. The DL needs Kiwi back, to keep Osi and Tuck fresh all game, and Joseph to be ready for a major role, to help Canty who's been fantastic and Cofield who's having a big year. But it's really when we bring Boley on the blitz that our front 7 is really at it's best getting after and harassing QBs. We need to bring that pressure to free up our DEs so that they can stay fresh.

Meanwhile the secondary's been really strong as Web is back to his dominant self, TT is a work in progress, but he's made a load of progress and is becoming an absolutely phenomenal #2 outside of Dallas games, and Ross is wonderful #2 when healthy, which has been pretty rare during his career so far. Rolle has been a force and a leader, KP has been good, although he doesn't look to be 100% and Grant's been a big help coming onto the field as a 3rd safety.
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JPP is a better and more productive player than Brandon Graham
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Is Shaun Hill a top 10 QB? Definitely not. Is he a top 20 one? Almost certainly.
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Most misleading 10+ sack season EVER.
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Old 11-21-2010, 03:56 AM    (permalink
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I know you mostly based this on stats, but I can't see any way to justify Houston being that high. That's one of the most pathetic defenses I've seen in a while, which is odd because they have some decent players.
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Old 11-21-2010, 10:16 AM    (permalink
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there is no defense worse than the redskins defense is
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Old 11-21-2010, 03:10 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by ChiFan24 View Post
I know you mostly based this on stats, but I can't see any way to justify Houston being that high. That's one of the most pathetic defenses I've seen in a while, which is odd because they have some decent players.
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Old 11-21-2010, 03:13 PM    (permalink
Sportsfan486
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Can we go ahead and move the Packers to #1 now? kthxbai
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Old 11-21-2010, 03:21 PM    (permalink
LizardState
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Honestly, the Oakland defensive line deserves to be rated higher than their secondary. Asomugha and Routt have played well, but Huff and Branch have been beat and give most of their value in the run game.

Right now, Oakland has the best defensive tackle duo in the NFL. Tommy Kelly is having his best NFL season by far and Seymour has been a total monster the last couple weeks (his game against Brian Waters may have been the best I've seen from a DT all year). Add in the incredibly underrated Shaugnessy and a rookie like Lamarr Houston (who I believe is still pretty high up the list of pressures by a DE in the NFL this season), and I wouldn't pick many defensive lines over Oakland.

The funny thing is that Oakland's pass defense is rated so highly but sucks so bad in the redzone while the run defense struggled so badly early in the season (they've averaged 75 allowed the last three games) but has largely been amazing in short-yardage situations.
Theyre undermined by their awful offense, terrible quarterback play for the most part. How many times have the Raiders turned it over inside their opponents' 10? too many.

They turn it over in their own side of the field too, almost always give the opponents a short field, it's sad really.
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