Top 10 NFL Teams with the Best Defenses Going Into the 2020-21 SeasonThey say defense wins championships and that is mostly true. In this new age of the NFL, a good defense is necessary to slow down the high-powered offenses the league boasts about. For these teams, defense is the name of the game, even if their offense is lagging behind.
Talk about a stacked San Fran 7, you got Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, Dee Ford, Javon Kinlaw, Dre Greenlaw, Fred Warner, and Kwon Alexander. Despite Richard Sherman being the most notable name in the secondary and DeForest Buckner leaving could hurt, this is the scariest front 7 in the league, and that alone earns them top 3. Expect them to take a big leap forward this year, especially Bosa, Warner, and possibly Alexander if he stays healthy.
The Ravens did enough in this offseason to build a formidable defense, Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe. It seems Judon is staying, and when you have Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey, Earl Thomas, and add Patrick Queen and Madubuike, this is a scary group. Beware if you face these guys; this could be a historic team overall. Good luck playing them.
The Steelers may have fallen off on offense, but at the same time, they've rediscovered the defense. Minkah Fitzpatrick alone changed the face of that defense. Add him to Cameron Heyward, TJ Watt, Joe Haden, and Devin Bush. While Nick Bosa won Defensive Rookie of the year, Bush was a finalist for the award. If he takes a big leap year 2, this Defense could honestly push for the top spot.
As bad as their offense is, the defense is still a solid, formidable unit not to be underestimated. The New England Patriots had the No. 1 defense last season (275.9 yards allowed per game). They led the NFL in interceptions (25) and finished second in takeaways (36) while ranking in the top 10 in sacks (47).
But they had some big losses, Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, and Danny Shelton all left in free agency. The Pats will rely on the secondary again in 2020. New England brought back veteran safety Devin McCourty and selected the hyperathletic Kyle Dugger, a product of Division II Lenoir-Rhyne, with its top pick in the second round. And we can't forget Stephon Gilmore, one of the best corners in the game. Despite their losses to free agency, don't underestimate Belichick here.
Last year, Buffalo had a solid, formidable unit. Now, with the addition of Josh Norman, Mario Addison, and AJ Klein, as well as AJ Epenesa from the draft, this is a top 5 unit. Especially with Tre'Davious White, Tremaine Edmunds, and Ed Oliver, if he doesn't get into too much trouble with the NFL over some misdemeanor charges back in May. This is easily a top 5 defense in terms of talent.
The Chargers arguably have the most talented defense in the NFL. Kenneth Murray will have an immediate impact, and picking up Chris Harris was a good move. He will fit in nicely with Desmond King, Casey Hayward, Derwin James, and Joey Bosa, who will be an intimidating force. The question is, can they stay healthy?
Denver still has arguably a top 10 defense. Von Miller and Bradley Chubb are a force to be reckoned with. They lost Chris Harris but gained AJ Bouye and Jurrell Casey, and they already have Justin Simmons, who was one of the best safeties in football. Overall, this unit is solid and should not be taken lightly.
Tampa Bay has an elite front seven, including Shaquil Barrett, Lavonte David, Devin White, Vita Vea, Ndamukong Suh, and Jason Pierre-Paul. Antoine Winfield could also have an impact, adding more youth to the secondary. Another thing about the Bucs is that Tom Brady is their QB, so instead of Jameis Winston throwing 30 interceptions, the defense can actually get some rest in between drives, as he won't throw 30 interceptions.
Although they have taken a step back from where they were in 2018, the pieces are still there for them to be a top 10 unit. Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks highlight the front seven. The addition of Robert Quinn is promising, and Kyle Fuller and Eddie Jackson are both solid in the backfield. Draft pick Jaylon Johnson could be interesting, perhaps. The only thing keeping them from being higher is that losing Nick Kwiatkoski will hurt them.
Philly's defensive front is solid, but their secondary was a major weakness that left them exposed. They did what they needed to do to fix their secondary, which needed help badly. Getting Darius Slay and Nickell Robey-Coleman should help patch that secondary, and with Javon Hargrave added to an already scary front seven, this could be a solid group. The question is, will that be enough to fix the secondary?