DEFENSE WINS FOOTBALL GAMES! The 49ers offense got all the attention, but their D carried them much of last season after a leap from #23 to #2 in DVOA. The Pats had the #1 defense last year but lost Patrick Chung and the entire LB crew. These 2020 fantasy football rankings are refreshed live every day based on average draft position data generated by the fantasy football mock drafts.. Use the rankings and projections below to help you win your NFL … They fell to #6 in 2018, then #29 last year, and that’s about where they’ll be again now that they’ve traded Jalen Ramsey and Yannick Ngakwoe. The Raiders have had a bottom-3 DVOA defense each of the past two years. Their pressure numbers aren't quite as strong (10th in sacks per attempt, for example), but the Colts are downright nasty when it comes to defending the run. If the Jets don’t have the worst pass defense in the league, it might be their New York counterpart. New York ranks fourth in rushing yards per game and 10th in total yards per game, helping the Giants land ninth in points allowed per contest. Washington ranks 10th in rushing yards allowed per game (107.1) and is doing an excellent job of setting a high bar for opposing rushing attacks to attempt to reach, ranking sixth in the NFL in expected rushing yards for the season. Let’s shine some light on the NFL’s best and worst defenses in 2020…. Sortable table including defensive stats for pass yards, pass TDs, interceptions, QB hits, pass deflections and more. They were especially bad in pass defense (fourth worst all-time) but signed Byron Jones to pair with Xavien Howard at corner. The Giants are also among the league's best at taking away glimpses of opportunity on the ground, allowing the fifth-lowest rushing yards over expectation at -119. The Broncos D ranked #1 in 2017 but have fallen steadily since to #5 in 2018 and #13 last year. The Colts also are tied for sixth in the league in completion percentage allowed over expectation at -1.4 percent. This helps explain their standing among the top seven in the aforementioned categories. Former Baylor coach Matt Rhule will feel right at home. Does defense still win football games in 2020? So, let’s take a look at the best defenses in the NFL entering the 2020 season. Look at the numbers the Rams are posting defensively. Overall team passing defensive statistical leaders for the 2020 NFL season. Minkah Fitzpatrick transformed this defense with his coverage and versatility, while T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree, and Cameron Heyward give Pittsburgh the league’s best and deepest pass rush. Standard Player Stats. Miami had the sixth worst DVOA defense in NFL history last year. Throughout the season, each ranking is going to move as we see how offenses develop, and how successful they are as well. Believe it or not, these Rams are a complete unit. Return to Top; Players. How good can they be when they’re not playing on their heels all game? Garrett has DPOY talent, and I’m intrigued by new DC Jim Woods, who helped San Francisco allow the fewest YPA on passes last year. I do worry about this secondary. The Ravens have a deep stable of corners and now add stud DE Calais Campbell and game-changing rookie MLB Patrick Queen. The following browsers are supported: Chrome, Edge (v80 and later), Firefox and Safari. With some help from Next Gen Stats, here are the 10 best defenses in the NFL in 2020. Follow Brandon on Medium or @wheatonbrando for more sports, television, humor, and culture. Nick Shook reveals his top 10, a list that includes three rookies. I wish I knew how to quit the Chargers. They still have elite corners and Belichick, but the defense will be closer to average than #1. Find a way to get to the red zone. Defense vs QB Stats. Who are the best deep threats in the NFL right now? ... Pittsburgh owns the NFL's best defense. T.J. Watt's performance has plenty to do with these astronomical numbers. The Ravens are the third-best unit in points allowed per game and excellent at getting off the field, also standing as the league's third-best unit on third down. Washington's lone statistical weakness is in the run game, and even there, the Football Team is pretty darn good. The Patriots D had the best injury luck and faced the easiest slate of offenses. The Steelers blitz plenty but trail two other teams on this list in frequency, yet they're getting to the quarterback more often than any other unit in the league. I actually like the direction Washington is headed on D, but they’re a year or two away. We shouldn't be surprised by the latter when considering this is a defense that trots out both Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul, and the former is again dominating off the edge. Buffalo gets a big boost in a pandemic season with significant continuity from last year, and the Bills are tough at every position. … The Browns will be much better than last season simply by getting Myles Garrett back. The last of those categories is Washington's best, as no one is as good as the Football Team when it comes to stopping opposing offenses in the red zone. Joe Judge's first season in New York has seen the Giants become a problem for opposing rushing attacks. Opposing quarterbacks average 6.1 yards per attempt against Los Angeles in 2020, the lowest mark in the NFL. The loss of Derwin James for a second consecutive season is devastating, but even without him, the Chargers could be elite. If there's one recommendation for the Ravens, it might be to blitz a little less. Miami is excellent at getting off the field in key moments, ranking first in third-down percentage, second in points allowed per game, eighth in sacks per pass attempt and ninth in red-zone percentage. The 49ers are deep and talented but it’s the line that is most fearsome, with Nick Bosa, Solomon Thomas, Arik Armstead, and rookie Javon Kinlaw providing a fierce pass rush. Nick Shook eyes the 10 best rushing attacks by expected yards per carry. But if Houston gets back to the playoffs again, it’ll be because Watt stayed healthy. 4 days ago. Tre’Davious White is the best cornerback in the world, and free agent pickup Josh Norman has shutdown ability on the other side. Rankings last updated: December 10, 2020 at 7:00 AM EST. Arizona Cardinals (Last Week: 17) … WR. The Rams' -4.7 completion percentage over expectation ranks No. Add in the release of Leonard Fournette and this sure seems like this year’s version of Miami’s Fish Tank. On paper, New Orleans has as talented a defense as any in the NFL, with a terrific secondary and a deep pass rush. When it matters most in the NFL playoffs or the Super Bowl, a great defense steps up to deliver the plays needed for a win. If you’re a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, or Dallas Cowboys, you might just prefer to believe that elite offenses beat great defense. The Rams' defense is … The browser you are using is no longer supported on this site. Nick Shook reveals his top 10 MVP candidates heading into Week 5 of the 2020 NFL season. 2 in the NFL (trailing only Pittsburgh), their 12 interceptions rank fourth and their 78.6 opposing passer rating allowed is second. Where do Adam Thielen and Derrick Henry sit? More 2020 NFL Pages. The Saints are doing so by pressuring opposing quarterbacks relentlessly, ranking second in quarterback pressure rate (32.2 percent), total pressures (141), hurries (98) and disruption rate (33.8 percent), while also landing third in total disruptions (148). But Baltimore won’t even be the best defense in its own division, thanks to the Steelers. Houston gets the benefit of the doubt while J.J. Watt is healthy but fell to the #30 pass rush in eight games without him. Defense wins championships is an old time saying one hears when discussing the NFL. They’ll end up closer to #10 or in the high 20s, so this is a compromise right in the middle. It never hurts to line up Jalen Ramsey against the opposition's best receiving threat, but credit is due to the ascendance of youngsters like rookie Jordan Fuller and Darious Williams, who have bolstered Los Angeles' secondary and helped it become a deep and feisty group. The best route to success is likely through the air against a unit ranked 18th against the pass and 14th in interceptions, but only if you can get the ball out on time, as New York ranks eighth in sacks per game. So far, the pass is working at an about-average rate for opposing offenses, but give it time, and the Giants might lock it down in that department, too. The Eagles and Colts are solidly above average. Combining that with the aforementioned yardage averages, we're seeing a unit that isn't doing anything especially great, but is playing consistent, effective defense. The Dolphins appear to have turned a corner in their second season under Flores, taking on his defensive identity and riding it to an 8-4 mark. It is highly recommended that you use the latest versions of a supported browser in order to receive an optimal viewing experience. Sometimes you gotta risk it for the biscuit. DC Jack del Rio means a switch from 3–4 to 4–3, and that’ll be a tough transition with no preseason. So, let’s take a look at the best defenses in the NFL entering the 2020 season. Tampa leapt into the top-5 and had the sixth best DVOA run defense ever. We shouldn't be surprised to see defensive coordinator Robert Saleh receive a healthy amount of head-coaching interviews after the season his group has put together. Watt's effectiveness has only been topped by his availability, as he's used his additional games played to sprint past Cleveland's Myles Garrett in total disruptions and disruption rate, owning the only disruption rate above 20 percent in the entire NFL. The Panthers will field the youngest defense in a decade. With some help from Next Gen Stats, here are the 10 best defenses in the NFL in 2020. The Rams are tied for sixth in QB pressure percentage (27.8), rank seventh in disruptions (140) and are tied for the third-most sacks as a team with 36. The following are the 2020 NFL team overall defense … Miami also blitzes more than most teams at over 40 percent, helping explain the team's interception rate. New Orleans has suddenly become a defensive monster, ranking in the top five in yards allowed per game (288.8 is best mark in the NFL), rushing yards per game, passing yards per game, interception rate, sacks per pass attempt and points allowed per game. 16. But losing operations still have winning individual efforts. The Jets might have the worst pass defense in the league, with terrible cornerbacks and no pass rush. They need to spend at least seven more. For the 2020 fantasy football season, here are the best defense/special teams (D/ST) units, including the Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens. The Football Team owns the third-highest sack rate in the league at 8.4 percent, behind only Philadelphia (8.8) and Pittsburgh (9.7). Emmanuel Ogbah has enjoyed quite a productive 2020 campaign, recording 40 disruptions, including eight sacks, and his five turnovers caused by pressure are the third-most in the entire league behind only Myles Garrett (seven) and Shaquil Barrett (six). The Bears and Vikings have beat up on NFC North offenses for years. Washington is playing sound defensive football, which is exactly why they're still. Nick Shook eyes the 10 most disruptive defenders in the NFL. He’ll have Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch, and Sean Lee flying all over the place, and I believe in this wonky, mismatched D-line. Entering the final quarter of the regular season, Nick Shook examines which units are peaking at the right time. The problem for most offenses these days is they can't manage to fight through New Orleans' defense consistently enough to reach such opportunities, especially through the air. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram can be the best pass rush in the league, while Casey Heyward and Chris Harris are outstanding corners. Oh, and they're tied with Miami and Indy for the third-most interceptions (13). Philly still has a deep, talented line, and Darius Slay is a massive improvement at corner. The 49ers aren't getting home as much as they did in 2019 (20th in sacks per pass attempt), but they're still playing cohesively on key downs, ranking eighth in third-down percentage and 10th in red-zone percentage. The defense is executing in such situations, too, allowing 26 yards less than expectation, which doesn't make for a stellar RYOE per attempt, but with such a low total of expected rushing yards, it's tougher to create a massive difference. The Football Team ranks ninth or better in each of the following categories: yards per game, passing yards per game, interception rate, sacks per pass attempt, points allowed per game, third-down percentage and red-zone percentage. Indianapolis has allowed 131 yards less than expected in 2020, the second-best total in the entire league, and is fourth in rushing yards over expectation allowed at half a yard less per carry than expected. Rankings last updated: December 13, 2020 at 7:00 AM EST. Against those dropbacks, NFL defenses put four defensive backs on the field just 18% of the time (3,579 snaps), while nickel defense (with five defensive … In the 2019 NFL season, per Sports Info Solutions, there were 19,933 total quarterback dropbacks. L.A. is first in passing yards allowed per game (198.3), second in total yards allowed per game, second in third-down percentage and ninth in interception rate. He's also third in the league in total QB pressures (47) and can only improve in finishing the play, as evidenced by his six sacks that come one year after he led the league in that category with 19.5. Try LEAST Beatable — For 75 Seasons, The Business & Art of Nike’s Kaepernick Campaign, Chelsea racism… sadly it doesn’t surprise me, Beyond the Goal: Visualizing Expected Assists in Soccer, A season in review & a Super Bowl preview, This Factor Will Determine the Winner of the 2020 Tour de France, OTD in History… June 9, 1973, Secretariat wins the Belmont and the Triple Crown. Arizona’s offense is on its way up, but the defense is trending in the wrong direction. Pittsburgh ranks first by a wide margin in disruptions (184; the next closest is Cleveland with 151), QB pressure percentage (39.6), hurries (122, the only team to break 100 so far), owns a 38-pressure lead in QB pressures and is the only team to break 34 percent in disruption rate (Pittsburgh is way above it at 40.7 percent). The players for the list were chosen based on voting from players in … The Saints have yet to field a top-5 defensive unit like the others in this tier, but they’ve had stretches in each of the last few seasons where they get there. The Steelers may not even have the best defense in their division to some, as the Baltimore Ravens have put together an impressive collection of talent for 2020… Can they bring consistent effort all season, and is Dennis Allen the coordinator to get them to the top? The AFC East is so bad. Baltimore basically always finishes top-7 on D and was top-4 the last two years, despite having the league’s second worst injury luck on defense. Through the first three months of the 2020 NFL season, 17 teams have more Ls than Ws. Team Defense Table; Tot Yds & TO Passing Rushing Penalties; Rk Tm G PF Yds Ply Y/P TO FL 1stD Cmp Att Yds TD Int NY/A 1stD Att Yds TD Y/A 1stD Pen Yds 1stPy Sc% TO% EXP; 1: Pittsburgh Steelers: 12: 211: 3606: 740: 4.9: 23: 7: 205: 229: 409: ... More 2020 NFL Pages. Today, the defenses get the treatment. Baltimore ranks eighth in yards per game, and is even better at limiting the opponent in the most important category: scoring. https://www.covers.com/sport/football/nfl/statistics/team-defense/2020-2021 If there's one weakness, it's in getting off the field. Chris Jones and Frank Clark are terrific on the line, and Tyrann Mathieu and Juan Thornhill are an excellent safety combo, but it’s not enough. In today's pass-happy NFL, who are the most dangerous playmakers after the catch? The Giants are just starting to peek around the corner toward legitimacy, and they're doing so by shutting down the run and forcing teams to throw. Mike Nolan is the perfect coordinator for this unit with the league’s best linebackers. The Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers sure hope so. The Bengals are stout up the middle with Geno Atkins, but as a Vikings fan, how can I trust you when you go out and get Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander to “upgrade” your secondary? The Texans are all or nothing with Watt, though I like their ragtag collection of hand-me-down corners in Bradley Roby, Gareon Conley, and Vernon Hargreaves. Indianapolis ranks fourth in interception rate, fifth in yards per game, and seventh in rushing yards per game and passing yards per game. The Buccaneers still need to figure out how to keep opponents out of the end zone (19th in red-zone percentage) and limit their effectiveness through the air (22nd in passing yards per game), but the yardage totals tell us what we see on film: You might get lucky a few times a game against the Bucs, but they're going to make things difficult for the majority of the contest. The only question hanging over this defense is just how much they’ll miss Earl Thomas, but don’t be surprised if Baltimore’s defense outplays its elite offense this year. Whether or not you believe that old adage in 2020 might depend on the team you root for. For comparison, that is like … And what a fall for the Jaguars D! RA - Rushing Attempts - which NFL defense faces the fewest rushing attempts per game. Will Vic Fangio’s defense take a leap in Year 2? Donald predictably plays a large role in this production, accounting for 53 disruptions, 11 sacks and three turnovers caused by pressure. 2020 NFL Season. NFL team defense stats for 2019-2020 including points against, QBR against, sacks allowed, as well as rushing and passing yards per game allowed. The official source for NFL news, video highlights, fantasy football, game-day coverage, schedules, stats, scores and more. Washington is playing sound defensive football, which is exactly why they're still in the playoff hunt. Tampa Bay's D isn't perfect, but it's a stingy unit. And when we circle back to Donald, the numbers hold up for Los Angeles' defensive front. How many times the last couple decades have we seen the Ravens and Steelers defenses atop the NFL? After losing Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle to injuries, Saleh's bunch has helped maintain the 49ers' competitiveness. Smith and Kenny Clark are fearsome up front but this team still can’t cover anyone, and even Za’Darius can’t do it all on his own. The Football Team is allowing the seventh-lowest passer rating to opposing quarterbacks in the entire league, while also owning an expected completion percentage over expectation of -1.4, which is tied for the sixth-lowest rate in the NFL. The Saints are hunters and ballhawks, and they're ready to feast. Nick Shook lists the NFL's top 10 backfields. The battle between offense and defense in the NFL is a non-stop cat-and-mouse game that has now gone on for over 100 years, and some defenses adapt and execute more adeptly than others. The Steelers rank first, second or third in each of these categories: takeaways, sacks per pass attempt, points allowed per game, passing yards per game and total yards per game. The Saints have vaulted up the rankings with their recent hot stretch of defensive play, having allowed fewer than 20 points in each of the past five games (the longest streak of any team this season). © 2020 NFL Enterprises LLC. NFL defense rankings: Top-20 defenses in the NFL 20. Still, the Colts rank 10th in points allowed per game, telling us that while they aren't the best at keeping opponents from scoring once they near the end zone, they're very good at keeping them from racking up trips to the red zone. The Legion of Boom is gone in Seattle, but Bobby Wagner is a stud and Jamal Adams should be a fun weapon for Carroll. Carolina is the NFL’s worst defense, but they have plenty of company at the bottom, while the two teams at the top won’t surprise anyone who’s been watching football this century. Interestingly, Washington isn't in the top 10 in most pressure-related metrics, but is instead finding its defensive success by locking things down on the back end. The former third-round pick just became the first Saint not named Cameron Jordan to record 10 or more sacks in a season since Junior Galette did so back in 2014, and he remains right in the thick of the race for the league's sacks lead. Denver acquired A.J. 2020 NFL Team Rankings - Offense Rankings There are 32 teams in the NFL, and they certainly are not created equal. That’s four consecutive first-round picks on the line, and that’s worked quite well for San Francisco. It’s going to take some time, and Washington’s corners are terrible, but there’s something brewing here. Only Emmanuel Ogbah and Jason Pierre-Paul are near him in that regard among the top 10 defenders in total sacks. This tier is “Risky Business” because these teams end up in the middle of my rankings but almost certainly won’t be average defenses. Coming into the 2020 NFL season, here’s how every defense stacks up — from worst to first. ■. Where do Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb's Cowboys stand? T HE OLD ADAGE SAYS DEFENSE WINS FOOTBALL GAMES, but the truth is elite offenses have passed even the best defenses by.The NFL in 2020 is … The best defensive lineman in the NFL, and the best defensive player on most Sundays. Right now, it has them in the heat of the AFC wild-card race. The Chargers can have the best pass D in the league, even without Derwin, and rookie LB Kenneth Murray is an immediate difference maker in the middle of the field. The Los Angeles Rams are playing defense at a high level The Los Angeles Rams are currently (7-3) and sit at the top of the NFC West. The 2020 NFL draft has just kicked off a few days ago and the whole nation is drooling over the newly-made stats, best running backs, wide receivers, and many more topics.Over the years we have seen some amazing defense efforts coming from the teams and if someone asks to make a list for the best NFL defense, it would not take much time. When Chuck Pagano and Mike Zimmer are involved, you know the defense will be aggressive and nasty. 2020 NFL Team Defense Statistics. The Rams have Aaron Donald, who is again causing raging headaches for opposing offenses along the interior, but Los Angeles' best all-around position group is the secondary. The 49ers, Steelers, Patriots, Bears, Ravens -- yeah, you were expecting those teams to be in the upper tier. New England started two tiers lower but I just couldn’t do it. Dallas is the team in this tier I’m most optimistic on. Yardage totals don't help Miami's case, but Brian Flores' bunch is effective in a few key defensive areas. The Chiefs won the 2020 Super Bowl, but not before their defense repeatedly dug huge holes, and not without the help of a Baltimore upset. NFL Team Total Offense Stats 2020 TE. At least the Giants have a stout interior line. Here's another team achieving at a top-seven-or-better rate in key categories. 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