Let’s take a look at how I rank the Top 15 defenses for the upcoming week:
- Pittsburgh Steelers – at New Orleans
- New York Jets – vs. Green Bay
- Dallas Cowboys – vs. Jacksonville
- Washington Redskins – at Detroit
- St. Louis Rams – vs. Carolina
- New England Patriots – vs. Minnesota
- Tennessee Titans – at San Diego
- Arizona Cardinals – vs. Tampa Bay
- Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Buffalo
- Oakland Raiders – vs. Seattle
- Green Bay Packers – at New York Jets
- Detroit Lions – vs. Washington
- Seattle Seahawks – at Oakland
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Arizona
- San Francisco 49ers – vs. Denver
- The Pittsburgh Steelers have allowed the fewest points in the league at 82 (13.7 points per game). They have forced 14 fumbles, intercepted nine passes and have 18 sacks. Across the board, they are among the strongest defenses in the game. Against the Saints, it would be easy to downgrade them, but the Saints are far from the offensive juggernaut we all expected prior to the season. They are in the middle of the pack, with 21.0 points per game. Consider Pittsburgh among the top defenses again this week.
- While Green Bay’s offense is high-powered, a healthy Darrelle Revis goes a long way in reestablishing the Jets among the elite defenses in the game. Pair Revis with Antonio Cromartie, and if they can get any pass rush it will be a long day for Aaron Rodgers. Look for them to blitz early and often and with all the injuries, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Packers stifled.
- While Matt Moore likely brings some new life to the Panthers offense, they still are not “high-powered”. The Rams defense is a solid play this week.
- The Patriots weakness defensively is against the pass. If Brett Favre was healthy, it would be a scary matchup. As it is, the Vikings offensive has been anemic, making New England a worthwhile option.
- The Redskins defense appears to be putting things together, slowly but surely. The Lions offense, however, is a real wild card, with Matthew Stafford returning to action. Still, after giving up a total of 54 points in the last four weeks against the Packers, Colts & Bears, you have to like Washington’s potential to produce this week.
What are your thoughts on these rankings? Who’s too high? Who’s too low?
Make sure to check out our Week 8 Rankings: