Top 15 Defenses For 2011

Let’s wrap up our initial preseason rankings this morning by checking out the top defenses for the coming year:

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers
  2. Green Bay Packers
  3. Philadelphia Eagles
  4. New York Jets
  5. New England Patriots
  6. Baltimore Ravens
  7. Chicago Bears
  8. San Diego Chargers
  9. New York Giants
  10. Detroit Lions
  11. Atlanta Falcons
  12. Dallas Cowboys
  13. New Orleans Saints
  14. Kansas City Chiefs
  15. San Francisco 49ers


  • Does the signing of Nnamdi Asomugha make the Eagles the premier defense in the league?  He improves a passing defense that was middle of the pack in 2010, allowing 3,469 yards.  I wouldn’t consider them the top option (you cannot take that away from a Steelers defense that allowed just 14.5 points per game last season), but I think they should be considered in the Top 3 heading into the year.
  • The team that falls out of the Top 3 is the New York Jets, though they have the potential to be the top option in the league by years end.  That, of course, is assuming they can find a way to get a consistent pass rush and Darrelle Revis can stay healthy.
  • The Detroit Lions in the Top 10?  Pairing Nick Farley (if healthy) with Ndamukong Suh in the middle of their defensive line is going to make it extremely difficult to run against them.  If that comes to fruition, they could be impressive.
  • Can Bill Bellicheck motivate Albert Haynseworth?  They were one of the strongest defenses in the league to begin with, and if he is a force they will be downright dangerous.

Make sure to check out all of the early rankings from Rotoprofessor:

Top 40 Wide Receivers For 2011: Updated as of August 14
Top 20 Tight Ends For 2011: Updated as of August 11


  1. Triz says:

    Hello again!

    So, we just did our draft. Based mostly on your rankings (until we got too deep), this is who I got:

    QB: Rivers (with Fitzpatrick on the bench)
    TE: Gates
    D/ST: Steelers
    K: Janikowski

    Pretty happy with these picks – your top 1 or 2!

    Not so sure about RB/WR (this year we are doing 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 RB/WR):

    RB: A Foster, Tolbert, Torain, Mathews, Helu

    WR: Calvin Johnson, Steve Johnson, Santonio Holmes, Pierre Garcon, Hines Ward, Jacoby Ford

    Not so sure about some of those … some of the guys were autodrafting and it was going fast! I am wondering if I should drop someone and try to pick up Zach Miller as a backup TE? He is surprisingly still available and I’m worrying a little about Gates’s foot. (The Cowboys D/ST is still available if you think I need backup there too).



    • Triz, it certainly isn’t a bad draft at all. My biggest concern would be in your RB, as after Foster you are loaded with two questionable situations. At least you handcuffed yourself in both instances, but you have to hope that one person steps up and is a usable option each and every week.

      I wouldn’t go crazy trying to stash the Cowboys defense, as you have one of the elite options in the league. What would you use them for, one week? It’s really not worth the roster spot.

      As for Miller, I could see grabbing him to give yourself a little bit protection for Gates (who has proven injury prone). For me, given your WR depth, I’d probably let either Ward or Ford go for him. Personally, it’s probably Ward, who the Steelers could try to phase out of the offense this season, though either or would be just fine.

      • Triz says:

        Yeah, I fear I probably selected Rivers and Gates too early, but I really wanted them and was all pleased and relieved to have gotten Foster and Calvin Johnson. But then all the other top WRs and RBs were gone!

        Well, Ford makes your list and poor old Hines doesn’t, so that’s what I’ll do.

        Thanks so much – you’re the best!

        • Triz says:

          Oh, I might need to ask you to tell my boyfriend I did the handcuffing all on my own. The guys are dubious. Don’t worry, I said only my good picks were from you.

          When does A start her recipes again?



  2. FlavaFlave says:

    Who would you say are the top 5 worst defenses in football? The teams you looked forward to playing against. Like the Texans and Lions from a few years back.

    • Part of the problem is that you never really know what’s going to happen in the NFL. Still, the Colts defense hasn’t looked good this preseason, and team’s like the Bengals, Browns and Bills have the potential to be bad. We’ll know pretty quickly who those “poor” defenses are, most likely.

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