Week 1 Rankings (2020): Top 15 Defenses

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by Ray Kuhn

Let’s go with what we think we know. After all that is all we have, right? We know what each team looked like when we left them last as well as what their expectations are for this season based on how the off-season went and what we have heard in training camp. So, as we go with that, let’s take a look at how our options rank for this week:

  1. Buffalo Bills – vs. NY Jets
  2. New England Patriots – vs. Miami
  3. Philadelphia Eagles – at Washington
  4. Los Angeles Chargers – at Cincinnati
  5. Baltimore Ravens – vs. Cleveland
  6. San Francisco 49ers – vs. Arizona
  7. Indianapolis Colts – at Jacksonville
  8. Detroit Lions – vs. Chicago
  9. Minnesota Vikings – vs. Green Bay
  10. Tennessee Titans – at Denver
  11. Chicago Bears – at Detroit
  12. Cincinnati Bengals – at LA Chargers
  13. Denver Broncos – vs. Tennessee
  14. Washington – vs. Philadelphia
  15. Pittsburgh Steelers – at NY Giants

Notes:

  • With 13 interceptions and 37 sacks last season, Baltimore once again showed the ability to make things happen on defense. That should continue this season. This week the Ravens take on the Browns, and their strengths line up well against Cleveland’s weaknesses as the pressure should wreak havoc on Baker Mayfield. With a new coaching staff in Cleveland, it also remains to be seen what their offense will look like.
  • Why not take a look at what the betting lines have to say, and target the lowest implied point total of the week. That brings us to Buffalo, as their opponent (the Jets) are expected to score just 17 points this week. With 23 turnovers generated last season, 14 interceptions and nine fumbles, the Bills can make plays and with 44 sacks, they also bring pressure to the quarterback. New York will likely struggle to generate much offense as Sam Darnold has to play behind an entirely brand new offensive line without much in the way of receiving threats.
  • Washington is not much more behind the Jets as they are expected to put up 19 points on Sunday, and that might be 10 points too much. While Dwayne Haskins showed some flashes last season, but he is still an inconsistent option and Washington is still searching for a running game. Philadelphia had success last season, and that will continue against Washington to begin the 2020 campaign.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 1 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses

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