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I will be going over the top defenses in the NFL looking ahead to Week 5. I rank them based on whether the team has conquered opponents up to this point and whether this week’s matchup is very favorable. For instance, the Patriots have completely dominated everyone they have played this year. They find themselves high on the list. Whoever plays the Dolphins will likely find themselves somewhere except they have a bye this week. Here is the list of the top 10 defenses for Week 5.
1. New England Patriots
Opponent: Washington Redskins
The Patriots finally allowed their first touchdown against their defense last week, but still, it was only one. The Patriots have looked unbeatable defensively this year and belong in no other spot than first on every defensive rankings list. This week should be no different against a Redskins team that is still figuring out their offense after four weeks. They tried using Dwayne Haskins but that miserably failed last week. They still don’t know who to start between Case Keenum, Dwayne Haskins, and Colt McCoy. The Patriots will have an easy time this week.
2. Philadephia Eagles
Opponent: New York Jets
The Eagles haven’t been special on defense this year, but the Jets have looked miserable on offense. Sam Darnold is set to come back but if not, they are stuck again with Luke Falk who has yet to lead a touchdown drive. Le’Veon Bell has been the producer of any sort of offense without Darnold. The Eagles rank 4th in rushing yards against this year which should slow them down. They just have to find out how to guard him out of the backfield in passing situations, but they have the ability to figure that out and shut the Jets down.
3. Los Angeles Chargers
Opponent: Denver Broncos
The Chargers had a big game defensively last week against the Dolphins and look to carry that momentum forward into this week against the Broncos. Last week marked the first time the Broncos scored above 16 points. They just have had a tough time scoring which is good for the Chargers. Joe Flacco has begun to throw more in the Broncos’ offense which falls more into the Chargers’ schema. They are a better pass defense than run defense based on yards allowed, so they should find success this week.
4. Carolina Panthers
Opponent: Jacksonville Jaguars
The Panthers were able to shut down Deshaun Watson and the Texans last week which is no easy task. They sacked him 6 times and picked him up once all while holding the Texans to 10 total points. They will carry this momentum against a much worse offense in the Jaguars who are still being led by Gardner Minshew. Leonard Fournette has yet to actually break out this year and probably won’t against this defense. The Panthers have the best pass defense in the league, so that is likely who it will come down to.
5. Tennessee Titans
Opponent: Buffalo Bills
The Titans have surprisingly been one of the most lockdown defenses in the league. They have yet to allow more than 20 points against them, and I see them continuing that streak after Week 5 is over. The Bills are a good team but it is run mostly from their own defense. Their offense hasn’t looked incredible and hasn’t scored a ton of points despite their 3-1 record. Their running game is still up in the air with Devin Singletary or Frank Gore, so if they can shut down Josh Allen, they will be just fine.
6. Chicago Bears
Opponent: Oakland Raiders
The Bears’ defense has looked absolutely incredible every week. They haven’t given up more than 15 in a game this year and the Raiders aren’t adding anything different to the story. The Raiders showed a glimpse of what their offense can look like, but that was against the Colts. The Bears are a much different team that won’t be allowing a player like Trevor Davis to run for 74 yards on two carries and Derek Carr isn’t going to be able to get anything going either. The Bears are set up to embarrass the Raiders this week.
7. Buffalo Bills
Opponent: Tennessee Titans
The Bills have been able to carry the team to a 3-1 record so far with that only loss coming to the Patriots who have looked unbeatable. They haven’t allowed more than 17 points this season and have 8 turnovers on the season which is tied for 4th most. Marcus Mariota and the Titans had allowed the most sacks previously to last week where the Titans dominated, but it is almost impossible for them to replicate that performance again, especially against a defense like the Bills. The Bills will be able to handle the Titans with ease with their pass rush.
8. Arizona Cardinals
Opponent: Cincinnati Bengals
The Cardinals defense is not very good but this matchup is a hard one to pass up. The Bengals scored 20 points in Week 1 but have declined every week since. Last week, they only scored 3 total points against the Steelers who don’t present a very good defense. Andy Dalton has been sacked the most times out of every quarterback as of this week with 20. That is 5 on average which is a solid amount of points for the defense. The Cardinals have a great opportunity in front of them, but we will see how they respond to that.
9. San Francisco 49ers
Opponent: Cleveland Browns
The 49ers are coming off of their bye week and should be well-rested and prepared for Week 5 against the Browns. Nick Chubb is coming off a monster game for the Browns which isn’t a good sign for the 49ers, but they have one of the top run defenses in the league. They have averaged just 75 yards per game which is the 5th best and are the only team who hasn’t allowed a rushing touchdown. They have 2 defensive touchdowns on the season and are looking to add to that and be a big problem for the Browns’ offense.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers
Opponent: Baltimore Ravens
The Steelers make the bottom of this list because of their performance last week against the Bengals. They first allowed only 3 points but also had 2 turnovers and 8 total sacks. Before that game, they generated 5 turnovers against the 49ers. Their 9 total turnovers ranks tied for 2nd among defenses. The Ravens have a strong offense led by Lamar Jackson but this divisional game at home should give the Steelers a big boost defensively as Jackson will have to deal with the loud noise of Heinz Stadium.
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