NFL Team Rankings

Get updated NFL defense rankings for the 2022 season. See how each team defense ranks against the rest and see updated stats and rankings throughout the year. Whether you are using the NFL team defense rankings for NFL player props, betting, fantasy, or just your own personal knowledge, we have you covered. Find the most recent updates each day after a game has been played. You can toggle between defensive stats or the team rank.

Get updated NFL defense rankings for the 2022 season. See how each team defense ranks against the rest and see updated stats and rankings throughout the year. Whether you are using the NFL team defense rankings for NFL player props, betting, fantasy, or just your own personal knowledge, we have you covered. Find the most recent updates each day after a game has been played. You can toggle between defensive stats or the team rank.

Team Team Defense Allowed
Team Name PTS FPTS SACKS INT TO PTS PLAYS YDS PASS YDS PASS ATT PASS COMP PASS TD RUSH YDS RUSH ATT RUSH TD TD RZ ATT RZ TD RZ TD% 1D 3D% 4D%
Team
1
9
44
1
1
Defense Allowed
16
60
300
222
34
22
1
77
22
11
1
2
1
56.8
17
39
40
Team
10
8
40
1
1
Defense Allowed
17
62
319
214
35
22
1
104
24
10
2
3
1
44.9
19
37.5
57.6
Team
0
7
48
14
1
Defense Allowed
18
61
324
232
34
23
1
92
23
11
1
3
1
46.4
19
34.9
62.5
Team
4
6
45
12
16
Defense Allowed
18
64
311
189
32
20
15
121
28
14
1
2
1
47.8
18
38.1
42.3
Team
6
6
1
13
1
Defense Allowed
20
62
335
229
34
20
1
106
25
13
2
3
1
52
18
39.6
39.1
Team
1
9
54
16
1
Defense Allowed
20
64
330
200
32
20
1
129
29
9
2
2
1
52
19
37.7
54.5
Team
1
6
43
9
1
Defense Allowed
20
58
304
191
30
18
1
113
25
10
2
3
1
51.9
16
31.9
48
Team
12
8
70
1
1
Defense Allowed
20
63
301
179
32
20
1
121
26
15
2
3
1
52.7
19
38.6
62.5
Team
6
6
48
7
14
Defense Allowed
20
63
314
184
31
18
1
130
28
15
2
2
1
50
18
41.6
42.1
Team
6
5
40
1
1
Defense Allowed
20
60
330
222
31
19
1
108
26
7
2
2
1
55.3
18
39.4
61.9
Team
2
10
54
1
1
Defense Allowed
20
64
322
216
35
21
1
105
25
7
2
2
1
58
18
40.2
37
Team
1
8
1
14
1
Defense Allowed
20
65
353
238
35
22
1
114
27
14
2
3
1
59.6
20
43.2
32.3
Team
6
6
45
10
1
Defense Allowed
21
63
324
203
33
21
1
120
26
12
2
2
1
62.5
18
36.9
58.3
Team
2
5
1
15
1
Defense Allowed
21
63
320
210
35
23
1
109
25
12
2
2
1
51.1
19
34.1
64.3
Team
6
6
1
14
1
Defense Allowed
21
64
351
274
39
25
1
76
22
10
2
2
1
55.1
19
34.2
73.1
Team
14
7
55
11
1
Defense Allowed
21
64
328
220
36
24
1
107
24
10
2
3
2
67.3
19
38.3
57.1
Team
14
6
1
1
1
Defense Allowed
21
58
336
197
28
18
1
139
28
1
2
3
1
53.7
18
37.6
57.9
Team
12
6
41
6
1
Defense Allowed
21
63
358
214
33
20
1
144
27
16
2
3
1
49.2
21
35.1
64.7
Team
1
6
1
10
1
Defense Allowed
22
64
350
227
34
22
1
122
28
1
2
3
1
56.1
20
41.1
44.4
Team
1
5
1
11
1
Defense Allowed
22
61
331
196
30
18
1
135
28
1
2
3
1
55.2
19
39.5
44.4
Team
8
5
40
14
1
Defense Allowed
22
58
346
200
29
18
1
145
26
1
2
2
1
53.2
18
39.2
40
Team
6
6
1
16
1
Defense Allowed
22
61
341
226
32
22
1
115
26
12
2
3
1
44.4
19
40.4
65
Team
14
4
1
10
1
Defense Allowed
22
63
362
231
33
21
1
130
29
15
2
3
1
55
20
45.9
41.2
Team
14
5
40
8
14
Defense Allowed
23
63
337
234
36
24
1
103
24
15
2
3
2
59.3
19
41.6
48.4
Team
6
6
45
14
1
Defense Allowed
23
65
361
211
32
20
1
150
30
1
2
3
1
59.6
20
42.3
39.3
Team
1
4
1
6
13
Defense Allowed
24
63
365
242
34
23
1
122
27
1
2
3
2
66
21
41.7
55
Team
8
6
1
16
1
Defense Allowed
24
66
379
209
30
19
15
170
33
1
2
3
1
56.4
21
38.9
61.9
Team
8
5
1
12
1
Defense Allowed
25
63
392
245
32
20
1
146
28
1
3
3
2
63.8
22
45.1
55.6
Team
12
6
44
10
1
Defense Allowed
25
64
334
209
31
21
1
124
30
1
2
3
2
67.9
20
37.9
52
Team
6
5
1
15
1
Defense Allowed
25
65
388
265
36
24
1
123
27
1
2
2
1
57.1
21
38.1
37.9
Team
1
5
1
11
1
Defense Allowed
26
63
348
230
34
24
1
118
26
1
3
3
2
65.2
21
42.9
50
Team
0
3
1
14
1
Defense Allowed
27
61
375
218
28
19
1
157
31
1
3
3
2
64.5
21
49
40

2022 Best Defensive Teams

San Francisco 49ers

  • The 49ers have the best defense in the NFL with only 300.6 total yards allowed per game.
  • On defense, San Francisco has been a top-five unit, ranking best by giving up only 16.3 points per game.
  • On defense, the 49ers rank 20th in the NFL, giving up 222.9 passing yards per game.
  • San Francisco ranks second-best in the NFL with 77.7 rushing yards surrendered per game.
  • The 49ers rank 16th in the NFL in third-down percentage allowed (39%) on defense this season.
  • San Francisco has the third-best defense in the NFL in terms of yards per play allowed (5).
  • The 49ers own the best turnover margin in the NFL at +13, forcing 30 turnovers (second in NFL) while turning it over 17 times (third in NFL).

Philadelphia Eagles

  • The Eagles' defense has been paving the way for the team, as they rank second-best in the NFL with 301.4 total yards ceded per game.
  • Philadelphia ranks seventh in the NFL with 20.2 points allowed per contest on the defensive side of the ball.
  • The Eagles have been thriving on pass defense, allowing only 179.6 passing yards per game (best).
  • From a defensive angle, Philadelphia ranks 17th in the NFL with 121.7 rushing yards given up per game.
  • The Eagles rank 14th with a 38.6% third-down percentage allowed on the defensive side of the ball.
  • In terms of yards per play, Philadelphia's defense has been leading the charge for the team, as it ranks best in the NFL with 4.8 yards ceded per play.
  • The Eagles sport a top-five turnover margin this season, ranking third-best at +8.

NFL Team Passing Defense Leaders

  • Pass Attempts: Green Bay Packers - 478 attempts
  • Pass Completions: Washington Commanders - 308 completions
  • Pass Touchdowns: New York Jets - 15 TDs
  • Pass Yards: Kansas City Chiefs - 3054 yards
  • Yards Per Attempt: Philadelphia Eagles - 5.5 yards per attempt
  • Yards Per Completion: Philadelphia Eagles - 8.7 yards

NFL Team Rushing Defense Leaders

  • Rushing Attempts: San Francisco 49ers - 389 attempts
  • Rushing Touchdowns: Pittsburgh Steelers - 7 TDs
  • Rushing Yards: Tennessee Titans - 1307 yards
  • Yards Per Attempt: 49ers - 3.4 yards per attempt

What Stats Translate To A Good Defense?

We can obviously sort by points allowed and see what defenses are doing the best job at keeping opposing offenses out of the end zone. This can give us a good look at an overall defense, but let’s take it one step further and see the underlying defensive numbers that make it all up. Now a team can be a great run defense, but struggle against the pass. When we see a team dominate in points allowed, we often will see them at least top ten against the run and the pass. This is where we see complete domination, where an offense does not have any sort of advantage against you. Often we see teams potentially struggle against the run, and that shows their weakness where a defense can run on you and that also can open up the pass. On the flip side a defense could be good against the pass, and you can become more vulnerable against the run.

Getting off the field of a defense is important for a few reasons. For one it keeps you fresh. A defense consistently on the field is going to break down throughout the game, and we have seen offenses take advantage of fatigued defenses. A more obvious reason is that it gives the ball back for their offense. Defenses that force a lot of three and outs is a big piece of the pie for how good a team can be. There is a lot of correlation with teams that excel in getting off at third downs. Turnovers are not as heavily correlated with allowing points. Yards allowed and efficiency stats like pass completions and yards per carry are going to be correlated with points and being a strong defense. On occasion you will see a team play a bend and don’t break style of defense where they actually do allow a hefty amount of yards, but really shut things down in the red zone.

How To Read Defensive Team Rankings

Each column is broken down by defensive stats, and where each teams ranks within the league. You can flip through the AFC and the NFC to see where defenses rank within their own conference. If you see a team with the same number as another, that is because they are tied within that statistic. Starting from left to right, we look at the more important stats that can tie everything together. With points and yards allowed being the big indicator of a defense, you can see who dominates these areas, but also who struggles. Fantasy points are also a big part of the NFL game. Those who are curious to see who is ranking tops in fantasy points, it is shown here.

When looking at a pass defense and how they are doing, grouped together is pass yards against, pass attempts against, pass completions, and pass touchdowns against. You can also measure how much volume a defense is seeing through the air. The same stats can apply for rushing numbers against a defense. Red zone numbers and the ability to stop teams on third and fourth down are also shown. These are important stats for seeing how a defense operates. Defenses generally are no good if they can’t slow down offenses on third down, and the same goes for red zone numbers. Turnovers and sacks are also important stats to see what defenses are producing.

It's lso important to evaluate the context of a team's schedule when looking at their rankings. While some defenses may look like world beaters on paper, there is a chance they've been a benefactor of some adverse weather conditions that hinder offenses. This is notoriously true about the AFC East, a division with four outdoor stadiums. The Patriots and Bills — located in Orchard Park, NY and Foxborough, Massachusetts , respectively — are two prime examples of this phenomenon.

Sportsbooks and vegas odds also serve as a good gauge for the wholistic view of a defense going into any given game. Sportsbooks have access to data on everything from defensive line speed to weather conditions and more, and they use these data points as inputs for a simulation. Their models then crank out a prediction based on the simulation and that becomes the Vegas line. DraftKings Massachusetts and FanDuel Massachusetts, two of the biggest sportsbooks in the most recent state to legalize, are two great examples .

How An Offense Can Hurt A Defense

Sometimes a defense is going to have things stacked against them, such as a poor offense on their own side. A high turnover offense is going to put your team in bad situations, which could be simply field position. An offense that gives the opposing offense a ball at the 50 yard or even in their own territory is going to automatically put your defense in a bad spot. Offenses that turn the ball over or are continuously going three and out put their defense on the field more than they should be on. This is where fatigue sets in and playing a massive amount of snaps in a game is going to cause late game struggles as well as a strong defense against the run.

Even an offense that puts up plenty of points can make a defense look worse than what they are. Offenses that jump out to leads and put up big numbers force teams to throw the ball. Because moving the ball through the air is highly correlated with scoring at higher levels, you can see more points because of this. The loaded Chiefs offense has a good defense as well, but they might allow more points because they are on the field more due to the efficiency and volume of points that their offense is putting up.

Are Red Zone Stats Important For A Defense?

When looking at it from the offensive side, we know red zone stats are very important. We want teams to score when they are that close to the end zone. On the defensive side, it is very much the same. There is not much more deflating than moving a drive down to only kick a field goal, or worse, come away with no points. When looking at the red zone stats, we will start with volume. How many times are defenses allowing teams to get into the red zone. We saw this a few years back with the Patriots, who allowed a lot red zone trips to opposing offenses, but they also did not allow a ton of points. That is because their red zone defense was one of the best in the league. The Chiefs were like this in 2019, where they were in the bottom third of the league in volume for opposing offenses, but they ranked 9th in red zone touchdown percentage.

Red zone touchdown percentage is the amount of times an offense comes away with a touchdown after entering the red zone. Scoring inside the 20 is tough, because the field shrinks quite a bit, and there isn’t a lot of room for passing routes. You can plug more up on the defensive side and make it tougher on an offense. Being able to come away with stops is a big momentum killer for an opposing offense and to state the obvious the defense is going to want to limit points anyway.

Using Defensive Rankings For Fantasy

If you are looking at matchups for your fantasy team, you might want to see how opposing defenses are doing. Looking at the matchup for your running back, is that defense allowing a lot of yards or touchdowns is a common question asked. You might want to look at volume as well. Teams that are allowing a lot of rushing attempts against their defense will help you project volume, which is a higher weight for bigger fantasy production. Teams that are allowing a lot of rushing attempts could simply just have a bad run defense where opposing teams just decide to pound the rock, or they are constantly losing games. Teams will turn to the run if they are ahead by a wide margin. There is no surprise to see some of the teams that are allowing a lot of rushing attempts are also some of the worst teams in the league. With rushing attempts is going to come production. The correlation of touchdowns and yards will be lined up with the amount of attempts given up.

Looking at the passing game numbers, you can actually find a lot of good defenses giving up a lot of volume in the pass game. This can be because they have a very good run defense, or this could be because they are often playing ahead and that forces teams to throw more. If you look and see what teams are allowing more pass attempts against them, it shouldn’t be surprising to see teams that have strong offenses and winning records. Sometimes teams can negate this by controlling games with their offense where they milk long drives to take minutes off the clock. Defenses that struggle to get to the quarterback can make things easier on a pass offense as well. If you are looking at matchups and see a quarterback struggles in a not so clean pocket, he might have some issues that week if he is facing a good pass rush.

The red zone stats can tell about a number of things. One is that they are either allowing a lot of offenses into the red zone, or they aren’t. Of course we want to face those defenses that allow a lot of red zone opportunity, because the production will follow. We can then turn to the efficiency side of things, where we then can zoom in on teams that allow a lot of touchdowns, and that is where we see the red zone touchdown percentage. If they allow a lot of attempts and a lot of touchdowns, boom we are in business. You can also take it further and see what defenses allow the most third down conversions and the most first downs. But you are likely just going to see that those teams allow the most points anyway.

Variance In Defensive Rankings From Year To Year

We talk a lot of about high variance when it comes to sports, but we don’t often talk about why things are so consistent. If you are flipping through the years and wondering why the top defenses stay the top defenses, there are quite a few reasons. For one, defensive turnover as far as player personnel goes is pretty low. And if a team loses a player or two, the wise teams will make it a priority to fill those needs. Maintaining a strong defensive roster is important to keeping up team success. We have seen teams focus on this aspect of their team and continuously make sure to address those needs. Overall we see those strong defensive teams remain competitive at the least, but often are playoff contending teams.

Coaching is also a big part of how defenses perform year in and year out. We don’t see a lot of movement. Of course talent is always going to play a big priority, but even when the talent isn’t all the way there, coaching can help keep a defense from falling off. The Patriots have been one of the best defensive teams over the last two decades. They also view most players dispensable, because the turnover rate for the Patriots is higher than other teams. We have seen them ship players off, and they won’t resign players most of the time either. They know what they want for the puzzle they are building, and it gets put together each season.

Now on the flip side of all this, what happens when there is a major fall off, or a continuous slip from year to year. There are a few reasons for why this occurs. The Seahawks had one of the best defenses during the Legion of Boom days, but they have failed to get even close to those defensive numbers ever since. Failing to resign certain players was a big part of that, as a GM is going to be in charge of keeping those guys together. Of course you can’t keep all of them, which makes money management and drafting even more important to keep a defense up to par. Drafting strong defensive players continues to be one of the better ways to keep an already strong defense going.

Some teams have simply just prioritized offense over defense, and have failed to address those needs on the defensive side. Teams that continuously pay their offensive players big money, especially the skill positions are going to have limited funds to pay other positions. Paying those big contracts in general can put a team in a bind. Injuries to a team will also limit a defense, especially if it is a shut down corner, or a big time edge rusher. We tend to see that variance more within the season. But as a whole, that year to year variance can be because of injury, or because of regression from the year before. If a team had some good luck on their hands, they might fall back down to earth a little bit. This can work both ways where a defense could have some bad luck, and the next season they get the results they deserve based on their production.

Nothing’s more important in the NFL than your defensive performance. Even if you have the most explosive offense in the NFL, a stifling front seven and shutdown secondary can beat you. So, when examining NFL game lines on newly opened sports books in legalized states – like on DraftKings Michigan or FanDuel Ohio – it’s imperative to keep a close eye on defensive rankings. Which is why us at Lineups.com dedicated this page specifically to ranking NFL defenses. For example: Ohio Sports Betting has been legalized, which means you can bet on the Browns top 5 rushing offense after January 1st with major mobile wagering platforms such as DraftKings Ohio, FanDuel Ohio, BetMGM Ohio, and Caesars Sportsbook Ohio. Either way, I’d take advantage of this information, and use lineups.com’s Caesars Promo Code “LINEUPSFULL” to receive a first bet up to $1,250 when you sign up.

NFL Defense Rankings FAQ

Who Has The Best Defense In The NFL 2022?

Through the course of the 2022-2023 regular season, the San Francisco 49ers finished with the best defense in football. That said, the 49ers defense was not able to hold up against a dominant Eagles offense in the NFC Championship game. Heading into Super Bowl 57, the question for fans will be which team between the Eagles and Chiefs matches up better with the other. Pressure and secondary metrics currently point towards the Eagles.

Who Has The Worst NFL Defense In 2022?

The Detroit Lions rank last in the NFL in points allowed, while the Seahawks rank last in yards allowed. Though much more context needs to be provided to truly answer the question of "who has the worst defense in the NFL," these two teams are certainly in the running.

What Defense Has The Best Secondary In 2022?

PFF metrics would suggest that the Broncos graded out as the league's best coverage unit in 2022-2023, while general box score stats such as passing yards, interceptions, and touchdowns suggest that the Philadelphia Eagles had the best secondary in over that span. As the Eagles get set for a Super Bowl 57 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs, the ability of this secondary to play at this same level will be paramount if they want to beat Patrick Mahomes and bring home a Vince Lombardi trophy.

What Defense Has The Best Pass Rush In 2022?

With a passing rushing corps of Haason Reddick, TJ Edwards, Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Brandon Graham, and Josh Sweat, the Philadelphia Eagles finished the 2022-23 season with the highest pressure generating grade of any team in the NFL. When it comes to stopping the run, it is the Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers with marquee players such as Arik Armstead, Nick Bosa, and Jeffery Simmon between them that allowed the fewest rushing yards. While the Titans failed to make the playoffs and the Niners lost in the NFC Championship, the Philadelphia Eagles look to bring a second Super Bowl in 5 years to the city of Brotherly love as they matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 57.

What Are The Best Fantasy Defenses in 2022?

So far the Steelers, Dolphins, and Bills lead the way in terms of fantasy points, though much of this is off the back of timely Week 1 turnovers.