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Team Defense Rankings: Week 9
John Tuvey
October 31, 2012
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Rank Team Opponent Comments
TIER 1
1 Bears at Titans Fitting that the town which gave us Michael Jordan sports a team with 23 sacks and 23 turnovers. Not sure how the six return touchdowns fit into the mix, though.
2 Falcons vs. Cowboys Does Tony Romo have another four-pick game in his bag of tricks?
3 Texans vs. Bills Ryan Pickspatrick has contributed to 17 Buffalo turnovers. And if you get points for passes batted down, J.J. Watt is your dude.
4 Chargers vs. Chiefs No team has turned the ball over more than the Chiefs. And turnovers have a way of leading to defensive points.
5 Packers vs. Cardinals Green Bay leads the league with 26 sacks; the Cards have given up a league-high 38 sacks. If you're John Skelton, this is not going to end well.
TIER 2
6 Redskins vs. Panthers Still not sure how the Skins have scored four defensive touchdowns despite losing key defensive personnel early in the season, but it's working for them.
7 Broncos at Bengals It's no coincidence that Peyton Manning always seems to find himself on teams with good pass rushes. As opposed to facing teams with good pass rushes, I suppose.
8 Titans vs. Bears The Bears have allowed 25 sacks already this season. No wonder Jay Cutler is so grumpy.
9 Saints vs. Eagles Philly has turned the ball over 17 times, and some think the solution is turning the keys over to a rookie quarterback?
10 Jaguars vs. Lions Detroit has allowed more return touchdowns than any other team. Do the Jags have the personnel to capitalize?
11 Ravens at Browns No Ray, no Ladarius... but Terrell Suggs is back and Ed Reed is still around. That's more than enough to generate defensive fantasy points.
12 Giants vs. Steelers The Giants have forced four times as many turnovers (24) as the Steelers have allowed (6). Something's gotta give.
TIER 3
13 Panthers at Redskins Carolina has quietly carved out a reasonably effective fantasy defense, with 20 sacks, 10 turnovers, and a couple return TDs.
14 Browns vs. Ravens The Browns get after the quarterback, and Joe Flacco has had his struggles on the road.
15 Vikings at Seahawks Don't make Jared Allen angry; you would not like him when he's angry.
16 Cardinals at Packers It's not quite as disparate as the other side of the ball, but Arizona has 26 sacks and the Pack has given up 28. What's the NFL record for most sacks in a game, both teams? It may be in jeopardy.
17 Chiefs at Chargers Ryan Mathews keeps putting the ball on the ground, and he's not alone: the Bolts have turned the ball over 15 times in seven games.
TIER 4
18 Dolphins at Colts Cameron Wake, meet Andrew Luck. Lather, rinse, repeat.
19 Bengals vs. Broncos Only two teams have more sacks than the Bengals, but Peyton Manning is pretty good at getting rid of the ball quickly.
20 Buccaneers at Raiders The Raiders have taken surprisingly good care of the ball, but only two teams have more picks than Tampa Bay's Ronde Barber-led secondary.
21 Steelers at Giants The Giants have allowed just seven sacks thus far this year, and the Steelers don't get after the passer like they used to.
22 Bills at Texans Mario Williams returns home to face a Texans team that's allowed only eight sacks and turned the ball over just six times. Maybe they should have taken Reggie Bush after all.
23 Seahawks vs. Vikings From time to time Christian Ponder has made some head-scratching decisions. Having the Twelfth Man roaring in his head won't help.
24 Lions at Jaguars Detroit has battled a bunch of injuries on the defensive side of the ball, but they should muster up enough manpower to rattle Blaine Gabbert.
25 Raiders vs. Buccaneers The Bucs are among the most stingy offenses in giving up sacks and turning the ball over, while the Raiders are among the league's worst at making that aforementioned stuff happen. And that's why they're down in this portion of the rankings.
26 Eagles at Saints Philly has just nine sacks (only one team has fewer), one fumble recovery (no team has less), and eight takeaways (only three teams have fewer). Clearly it's all Michael Vick's fault.
27 Cowboys at Falcons The Cowboys have just three picks, second-fewest in the league. You'd think facing Tony Romo in practice they'd be better at that sort of thing.
28 Colts vs. Dolphins Miami has turned the ball over just three times. Not too shabby for a rookie quarterback.
29 49ers BYE BYE
30 Jets BYE BYE
31 Patriots BYE BYE
32 Rams BYE BYE


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