Team Defense Rankings: Week 13
John Tuvey
November 28, 2012
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Rank Team Opponent Comments
1 Bears vs. Seahawks The Bears are top-five in sacks, picks, fumble recoveries and defensive touchdowns and face a rookie quarterback at home. 'Nuff said.
2 Jets vs. Cardinals If there's one thing the Jets can still do, it's confuse an overmatched quarterback behind a decrepit offensive line. And look who's on the schedule!
3 Panthers at Chiefs The Chiefs have givcn the ball away a whopping 32 times. Even an average defense should be able to do something with that many opportunities; consider Carolina this week's Cedric Benson of defenses.
4 Patriots at Dolphins You wouldn't necessarily consider the Patriots an elite defense, but with 32 takeaways and seven return touchdowns they are most definitely opportunistic.
5 Ravens vs. Steelers Take your pick: the Ravens will be gunning for a banged-up Ben Roethlisberger or an ancient Charlie Batch. Either works.
6 Cardinals at Jets Between the Arizona and New York defenses, not to mention the substandard quarterback play on either side of the ball, would it surprise anyone if half the points in this game were generated by the defense?
7 Cowboys vs. Eagles The Cowboys defense has been underachieving all year; here's their opportunity for a make-good.
8 Broncos vs. Buccaneers Denver's defense is formidable, but the Bucs take good care of both the quarterback and the football. Something's gotta give.
9 Chargers vs. Bengals Despite failing to post elite numbers in sacks or takeaways, the Bolts have generated five defensive touchdowns. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.
10 Texans at Titans If your league gets points for deflected passes, J.J. Watt single-mittedly elevates Houston five spots.
11 49ers at Rams After a relatively quiet season the Niners produced a couple return scores against Drew Brees of all people last week. Turning the trick on Sam Bradford shouldn't be nearly as difficult.
12 Browns at Raiders Cleveland's nose for the football has served them well; they're used to having to make up for a struggling offense.
13 Bengals at Chargers The Bengals rank second with 35 sacks, which should lead to copious camera shots of the Philip Rivers face this weekend.
14 Bills vs. Jaguars Raise your hand if you ever thought the phrase "Chad Henne upgrades this team" would come out of your mouth.
15 Giants at Redskins Big Blue didn't do a particularly stellar job of containing RG3 last time around; let's see what they dial up for the rematch.
16 Seahawks at Bears Chicago's much-maligned offensive line did a number on the Vikings last week. Can they do the same against Seattle? And can Jay Cutler be the good Jay Cutler for a second straight week?
17 Packers vs. Vikings Green Bay is down key personnel, but a Vikings offense that lacks any semblance of a passing game won't present much of a challenge. The downside is that fewer passes present fewer opportunities for sacks and picks.
18 Redskins vs. Giants It's a race to see if the Giants' line can give up fewer sacks than Eli throws picks. Right now Eli is up by three, but the Skins are tied for fifth in INTs so this is an opportunity to close that gap.
19 Buccaneers at Broncos The Bucs are near the bottom in sacks; the Broncs are near the top in fewest sacks allowed. Give Peyton Manning that much time and he's not going to throw picks.
20 Saints at Falcons Matty Ice--sorry, Rich; the Matural--has demonstrated a penchant for picks of late. Problem is, the Saints have generated a meager 16 takeaways thus far this season.
21 Rams vs. 49ers Jeff Fisher will certainly throw some wrinkles at Colin Kaepernick, but after surviving the Bears and a trip to the Superdome the Niners have to be confident he'll hold up under pressure.
22 Falcons vs. Saints It's not that Drew Brees doesn't throw picks (see last week); it's just that an Atlanta defense that doesn't get after the quarterback or turn the ball over particularly well isn't a good bet to be the team that goads him into picks.
23 Lions vs. Colts Detroit is one of only four teams yet to generate a defensive or kick return touchdown. That's a kick in the store. What, too soon?
24 Vikings at Packers Well, Minnesota whiffed badly against an awful offensive line last week in Chicago; can they rebound against an awful offensive line this week in Green Bay?
25 Colts at Lions Indy's vaunted edge rushers have helped generate a league-low seven takeaways. Makes it tough to score defensive points that way.
26 Chiefs vs. Panthers KC has generated a pathetic 11 takeaways and 19 sacks. And since the ball rarely leaves Cam Newton's hands, this isn't a good week for those numbers to tick upwards.
27 Jaguars at Bills If the Jags were doing anything encouraging on the defensive side of the ball they'd be an intriguing play against Ryan Pickspatrick. But 13 sacks, 16 takeaway, zero defensive touchdowns... just nothing to see here.
28 Steelers at Ravens The Steel Curtain is shredding this season, with a mere 10 takeaways. That's less than one a game. That's awful.
29 Titans vs. Texans Houston doesn't fumble, doesn't allow sacks, rarely throws INTs, and has yet to allow a defensive touchdown. On the bright side, they've given up a couple kick return scores and the Titans have some wrinkles in that area.
30 Eagles at Cowboys No stat is more telling of how the wheels are falling off in Philly than the -17 turnover differential.
31 Raiders vs. Browns The Raiders are last in the league in sacks, bottom five in turnovers generated, and have yet to score a defensive touchdown, so it doesn't really matter if it's Brandon Weeden or Colt McCoy.
32 Dolphins vs. Patriots Tom Brady has thrown three interceptions this year. Three. That's a quarter of work for Peyton Manning or Matt Ryan. No team takes better care of the football, making it extremely difficult for the Dolphins to generate defensive fantasy points.

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