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Team Defense Rankings: Week 16
John Tuvey
December 19, 2012
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Rank Team Opponent Comments
TIER 1
1 Bears at Cardinals Arizona has given up five return touchdowns in the past five games. And last we checked, the Bears were pretty good at, you know, defensive returns.
2 Packers vs. Titans The Packers are slowly returning pieces to the puzzle--as if they needed reinforcements against Jake Locker.
3 Chargers at Jets Greg McElroy in his first NFL start might actually be the safest option for the turnover-prone Jets.
4 Broncos vs. Browns Few teams get after the quaterback like the Broncos; that's bound to set up some scoring opportunities against Brandon Weeden.
5 Patriots at Jaguars Jacksonville's offense threatens no one, and as an added bonus the Patriots have five return touchdowns over the past five games.
6 Falcons at Lions The Lions have served up a dozen turnovers and four return touchdowns over the past five games alone.
TIER 2
7 Seahawks vs. 49ers Colin Kaepernick handled the Patriots in New England, so the 12th Man shouldn't frighten him. Shouldn't, but it might.
8 Bengals at Steelers No team has turned the ball over more the past five weeks than the Steelers, so maybe this time Andy Dalton gets some help from his defense.
9 Redskins at Eagles Nick Foles can be rattled; the question is, do the Redskins have the personnel to do some rattling?
10 Jets vs. Chargers This defense can still make plays, and hosting Philip Rivers and a decimated San Diego offense might just allow them to showcase that ability.
11 49ers at Seahawks The Niners still sport a talented defense, but a difficult venue and an efficient quarterback make generating defensive fantasy points difficult.
12 Saints at Cowboys After being a laughing stock the first half of the season the Saints are turning the tables of late. And if they catch Tony Romo being... well, the Tony Romo he can be from time to time, look out.
13 Cardinals vs. Bears Arizona's defense might be... scratch that, is their most potent scoring threat.
14 Cowboys vs. Saints The Cowboys can still get after the passer, and Drew Brees has been quite un-Brees-like this year.
15 Rams at Buccaneers After watching Josh Freeman implode last week, you have to believe the Rams have a shot at making things happen here.
16 Browns at Broncos Cleveland's defense has been getting after it the past few games, but it's something else entirely to get after Peyton Manning.
TIER 3
17 Bills at Dolphins There are enough playmakers in the Buffalo secondary to make this interesting for Ryan Tannehill and company.
18 Titans at Packers The Titans should get plenty of opportunities to test their kickoff return skills.
19 Ravens vs. Giants Eli Manning can be prone to mistakes, but a line that's given up the fewest sacks in the league is doing its best to prevent them.
20 Texans vs. Vikings When you only throw the ball once or twice a game, the opportunities for sacks and picks and such are limited.
21 Panthers vs. Raiders If only Carolina's defense generated more in the way of takeaways, you know the Raiders would be willing participants.
22 Giants at Ravens The Giants have just seven sacks in the past five games, and if that pass rush isn't getting home the back end will spring leaks.
23 Dolphins vs. Bills Miami has generated just one turnover in the past five games; maybe Ryan Pickspatrick is the cure for those ills?
24 Vikings at Texans The Vikings defense has come alive of late, but facing the efficient Texans in Houston isn't an easy task.
25 Colts at Chiefs Indy hasn't quite adjusted to the new defensive scheme, at least not to the point of generating defensive fantasy points like they used to.
26 Steelers vs. Bengals Take Troy Polamalu and James Harrison out of the Steel Curtain and it loses a whole lot of its bite.
TIER 4
27 Buccaneers vs. Rams Tampa Bay's gutted secondary is an easy mark, and not particularly adept at turning things the other direction.
28 Chiefs vs. Colts Andrew Luck may be throwing a ton of picks, but the Chiefs are unlikely to know what to do with them.
29 Eagles vs. Redskins This game should mark the return of RG3, who has taken surprisingly good care of the football this season.
30 Lions vs. Falcons For having so much talent up front, this unit isn't doing a whole lot in the way of disrupting opposing offenses.
31 Jaguars vs. Patriots The Jags are ill equipped to rattle the efficient Tom Brady.
32 Raiders at Panthers Last week's shutout might be the only defensive fantasy points you'll get out of the Oakland D.


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