Week 12 Defense Rankings

Written/Ranked by Daniel House

1. New York Jets vs. MIA
Thanksgiving is this Thursday and I’m already in the giving mood. I’m not the only one though– the Dolphins offense is too. Just three teams have recorded more takeaways (20) than the New York Jets defense. They’ve notched five turnovers over the last three games and have yet to allow over 25 points during that stretch. The Jets have been causing havoc among opposing offensive line’s. New York’s defense has accumulated a whopping 11 sacks over the last three games. Not to mention, the Dolphins have surrendered just one turnover in the last two contests, but the Jets have snagged multiple turnover performances in two of their last three matchups with Miami.

2. Seattle Seahawks vs. PIT
Over the last two games, Seattle has notched three takeaways, along with one defensive touchdown. Aside from their 39-point trashing against Arizona, in three of their last four contests, the Seahawks have allowed just 9.3 points per game. The Steelers have committed five turnovers over the last four contests and their offense has fizzled with injuries that impacted their flow. Pittsburgh’s offense has been unbalanced and it’s resulted in them taking more chances. What’s more, Seattle is a different defense at home and has notched multiple turnover performances in two of their last four matchups at CenturyLink field.

3. Arizona Cardinals @ SF
The Cardinals have tallied at least one takeaway in each of their last four games. The San Francisco offense has surrendered two giveaways over the last two contests, but have yet to score over 20 points in any of their last four matchups. More importantly, Arizona has accumulated the fifth-most turnovers (19) of any team. The 49ers offense is averaging just a shade over 200 yards per game over their last five contests and the changes among their personnel have inhibited any growth. Arizona’s defense has corralled the second-most interceptions (14) and this will be Blaine Gabbert’s biggest challenge thus far.

4. Green Bay Packers vs. CHI
How many Packers fans will still pregame hard at the Thanksgiving table? The answer is: all of them will. After being blanked the last three weeks, the Packers defense tallied six sacks and regained a defensive identity. Green Bay is a totally different squad when they can get after the passer. It helps their entire defense have more opportunities to make plays. The Packers have created at least one takeaway in every game this season and have surrendered 20 points or less in each of their last two contests. The Bears have committed two or more turnovers in two of their last three matchups. More importantly, the Packers have quietly accumulated the fifth-most sacks and second-most total defensive scores.

5. Carolina Panthers @ DAL
The Panthers defense has been as tasty as my world-famous stuffing recipe (No joke, I actually cook). No team has amassed more total takeaways (25) than the Carolina Panthers defense. They’ve accumulated a whopping 15 interceptions, along with ten fumble recoveries. The Panthers are averaging three takeaways per game in each of their last three contests. Not to mention, they’ve allowed over 25 points per game just twice. Tony Romo looked slightly uncomfortable in his return and took quite a few hits. The Panthers have corralled the third-most sacks and Romo threw two interceptions last week. Carolina has found ways to create turnovers and is an opportunistic bunch.

6. New England Patriots @ DEN
The Patriots have created at least one turnover in each of their last five contests. Not to mention, they’ve accumulated the second-most sacks (32) and are averaging almost three quarterback take downs per game. What’s more, the Broncos offensive line has surrendered ten sacks over the last two games. However, Brock Osweiler didn’t throw an interception last week and became the first Broncos quarterback that hadn’t committed a turnover this season. Nonetheless, the Patriots will try to rush him into mistakes by sending many disguises his way. New England has registered a respectable 14 takeaways this season and have allowed 15 points or less in three of their last four contests.

7. Cincinnati Bengals vs. STL
The Bengals have corralled the fifth-most interceptions (11), while accumulating the ninth-most total takeaways (15). Case Keenum (concussion) might not play and that means Nick Foles would be running the show for St. Louis. The Rams have committed a whopping six turnovers over the last two games and haven’t surpassed 20 points scored in each of their last three contests. What’s more, in two of their last four games, Cincinnati has notched two or more turnovers. The Rams have surrendered the seventh-most total giveaways and their offense has been regressing every week.

8. Kansas City Chiefs vs. BUF
The Chiefs have accumulated the second-most interceptions and their defense has made a recent surge. They’ve notched a gargantuan 12 interceptions over the last five games and their secondary has been very physical. More importantly, the Chiefs have allowed 16 points or less in each of their last four contests. It appears Tyrod Taylor’s shoulder injury isn’t serious, but if things change, E.J. Manuel would be serving turkey on a platter for the Chiefs defense. Andy Reid’s eyeballs just got awfully big. Buffalo has committed just one turnover over the last three matchups, but Kansas City has accumulated two or more takeaways in each of their last three contests against Buffalo.

9. St. Louis Rams @ CIN
The entire Rams organization was about as delusional as I am after chowing down on Thanksgiving dinner. Their staff needs to get their heads out the mashed potatoes. Case Keenum clearly had a concussion and it was no big deal. Their defense is about the only aspect of their team that didn’t take an early Thanksgiving break. They have notched multiple turnover performances in each of their last two matchups, while tallying the sixth-most takeaways. Cincinnati has committed the fifth-fewest turnovers, but have allowed three sacks in three of their last four games. St. Louis has accumulated the third-most sacks and their pass rush has helped set up turnover opportunities. What’s more, the Bengals have surrendered three turnovers in each of their last two matchups.

10. Denver Broncos vs. NE
I like Denver’s defense about as much as the cranberries on the Thanksgiving dinner table – they’re just meh. Nonetheless, Denver finally tallied a takeaway after being blanked in three consecutive matchups. In addition, they allowed just 15 points to the Bears after surrendering 25+ points per game during their previous two matchups. New England’s offense has scored 25+ points in every contest but one and have tallied multiple giveaways in two of their last three games. Denver still has the fifth-most takeaways (19), but will need to keep a Patriots offense that is averaging over 32 points per game in check. What’s more, Denver has registered at least one takeaway in each of its last two matchups with Tom Brady.

11. Philadelphia Eagles @ DET
What is wrong with the Eagles? Jameis Winston stole their crab legs and stood on a table and yelled in Chip Kelly’s face. The Philadelphia defense allowed 45 points to a Bucs offense that hadn’t registered any numbers even close to this. Nonetheless, they’ve still accumulated the third-most total takeaways. Not to mention, the Eagles defense had surrendered over 25 points just twice before this game. It seems like this was just an uncharacteristically poor day. The Lions running game is practically non-existent, so Philly can play pass all day. That’s good news for an Eagles defense that has registered the third-most interceptions of any secondary. Matthew Stafford has thrown three picks over the last three weeks of play and only one team has surrendered more giveaways than the Lions offense.

12. Baltimore Ravens @ CLE
Baltimore’s entire team is dropping like flies and pretty soon they’ll be the ultimate practice squad 53-man roster. The Ravens defense has registered the third-fewest takeaways. However, they’ve accumulated five takeaways over the last two weeks and are finding a rhythm. The Browns are standing within a quarterback turmoil and that won’t help their focus as they prepare for this contest. Cleveland’s offense has awarded ten turnovers over the last five games. What’s more, they’ve scored ten points or less in three of their last four contests. Finally, the Browns offensive line has crumbled as they’ve surrendered nine sacks in the last two contests.

13. Houston Texans vs. NO
The Saints players are breathing a huge sigh of relief. Rob Ryan is gone and won’t steal all the food on Thanksgiving anymore! The Texans defense has put together a string of three games with two or more total turnovers. Not to mention, they’ve held opponents to under 20 points in each of those contests. Additionally, over the last three matchups, New Orleans’ offense has tallied at least two giveaways. They’ve surrendered the tenth-most total turnovers (13) and Houston hasn’t allowed over 200 yards passing in two of their last three contests. The Texans defense is finding a way to create turnovers and have another favorable matchup this week.

14. New York Giants @ WSH
New York’s defense has been tasting like pumpkin pie after a massive plate of food. The Giants have quietly registered the second-most takeaways (23) and are making plays on defense. In three of their last five games, they’ve managed to accumulate three of more takeaways. Not to mention, they’ve created multiple turnover performances in two of the last three contests against Washington. The Redskins are fresh off a five giveaway performance against Carolina and have surrendered two or more turnovers in three of their last five contests. What’s more, the Redskins have thrown the fifth-most interceptions, while New York has accumulated the third-most interceptions of any defense. This includes eight total picks over the last five weeks of play for the G-Men.

15. Tampa Bay Bucs @ IND
Quietly, the Bucs are really shaping into a formidable opponent. Their offense is catching stride and their defense has accumulated the third-most takeaways (20). The Bucs defense has notched two or more turnovers in three of the last four contests and have allowed 20 points or less in each of those matchups. Only one other offense has thrown more interceptions than the Colts offense. What’s more, no team has awarded more giveaways (22) to opposing offense’s than Indianapolis. They’ve won two games in a row without Andrew Luck, but the Bucs might have something to say about that. Yeah, that’s right the Tampa Bay Bucs!

Streamer Special:
Cleveland Browns vs. BAL

Well if it isn’t my long lost friend Matt Schaub. The man that threw interceptions as quick as the gravy slides down my plate. Cleveland’s defense has allowed 30+ points per game in three consecutive contests, but they are still averaging two turnovers per game in two of their last three matchups. Baltimore has committed six turnovers in the last two contests and have surrendered multiple giveaways in four of their last five matchups. Clear your Monday night schedules for McCown vs. Schaub – I dare you.
 

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