From worst to best, how does each team’s defensive unit rate these days?
Recently, there was a look at how all 32 offensive units in the National Football League stacked up. Not surprisingly, the top spot belonged to Andy Reid and the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.
Now it’s time to check out the other side of the ball and how the defenses stack up around the league from 32-1. Once again, it’s more than just about the numbers, although they play a big part of the evaluation. So do personnel moves as well as coaching changes.
The 2020 NFL season is slated to kick off on September 10 at Kansas City. And there’s still work to be done by each club to get its house in order. Hence, a quick look at how the defenses rank in this early part of the summer.
32. Carolina Panthers
The team got off to a 5-2 start last season before the team began to have its issues. And the Carolina defense struggled mightily during the team’s season-ending eight-game losing streak and finished 29th vs. the run. Luke Kuechly has retired and new head coach Matt Rhule used six of the team’s seven draft choices on defense.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars
There a lot of pieces now gone from that big-play unit from 2017 that helped the team get to the AFC title game. Last October, Jalen Ramsey was dealt to the Rams and earlier this year Calais Campbell was traded to the Ravens. Defensive end Josh Allen (10.5 sacks) made the Pro Bowl as a rookie in ‘19. But there are plenty of question marks.
30. New York Giants
Perhaps the biggest reason that Big Blue is a combined 12-36 the past three seasons is a defensive unit that can’t seem to get out of its own way. In 2019, the Giants allowed 451 points and 49 offensive touchdowns. Second-round safety Xavier McKinney and free-agent cornerback James Bradberry are the key newcomers for Joe Judge.
29. Los Angeles Rams
It wasn’t all that long ago that Sean McVay’s team featured a defensive unit loaded with big names. But standouts such as Ndamukong Suh, Dante Fowler Jr., Marcus Peters, Clay Matthews, Eric Weddle and play-making linebacker Cory Littleton have moved on the last few years. Brandon Staley takes over for storied coordinator Wade Phillips.