Top 5 NFL Defenses of the 2015-16 Season
Defense wins championships. The term that is synonymous with the great American luxury of football. Defense won last year’s Super Bowl with Malcolm Butler of the New England Patriots picking off Russell Wilson at the goal line, which will go down as the most egregious play call in Super Bowl, or arguably football history. Fast forward to now, players have new teams, coaches have new homes, and the rookies have inked their first professional football contract. As the first week of preseason progresses on, here’s the countdown of the top 5 defenses going into this years NFL season:
5. St. Louis Rams:
One of the more overlooked units last year considering the division was strong. The anemic offense was the reason the Rams were not serious contenders, but that will all change with the acquisition of Nick Foles and drafting Todd Gurley out of Georgia. The Rams have probably if not one, but one of the best defensive lines in football anchored by Robert Quinn. Along side of him is Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, Chris Long, and new acquisition Nick Fairley. The secondary is anchored by Janoris Jenkins and TJ McDonald, two legit ball hawkers. This team has the chance to regain relevance this year, watch out.
4. Houston Texans:
When you think about the Houston Texans, you think about JJ Watt and everyone else. Bill O’Brien’s group has a good defense on his hands. If Jadeveon Clowney can stay healthy and rekindle his college ability, by far the Texans will have the best edge rushers in the league. Outside of those big names, Houston signed the big man Vince Wilfork along with draft pick Bendarick McKinney out of Mississippi State to help inside. The addition of the versatile Rahim Moore along side DJ Swearinger will prove to be a formidable backfield.
3. New York Jets:
Never mind the absolute circus that is the New York Jets, their defense is elite. After winning a ring with rival New England Patriots, Darrelle Revis is back in New York along with Antonio Cromortie. The Jets got the biggest steal in the draft by picking up defensive lineman Leonard Williams from USC, considered to be the best player in the draft. Despite the foolish antics of Sheldon Richardson, the Jets D line is stacked. Muhammad Wilkerson and Damon Harrison will be joining Williams up front to make them one of more formidable lines in the league. Also, I can not forget the addition of Todd Bowles, who will bring toughness and discipline to not only the defense, but the team as a whole.
2. Buffalo Bills:
Rex Ryan takes over for Doug Marrone as the new head coach of the Buffalo Bills. Rex will be taking over a defense that has always been elite and bailed out a Kyle Orton led offense last season. Kiko Alonso did not play last year for Buffalo and it was dealt away in the off season to the Philadelphia Eagles for Lesean McCoy. Despite his loss, Buffalo ranked 3rd in scoring defense, anchored by Mario and Kyle Williams up front with Aaron Williams and Stephen Gilmore in the backfield. If the offense can find their guy under center along with this elite defense, Buffalo has a legit shot at dethroning the Patriots from the AFC East crown.
1. Seattle Seahawks:
As a surprise to no one, the Seahawks are on top of this list. At this point, no one is suited enough to tame the Legion of Boom, led by Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, and Kam Chancellor. The defense will be under new leadership in Kris Richards, taking over for Dan Quinn, who is now the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. This group of men have chemistry and are definitely hungry after basically taking their title, and handing it over to New England. If Russell Wilson does not play like he did in the NFC Championship and the Super Bowl, Seattle is by far the most complete team in the NFL.