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The Top 10 NFL Defenses in 2022

Publish Date: 07/12/2022
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis
DENVER, COLORADO - JANUARY 08: Bradley Chubb #55 of the Denver Broncos tackles Darrel Williams #31 of the Kansas City Chiefs for a loss in the first quarter of a game at Empower Field at Mile High on January 8, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

The Top 10 NFL Defenses in 2022

Many defenses have taken steps to improve their defense in the 2022 regular season.

Los Angeles Chargers hope Khalil Mack, opposite Joey Bosa, will add another edge force to their team. Will a dominant pass rush be sufficient to overcome the weaknesses that made Los Angeles the NFL’s worst scoring defense in 2021?

The New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams all added vital pieces to their defenses, which were already among the best a year ago.

We’ll be reviewing our top NFL defenses. Below we’ll break down the key additions, departures and rookies to keep an eye on for each defense.

10. Los Angeles Chargers

  • Defensive Additions Edge Khil Mack, CB J.C. Jackson and CB Bryce Callahan. LB Kyle Van Noy and DE Sebastian Joseph Day
  • Key Defensive Leaves: DT Justin Jones and Edge Uchenna Nwosu. Edge Kyler Fackrell
  • Key Draft Additionalitions: SJT Woods

The Chargers were 29th in league points allowed last season. The team spent a lot to correct the problem and signed two big defensive players, J.C. Jackson and Khalil Mack. Sebastian Joseph-Day was hired to help with the run defense. They were 30th in rushing yards gave up per game last year. The Chargers will have a better defense in 2022 with Joey Bosa, Khalil Mack, J.C. Jackson and Derwin James in the secondary; stopping the run will be the key.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Defensive Key Additions
  • Defensive Key Departures by S Jordan Whitehead
  • Key Draft Additionalitions DE Logan Hall

Two years running, Tampa Bay ranked seventh in points allowed per game.

They were third in the number of rushing yards allowed per game last year and first in 2020.

Last year, the Bucs were ranked sixth in total takeaways.

Pass defense was weak last season. They ranked 24th in passing yards per game allowed.

Bucs’ secondary is still a suspect area, which is why they didn’t crack the top five.

8. Dallas Cowboys

  • Key Defensive Additions: Edge Dante Fowler
  • Key Defensive Departures: Edge Randy Gregory
  • Key Draft Additionalitions Edge Sam Williams

They were 8th in league points allowed per game last year but 20th in passing yards per game and rushing yards per game allowed.

Trevon Diggs was the league’s leader with 11 interceptions last season.

The Cowboys topped the league in takeaways and interceptions.

Micah Parsons was unanimously named Defensive Rookie and All-Pro on the 1st team. Parsons finished the season with 84 tackles, 13 passes fumbled and 13 sacks. Parsons and Myles Garrett are also tied for the odds of winning the NFL’s Defensive Players of the Year Award at Caesars Sportsbook.

7. Green Bay Packers

  • Defensive Key Additions CB Rasul Doug and LB De’Vondre Campbell
  • Defensive Key Departures: Edge Z’Darius Smith
  • Key Draft Additional: LB Quay Walker, DT Devonte Wyatt

Last season, Green Bay ranked 10th in terms of points allowed per game.

In this year’s draft, they used two first-round defensive selections.

Last year, the Packers were ranked in the top 10 for both passing yards per allowed game and rushing yards per game allowed.

In 2021, Green Bay was ranked eighth for total takeaways.

Jaire Alexander was only present in three games last season. Alexander is one of the NFL’s best CBs.

6. Indianapolis Colts

  • Defensive Additions Edge Yannick Ngakoue and CB Stephon Gilmore
  • Defensive Departures – CB Rock Ya-sin and Edge Al Quadin Muhammad
  • Key Draft Additionalitions S Nick Cross

The Colts were 11th in allowed ppg last season and had a good defense.

Stephon Gilmore will be a great addition to the secondary. They were 19th in passing yards per game allowed last year.

The rush defense was strong, ranking 11th in rushing yards per game allowed last season.

Last year, the Colts finished second in total takeaways.

Although not enough people are talking about the Colts’ defense, they will be among the best in the league by 2022. Yannick Ngakoue had ten sacks last season. When he is paired with Kwity Paye and DeForest Buckner, the Colts have a formidable defensive line. Darius Leonard is one of the most respected defensive players in the NFL.

Top Five Defenses in The NFL (2022).

5. San Francisco 49ers

  • Defensive Additions CB Charvarius Ward and DE Kenny Hyder Jr.
  • Defensive Departures CB K’Waun Williams, Edge Arden Key
  • Key Draft Additionalitions: LB Drake Jackson

Last season, San Francisco’s defense was outstanding. They were ranked fifth in total points allowed per game, sixth in rushing yards and seventh in passing yards per game.

Nick Bosa is a great pass rusher, and Fred Warner is a great LB in the NFL.

Bosa, Dee Ford and Javon Kinlaw make up one of the most effective defensive lines in the league.

The 49ers are known for their great defense and will be back in the top 10.

4. New Orleans Saints

  • Defensive Key Additions by S Tyrann Mathieu
  • Defensive Key Departures by S Marcus Williams
  • Key Draft Additional: S Alontae Taylor, LB D’Marco Jackson

New Orleans was ranked fourth last year regarding rushing yards and points allowed per game.

CB Marshon Lattimore and DE Cameron Jordan lead this defense.

New Orleans welcomed Tyrann Mathieu, the Honey Badger to New Orleans. Mathieu, a playmaker, will do well in this system.

The Saints defense helped them achieve a 9-8 record despite losing Jameis Winston, their starting quarterback, for over half of the season.

It’s challenging to score on the Saints while running on them. In 2022, New Orleans will again have a top defense.

3. Los Angeles Rams

  • Defensive Key Additions: LB Bobby Wagner
  • Key Defensive Departures – Edge Von Miller, CB Darious William, and DL Sebastian Joseph Day
  • Key Draft Additionalitions CB Decobie Durant and S Quentin Lake

Last season, the defending Super Bowl champions finished ninth in terms of points allowed per game.

The Rams signed Bobby Wagner during the offseason as if Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Donald were not enough.

They have a star player on defense at every level and an abundance of support.

In 2021, the Rams were ranked fifth for rushing yards per game.

Los Angeles was ranked fifth for sacks per game. Los Angeles lost Vonn Miller, which hurts their chances of finishing in the top five again.

Aaron Donald is the league’s best defensive player. Bobby Wagner is still one of the most respected LBs in the league, and Jalen Ramsey remains a top-notch defensive back.

2. Buffalo Bills

  • Defensive Additions – Edge Von Miller
  • Defensive Key Departures  Edge Jerry Hughes and Edge Mario Addison
  • Key Draft Additionalitions CB Kaiir Elam, LB Terrel Bernard

Last season, the Buffalo Bills finished first in passing yards and points allowed per game.

The Bills also excelled at taking the ball away. They ranked third in total takeaways for 2021.

How can you improve a defense that was first in points allowed per game?

Vonn Miller, pass rusher, is signed.

Buffalo wished they had Miller in the playoffs against the Chiefs. Miller has 25.5 sacks during the fourth quarter and overtime, respectively, since 2016. Aaron Donald is the only player with more sacks in the fourth quarter and overtime since 2016.

Tre’Davious white tore his ACL last week. He is one of the top CBs in the league, so Buffalo will need him to be fully healthy. The Bills could have used him in the playoffs against the Chiefs.

Buffalo’s defense is dominant and will again be a force in the NFL in 2022.

The 2022 NFL Defense of the Year will be…

1. Denver Broncos

  • Defensive Additions Edge Randy Gregory
  • Defensive Key Departures: DE Stephen Weatherly and DT Shelby Harris
  • Key Draft Additionals: LB Nik Bonitto and CB Damarri Mathis. DE Eyioma Umarike

In 2021, the Broncos were ranked second in terms of points allowed per game.

You may have noticed a trend: Seven top ten teams have a top-notch quarterback. The Denver Broncos purchased Russell Wilson, a star quarterback, in the offseason.

The top-level QB gives defenses the ability to be more relaxed and take the lead. This relieves the defense of some pressure and dramatically assists them in their success.

Bradley Chubb, CB Pat Surtain II and Safety Justin Simmons are all pass rushers. They make up a highly-skilled defense.

In the offseason, Denver added Randy Gregory as a pass rusher.

Denver’s 2022 season will be remembered for its young and talented defense. They also have a competent quarterback.

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