Stack Against Chicago, Dallas and Pittsburgh for Week 5
Remember, just because a DST is ranked low on this list doesn’t mean they are a bad defense, it just means the matchup may not look so good. Perhaps they are going up against a strong offense, or perhaps injuries on their own offense won’t allow that team to control the ball for long periods of time. I don’t care how good a defense is, the longer you’re out there, the worse you will be.
- Chicago Bears: The Bears are going to be a fixture atop this list for most of, if not all season. It doesn’t help matters that they have also started a fire sale (Jared Allen) and don’t have much left in the terms of pass rushers. This defense did step up last week versus the Raiders, but how many times can they do that?
- Dallas Cowboys: It’s not that the Cowboys have a terrible defense, and they are getting some reinforcements back for Week 5 (Greg Hardy, Rolando McClain) but they are going up against a Patriots team that wants to not only to beat teams, but to destroy them. It’s hard to see the Cowboys offense minus Dez Bryant and Tony Romo keeping Tom Brady off the field long enough to keep New England to less than 30 points.
[caption id="attachment_99112" align="alignright" width="381"] The Seahawks Defense is still elite, the offense not so much. Photo Credit: Brandan Schulze[/caption]
- Washington Redskins: The ‘Skins are running into a buzz saw this week. How does anyone stop the Falcons right now? The ‘Skins have a solid run defense so maybe they can keep Devonta Freeman in check, but without their number corner (DeAngelo Hall) and probably even with him, stopping Matt Ryan and Julio Jones in that dome may be an impossible task.
- Pittsburgh Steelers: It’s never a good thing to go on the road Monday night with a suspect defense versus an offense that seems to be hitting on all cylinders and will be getting back one of its more important pieces (Antonio Gates) for Week 5.
- New Orleans Saints: Yes, the Eagles have looked terrible offensively, and yes, DeMarco Murray is now spouting off that he isn’t getting the ball enough, but do the Saints have enough defensively to slow them down? I have my doubts, as this may be the game in which Philadelphia gets healthy on offense.
- Louis Rams: This matchup is purely about the team they are playing. The Rams played very well last week in slowing down a hot Cardinals passing game, but being asked to do it again on the road in Green Bay may just be too much to ask. You can look for St. Louis to use Todd Gurley early and often to try and keep the ball out of Aaron Rodgers’ hands.
- Cleveland Browns: I might have them too low, as Baltimore may not have the weapons available to take advantage of anyone’s defense.
- Detroit Lions:
- Indianapolis Colts: The loss of Andrew Luck once again should lead to more possessions for the opposing offense. More possessions will lead to more points against.
- Oakland Raiders: If this was the Peyton Manning of old I would drop the Raiders a few slots, but this ranking actually has more to do with how good I think the Broncos’ defense is, and how the Raiders may not be able to do much offensively.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sure, the Bucs aren’t up against a top offense this week, but their neighbors to the north have a pretty good passing game that is heating up and may even get back TE Julius Thomas this week.
- Philadelphia Eagles: Drew Brees looked strong Sunday night in his return versus the Cowboys. While it’s true he rarely pushed the ball down the field, his passes still didn’t seem to lack velocity. The Eagles have been good versus the run so far this season, but not so much versus the pass.
- San Francisco 49ers: I just lowered the 49ers several spots with the news that LB Ahmad Brooks will miss the game due to the passing away of his sister; our condolences.
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Everything I wrote for TB can be parroted here for Jacksonville. Sure TB is a struggling team, but they have the pieces in place at the skill positions to put points on the board. I’m not sure what it says about me that I’m looking forward to watching this game.
- Kansas City Chiefs: Sure, Jay Cutler catches a ton of grief but he does manage to put points on the board, just sometimes for the opposing team. If Alshon Jeffery doesn’t play, I’d lower the Chiefs a bit on this ranking to possibly even Top 10 status, as they will pressure Cutler early and often.
- San Diego Chargers: If Antonio Brown had caught that TD pass from Mike Vick last week (not to mention all of the missed FGs and strange coaching decisions) we wouldn’t be talking about the Steelers offense being in decline while Ben Roethlisberger is out. They wouldn’t be as explosive, but no true level of concern either.
- Atlanta Falcons: This is really not the greatest defense but they are playing with passion, and the offense is putting 30-plus points on the board and making every opposing offense one dimensional.
- Houston Texans: The Texans get a slight bump up due to Andrew Luck missing the game with a shoulder injury. This is not a slight against Matt Hasselbeck but he just doesn’t have the arm talent any more than Luck does, and the running game isn’t explosive enough to scare defenses.
- Tennessee Titans: Can the Titans take advantage of all of the Bills’ injuries? Boobie Dixon may have to start at running back.
- Baltimore Ravens: Any team going up against Cleveland has a chance to make the Top 10, although with the emergence of Duke Johnson and Travis Benjamin, I have may have to start to rethink this.
- Cincinnati Bengals: If the Bengals can control Russell Wilson and not have him make plays with his legs, they should do well here, as that Seattle offensive line is poor to say the least, and we all know how much Jimmy Graham hates to be forced to stay in and block.
- New England Patriots: The Patriots are going to score 35-plus points in this game. This will force Brandon Weeden to throw the ball much more often than Dallas would like, which eventually will lead to a turnover or three.
- New York Giants: The Giants have one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL, mainly because they have a difficult time getting to the QB. Still, it would seem unlikely that the 49ers are in any kind of position to take advantage of this weakness.
- Seattle Seahawks: I hate to have them even this low.
- Buffalo Bills:
- Green Bay Packers:
- Arizona Cardinals:
- Denver Broncos:
As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you, @georgekurtz.
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