Ranking top 5 NFL defenses heading into Week 11 | NFL 2021-22 season

Buffalo Bills v New England Patriots
Buffalo Bills v New England Patriots
Rit Nanda

NFL defenses are often ignored until it is too late for a team to salvage their season. While the offense determines the margin of your victory, NFL defenses determine who will win in the first place. Every week, we look at the best NFL defenses entering the coming week in ode to the greatness of the players who shut down runs and passes, who wreak havoc, and who act as destroyers on the field. Here's our pick of the best NFL defenses entering Week 11 of the current season.

Top NFL defenses entering Week 11 of the 2021-22 season

#5 - Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals begin our countdown of the best NFL defenses as we enter Week 11. As always, with Kyler Murray and the offense taking the plaudits for their successes, it is easy to ignore just how good the defense has been this season. They have let up a miserly 18.9 points per game and form part of the top five in this list of teams that remain the only teams to give up less than 19 points per game on average.

Through 10 weeks of the NFL season, just four teams rank in the top 10 in both scoring offense and scoring defenseCowboys (1/10)Bills (2/1)Cardinals (4/5)PATRIOTS (6/2)

Their strength is further highlighted by their redzone defense. A look at the team just missing out on this list, the Carolina Panthers, shows that they have allowed fewer yards per game in both running and passing than the Arizona Cardinals, but have allowed more points. The Arizona Cardinals have allowed 116.6 yards per game in rushing and 206.4 yards per game in passing.

#4 - Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos made it to the top 5 NFL defenses by virtue of allowing only 18.3 points per game. Their total yardage allowed is very similar to that of the Arizona Cardinals, but after breaking the data down, we see the differences.

The Denver Broncos are marginally better at rushing defense, allowing only 109.9 yards per game. But their pass defense allows 218.3 yards per game, which is not great, but it is still decent.

For the purposes of this article, it obviously assumes that a general trend is a better marker of defensive capabilities than a one-off game. They limited the high-flying Dallas Cowboys to just 16 points the previous week and vanquished Washington by allowing only 10 points.

The Denver Broncos defense seems to have stayed in Dallas.

We are assuming such performances to be better markers than the 30 points allowed against the Philadelphia Eagles, which we will dismiss as an aberration.

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Edited by Windy Goodloe

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