The 2012 regular season's top 10 defenses will feature some of the usual suspects, including two bitter AFC North rivals defined by their defensive excellence. However, there will also be be a few surprise names in the ranking, including an underrated NFC West group that is quietly developing into an elite unit.
A defense at the centre of the offseason's biggest scandal will benefit from the presence of a creative new coordinator and some key personnel additions. They will shock the league with their performance, and another man who many consider a failure as a head coach will leave no doubts about his skill as a coordinator.
The following units will make up the top 10 defenses for the 2012 season. They are presented in ascending order.