NFL Week 6: Predicting the 5 Best Defensive Performances
Every week provides each NFL team with a new opponent, besides facing divisional opponents for a second time. Therefore, it's difficult to look only at statistics to find the evidence needed to pick a winner in any given game.
Some teams, such as the Arizona Cardinals, have beat up on weak competition, while other organizations have seen the Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers already through five games this season.
More than how good the defenses can be, it's about how bad the offenses are on this list. Four of the five teams won't make the playoffs, but Week 6 will provide them with solidarity.
5. Miami Dolphins
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The Miami Dolphins aren't a great team, but neither are the St. Louis Rams.
The NFC West team is ranked No. 14 in total defense, which is one spot ahead of their opponent this week. However, the Dolphins average nearly 100 yards more per game on offense and the game is being played in Miami.
Cameron Wake will get after mediocre pass protection and the team's secondary isn't as bad as it was expected to be.
The bigger issue for Jeff Fisher's team is facing Miami's run defense, which only allows 2.7 yards per carry. Steven Jackson and any other Rams runner will have a difficult time and shouldn't look for underachieving Sam Bradford to help them out.
4. Indianapolis Colts
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The Indianapolis Colts, as the slight underdog that they are, will make the trip back to Indianapolis from New Jersey with a win against Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow or whomever Rex Ryan wants to start at quarterback.
Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are two of the best in the business at getting after quarterbacks, and Sanchez's receivers are going to have a hard time getting open before these two pass-rushers get to the struggling signal-caller.
3. Buffalo Bills
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There's little evidence to support the Buffalo Bills defense, even if it is going against Kevin Kolb and Arizona's terrible offensive line this week.
While the Bills will be far away from home on Sunday when they take on the Cardinals, Arizona has allowed Kolb and John Skelton to be sacked the most amount of times in the NFL.
Mario Williams, Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams will not see a more favorable matchup than this.
Buffalo's best defense could be a good offense. If the Bills run the ball like the top-five rushing team they are, Larry Fitzgerald won't have enough opportunities to put a sufficient amount of points on the board.
Don't expect the Cardinals to be as pathetic as they were on Thursday night against the Rams, but Ken Wisenhunt's team won't be much better. Kolb won't see 20 points and he may see the game from the bench when all is said and done.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Greg Schiano's defense isn't all that great, but the Kansas City Chiefs are turning the ball over at a historic rate.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are good against the run, allowing a stingy 3.2 yards per carry to opposing runners. Jamaal Charles, the league's leading rusher, will test that number. However, the Chiefs are on the road and Brady Quinn may be starting for the first time in years.
Kansas City will go three-and-out on multiple occasions. If Josh Freeman and crew get in rhythm, watch out. Romeo Crennel may know defense, but his team doesn't know how to score. A total of 10 points is an appropriate number to expect, but the Bucs won't get many more.
1. Atlanta Falcons
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The Oakland Raiders travel across the country to play a 1 p.m. game against the undefeated Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome this week.
Mike Smith's defense is allowing under 20 points per game, while the Raiders are last in the league in rushing. Not a good formula for winning on the road.
Carson Palmer and his offensive line will have trouble getting in sync all game as the crowd noise will be too loud for the No. 25 offense in the league to handle.
If Michael Turner can keep the clock ticking with his legs, the Raiders will have a hard time reaching 14 points.