Odds format
United States

2022 NFL Team Defense Rankings: Ranking the Top Defenses in the NFL

Defense is still king in the NFL. The battle on the gridiron relies on whichever team wins the line of scrimmage, disrupting plays, and forcing momentum-swinging turnovers. Which teams have the top defensive units through the first five weeks in 2022?
| 5 min read
Share to Facebook
Share to Twitter
Copy Link

2022 NFL Team Defense Rankings: Ranking the Top Defenses in the NFL

It's important to give recognition to the defensive players, coaches, and schemes that are currently dominating the NFL. The offense absorbs most highlights and discussions for all 32 teams, but the unsung heroes are often the defensive personnel. Players like Von Miller, Fred Warner, and Patrick Surtain II keep games competitive by limiting explosive plays and setting a physical tone.

Whether it's one player or the collective, a good defense limits big plays and scoring possessions. Through the first five weeks of the 2022 NFL season, several teams have seen their defenses reign supreme, while other units are overshadowed by superior play on offense.

Here's a look at the latest 2022 NFL top ten defensive power rankings heading into Week 6.

Error fetching data.

Best NFL Defense Rankings

1. Buffalo Bills (Get +400 odds on the Bills to win the Super Bowl with DraftKings)

The injuries to Buffalo's secondary and linebacking corps have not held the Bills down. Von Miller signed the biggest free agent contract this offseason and it's paying dividends. Buffalo has allowed a league-low 61 points through five games. This includes eight interceptions and just three passing touchdowns. The unit is just as stingy against the run, allowing a meager 3.0 yards per attempt. It's scary to think about how good Buffalo's defense will look when fully healthy and gelling in a couple of months.

2. San Francisco 49ers (Get +1200 odds on the 49ers to win the Super Bowl with FanDuel)

Nick Bosa and Fred Warner are the stars of San Francisco's defense but there are plenty of other notable names like Dre Greenlaw, Talanoa Hufanga, and Charvarius Ward. The 49ers' defense is tied with Buffalo with only 61 total points allowed. Even more stingy against the run, San Francisco's defense has yet to give up 20 points. The 49ers have forced turnovers in four of five outings and have an electric player at every level of its defense, allowing the offense to continue churning out its methodical rushing attack to win games.

3. Dallas Cowboys (Get +750 odds on the Cowboys to win the Super Bowl with DraftKings)

Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs are the leaders of the Dallas Cowboys' defense. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has found a home with these players, deploying his 4-3 scheme to perfection with young talent to execute it. The Cowboys have allowed only 14.4 points per game to opponents, ranking third-best in the league. This came against offenses like Tampa Bay and Cincinnati, while they just bullied an inferior Los Angeles Rams offensive line to coast to a fourth consecutive win in Week 5.

4. Denver Broncos

The Russell Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett experiment is not going well for the Denver Broncos offense in 2022 but the defense is the glue holding it together. Led by Patrick Surtain II at cornerback, along with Bradley Chubb and Dre'Mont Jones, the Broncos are a physical unit that has held opponents to only two rushing touchdowns and 80 total points. Denver's defense gave them their only two wins of the season against Houston and San Francisco while limiting Indianapolis to four field goals in an overtime loss in Week 5.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Get +2500 odds on the Bucs to win the Super Bowl with DraftKings)

We expected Tampa Bay to continue playing great defense with Devin White, Lavonte David, and Shaq Barrett comprising a formidable linebacking corps. Cornerback Jamel Dean has stepped up this season, contributing to the six interceptions and 61.5 percent completion rate average against opposing quarterbacks. The reigning Super Bowl Champs have 19 sacks and 33 TFLs, which both rank inside the top three. The pass defense is Tampa Bay's weakness but it's improving every week.

6. Philadelphia Eagles (Get +500 odds on the Eagles to win the Super Bowl with BetMGM)

Darius Slay leads a talented Philadelphia secondary, with Haason Reddick, Brandon Graham, and Fletcher Cox wreaking havoc up front with ease. The Eagles have recorded 17 sacks, 26 TFLs, and have just as many interceptions (6) as touchdowns this year. Opposing quarterbacks have an average QBR of 69, which is tied second-lowest in the league alongside San Francisco.

Click here for $5,000 worth of sports betting bonuses to use for any NFL matchup!

7. New England Patriots

Bill Belichick continues to win games by crafting brilliant defensive schemes. Led by Ja'Whaun Bentley and Kyle Dugger, the Patriots have an underrated unit that has collected 13 sacks and limited opponents to only two rushing touchdowns this season. New England is in the upper third of the league in terms of total points allowed, ranking 12th with 98 total points. They are coming off of a great performance against a high-flying Detroit offense, shutting the Lions out in Week 5 after surrendering over 60 points combined to Baltimore and Green Bay. Expect this unit to keep improving with a relatively soft schedule.

8. New York Giants

The story with the New York Giants this season could go several ways, but Don "Wink" Martindale's arrival as the new defensive coordinator has been a significant piece of the change within the organization. Top-ten rookie edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux is disrupting frequently alongside former first-round nose tackle Dexter Lawrence, while Adoree' Jackson highlights the notable name in the secondary. The Giants have allowed only 93 total points. While they are still seeking their first interception of the season, the secondary has allowed only 972 receiving yards, which ranks eighth-lowest in the league through five weeks. Martindale is getting the job done.

9. Chicago Bears

Offenses may want to try running the ball on Chicago's defense instead of throwing it. Yes, Kirk Cousins started red-hot against the Bears in Week 5, but he quickly cooled off and never looked comfortable in the pocket during the second half. The Bears' pass defense is legitimately good, limiting opposing offenses to under 1,000 receiving yards with four interceptions to just five receiving touchdowns. Rookie defensive backs Jauan Brisker and Kyler Gordon are joining forces with veteran Eddie Jackson to become a scary secondary for any offense to face.

10. Cincinnati Bengals (Get +1400 odds on the Bengals to win the Super Bowl with DraftKings)

Despite the rocky 2-3 start, Cincinnati's defense has been rock solid. No team has scored more than 23 points against the Bengals, including a loaded Baltimore offense that struggled to pass the ball all night long in Week 5. The Steelers kicked a bunch of field goals and returned a pick-six in Week 1 for the upset win, making the Bengals' defense look much worse than reality. Only one rushing touchdown and four receiving touchdowns have been recorded, while the defensive unit has only surrendered 89 total points. Whether it's Trey Hendrickson, Jessie Bates III, Vonn Bell, or Logan Wilson, Cincinnati's defense is keeping an anemic offense competitive against quality opponents.

Error fetching data.


Matt is an avid writer, editor, and researcher. He enjoys analyzing the game within the game which is fantasy sports and sports betting. Music is another constant in his daily life. Matt loves spending time with his wife and three pets. He likes to read, listen to podcasts, and is constantly motivated to create the most accurate and engaging content in the sports betting industry.


Almost there!

We are loading your bets, and they will be here in a second.