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2022 NFL Team Defense Rankings: Ranking the Top Defenses in the NFL After Week 6

The amount of scoring has dipped way down during the 2022 NFL season. Matt MacKay is here with his top ten defensive power rankings ahead of Week 7.
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2022 NFL Team Defense Rankings: Ranking the Top Defenses in the NFL After Week 6

Defense continues to be a focal point of all 32 teams this season, as five teams have still allowed fewer than 100 points through Week 6. Offenses are struggling to score touchdowns, settling for field goals, or being unable to sustain successful drives. The obvious defensive units are playing great, but some sneaky underlying defenses are keeping their teams in the win column.

Forcing turnovers is another crucial aspect of being a top defense. Momentum swings are a pivotal part of football, giving a stagnant offense a bit of juice to put up points on the board. Through the first six weeks of the 2022 NFL season, nearly 100 fewer touchdowns have been scored compared to the previous two seasons, which means we need to dive deeper into the top defenses in the league.

Here's a look at the latest top ten NFL defensive power rankings after a low-scoring six weeks.

Best NFL Defense Rankings After Week 6

1. Buffalo Bills

Buffalo has shown the ability to hang with any team in 2022. Von Miller and the Bills' defense have held teams to 21 points or under in every single game, which includes potent offenses like Baltimore and Kansas City. They lead the league in interceptions with ten and have limited opposing quarterbacks to the second-lowest QBR average at 69. Injuries to the defensive line and secondary make this feat even more impressive.

2. New England Patriots

It may be shocking to see New England sitting second but they are playing elite football on the defensive side of the football. The Patriots started slow out of the gate but their defensive unit is gelling lately, holding Detroit and Cleveland to a combined 15 points during the last two weeks. They had bad games against Baltimore and Green Bay on the ground, but it's been much improved under Bill Belichick. Perhaps the addition of Bailey Zappe under center has given a spark throughout the entire team, adding to their strength, which is the defense.

3. Denver Broncos

Pat Surtain II is rounding into form during his second season with the Denver Broncos. The 2021 first-rounder is joined by Justin Simmons in the secondary, while Bradley Chubb and Baron Browning form a dynamic tandem in the linebacking corps. The pass defense has been elite, holding six opponents to a total of three passing touchdowns and three rushing touchdowns. The offense has been struggling badly but Denver's defense remains one of the top three units in the NFL.

4. Philadelphia Eagles

Darius Slay has been elite in coverage but he's joined by James Bradberry, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, and Avonte Maddox that form arguably the best secondary in the league. Kyzir White has been another massive offseason addition to the Eagles' defense, while veteran defensive lineman Fletcher Cox remains a huge disruptor up front. Since allowing the Lions to rack up 35 points in Week 1, only one team has scored over 20 points on Philadelphia's defense. The run defense is a bit leaky but the Eagles tighten up in the red zone.

5. New York Giants

Wink Martindale's arrival in the Meadowlands has Big Blue buzzing. The New York Giants' defense is playing incredible ball, holding opposing rushing attacks in check, and surrendering a total of two rushing touchdowns. They lack the interceptions (one) that other top defenses have generated, but they are allowing just a 58.1 percent completion rate, which is the fifth-best in the league. 13 sacks is a testament to Leonard Williams, Dexter Lawrence, and top-ten rookie edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux. Since Week 1 against Tennessee, the Giants have held quarterbacks under 220 passing yards, meaning they will continue to be competitive in games moving forward.

6. San Francisco 49ers

Nick Bosa's absence in Week 6 against Atlanta proved to be huge, as San Francisco could not stop the Falcons' rushing attack using a committee backfield. Fred Warner, Charvarius Ward, and Dre Greenlaw will continue to lead this defense moving into late October, as the pass defense is allowing the second-fewest passing touchdowns (four), while also surrendering only four rushing touchdowns at 3.3 YPC. Injuries have the defensive line a bit shorthanded but only two teams have over 100 rushing yards against this unit, while no one quarterback has thrown for 250 yards.

7. Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati is not getting enough credit for its defensive talent through the first six weeks. Players like Trey Hendrickson, Jessie Bates, and Vonn Bell are making it incredibly hard for opposing offenses to score. The Bengals' defense has allowed only two rushing touchdowns, while the secondary has proven to be one of the best, allowing five passing touchdowns. A 56.6 percent completion rate and 5.8 yards per attempt are indicative of the strength of the pass defense, holding three of its opponents under 200 passing yards.

8. New York Jets

Rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner has returned elite value as a top-five draft pick for the New York Jets, but the addition of D.J. Reed has also bolstered a quality secondary. Quinnen Williams has emerged as a high-motor disruptor on the defensive line, forcing quarterbacks to throw into difficult coverages. The run defense has been very good, holding Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Green Bay under 70 total rushing yards. The teams who have had success running the football on the Jets have not performed well in the passing attack, meaning it's a true dual-threat defensive unit.

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9. Houston Texans

Fresh off of their Bye Week, Lovie Smith's defense is playing well through its first five games. Two of their first three picks under GM Nick Caserio during the 2022 draft saw Derek Stingley Jr. and Jalen Pitre get added to the Texans' secondary, which is why it's allowed only four passing touchdowns. Holding quarterbacks to a 57.6 percent completion rate. The front-seven needs to play better and bring more pressure, as they have generated only 11 sacks and 26 quarterback hits, which is in the bottom tier of the league. If that piece of the defense gets going, expect Houston's defense to rise up the power rankings.

10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

A defense that can disrupt up front and generate continuous pressure is Tampa Bay. The Bucs' defense has 21 sacks, surrendered only three rushing touchdowns, and just 4.1 YPC. The secondary is the weak point for Tampa Bay's defense, allowing nine passing touchdowns and a 62.2 percent completion rate. It's an opportunistic unit, forcing six interceptions, but only 63 first downs. Teams need to dial up downfield passes to beat the Bucs' defense, but the elite pressure up front from a dynamic linebacking corps and edge rushing group makes it difficult to drop back in the pocket.

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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.

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