NFL Defensive Power Rankings in NFC for 2015-16 NFL Season

Thursday, July 30, 2015 12:08 PM UTC

Thursday, Jul. 30, 2015 12:08 PM UTC

Make sure that chinstrap is done up tightly, because we're going to put a hat on the 16 defenses in the NFC. Who's got the right stuff to make our NFL picks shine in 2015?

<p>When we looked at <a href="" target="_blank" title="Check Out AFC's Top Defenses for 2015-16 NFL Season">the top defenses in the AFC</a>, it wasn't too difficult to put the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Can the Denver Broncos Lead the League in Scoring?">Denver Broncos</a> in first place going into the 2015 campaign. It's even easier to kick off our power rankings for the NFC. If you haven't already guessed who's No. 1, you haven't been watching the NFL the past few years. In which case: Welcome, glad to have you on board. We hope you'll find these rankings useful when you're putting together your <a href="" target="_blank" title="More NFL Prediction, Betting Previews &amp; Free Picks">NFL picks</a> for the new season.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>NFC's Top Defenses</strong></p> <p>1. Seattle Seahawks</p> <p>2. Philadelphia Eagles</p> <p>3. Minnesota Vikings</p> <p>4. Arizona Cardinals</p> <p>5. Detroit Lions</p> <p>6. St. Louis Rams</p> <p>7. Carolina Panthers</p> <p>8. Green Bay Packers</p> <p>9. New York Giants</p> <p>10. San Francisco 49ers</p> <p>11. Washington</p> <p>12. Dallas Cowboys</p> <p>13. Atlanta Falcons</p> <p>14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers</p> <p>15. New Orleans Saints</p> <p>16. Chicago Bears</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Making It Rain</strong><br /> There's no doubt the Seahawks still have the best defense in the entire NFL, as they have for each of the past two seasons according to both the efficiency stats at Football Outsiders and the Simple Rating System at Pro Football Reference. Seattle has managed to keep this unit largely intact; it was built through the draft and the relatively inexpensive rookie contracts that come with it. Of course, now everyone's <a href="" target="_blank" title="Odds Favor Seahawks in 2015-16, but Contract Disputes Could Cost Players &amp; Bettors Big Money">threatening to hold out for new deals</a>, so don't expect the good times to last much longer.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Boomtown</strong><br /> Sorting things out from there wasn't easy. The Lions had the second-best defense in the NFC last year, again both by DVOA and SRS, but they lost four-time Pro Bowl DT Ndamukong Suh to the Miami Dolphins in free agency. The advanced stats weren't sure what to make of the Eagles; we've got their defense taking a big leap in 2015 with the arrival of two former members of Seattle's Legion of Boom: cornerbacks Bryon Maxwell and Walter Thurmond III. The spotlight has been on Philly's offensive makeover, as one might expect, but the upgrade to the Eagles secondary could be the deciding factor in the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Shop NFC East Winner Betting Markets">NFC East</a> this year.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Twist of Fate</strong><br /> There's some buzz out there for the Panthers defense, which ranked third overall in the league just two years ago, but the suspension (and now the departure) of DE Greg Hardy took the wind out of their sails. Hardy's value to his new employers, the Cowboys, was increased when his 10-game suspension for 2015 was reduced to four games, but <a href="" target="_blank" title="Find Why Should We Fade Cowboys ATS at Home">we're still skeptical about Dallas</a> after last year's defense finished No. 22 overall in efficiency.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Southern Cross</strong><br /> Awful defense did a number on the <a href="" target="_blank" title="How to Bank off Bad Teams: NFC South Futures &amp; NFL Prop Picks">NFC South</a> last year, and we've still got three of the four teams near the bottom of the pile. Cutting LB Junior Galette last week won't do anything to help the Saints pass rush in the short term. The Falcons figure to be the best of the bunch after placing dead last in DVOA in 2014, but that's not saying much. <a href="" target="_blank" title="Panthers +225 to Win NFC South for Third Consecutive Season">Maybe Carolina belongs in our NFL picks</a> after all.</p> <p style="text-align:center;"><var>Must Read: <a href="" target="_blank" title="Offensive Power Rankings in NFC">Handicapping NFL's Offensive Power Rankings in NFC</a></var></p>
comment here