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The Top NFL Defense Rankings of 2023

The Top NFL Defense Rankings of 2023

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It’s time to start thinking about which teams are in store for success this year. That’s why we produced our 2023 NFL defense rankings — so fans can stay ahead of the game and know exactly who to watch out for come fall.

Defensive performance is much more difficult to project than offensive performance, but after looking at all the key metrics that go into producing a dominant defense, these rankings are set in stone. Sports fans can now plan their team allegiances and focus on cheering generations of champions!

So look inside our comprehensive guide and decide which squads make up the top-ranked defenses in 2023.

New York Jets 
New York Jets are perched atop the list, and it’s no surprise why. Last year, they were sixth in the NFL in predicted points allowed — but with Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed at cornerback and Chuck Clark at safety, they have a great chance of having the best cornerback pair in the league now.

With Will McDonald IV, they should also have an improved pass rush, and with Quinnen Williams anchoring their defensive core, there’s little doubt that this team is set to make a splash next season. Even before 2022’s rule changes meant shorter fields for opponents, the Jets were fourth in points allowed — so if those weren’t taken into account, they might even be higher up on this list!

Dallas Cowboys 
The Cowboys have always been known for their formidable defense, and that tradition shows no signs of stopping in 2023. With Trevon Diggs and Stephon Gilmore in the back end, they could easily have the best pass rush in the league. They don’t lose many players from last season either — so even with Anthony Brown’s departure, Dallas still looks set to take the field with one of the most complete defenses in football this year.

With their ferocious front seven locking down opposing offenses while their secondary swarms every ball is thrown their way, Cowboys fans can look forward to seeing some genuinely dominant defensive play come next fall! NFL recent news suggests that the Cowboys are set to make a splash in 2023.

San Francisco 49ers 
The 49ers have a defense that relies on mistakes to be helpful, which hurts them a little. Yet they still have the basics to play well for a long time. Their safety spot is their best one, and they did their work in free agency to strengthen their defensive interior.

While losing Emmanuel Moseley as a backup and Jimmie Ward at safety may hurt when it comes to crunch time, the 49ers will still have a good defense.

Washington Commanders 
The Commanders were seventh in points allowed and fifth in EPA per play last year, but they still need to be considered a good defense. But this should change soon. Even with Chase Young not being 100% fit the whole season, they have a great core and are set to have some top-level EDGE play.

Their first two picks of the draft were cornerbacks, adding more pieces to their already secondary solid. Also, Kamren Curl at safety rounds out what could be one of the best defenses in 2023!

New England Patriots
The Patriots’ defense has been one of the best in the league for years now, and they look to continue that success into 2023. While their recent additions of Christian Gonzalez and Keion White certainly help, the re-signing of several of their defensive free agents really sets them apart.