Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Top 3 Defenses for NFL Week 3

Seattle Seahawks 

This pick is an absolute no-brainer. Here in the early going, the Seahawks' defensive unit has lived up to expectations and been the most dominant in the entire NFL. In consecutive victories over Carolina and San Francisco to start the season, Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn's crew has allowed a mere 10 points and an average of 230 yards per game. The Seahawks have also forced a league high seven turnovers. Going up against the NFL's weakest offense should be a veritable walk in the park.

Playing nearly two complete games without scoring a single touchdown, the Jaguars offense reached the end zone for the first time with just under three minutes left to go in their 19-9 Week 2 loss to the Raiders. Jacksonville is now 0-2 after putting up just 11 total points and averaging a meager 213 yards per contest so far. A trip to Seattle, possibly the absolute toughest location for a visiting team to play, is definitely not what is needed for a team looking to right the ship. This game could get ugly in a hurry.

Denver Broncos

After a 2-0 start behind an offense that has racked up a league leading 90 points, the Broncos have hardly needed strong play on the other side of the ball. Playing without two of their best defensive players in cornerback Champ Bailey and linebacker Von Miller to this point, they have allowed 25 points and 384.5 yards per game which both rank 21st. However, those statistics do not tell the entire story as much of that production has taken place in garbage time and with the Broncos enjoying a lead. More importantly, the Denver defense is first in stopping the run and second in turnovers forced.

The Raiders (1-1) will make a visit to the Mile High City for an AFC West showdown on Monday night. Fleet-footed quarterback Terrelle Pryor and running back Darren McFadden lead the way for the league's No. 1 ground attack. The ability to make the Oakland offense have to rely on the passing game and Pryor's inexperienced arm is key for any opposing defense. As mentioned earlier, the Broncos have exactly the type of defense to take away the running game and make the Raiders one-dimensional.

New York Jets

Negativity seems to surround the Jets franchise on a constant basis and is typically more than warranted. Although, one thing that should be viewed in a positive light is the play of the defense over the first two games of the season. They have managed to keep both the Buccaneers and Patriots from reaching the 20 point threshold in their respective match-ups. Most impressively, the Jets are allowing just a 29.4 percent conversion rate on third down and are ranked fourth against the run.

Rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel and the Bills are the competition this Sunday. After the way Tom Brady struggled against the Jets' defense this past Thursday, going 19-of-39 for 185 yards, it is a safe bet that Manuel will be in for a long afternoon. If Buffalo running backs C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson fail to get much going on the ground then the Jets strong secondary, led by two time Pro Bowl selection Antonio Cromartie, may simply take over this AFC East battle.
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