Defenses - Sports Illustrated Vault | SI.com
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Defenses

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ON THE RISE

PANTHERS
Lane-clogging DT Kris Jenkins, who tore his right ACL in Week 1 last season, isback at full speed.

BEARS
Top-notch defense now has rookie Devin Hester (six kick-return touchdowns incollege) to bolster a weak return game (one touchdown in '06).

VIKINGS
Koren Robinson, 26, blossomed (26.0 yards, one TD) in his first year as akick-return man last season.

ON THEDECLINE

PATRIOTS
Aging defense struggled through first half of 2005 (27.5 PPG) and lostlinebacker Willie McGinest to free agency.

JETS
Defense is bound to struggle as new coach Eric Mangini implements his 3-4system, which doesn't suit their personnel.

RAMS
This was the NFL's second-worst scoring defense in '05; Martz-less offense willkeep that unit on the field even more this year.

SLEEPERS

EAGLES
A bust last season, they'll benefit from adding free-agent DE Darren Howard (31/2 sacks in 12 games for the Saints last year) to an injury-depleted line.

CHIEFS
The talent is there; now they have a defense-first coach in Herm Edwards totake advantage of it.

SAINTS
This could be a clever way to siphon points out of Reggie Bush (three careerTDs as a punt returner at USC).

 

SI TEAM RANKINGS FOR 2006 With 2005 stats

POINTS/
GAME

YARDS/
GAME

RANK
(rush/pass)

RANK
(total)

INTS

SACKS

POINTS*

BYE WEEK

1.

Chicago Bears

12.6

281.8

11/5

2

24

41

36

7

2.

Pittsburgh Steelers

16.1

284.0

3/16

4

15

47

20

4

3.

Carolina Panthers

16.2

282.6

4/9

3

23

45

18

9

4.

Indianapolis Colts

15.4

307.1

16/15

11

18

46

24

6

5.

Seattle Seahawks

16.9

316.8

5/25

16

16

50

18

5

6.

Jacksonville Jaguars

16.8

290.9

14/7

6

19

47

18

6

7.

Baltimore Ravens

18.7

284.7

9/8

5

11

42

18

7

8.

Washington Redskins

18.3

297.9

13/10

9

16

35

24

8

9.

Denver Broncos

16.1

312.9

2/29

15

20

28

20

4

10.

San Diego Chargers

19.5

309.2

1/28

13

10

46

12

3

11.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

17.1

277.8

6/6

1

17

36

20

4

12.

Philadelphia Eagles

24.2

325.4

21/21

23

17

29

18

9

13.

Cincinnati Bengals

21.9

338.7

20/26

28

31

28

6

5

14.

Minnesota Vikings

21.5

323.3

19/22

21

24

34

30

6

15.

Dallas Cowboys

19.2

300.9

15/11

10

15

37

12

3

16.

New England Patriots

21.1

330.2

8/31

26

10

33

12

6

17.

New York Giants

19.6

327.5

12/27

24

17

41

24

4

18.

Miami Dolphins

19.8

317.4

17/20

18

14

49

12

8

19.

Atlanta Falcons

21.3

325

26/14

22

16

37

20

5

20.

Cleveland Browns

18.8

316.8

30/4

16

15

23

18

6

21.

Arizona Cardinals

24.2

295.6

10/12

8

15

37

18

9

22.

Kansas City Chiefs

20.3

328.1

7/30

25

16

29

18

3

23.

Detroit Lions

21.6

322.4

24/13

20

19

31

20

8

24.

Buffalo Bills

22.9

343.5

31/19

29

17

38

14

8

25.

Green Bay Packers

21.5

293.1

23/1

7

10

35

18

6

26.

Tennessee Titans

26.3

319.4

22/17

19

9

41

32

7

27.

St. Louis Rams

26.8

350.1

28/23

30

13

41

26

7

28.

New York Jets

22.2

308.8

29/2

12

21

30

24

9

29.

Houston Texans

26.9

364

32/24

31

7

37

12

5

30.

San Francisco 49ers

26.8

391.2

18/32

32

16

28

36

7

31.

New Orleans Saints

24.9

312.1

27/3

14

10

25

0

7

32.

Oakland Raiders

23.9

330.8

25/18

27

5

36

6

3

*Points scoredby defense and special teams

PHOTO

BILL FRAKES

PHOTO

BRIAN KILLIAN/WIREIMAGE.COM