Putting the Fence in Defense

by Raymond Ayala

Everyone knows the New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens, and Philadelphia Eagles have one thing in common. All three of these teams have consistently maintained a defense that his been considered the cream of the crop in the NFL. But just as some defenses seem to fade away, some new ones are starting to develop. Three teams have stood out to me on the defensive side of the ball during the first two games of the season. Those three teams are the Denver Broncos, New York Jets, and San Francisco 49ers.

Denver Broncos – Key Players: Champ Bailey (CB), Brian Dawkins (S), Elvis Dumbervil (LB)
The Broncos should not be expected to keep up this defensive onslaught they have shown in their first two games, but with defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, anything is possible. In the offseason the Broncos added Pro-Bowl safety Brian Dawkins to form a Pro-Bowl backfield tandem with Champ Bailey. While their first two opponents are not considered top-tier teams, the Broncos still have two games left against the Oakland Raiders, as well as another game against Kansas City at home. The Broncos are a defense you should start over any other on easy weeks, but should sit against any top tier rushing games.

New York Jets – Key Players: Bart Scott (LB), Kerry Rhodes (S), David Harris (LB)

The New York Jets surprised the world last weekend, as they defeated the New England Patriots for the first time in a long time. While the media showers rookie Mark Sanchez with praise, I am going a different direction and giving much of the credit to the defense. This defense held New England to no touchdowns for the first time since 2008. Former Ravens defensive coordinator and now Jets head coach, Rex Ryan, has instilled a new sense of stability that the Jets defense has not seen in awhile. Look for the Jets defense to continue its dominance this season, as they finish as a top 5 Defense in Fantasy Football.

San Francisco 49ers – Key Players: Patrick Willis (LB), Nate Clements (CB), Justin Smith (DE)

The San Francisco 49ers are quite possibly the most surprising 2-0 team going into week 3. Coach Mike Singletary told his players in the preseason, that he wants them to play Fhysical…With an F! The 49ers have done just that on defense, holding opposing defenses to an average of 13 points per game. No player in the 49ers locker room fits the word “Fhysical” like Patrick Willis who is starting to show signs of a young Ray Lewis. On top of that Nate Clements has shut down both T.J. Houzmanzadeh as well as Larry Fitzgerald in respective weeks. Expect the 49ers to continue to pound the very weak NFC West teams they will face, as they finish the season as a top 10 defenses in fantasy football.