NFL Defensive Team Stats: Complete Details with Individual Player Stats

By Casey
13 Min Read

The National Football League (NFL) presents a highly competitive and ever-changing environment, where defensive strategies are key in determining the results of both individual games and entire seasons. The 2023 NFL season has been no exception, showcasing a blend of tactical prowess and athletic brilliance on the defensive side of the ball. Understanding NFL defensive team stats not only provides insights into the effectiveness of these strategies but also highlights the teams and players leading the charge in shaping the league’s defensive narrative.

NFL Defensive Key Stats Explained

Passing Defense Stats

  • Interceptions (INT): A critical metric indicating a team’s ability to disrupt the opponent’s passing game. Teams with high interception numbers often have aggressive and opportunistic secondaries.
  • Yards Allowed per Attempt (Yds/Att): This stat reflects the efficiency of a team’s pass defense. Lower numbers indicate a more effective pass defense, limiting the opponent’s ability to gain significant yardage through the air.
  • Completion Percentage Against (Cmp %): A lower completion percentage against signifies a tighter pass defense, making it difficult for opposing quarterbacks to find open receivers.

Rushing Defense Stats

  • Yards Allowed per Game: A key indicator of a team’s ability to contain the run. Teams excelling in this area often have strong defensive lines and linebackers.
  • Tackles for Loss: This stat highlights a team’s ability to disrupt plays in the backfield, an essential aspect of a dominant run defense.
  • Rushing Touchdowns Allowed: Fewer rushing touchdowns allowed points to a team’s effectiveness in red-zone defense, particularly against the run.

Sacks and Quarterback Pressures

  • Sacks (Sck): Sacks are a direct measure of a team’s ability to pressure and bring down the quarterback, disrupting the offensive game plan.
  • Quarterback Hits and Hurries: These stats, while not as definitive as sacks, indicate the frequency and effectiveness of a team’s pass rush.

Points Allowed

  • Points Allowed: Perhaps the most straightforward yet telling statistic, points allowed measures the overall effectiveness of a team’s defense in the ultimate objective of preventing scoring.

NFL Defensive Team Stats: The Complete Details

Team Games Total Points Points/Game Rush Yards Rush Yards/Game Pass Yards Pass Yards/Game Total Yards Yards/Game
Cleveland Browns 12 245 20.4 1285 107.1 1841 153.4 3126 260.5
Baltimore Ravens 12 187 15.6 1227 102.2 2060 171.7 3287 273.9
Dallas Cowboys 12 220 18.3 1272 106.0 2173 181.1 3445 287.1
Kansas City Chiefs 12 208 17.3 1376 114.7 2196 183.0 3572 297.7
San Francisco 49ers 12 189 15.8 948 79.0 2633 219.4 3581 298.4
Miami Dolphins 12 266 22.2 1159 96.6 2443 203.6 3602 300.2
Carolina Panthers 12 313 26.1 1502 125.2 2170 180.8 3672 306.0
New England Patriots 12 254 21.2 1064 88.7 2662 221.8 3726 310.5
New York Jets 12 251 20.9 1633 136.1 2119 176.6 3752 312.7
Atlanta Falcons 12 240 20.0 1294 107.8 2497 208.1 3791 315.9
Chicago Bears 12 296 24.7 948 79.0 2874 239.5 3822 318.5
Buffalo Bills 12 227 18.9 1400 116.7 2439 203.2 3839 319.9
Minnesota Vikings 12 242 20.2 1152 96.0 2692 224.3 3844 320.3
Detroit Lions 12 286 23.8 1117 93.1 2752 229.3 3869 322.4
New Orleans Saints 12 255 21.2 1506 125.5 2364 197.0 3870 322.5
Los Angeles Rams 12 253 21.1 1333 111.1 2637 219.8 3970 330.8
Tennessee Titans 12 255 21.2 1274 106.2 2770 230.8 4044 337.0
Green Bay Packers 12 243 20.2 1635 136.2 2445 203.8 4080 340.0
Houston Texans 12 249 20.8 1164 97.0 2942 245.2 4106 342.2
Las Vegas Raiders 12 256 21.3 1524 127.0 2601 216.8 4125 343.8
Pittsburgh Steelers 12 229 19.1 1452 121.0 2728 227.3 4180 348.3
Philadelphia Eagles 12 288 24.0 1084 90.3 3123 260.2 4207 350.6
Seattle Seahawks 12 290 24.2 1431 119.2 2813 234.4 4244 353.7
Jacksonville Jaguars 12 259 21.6 1117 93.1 3140 261.7 4257 354.8
Arizona Cardinals 13 331 25.5 1811 139.3 2808 216.0 4619 355.3
Indianapolis Colts 12 296 24.7 1599 133.2 2665 222.1 4264 355.3
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 12 245 20.4 1188 99.0 3095 257.9 4283 356.9
New York Giants 12 292 24.3 1633 136.1 2739 228.2 4372 364.3
Los Angeles Chargers 12 258 21.5 1365 113.8 3189 265.8 4554 379.5
Washington Commanders 13 395 30.4 1480 113.8 3458 266.0 4938 379.8
Denver Broncos 12 302 25.2 1796 149.7 2827 235.6 4623 385.2
Cincinnati Bengals 12 273 22.8 1607 133.9 3051 254.2 4658 388.2

Read: Top 10 TE in the NFL 2023: Stats and Analysis

2023 NFL Defensive Team Rankings

As of the 2023 season, several teams have distinguished themselves with impressive defensive statistics. The following are some of the standout teams in various defensive categories:

  • San Francisco 49ers: Excelled in pass defense with a low yards per attempt and high interception count.
  • Chicago Bears: Demonstrated a strong pass defense, marked by a high completion percentage against and a moderate sack count.
  • Buffalo Bills: Showcased a balanced defense with a good mix of sacks and interceptions, coupled with a low completion percentage against.

Individual Defensive Player Highlights

The 2023 NFL season has seen remarkable performances from individual defensive players, each bringing unique skills and contributing significantly to their team’s success. Let’s look at some of the standout players and their key statistics:

Top Performers in Sacks

  • Khalil Mack (OLB, LAC): Dominating with 15.0 sacks, showcasing his ability to disrupt the opponent’s offensive line.
  • T.J. Watt (OLB, PIT): Close behind with 14.0 sacks, proving his relentless pursuit of the quarterback.
  • Josh Allen (LB, JAC): Making a significant impact with 13.5 sacks, a testament to his versatility and athleticism.

Leaders in Tackles

  • Maxx Crosby (DE, LV): Leading with a total of 66 combined tackles, demonstrating his ability to stop both the run and pass plays.
  • Danielle Hunter (LB, MIN): Recording 60 combined tackles, showing his prowess in tracking and halting offensive plays.
  • Myles Garrett (DE, CLE): Contributing 32 combined tackles, a significant number for a defensive end, highlighting his defensive acumen.

Interceptions and Pass Deflections

  • T.J. Watt (OLB, PIT): Not only excelling in sacks but also in pass coverage with 1 interception and 7 pass deflections.
  • A.J. Epenesa (DE, BUF): A defensive end with an interception returned for a touchdown, showcasing his ability to read the game and make pivotal plays.

Fumble Recoveries

  • Khalil Mack (OLB, LAC): Leading in forced fumbles, demonstrating his ability to create turnover opportunities for his team.
  • T.J. Watt (OLB, PIT) and Josh Allen (LB, JAC): Both showing their knack for causing and recovering fumbles, adding another layer to their defensive skill set.

These players have not only put up impressive numbers but have also been instrumental in their teams’ overall defensive strategies. Their performances are a clear indication of the high level of skill and athleticism present in the NFL today.

Read: Most Passing Yards in a NFL Game: List of Top Players

Defensive Schemes and Coaching Strategies

The success of these individual players is also a reflection of the sophisticated defensive schemes and coaching strategies employed in the NFL. Teams like the San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, and Buffalo Bills have excelled in creating defensive game plans that maximize the strengths of their players.

  • San Francisco 49ers: Utilizing a mix of zone and man coverage schemes, coupled with a strong pass rush, to disrupt opposing offenses.
  • Baltimore Ravens: Implementing a defensive strategy that focuses on stopping the run and forcing teams to become one-dimensional.
  • Buffalo Bills: Known for their aggressive blitz packages and creative use of defensive linemen and linebackers to apply pressure.

These strategies have not only led to impressive individual performances but have also contributed to the overall success of the teams in the 2023 NFL season.

Impact of Defense on Game Outcomes

The 2023 NFL season has vividly illustrated how a robust defense can be a game-changer. Teams with top-tier defenses have consistently shown the ability to control the pace of the game and secure victories, even in high-pressure situations. Let’s explore some key defensive statistics and their impact on game outcomes:

Defensive Dominance in Key Games

  • Baltimore Ravens: With the lowest points allowed (187 points over 12 games) and a strong pass defense (only 2060 yards allowed), their defense has been pivotal in close games.
  • San Francisco 49ers: Their defense, leading in interceptions (15) and low in rushing yards allowed (948 yards), has turned games around by creating turnovers and stifling run plays.
  • Buffalo Bills: Their aggressive defense, leading in sacks (41), has consistently put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, leading to crucial turnovers and defensive stops.

Case Studies: Defense Winning Championships

  • Game Analysis: In several key matchups, teams like the Ravens and 49ers have won games by narrow margins, where their defensive units stepped up to make game-saving plays, be it through interceptions, sacks, or forced fumbles.
  • Defensive Strategies: These victories can often be attributed to strategic defensive plays, such as blitz packages, zone defenses, and man coverage, effectively shutting down opposing offenses.

Fan Engagement and Fantasy Football

The impact of NFL defensive team stats extends beyond the field into the realm of fantasy football, where fans engage deeply with the sport:

Fantasy Football Considerations

  • Defensive Players: Players like Khalil Mack and T.J. Watt are highly valued in fantasy leagues for their sack numbers and overall defensive impact.
  • Team Defenses: Teams like the Ravens and 49ers are sought after in fantasy drafts for their low points allowed and high turnover rates.

Tips for Fantasy Football Players

  • Analyzing Matchups: Understanding the strengths of NFL defenses can help fantasy players make informed decisions about which defensive players or teams to start each week.
  • Monitoring Defensive Trends: Keeping an eye on emerging defensive stars and under-the-radar teams can give fantasy players an edge in their leagues.

In The End: The 2023 Season’s Defensive Highlights

The 2023 NFL season has been a testament to the importance of a strong defense. Teams with top-tier defensive units have not only performed well in regular season games but have also been crucial in securing wins in tightly contested matchups. The season has seen standout performances from individual players and teams alike, emphasizing the strategic and athletic prowess required to excel defensively in the NFL.

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By Casey
Casey is a seasoned NFL aficionado with years of dedication to observing and analyzing the intricacies of American football. As the mastermind behind "NFL Schedule", Casey offers a treasure trove of insights ranging from detailed analyses of team schedules to the cultural nuances within the sport. His website is a testament to his passion, showcasing articles on diverse topics like team logistics, player experiences, and the financial aspects of the game. Casey's expertise is not just in the statistics and strategies of football, but also in its cultural and human elements, making him a comprehensive guide to the world of the NFL.
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