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2021 Preseason NFL Overall Team Defense Top 10 Grades/Rankings

Over the last five weeks, we have covered the top offenses and defenses using different categories. For offense, we graded and ranked passing offense, run offense, run blocking, and pass blocking. On the defensive side of the football, we graded and ranked the top pass-rush, run stop, and pass coverage defenses. The results of each, when combined, provide us with a preseason situational analysis grade for both the offense and defense of every NFL team that we use to determine NFL power rankings, the strength of schedule for all teams, and projected win totals.


Check Out Our Previous Analysis




About The Analysis

Today's analysis wraps up our total defensive team grades combining pass rush, run stop, and pass coverage team grades. The average for each team determines how a team will be ranked heading into the 2021 NFL season.


The Grade Scale

The team grades use the individual player grades to get an average for each category. For offense, it's passing, run offense, run blocking, and pass blocking. As mentioned above, we use pass rush, run stop, and pass coverage for the defense. The scale is a 1 to 10 rating scale, with one being the lowest and ten being the highest. On average, based on preliminary analysis, a grade of 6 to 6.99 is a playoff-caliber position group, or if the entire offensive grade is in the area of 6 to 6.99, that will represent a playoff-caliber offense. A seven or higher average represents a Super Bowl Caliber offense, defense, or position group.


You can find all of our preseason NFL team grades by visiting our beta version of the Team and Player Grade Dashboard.


Top Ten Projected NFL Defenses Heading Into 2021


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

TOTAL DEFENSE RANK: 1ST

RUN D 6TH

PASS COV 2ND

PASS RUSH 1ST


Los Angeles Rams

TOTAL DEFENSE RANK: 2ND

RUN D: 2ND

PASS COV: 8TH

PASS RUSH: 4TH


Pittsburgh Steelers

TOTAL DEFENSE RANK: 3RD

RUN D: 3RD

PASS COV: 11TH

PASS RUSH: 3RD


Washington Football Team

TOTAL DEFENSE RANK: 4TH

RUN D: 5TH

PASS COV 21

PASS RUSH: 2ND


New Orleans Saints

TOTAL DEFENSE RANK: 5TH

RUN D: 1ST

PASS COV: 24TH

PASS RUSH: 8TH


Cleveland Browns

TOTAL DEFENSE RANK: 6TH

RUN D: 10TH

PASS COV: 4TH

PASS RUSH: 7TH


Denver Broncos

TOTAL DEFENSE RANK: 7TH

RUN D: 4TH

PASS COV: 1ST

PASS RUSH: 13TH


San Francisco 49ers

TOTAL DEFENSE RANK: 8TH

RUN D: 7TH

PASS COV: 14TH

PASS RUSH: 9TH


Baltimore Ravens

TOTAL DEFENSE RANK: 9TH

RUN D: 3RD

PASS COV: 3RD

PASS RUSH: 14TH


New York Jets

TOTAL DEFENSE RANK: 10TH

RUN D: 11TH

PASS COV: 30TH

PASS RUSH: 5TH

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