The 2020 NFL off-season was like no other. Due to the COVID-19 virus every NFL team was unable to operate like they usually do when it comes to preparing for a new season. Team workouts became virtual as well as pre-season games were wiped off the schedule. Offensive execution will definitely be an issue for all teams without being able to get live reps against opposing defenses. With football just a week away, it seems as if defenses will have the upper hand to start the season. Especially defenses that have repeat coordinators so they are able to stick to the same schemes and coverage’s from the 2019 season that brought them success. Since I believe defense will begin the season with the upper hand, lets see who makes the top five list for defenses in 2020.
Fred’s Top Five Defense’s
It is scary to think that Nick Bosa was only a rookie last year. Add in Javon Kinlaw with the 14th pick of the 2020 NFL Draft and the best defense in football somehow got better. With the leadership of Richard Sherman and the talent to go toe-to-toe with any top offense in the NFL, it is a no brainer to have the 49er’s start the season as the most complete defense in the league. They should be right back where they were last season in the postseason competing for the Super Bowl.
For the last two seasons we have been lucky enough to witness the breakout of T.J. Watt. Just when you thought no one would be able to do what J.J. Watt has done for the past decade, in comes his younger brother to wreak havoc in the AFC North. Alongside Watt is Bud Dupree who in my opinion is easily a top 10 edge rusher in the league as well. Expect Devon Bush to make great strides in his second season as Linebacker and with the talent of this defense they may just have what it takes to compete for the AFC North Division Title if Ben is healthy for 16 games.
Harrison Smith continues to cement himself as one of the best play-making safeties in the league. Danielle Hunter and Yannick Ngakoue on the same defensive line pair up to be the second best duo of pass rushers in the league behind Dupree and Watt in Pittsburgh. Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks have developed great chemistry together at linebacker after several seasons together. The Vikings should be able to surpass the Packers and win the NFC North Division Title.
Khalil Mack, Roquan Smith, and Eddie Jackson cannot be more excited to have the anchor of their defense back and healthy for the 2020 season. Akiem Hicks is the defensive tackle for the Bears that almost always needs a double team. Unless of course you want him to ruin your offensive game plan! Hicks missed almost all of the 2019 season with a foot injury and is feeling healthy and ready to bring this defense back to their 2018 form, where they won the NFC North Division Title.
Bobby Wagner alone makes this Seattle defense a top 10 unit in the league. With the addition of Jamal Adams it seems as if this defense will be back to its old form making plays and creating turnovers every Sunday. The Seahawks will be in a heated battled for the NFC West Division Title with San Francisco all season long. The loss of Jadeveon Clowney will hurt the pass rush for sure. However, with two defensive players with the skills of Adams and Wagner it will make moving the ball consistently very difficult for opposing teams.
-Fred O’Brien (@FOBSportsNFL)
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