Top Defenses in Week 16
By Alexandra Wade - April 26, 2023

Who in week 16 has the top defense? Before Joey Bosa even makes a comeback, the Los Angeles Chargers’ pass rush is beginning to heat up. When Derwin James and Bosa are still weeks, if not days, away from playing football, six sacks in two weeks is something to build on. The Chargers’ defense should make it easy to finish the regular season with victories against the Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Rams, and Indianapolis Colts. DJ Reader significantly increased his game on Sunday. The 335-pound defensive tackle saw that the Cincinnati Bengals defense needed someone to step up in Sam Hubbard and Trey Hendrickson’s absence, and he accomplished just that. Cincinnati continues to show it can win while missing key starters thanks to four second-half turnovers.

In Week 16, the Bengals’ defense should have a good time playing against a predictable Patriots attack. The Washington Commanders’ defense did not present itself in the greatest light by failing to register a sack on Daniel Jones in 32 dropbacks or allowing the New York Giants to go on an 18-play, 97-yard touchdown drive. Washington did, however, only allow one offensive touchdown on ten possessions, and New York concluded with a 20% third-down conversion percentage and 288 total yards. Even though it might not play well against Kyle Shanahan’s offense in Week 16, this defense is still very strong.

Getty images/Denver Post/ AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Image /Contributor

The Denver Broncos put on a nearly flawless effort on Sunday, allowing one explosive play (a 29-yard reception). The level of competition undoubtedly played a role, but a defense deserves praise whenever it restricts a team to 4.1 yards per play and a 16.7% third-down conversion rate. In Week 16, when facing a Rams attack that consists of backups and fringe starters, the Broncos D/ST should be fired up with immense confidence.
A short field can only be defended for a limited time by even the strongest NFL defense. In favorable territory against Joe Burrow and company, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defense more than held its own. With a defense lacking Vita Vea and Antoine Winfield Jr., the potent Cincinnati Bengals offense only needed to keep starting drives inside Tampa Bay’s 40-yard line.