It’s time for another edition of our NFL Spin Zone Sunday Debate. Brendan took another loss last week despite his best efforts to sabotage Jalen Ramsey and the Jacksonville Jaguars season. You can’t save your BFF Andrew Luck this time Brendan.
This week we’ll be debating which team boasts the best defense in the NFL heading into the 2016 season. I’ll be making the correct argument for “The Legion of Boom,” while Brendan flops again arguing for a depleted Denver Broncos defense.
Yes, the Broncos defense was historically good last season and what they did with “Old Noodle Arm” (aka Peyton Manning) at quarterback was incredible. However, let’s not forget about the Seattle Seahawks dominance. You can make a case that if Kam Chancellor didn’t hold out, Seattle may have had the top-ranked defense last season.
The difference between the two teams last season was about eight yards per game and 19 total points. Consider this, in the first two games without Chancellor the team gave up 61 points or 30.5 points per game. Once he returned for the remaining 14 games the Seahawks gave up just 12.4 points per game. Clearly they are a different team with Chancellor, who they will have for the entirety of the 2016 season.
They also bolstered their defense by signing defensive end Chris Clemons and cornerback Brandon Browner, both who were outstanding in their system the first go around. They also added stud defensive tackle Jarran Reed in the 2016 NFL Draft. These additions will join perennial All-Pro and Pro Bowl players like Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Bobby Wagner and Michael Bennett.
On the other hand, the Broncos lost two key pieces in DE Malik Jackson and outstanding linebacker Danny Trevathan. Jackson is a tough loss, but the Trevathan loss is brutal. It’s particularly rough to lose Jackson because DeMarcus Ware will be 34 this season and is declining on a yearly basis as all players his age do.
I’m not going to get into the schedules either way because who a team plays has nothing to do with how good their defense actually is. We all remember The Legion of Boom molly-whopping Peyton Manning’s historically great offense in the Super Bowl.
Speaking of history, the Seahawks have proven time and time again how dominant they can be. Prior to being the No. 2 defense last season, they were the No. 1 defense since 2013 and haven’t been outside of the top five since 2011. More impressively they haven’t been outside of the top 10 since 2007. So they are always in the mix and usually right at the top.
I fully expect the Broncos defense to be good, but take a small step back this season. While the Seahawks take another step forward and reclaim their throne as the league’s best defense.
I love how they bolstered their defensive line and Browner was a great pickup assuming he plays like he did last time he was with the team. I just can’t see the Broncos keeping up. They’ll have to battle it out with the Arizona Cardinals for the No. 2 spot.
Time to celebrate another victory!
Better luck next week Brendan. Don’t feel bad, anyone would have lost this debate to me. Just not so badly.