Looking at the upcoming games, I don’t see a defense that looks particularly likely to put up big numbers. There are some good ones left, but it’s tough getting many chances to make plays against most of the quarterbacks left in the tournament.
The Rams, most notably, had the best pass-rush numbers in the regular season. They’ve also scored touchdowns in five of their last seven games. But it’s tough getting takeaways against Green Bay’s offense. The Packers simply don’t turn the ball over (and also allowed only 21 sacks in the regular season).
Patrick Mahomes, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers. Those guys don’t tend to make many mistakes. Josh Allen had a phenomenal years; he’s becoming one of those guys. And Baker Mayfield, after a rough start, hasn’t been giving up many sacks or turnovers for the bulkt of the season.
Of the remaining quarterbacks, Lamar Jackson took the most sacks in the regular season, but I don’t envision the Bills being able to put much pressure on him; they have problems getting adequate pressure (or stopping) Philip Rivers.
If we take the defensive numbers from the regular season and average them against how offenses have played, they suggest that all eight defenses will finish with about 2 sacks this week. A couple of defenses slightly over 2 (Rams, Bucs), and a couple of defenses slightly under 2 (Browns, KC). But if we round the numbers, all eight defenses finish at two.
And turnover projections look low.
If we take the numbers for all defenses and offenses still play, I see (on average) a 53 percent chance of a fumble recovery (for each defense in each game), a 73 percent chance of an interception, 2.1 sacks and a 14 percent chance of a touchdown (be it on a return of a takeaway or a kick returner).
These aren’t big defensive numbers.
On the chart below, I’m using the fantasy scoring system of 6 points for touchdowns, 1 for sacks, 2 for takeaways and 2 for safeties (which aren’t listed, but they’re in there).
|DEFENSES: AVERAGED MATCHUP NUMBERS|