ASL's Ben Muell gives his insights into what we might expect to be defensive unit trends against quarterbacks in the 2019 season.

Here are Ben's other NFL Trends articles: Ds vs RBs | Ds vs WRs |  Ds vs TEs

Defensive trends are a thing in the NFL. And in the pass happy league defensive trends exist for a couple of reasons: the personnel or strategy and are definitely a thing from year to year. Some teams just consistently are bad at stopping the run or pass.

Trends result from two things, personnel and strategy. In some cases players are just typically bad at defending the run or the pass. And in other situations coaches are bad at game-playing against the run or the pass or out of strategies the funnel teams away from their deficiency.

In a QB-dominate league here are some defensive trends from 2018 to provide a baseline of expectations for the 2019 season.

2018’s Worst Defenses v. QBs

Passing Yards / Game

Passing Touchdowns / Game

Rushing Yards / Game

1

Chiefs

295.06

1

49ers

2.187

1

Jaguars

29.43

2

Eagles

287.62

2

Raiders

2.187

2

Falcons

24.18

3

Saints

285.81

3

Falcons

2.0625

3

Dolphins

23.93

4

Bengals

282.75

4

Buccaneers

2.0625

4

Jets

22.06

5

Buccaneers

273.62

5

Bengals

2.00

5

Browns

20.18

6

Texans

273.62

6

Dolphins

1.9375

6

Bengals

19.31

7

Falcons

273.25

7

Panthers

1.9375

7

Giants

19.25

8

Browns

273.12

8

Chiefs

1.875

8

Patriots

18.93

9

Jets

271.43

9

Rams

1.875

9

Buccaneers

18.81

10

Broncos

264.87

10

Saints

1.81

10

Saints

18.18

Not only is this a mix of of haves and have-nots of the NFL but it also includes teams with strong offenses. This makes sense as opposing teams run more pass plays to play catch up with the likes of the Chiefs’ and Saints’ offenses.

Another interesting note is the poor play of the NFC South division. Could this be due to multiple in division match-ups against high-end wide receivers like New Orleans’ Michael Thomas, Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans, and Atlanta’s Julio Jones or lack of overall talent, we’ll see.

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The 49ers did nothing to improve their secondary but hope that their pass rush will provide overall improvement. With their potential offensive firepower and potentially pour secondary match-ups, San Francisco has shoot out potential in 2019.

Finally, QBs can expect to again steal an extra 2.5+ points a week this season against Miami as they enter rebuild mode.

2018’s Best Defenses v. QBs

Passing Yards / Game

Passing Touchdowns / Game

Rushing Yards / Game

1

Bills

192.56

1

Vikings

0.93

1

Broncos

5.75

2

Jaguars

209.62

2

Jaguars

1.06

2

Lions

7.4

3

Vikings

216.06

3

Cardinals

1.25

3

Bills

9.75

4

Cardinals

222.93

4

Bills

1.31

4

Cardinals

9.81

5

Ravens

228.18

5

Bears

1.31

5

49ers

10.81

6

Titans

232.06

6

Ravens

1.31

6

Colts

11.37

7

Bears

237.37

7

Titans

1.31

7

Bears

11.56

8

Chargers

242.12

8

Colts

1.31

8

Packers

11.62

9

Raiders

242.56

9

Browns

1.31

9

Ravens

12.18

10

Lions

243.06

10

Dal / Phi

1.37

10

Steelers

12.5

 

It’s no surprise that the BIlls and Jaguars were the two best defenses against the pass and should continue to be so, especially with the additions both have made at pass rush.

The Titans could be an interesting DFS and season-long defense with their playmakers as well as the departure of Indiannapolis’ Andrew Luck and the arrival of Jacksonville’s Nick Foles, creating the potential for more turnovers.

Finally, the Vikings can get after the passer but after being an elite defense in 2017, they regressed as a whole in 2018. So will they continue to slide or bounce back in 2019?

Questions, comments, suggestions, and other feedback on this piece are always welcome. Follow me on twitter @b_muell for memes as well as my takes on the Skins, Caps, Terps, and O's