Ranking every defense the Eagles will face during the 2024 regular season

The Eagles face some challenging defenses during the 2024 regular season. Here's a preliminary ranking.
Kyle Hamilton, Philadelphia Eagles schedule
Kyle Hamilton, Philadelphia Eagles schedule / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

Bear Bryant once said, "Offense sells tickets, and defense wins championships". That has been debated as of late. Some say 'Defense will allow you the opportunity to win games, but the offense must go win it for you'. Others still subscribe to another theory. 'The best defense is a great offense'. Anyone who watched the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII might be tempted to agree.

The three phases of football exist for a reason, and even though we focus on offense and defense more often than we do special teams, the latter is equally important. Just look at last year's Eagles and the performances of Jake Elliott, Braden Mann, and Britain Covey among others in 2023.

The Eagles aren't going to win games simply because their offense is elite. They'll need peak performance from the special teams unit and Vic Fangio's defense. Philly faces a few elite units this season as well. 

Here's a ranking of every defense the Eagles will face in 2024.

The Birds are loaded with offensive weapons. They'll be given some competition. Let's rank the defenses of Philly's 2024 opponents. This should be loads of fun.

1. Baltimore Ravens

Every time we look at Kyle Hamilton, we hope Philly didn't miss on him by taking Jordan Davis. Don't get us wrong, we still believe Jordan is going to be special, but Kyle is so good.

That isn't all. The Ravens added T.J. Tampa, Nate Wiggins, and Adisa Isaac to a unit that was already top-tier.

2. Cleveland Browns

The Browns ranked first in yards allowed, and only four teams generated more turnovers. Only five teams racked up more sacks than Cleveland, and here's the bad news for their opponents this season. This group is young and still on the rise.

3. Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys are a talented group with playmakers aplenty. DeMarcus Lawrence, DaRon Bland, Micah Parsons, and Trevon Diggs are all among the stars that can turn games with a play. If that isn't concerning enough, they added Marshawn Kneeland and Marist Liafu in the most recent NFL Draft.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh’s defense seemingly always has to cover for an offense that doesn't want to contribute to the goal of winning. Despite that unfortunate detail, the Black and Gold finished in the top 10 of almost every category we rate good defenses on.

Minkah Fitzpatrick, Joey Porter Jr, Patrick Queen, and T.J. Watt are all special. Don't forget about Cam Heyward and Alex Highsmith. We can talk about this unit all day.

5. New Orleans Saints

The Saints' defense doesn't always get the credit it deserves, but if they win a few games in 2024 and are able to steal some of the NFL's spotlight for themselves, that will change in a hurry. Kool-Aid McKinstry is one of the stars from what was a very intriguing draft class.

6. Green Bay Packers

Edgerrin Cooper and Javon Bullard were nice draft pickups for a unit that already had Rashan Gary, Jaire Alexander, and Quay Walker. The Pack added Xavier McKinney in March. Green Bay is going to cause a few issues for the competition in 2024.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars

Josh Allen is a star, and even though the Jaguars as a whole were disappointing, their defense helped by giving them opportunities to win games. They didn't add much in the draft to be excited about, but they're young and appear to be on the rise.

8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Vita Vea... Antoine Winfield... Lavonte David... Tampa has some talent if you haven't been paying attention. They're getting old, but the Bucs haven't shown signs of weariness yet. Stay tuned!

9. Los Angeles Rams

The Rams lost Aaron Donald, but they added former Seminoles Braden Fiske and Jared Verse. We talk about the Rams on offense a ton... and for good reason. Stacking 15 turnovers in 2023 won't change that unless L.A. proves to have improved their secondary this season.

10. Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta's defense improved as last season went on, but the addition of Raheem Morris as head coach has our attention here. After adding some talented pieces on offense in recent years (Bijan Robinson, Kyle Pitts, and Drake London), the Falcons added to the other side of the ball during the most recent NFL Draft. Defensive end Brandon Dorlus, nose tackle Ruke Orhorhoro, linebacker JD Bertrand, and Bralen Trice are all worth getting excited over.

11. New York Giants

Some overrate the Giants because they play in New York and generated a league-leadinf 31 turnovers in 2023. Dig a little deeper, and you'll learn they were lacking everywhere else. They ranked 27th in yards, 26th in points, and 28th in sacks. They added Brian Burns by way of trade and drafted Tyler Nubin, so we may see a better unit than the one we saw last season.

12. Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals surrendered a massive 374.6 yards per game in 2023, which ranked 31st in the NFL. They ranked 21st in points allowed, but they added Geno Stone, Sheldon Rankins, and Vonn Bell by way of free agency.

Kris Jenkins was added in the 2024 NFL Draft. McKinnley Jackson and Josh Newton are two other draftees that should pay dividends. Still, sometimes it feels like Cincy's theory is 'the best defense is a very good offense'.

13. Carolina Panthers

I honestly don't know what the Panthers have to hang their hat on. Their owner, David Tepper, is... well... a unique individual. We'll say that. Look past him, however, and things get stranger.

The Panthers don't draft well. Their best players leave when they're eligible for free agency. Last season, they ranked fourth in yards allowed but also gave up the fourth-most points.

They lost Brian Burns, Frankie Luvu, and Vonn Bell during the offseason. They added Jadeveon Clowney, A'Shawn Robinson, and Josey Jewell. Hey... We'll see what happens.

14. Washington Commanders

If you're a Commanders fan, you have to feel better than you've felt about this team in decades, but they won't be ready for primetime in 2024. This team's defense was bad before they traded Chase Young and Montez Sweat before last year's deadline.

Adding Dan Quinn as head coach and drafting Mike Sainristil and Jer'Zhan Newton will help the cause. Recently acquired Frankie Luvu is a stud, but it feels like the announcement of Bobby Wagner's signing would have been more frightening had it come two or three years ago.

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