The Chicago Bears run a 3-4 base defense coordinated by Chuck Pagano
The Bears signed CB Buster Skrine and S HaHa Clinton-Dix as cheaper replacements for Bryce Callahan (Broncos) and Adrian Amos (Packers), but they still have a fierce front seven and plenty of talent in the secondary. Khalil Mack, S Eddie Jackson and DE Akiem Hicks are studs, and 30-year-old CB Prince Amukamara is the oldest projected starter. New DC Chuck Pagano figures to blitz more often than Vic Fangio did.
The Los Angeles Chargers run a 4-3 base defense coordinated by Gus Bradley
The 2018 Chargers defense was stellar from a real-life standpoint, ranking eighth in both points allowed and Football Outsiders' DVOA. The 2019 product should be even better, considering Joey Bosa played seven games last year and the team used its top two picks on DT Jerry Tillery and S Nasir Adderley. The Chargers also signed LB Thomas Davis, while the loss of S Jaleel Addae (Texans) is addition by subtraction.
The Philadelphia Eagles run a 4-3 base defense coordinated by Jim Schwartz
Despite blitzing at a league-low rate of 16.7 percent, Philadelphia led the NFL in 2018 with 133 quarterback hits. Positive regression in takeaways (17) is forthcoming, as the Eagles have strong depth at all three levels of their defense, not to mention a bonafide game-wrecker in DT Fletcher Cox. The team signed DT Malik Jackson, DE Vinny Curry and LB Zach Brown to replace Michael Bennett and Jordan Hicks.
The Los Angeles Rams run a 3-4 base defense coordinated by Wade Phillips
The Rams can't replace Ndamukong Suh and lost some range when they swapped out S Lamarcus Joyner for Eric Weddle, but they still have the best player in the league (Aaron Donald) working under the best defensive coordinator (Wade Phillips). Playmaking cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters complete the perfect recipe to pile up takeaways, though the Rams may be only average at limiting points and yards.
The Baltimore Ravens run a 3-4 base defense coordinated by Don Martindale
C.J. Mosley, Terrell Suggs, Za'Darius Smith and Eric Weddle all found new homes during the offseason, but Baltimore may have the league's best secondary with Earl Thomas joining Tony Jefferson at safety behind a CB group that runs at least four or five deep. Mammoth tackles Brandon Williams and Michael Pierce should keep the front seven afloat while the blitz-happy Ravens sort things out in the linebacker corps.
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