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The new defensive coordinators have found their home, for the most part, and much to Rex Ryan’s chagrin. And while the bottom half of the ranking remains the same, there is a slight shake-up in the top 10.

The San Francisco 49ers dropped a spot due to the uncertainty of free agency and the late dismissal of their defensive coordinator, Steve Wilks.

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Note: Filters and sorting in the table below apply to the output

# Name Team
Kansas City Chiefs KC
San Francisco 49ers SF
Baltimore Ravens BAL
Cleveland Browns CLE
Houston Texans HOU
Las Vegas Raiders LV
Pittsburgh Steelers PIT
Dallas Cowboys DAL
New York Jets NYJ
Buffalo Bills BUF
Atlanta Falcons MIA
New England Patriots NE
Atlanta Falcons ATL
Green Bay Packers GB
Jacksonville Jaguars JAC
Detroit Lions DET
Tampa Bay Buccaneers TB
Chicago Bears CHi
Indianapolis Colts IND
Philadelphia Eagles PHI
Minnesota Vikings MIN
Denver Broncos DEN
Tennessee Titans TEN
Los Angeles Chargers LAC
Los Angeles Rams LAR
Cincinnati Bengals CIN
Seattle Seahawks SEA
Carolina Panthers CAR
New York Giants NYG
New Orleans Saints NOR
Arizona Cardinals ARI
Washington Commanders WAS

Nevertheless, here are three teams at the bottom of the defensive rankings and their new defensive coordinators. Will the new defensive coordinators make a dent in their respective teams? Two of the three have a solid chance, and one will be fighting an uphill battle all season.

What defensive coordinator do you think will make the greater impact-positive or negative?

Way Too Early 2024 Defensive Rankings

Team: New York Giants

New Defensive Coordinator: Shane Bowen

2024 Ranking: #29 (ECR #27)

Fantasy Points per game 7.7 (#14)| Points allowed per game 23.9 (#26)| Yards per game allowed 361.7 (#27)

After the sudden departure of Wink Martindale, head coach Brian Daboll took time to find his replacement. He eventually found his man in Shane Bowen. Bowen has been the defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans for the past three seasons.

Last season, the Titans’ defense ranked first in red zone scoring, only allowing 37.7% of drives inside the 20-yard line to score. Last season, the Giants were 25th in red zone scoring, allowing 61.02% of opponents to score on their red zone possessions.

The defense will look different. There will be much less of Martindale’s pressure packages and blitzes. It remains to be seen, however, how much of the Titans’ scheme was Bowen and how much was head coach Mike Vrabel. The expectation is that the Giants’ defense will now be zone-heavy and physical, with an emphasis on stopping the run. Last season, the Giants were 29th in rushing yards allowed per game (132.4).

Team: Philadelphia Eagles

New Defensive Coordinator: Vic Fangio

2024 Ranking: #30 (ECR #26)

Fantasy Points per game 5.9 (#27)| Points allowed per game 25.6 (#30)| Yards per game allowed 360 (#26)

Fangio is back. Fangio famously “consulted” with then Jonathan Gannon during the Eagles Super Bowl 57 run. He is returning to take over from the Sean Desai/Matt Patricia experiment.

Fangio’s defensive scheme is well known. The Fangio defense relies on keeping everything in front, starting with a two-high shell look pre-snap. Blitzing is not a priority.

Safeties are an important element in his defensive scheme. The defensive backs are schemed to fill in the running lanes and eliminate the crossing routes. Almost every outlet has the Eagles drafting for the secondary in the NFL 2024 Draft. And for good reason: the Eagles were 31st-ranked in passing defense in passing yards per game allowed. They surrendered 4,296 passing yards for the season, or 252.7 per game (only Washington gave up more passing yards). In comparison, Fangio’s Miami Dolphins defense was 15th, yielding 223.5 passing yards per game.

There are scenarios where the Eagles’ defense could rise out of the ashes…only the 2024 NFL Draft and Free Agency will tell.

Team: Washington Commanders

New Defensive Coordinator: Joe Whitt Jr.

2024 Rankings: #32 (ECR #32)

Fantasy Points per game: 3.8 (#32)| Points allowed per game: 30.5 (#32)| Yards per game allowed: 388.9 (#32)

First-time defensive coordinator Whitt will have his work cut out for him. Whitt, who has worked with new head coach Dan Quinn in Dallas for three seasons, was the secondary coach for the Cowboys before their move and promotion.

When asked what type of defense the Commanders would run, Whitt replied, “We’re going to be a run and hit defense. We are going to run and put our bodies on people in a violent manner.”

To further bring home the point, Whitt continued, “3-4,4-3…everyone plays the same coverages. Structure doesn’t matter. The main thing that matters is whether we are going to arrive violently, turn the ball over, and disrupt these quarterbacks.”

It’s safe to say the new defensive coordinator in Washington isn’t giving up any schemes, but we can expect the defense to be hard-hitting and get after the quarterback.

The Rankings!

As stated earlier and as the new chart shows, the rankings at the top shifted from my last rankings. And more shifts are likely to come, with the NFL Combine starting next week, the Free Agency period beginning March 13, and of course, the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Giants, Eagles, and Commanders are at the bottom for a reason. The reasons vary but pretty much play along the lines of the defensive scheme not matching the personnel, the personnel being subpar, and/or the defensive coordinator not being able to make the adjustments his team needs. Time will tell.

Expect a cataclysmic reorganization in defenses this upcoming fantasy season. Stick with Razzball to keep you up on the situation.