At the top of the list of ten best rush defenses is a big surprise. The Philadelphia Eagles come in as the top ranked defense by rushing yards allowed (RYA). Maybe it was the Super Bowl win by the New York Giants and all the favorable press surrounding the Dallas Cowboys, but I did not expect the Eagles to be so highly-ranked. This is not good news for rookie RB Matt Forte of the Chicago Bears. With very little passing game to compel the Eagles to back off the line of scrimmage, Forte may have his worst game of the season after making believers of everyone after his excellent three-game debut.
A team that should get a little more analysis of their RYA is the New York Jets. Their RYA is heavily influenced by the 49 yards the defense allowed against the Miami Dolphins in Week One. In the past two games, the Jets defense has allowed just over 100 rushing yards per game. If just the last two weeks are used to calculate RYA, the New York Jets drop to a middle-of-the-pack 16th overall. Should this make Edgerrin James of the Arizona Cardinals a more comfortable start? Slightly, but I think the repercussion is related more to the hope the Cardinals would have been forced to the air more against a souter run defense. And really, aren't fantasy players just concerned with the Cardinals passing weapons?
In a similar vein, the Tennessee Titans are not as fearsome in RYA as their #10 ranking indicates if Week one is disregarded. The Titans defense drops to 17th overall. For those who would have even considered resting Minnesota Vikings' RB Adrian Peterson, don't waste anymore second-guessing. Recall the Houston Texans rushed for 146 team yards last week agains the Titans, and a smaller back than Peterson, Steve Slaton, ran for 116 yards and a score. I can see the Titans dropping considerably in my rolling three-game RYA ranks.
Top 10 Best Rush Defenses: