A great defense is important for every team to have. A specific position group on defense that is one of the most important in the whole team is the secondary. The secondary consists of a free safety, strong safety, and two corners. Now, usually, you can see five or six players from the secondary playing at a time. There are many reasons a secondary is crucial. A secondary has many jobs. These include forcing turnovers like interceptions, tackling the receiving player, preventing receivers from making a play on the ball, and on some occasions, pressuring the quarterback. I will be presenting the three best secondaries in the NFL, but first let’s continue on, with the importance of the secondary.
Most importantly, in many games, the play of the secondary is the key factor in winning or losing that game. Most teams that make the playoffs have a fantastic secondary. Many teams have decent secondaries, but they are not at the next level because of one player that isn’t that great. There are a few teams that possess a very talented secondary, and one that is great all around. Here are the top three current secondaries in the National Football League.
Top Three Current Secondaries In The NFL
For this list, I only picked three secondaries, but there are a lot of great secondaries that I didn’t put down. For that reason, I will give an honorable mention to those considered, but that didn’t make the final cut. The secondaries I considered were the Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, and the Los Angeles Rams.
Number Three: Buffalo Bills
Last year, the Buffalo Bills made the playoffs because their defense was outstanding, especially their secondary. The leader of the secondary and the best player on the whole Buffalo Bills team is Tre’Davious White. White is a top-three cornerback in the league. Rightly so, considering the year he had. Last year, White had six interceptions, which led the league, two forced fumbles, and a sack. Additionally, he had allowed a mere 55.95% completion percentage and he had 17 passes defended, which ranked fifth in the league. The other cornerback for the Buffalo Bills is the veteran Josh Norman, who had a down year as he only played 12 games, but I expect him to have a bounceback season in an exciting Bill’s defense.
Joining them are strong safety Jordan Poyer and free safety Micah Hyde. Poyer is one of the best strong safeties in the league and he had a solid season. It was a season in which he had two interceptions, one sack, and three forced fumbles. Additionally, he had 80 solo tackles which ranked top-ten among all safeties. Micah Hyde is very underrated and has been throughout his career. He had a solid season in which he had one interception, 56 solo tackles, and two forced fumbles. These four played a key part in the Bills making the playoffs and the Bills allowing the fourth-least passing yards in the entire league.
Number Two: Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers have a talent-packed secondary that could single-handedly lead them to the playoffs. Let us start with the safeties. The starter at the strong safety position is Derwin James. The young Derwin James is one of the most promising defensive players in the league. Last year, James only played five games, but the year before, he had a monster rookie season. In that season, he had 105 combined tackles, three and a half sacks, 13 passes defended, and three interceptions. Those are already elite numbers, but what is more impressive is that he was only 22-years-old. On the other side, the starting free safety position is occupied by Nasir Adderley. Adderley hasn’t played a full season yet, but he is very promising.
Besides having goods safeties, the Chargers have fantastic cornerbacks. They probably have the best depth at the cornerback position in the entire league. The starters are Chris Harris Jr. and Casey Hayward Jr. The four-time Pro-Bowler Chris Harris Jr. joined the Chargers this past offseason and he will bring great veteran experience. Over his nine-year career, he has recorded 518 combined tackles, 20 interceptions, and 90 passes defended. While Casey Heyward Jr. has been a consistent producer throughout his career and is considered a top-ten cornerback by many. Last season, Hayward Jr. had a decent season with 32 combined tackles along with two interceptions, and eight passes defended.
Not only do the Chargers have two great cornerbacks, but they also have a third by the name of Desmond King. Although he had no interceptions last season, he did have 50 combined tackles and three sacks. This secondary is also responsible for allowing the fifth-fewest passing yards in the whole league. The whole Chargers fan base will heavily rely on the secondary to perform and carry them into the playoffs.
Number One: Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens truly have a super bowl-caliber secondary that is oozing with talent and skill. They have great cornerbacks in Marlon Humphrey, who is considered a top-five cornerback in the league, and Marcus Peters, a top-15 cornerback in the league. Marlon Humphrey had a phenomenal 2019 season in which he had three interceptions, 57 solo tackles, and two forced fumbles. He also had 14 passes defended which were top-ten in the league and only allowed a 58% completion percentage. Moving on to Marcus Peters who also had a great year. Last year, Peters had five interceptions which were ranked third in the league. He also had 48 solo tackles and 14 passes defended. Most importantly, Peters only allowed a 55.6% completion percentage which is ranked 39th in the league.
Besides those two, the Ravens also have a very good cornerback number three in Jimmy Smith who had 28 solo tackles, one interception, and six passes defended last season. The Ravens also have very good safeties in Earl Thomas and Chuck Clark. Earl Thomas is a seven-time Pro-Bowler that has consistently impressed every season. Last year, Thomas had 49 combined tackles, two interceptions, two sacks, and four passes defended. The most important stat with Thomas is that he allowed a 44% completion percentage which was second in the entire league only behind a player that played 16 games but started zero. The final piece of this fantastic secondary is Chuck Clark. Clark had a solid season with one interception, 73 combined tackles, two forced fumbles, and nine passes defended. I expect this secondary to have a fantastic season and I expect them to help Ravens in the playoffs.
Three Best NFL Secondaries Recap
As stated before, the secondaries play such a huge role in a team’s success. They are crucial because they have many jobs to do like forcing turnovers, pressuring quarterbacks, and breaking up plays. Many teams have solid secondaries with a weak link, but there are only a handful that are talented at every position. The teams that have the three best secondaries in the NFL going from three to one are the Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Chargers, and Baltimore Ravens. The secondaries on these teams are factors in why each team’s defense is so good and why they are successful.
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