Midseason Report: NFL Defense team of the year so far

J.J. Watt brings down his prey (©GettyImages)

Following on from the offensive team of the year so far it time to examine who has starred on the defensive side of the ball.

Defensive End - J.J. Watt

It shouldn't surprise anyone that Texan's defensive end J.J. Watt makes this list. He is head and shoulders ahead of any other defensive player in the league. Double teamed on almost every single play and yet Watt still brings frightening levels of shock and awe to opposition offensive lines.

Already he has eight quarterback hurries, seven sacks, seven passes defended, one forced fumble, three recoveries, one interception and one defensive touchdown. He is in contention for MVP.

Defensive Tackle - Ndamukong Suh

One way or the other Suh is heading into a contract year at the end of this season and with every game he plays right now he is adding zeroes to his bottom line. The Lions have given up the fewest points on defense and much of that good work start on the line of scrimmage where Suh is dominant.

Defensive End - DeMarcus Ware

In their pursuit of a Championship ring the Broncos invested big on defense and ex-Cowboy Ware was one of the big marquee signings. Ware hasn't wasted anytime in living up to his price tag collecting seven sacks and one forced fumble.

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Linebacker - Von Miller

With nine sacks already this season it is fair to say that Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller has overcome his knee injury from last season. Along with fellow list alum DeMarcus Ware, Von Miller has given the Broncos defense perhaps the best one-two pass rush duo in the business.

Linebacker - Ryan Kerrigan

Overall the Washington defense isn't anything special. It is the 29th ranked defense in the NFL. Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan however, is putting together a pretty spectacular year. Last season Kerrigan had 8.5 sacks and 11 QB hurries this season he is already up to 7.5 sacks and 7 QB hurries. 

Additionally, his best game of the season came last Monday against the Cowboys when he delivered a dominant defensive performance finishing up with six tackles and one sack.

Linebacker - Justin Houston

The importance of Houston's pass rush abilities cannot be understated. Prior to the start of the season Kansas City was seen as not having a great pass rush and this impression was reinforced when the Chiefs reached in the draft to take Dee Ford in the first round.

With 10 sacks already this season Houston is leading the league in sacks and Kansas City will hope that it continues for the rest of the year.

Linebacker - DeAndre Levy

Even more than Suh linebacker DeAndre Levy is crucial to the Lions defense. With the Lions being hit by numerous injuries to key defensive personnel Levy has been been a rock around which the rest of unit has been built. Levy covers pretty much every inch of gridiron for the Lions and has already made 55 tackle; the third most in the league.

Cornerback - Vontae Davis

Had Vontae Davis not injured his knee early on game against the Steelers it is hard to imagine that Big Ben would have thrown for 522 yards and Pittsburgh would have put up 51 points.

Davis has been a star player for the Colts this season leading the leagues in passes defended with 12 and on top of this he also has two interceptions.

Cornerback - Chris Harris

The third Denver defender to make this list Chris Harris has been solid all season. He may not be flashy but he isn't getting beaten much and that is a great quality for a cornerback to have.  Harris has already accumulated 2 interceptions and 12 successful pass defenses. He is a key part of a strong Denver defense.

Free Safety - Tashaun Gipson

Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2012 Gipson was tied for the AFC interceptions lead last season and in 2014 he has continued where he left off. This season he already has five interceptions a total which is enough to lead the league.

Strong Safety -  Mike Adams

Aged 33 and after being released by the Broncos after the last Superbowl it was easy to think that Mike Adams' career was all but done. This season though Adams has been a key part of the Colts defense that has surprised everyone by giving up the fewest yards to the pass and being ranked number one overall in the NFL.

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