Jacksonville finished second in the NFL across the board last season in yards allowed, points allowed (268) sacks (55) and takeaways (33) on the way to the AFC championship game. This was the rare case where money bought a dominant defense.
The Packers missed the playoffs last season with a 7-9 record in large part because their perennial MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers missed nine games with a fractured right collarbone. He’s healthy and back on the field in 2018.
The Carolina Panthers selected Star Lotulelei with the 14th overall pick of the 2013 draft and he supplied the wide body in the middle that helped Carolina finish in the Top 10 in run defense in four of his five seasons there.
The 2017 Rams had sacks and takeaways, finishing in the top five in both categories with their 28 takeaways and 48 sacks. But Los Angeles lacked a slam-the-door element to their defense, still allowing too many yards (19th in the NFL) and too many points (329).
The best pass rusher and cover cornerback on the Seattle Seahawks are out, as is Pro Bowl safety Kam Chancellor. But linebacker Bobby Wagner is still on the field so the aura of the Legion of Boom lives on.