Madden 21 Analytics
Buccaneers: A top-five linebacker and defensive line unit set the Buccaneers up with the leagues best run defense. Linebacker LaVonte David (90 OVR) rates as one of the top run defending linebackers in the league. Second-year linebacker Devin White (78 OVR) has a lot of potential to grow, but even still is an above-average run defender. On the defensive line, Ndamukoung Suh (86 OVR) and Vita Vea (87) bring high-level interior run defense to the team.
Broncos: Boasting the top defensive front against the run, the Broncos just missed out on the number one spot on this list. Von Miller (97 OVR) isn’t just an elite pass rusher but also finds himself able to stuff the run when needed. Newly acquired defensive end Jurrell Casey (87 OVR) was a key acquisition in terms of improving the Broncos’ ability to stop the run.
Bears: The Bears are leaning on the talent of their front, who are 4th in run defense, to pull this unit into the top 5. Akiem Hicks (88 OVR) and Eddie Goldman (84 OVR) create a very difficult interior unit to run on. While not an elite unit in terms of run defense, Roquan Smith (83 OVR) does show long term upside in this area.
Steelers: Pittsburgh is similar to Chicago in that an elite front makes up for an average linebacking group behind it. Led by interior defenders Cam Heyward (90 OVR) and Stephon Tuitt (87 OVR), the Steelers will be hard to run inside on. While not the most athletic linebacker in the world, Vince Williams (77 OVR) still offers solid run support from the linebacker position.
Texans: Back to a more balanced distribution of talent, the Texans checked in at 6th in defensive line and linebacker run defense rankings. J.J. Watt (98 OVR) has been one of the top run defenders for years but often forgotten linebacker Whitney Mercilus (81 OVR) is a very good run defender himself. A pair of quality linebackers in Benardrick McKinney (82 OVR) and Zach Cunningham (75 OVR) solidify the second level of this run defense.
Jaguars: While many people can name the pass rushers on the defensive line, few realize how little they offer in terms of run defense. While the defensive line brings little to the table ranking 31st in run defense, the linebacker group shows average ability at stopping the run. Newly acquired linebacker Joe Schobert (82 OVR) leads the defense in his ability to stop the run, while the athletic Myles Jack (81 OVR) is also a plus run defender.
Giants: This unit isn’t a good pass-rushing unit, and unfortunately they aren’t a good run defending team either. Interior defenders Dalvin Tomlinson (80 OVR) and Leonard Williams (80 OVR) bring average level run defense to the team.
Packers: At least the Packers have their pass rush to hang their hat on as their run defense leaves a lot to be desired. One bright spot in terms of run defense is defensive tackle Kenny Clark (90 OVR).
Falcons: The Falcons actually have some really nice standouts in run defense but also some horribly bad starters to go with them. On the defensive line, Grady Jarrett (90 OVR) is an anchor who will more than hold his own in run defense. At the second level, Deion Jones (86 OVR) can provide above-average run support to the defense.
Cardinals: If there is an upside to the Arizona run defense I’m not seeing it. Chandler Jones (95 OVR), while a great pass rusher is an average at best run defender. After Jones the pickings are slim to find any other potential positive in this run defense.