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In My Defense – 2021 Week 5

Duncan Smith (@duncafc) takes a look back at the week 5 action from a defensive point of view.

By Duncan Smith

Week 5 saw Trevon Diggs record yet another interception, his sixth of the season. He has now recorded an interception in all five games of the year. If he manages to pick Mac Jones in week 6 he will tie the NFL record for the longest INT streak heading into Dallas week 7 bye. Diggs is at peak value just now and either of two things is likely. Either the streak ends or opposition quarterbacks stop targeting him. Either option tanks his value, now might be the time to find a willing buyer. Elsewhere the action went down as follows.


Haason Reddick was one of six players to record 2 sacks in week 5, including this big hit here.

He’s now only 0.5 sacks behind Myles Garrett at the top of the leader board with 6.5. He looks like being an excellent addition to this young and exciting Carolina defense after moving in the off-season from Arizona.


While Haason Reddick was doing a good job of getting into the Eagles backfield the Eagles were doing an excellent job of ruining all the good faith Sam Darnold had built up over the first four weeks of the season. Three interceptions left anyone who started him in week 5 with a big reminder of Jets era Darnold.

Darius Slay recorded 2 of the INT’s, while teammate Steven Nelson recorded the other. Unfortunately neither were able to return the ball for a score. 

While neither Eagles players were able to get their interception in the end zone, two players did manage that feat this weekend. Buffalo safety Micah Hyde and Dallas cornerback Anthony Brown both recorded a pick-6.

Forced Fumbles

New York Jets linebacker Quincy Williams looks like being a bright spot for the team in what is shaping up to be another poor season for the Jets. The 2019 third-round pick never really got going in Jacksonville. After missing week 1 this season he has become a reliable piece in this Jets defense. 

In London, at the weekend he was able to force two fumbles along with eight tackles for another solid week. 

Houstons veteran cornerback Terrance Mitchell also logged a forced fumble this week to join Williams at the top of the leaderboard with three apiece.

Fumble Recovery

Titans safety Kevin Byard pounced on a loose ball after a Dan arnold spill and brought it all the way to the house for a defensive score against Jacksonville.

Passes Defended

Unsurprisingly Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs leads the league in passes defended. He has recorded 10 total to go with his 6 interceptions.


Linebacker Denzel Perryman made an offseason move from the Chargers to the Raiders and it looks like paying off handsomely. Barring injury, he should easily smash his best performance in the pros this year.

He has logged double-digit combined tackles in every game so far this season and has every chance of keeping that streak going against Denver and Philadelphia before Las Vegas week 8 bye.

He leads the league with 60 combined and 39 solo tackles. Meanwhile, Chargers safety Derwin James had a monster week with 17 combined tackles to go with a sack and interception. After missing the whole of 2020 due to injury he has really started to show fantasy-relevant promise over the last two weeks.

QB Hits

Las Vegas edge rusher Maxx Crosby laid a goose egg in week 5. He hasn’t recorded a sack since getting 2 in week 1 against Baltimore and has only managed 1 QB hit in the last two weeks. If your DL players can’t get at the quarterback it may be time to plug someone else into your lineup.

Rookie Watch

Buffalo Bills rookie defensive lineman Gregory Rousseau had himself a nice day against Kansas City. He racked up 5 combined tackles, a QB hit, a sack, and an interception. Not a bad day’s work against someone of Patrick Mahomes ability.

Team Defense

Week 5 wasn’t a great week for team D/ST’s. Only the Titans and Eagles scored double digits in standard D/ST scoring. Disappointingly it is likely both teams remained on the waiver wire in everything but the deepest leagues.

Perhaps more worryingly is three teams that were regarding coming into the season as solid plays, Kansas City, Miami, and the Chargers scored negative points.

Week 6

We’re into bye weeks now people so make sure you have set your rosters appropriately. The Falcons, Jets, Saints, and 49ers all get a week of rest this week. Players such as CJ Mosley, Foyesade Oluokun, and Nick Bosa among others are all every week starters and will need an alternative plugged in.

For D/ST play you may need to hold your nose and hope for the best. Out of this week’s match-ups, Miami takes on a Jacksonville team currently embroiled in a head coach-related crisis, the same can be said of Denver facing Las Vegas at home. While Pittsburgh takes on a Seattle team without Russell Wilson for the first time in forever. With Geno Smith starting his first game since 2017 the potential is there for the Steelers group to have a big week.

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