The 2021 NFL season is officially underway and Week 7 delivered some surprising performances across the league. With high-scoring games scattered throughout Week 7, there’s plenty of shakeup among the top defenses in the NFL.

One thing to keep in mind, the state of defensive play is down. Through seven weeks, the NFL is setting all-time highs for league-average completion rate (66%), passer rating (94.9), passing touchdowns per game (1.7) and the second-highest points per game (23.7). Between that and injuries, we aren't seeing many top defenses perform consistently.

Let’s dive into our Week 8 NFL defense rankings, with nuggets on each team’s matchup updated throughout the week.

NFL defense rankings: Week 7 reviews

20. Los Angeles Chargers (Last Week: 16)

In the back end of the NFL defense rankings, it essentially comes down to talent and coaching. There are a lot of bad defensive units right now, teams that are getting torched every other week. So, when looking for a group that could turn things around, the Chargers stand out. For one, Los Angeles creates challenges for QBs.

It entered Week 7 with the seventh-best pressure rate (27.8%), ANY/A (5.5) and ranked fifth in Football Outsiders' Pass DVOA. But when you allow opponents to average 162.5 rushing yards per game, 5.4 yards per carry and allow 14.5 points per second half, that's a problem. The only hope is Brandon Staley's system clicking after the bye, with Derwin James, Chris Harris Jr. and Joey Bosa playing up to their elite talent level

19. Green Bay Packers (LW: Unranked)

Already without Za'Darius Smith and Jaire Alexander, the Green Bay Packers played without Preston Smith and Kevin King in Week 7. Despite the mounting injuries, this unit did an excellent job stopping the Washington Football Team on third downs (4-of-11) and in the red zone (0-for-4). Playing better football as of late, Green Bay has earned its spot back in our NFL defense rankings.

With that said, this Thursday Night Football matchup against the Arizona Cardinals should terrify Wisconsin. Green Bay just allowed 95 rushing yards to Taylor Heinicke and 122 yards to Terry McLaurin. Just imagine what Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins will do in primetime.

18. Las Vegas Raiders (LW: 20)

It's amazing what some money and a coaching change can do. Bringing in Yannick Ngakoue and hiring Gus Bradley as defensive coordinator has done wonders for this unit. Las Vegas brought the heat on Jalen Hurts and he collapsed under the pressure. Considering the Raiders will get two weeks to prepare for the New York Giants, we'd advise Daniel Jones to prepare for a living nightmare.

17. Baltimore Ravens (LW: 17)

Needless to say, the Baltimore Ravens never had an answer for Ja'Marr Chase. The rookie erupted for 201 receiving yards, leading the way as the go-to target in a 416-yard clinic by Joe Burrow. Eventually, this defense just gave up and it showed in the atrocious tackling. If Baltimore thought it was done facing elite LSU wide receivers, Justin Jefferson is waiting for them after the bye.

16. Denver Broncos (4)

The Denver Broncos hired Vic Fangio for his defensive mind and ability to help his players do the little things. We're not seeing any of that from a unit that is getting progressively worse with each passing week. Cleveland played with a backup quarterback, backup offensive tackles and a third-string running back on Thursday night. Denver's defense allowed 182 rushing yards and failed in every fundamental aspect of the game.

With opposing quarterbacks posting a 108.3 passer rating and running backs averaging 4.3 yards per carry against Denver in the past four weeks. The Washington Football Team certainly isn't one of the best offenses in the NFL, but Antonio Gibson and Terry McLaurin won't have much trouble against Denver.

NFL defense rankings: Teams with something to prove

15. Indianapolis Colts (LW: 18)

The Indianapolis Colts caught some breaks in Week 7, with the elements favoring defenses and San Francisco playing without Trent Williams. Indianapolis struggled to stop the run early, but they came through against the pass. Two strong performances by the Colts' pass defense is a good sign, but it came against underwhelming opponents. If this unit contains the Tennessee Titans in Week 8, then we'll revisit their spot in our rankings.