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Our defense isn't that bad -- scoring drives in playoffs


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I know a lot of people are asking why our defense is so bad and how can we give up so many points with a defensive-minded head coach.

 

However -- a lot of the points in the post-season should be put on the offense.

 

Against KC -- 2 TD's were on drives where KC moved the ball 18 yards or less (meaning, our defense was starting in the red zone), and 1 FG was when they started inside our 30 yard line.  That is 17 points that the O should be held more accountable for than our defense.  Then they had a 3 play, 79 yard TD drive which lasted 21 seconds.  That was the result of a big pass play, and it wasn't really like KC pounded the ball down our throat.  Granted the D shouldn't be giving up big plays at all, but it worries me less when I see something like that then when I see a drive that took several minutes off the clock b/c they were pounding us.  KC had 3 of those drives for TD's and 1 of those kind of drives where we held them to a field goal. 

 

If you look at the long drives that lead to points alone, KC would have had 24 points, which would be almost 3 points below their season average.  Take away that big play and our D did not play that poorly vs. a very high rated offense.

 

In NE -- 2 TD's were the result of them starting off in our redzone.  Take these points off the board and we would have held them to 28 or 29 points (their season average was 27.8 points).   Then we gave up the 1 play, 73 yard running TD drive.  Take that off the board and they'd have had 21 points, which would be well below their season average.  They only had 3 scoring drives where they really outplayed our offense.  Had we not turned the ball over as much as we did, some of these drives may not have happened.

 

Anyway, my point is -- the D wasn't as bad as the score board suggested in the playoffs.  A lot of blame goes to the O for turning the ball over in bad position (not that any turnover is a good position, but I don't think we can chalk blame to the D at all when we give the ball away inside our own 30 yard line -- which accounted for 31 points out of 87, or 36% of the points given up in the playoffs -- if you really think about it, 1/3 of the points given up due to our offense is terrible).

 

I think the majority of our mistakes are fixable with review of the tape and if we minimize the big plays, our D will be just fine next year.  There is always room for improvement, but I don't think we need to go calling for anyone's head at this point -- if we get some guys back healthy, if our young players continue to improve and if we add a key piece or 2 to the puzzle, we are not as bad as everyone is making it out to be.

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I know a lot of people are asking why our defense is so bad and how can we give up so many points with a defensive-minded head coach.

 

However -- a lot of the points in the post-season should be put on the offense.

 

Against KC -- 2 TD's were on drives where KC moved the ball 18 yards or less (meaning, our defense was starting in the red zone), and 1 FG was when they started inside our 30 yard line.  That is 17 points that the O should be held more accountable for than our defense.  Then they had a 3 play, 79 yard TD drive which lasted 21 seconds.  That was the result of a big pass play, and it wasn't really like KC pounded the ball down our throat.  Granted the D shouldn't be giving up big plays at all, but it worries me less when I see something like that then when I see a drive that took several minutes off the clock b/c they were pounding us.  KC had 3 of those drives for TD's and 1 of those kind of drives where we held them to a field goal. 

 

If you look at the long drives that lead to points alone, KC would have had 24 points, which would be almost 3 points below their season average.  Take away that big play and our D did not play that poorly vs. a very high rated offense.

 

In NE -- 2 TD's were the result of them starting off in our redzone.  Take these points off the board and we would have held them to 28 or 29 points (their season average was 27.8 points).   Then we gave up the 1 play, 73 yard running TD drive.  Take that off the board and they'd have had 21 points, which would be well below their season average.  They only had 3 scoring drives where they really outplayed our offense.  Had we not turned the ball over as much as we did, some of these drives may not have happened.

 

Anyway, my point is -- the D wasn't as bad as the score board suggested in the playoffs.  A lot of blame goes to the O for turning the ball over in bad position (not that any turnover is a good position, but I don't think we can chalk blame to the D at all when we give the ball away inside our own 30 yard line -- which accounted for 31 points out of 87, or 36% of the points given up in the playoffs -- if you really think about it, 1/3 of the points given up due to our offense is terrible).

 

I think the majority of our mistakes are fixable with review of the tape and if we minimize the big plays, our D will be just fine next year.  There is always room for improvement, but I don't think we need to go calling for anyone's head at this point -- if we get some guys back healthy, if our young players continue to improve and if we add a key piece or 2 to the puzzle, we are not as bad as everyone is making it out to be.

 

 

What I will agree with is the Colt run defense was OK vs NE until the non call on the PI vs Whalen. Not saying that if they don't swallow the whistle cause it was 3rd and 16 , we win the game . Just saying that's when everything went to hell.

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I know a lot of people are asking why our defense is so bad and how can we give up so many points with a defensive-minded head coach.

 

However -- a lot of the points in the post-season should be put on the offense.

 

Against KC -- 2 TD's were on drives where KC moved the ball 18 yards or less (meaning, our defense was starting in the red zone), and 1 FG was when they started inside our 30 yard line.  That is 17 points that the O should be held more accountable for than our defense.  Then they had a 3 play, 79 yard TD drive which lasted 21 seconds.  That was the result of a big pass play, and it wasn't really like KC pounded the ball down our throat.  Granted the D shouldn't be giving up big plays at all, but it worries me less when I see something like that then when I see a drive that took several minutes off the clock b/c they were pounding us.  KC had 3 of those drives for TD's and 1 of those kind of drives where we held them to a field goal. 

 

If you look at the long drives that lead to points alone, KC would have had 24 points, which would be almost 3 points below their season average.  Take away that big play and our D did not play that poorly vs. a very high rated offense.

 

In NE -- 2 TD's were the result of them starting off in our redzone.  Take these points off the board and we would have held them to 28 or 29 points (their season average was 27.8 points).   Then we gave up the 1 play, 73 yard running TD drive.  Take that off the board and they'd have had 21 points, which would be well below their season average.  They only had 3 scoring drives where they really outplayed our offense.  Had we not turned the ball over as much as we did, some of these drives may not have happened.

 

Anyway, my point is -- the D wasn't as bad as the score board suggested in the playoffs.  A lot of blame goes to the O for turning the ball over in bad position (not that any turnover is a good position, but I don't think we can chalk blame to the D at all when we give the ball away inside our own 30 yard line -- which accounted for 31 points out of 87, or 36% of the points given up in the playoffs -- if you really think about it, 1/3 of the points given up due to our offense is terrible).

 

I think the majority of our mistakes are fixable with review of the tape and if we minimize the big plays, our D will be just fine next year.  There is always room for improvement, but I don't think we need to go calling for anyone's head at this point -- if we get some guys back healthy, if our young players continue to improve and if we add a key piece or 2 to the puzzle, we are not as bad as everyone is making it out to be.

That's not an excuse cause the defense has to be able to only give up 3 points when they get that far defense was terrible and remember 3 of lucks picks were not his fault and even taking 17 points off that they still gave up 70 points in two games which they suck just for that.

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That's not an excuse cause the defense has to be able to only give up 3 points when they get that far defense was terrible and remember 3 of lucks picks were not his fault and even taking 17 points off that they still gave up 70 points in two games which they suck just for that.

If we give the other team the ball on the 2 yard line, I would almost rather them just have scored on the pick to put more time on the clock for us.  The time we gave the ball away outside of the redzone, we held NE to a FG. 

 

I agree with you somewhat, that we should hope the D only gives up 3 points -- but in reality, I can't think of a defense that would stop a top 10 defense starting in the red zone more than 50% of the time.  Especially not a team with a guy like Tom Brady at the helm in the playoffs.  Simple point is -- there is a reason all the teams in the playoffs made the playoffs, and there is a reason why the teams that are still standing are still standing -- Luck's late heroics bailed us out in KC, but you simply can't make those mistakes on offense and expect to win a playoff game in this league. 

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What I will agree with is the Colt run defense was OK vs NE until the non call on the PI vs Whalen. Not saying that if they don't swallow the whistle cause it was 3rd and 16 , we win the game . Just saying that's when everything went to hell.

 

 

Actually I thought one of the turning points was when we were down 21 to 12 and had a first and goal inside the 5 and settled for a field goal.  21 to 19 might have changed the complexion of the game at that point.

 

I thought a major turning point was the non-tripping call.  That would have given us a first down and who knows what may have happened after that, but instead we wound up turning the ball over the next play and lost all of our momentum.

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Yes but outside of the 70+ yard run by Blount the D held them to 3.5 yards a carry.

 

How can you subtract the 70+ yard run to make the statistics look how you want them too.  Did you forget that the defense also gave up that 70+ yard run? 

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How can you subtract the 70+ yard run to make the statistics look how you want them too.  Did you forget that the defense also gave up that 70+ yard run? 

Just trying to make a point that they didn't give up a terrible average every play. They just weren't consistent and were worn out by the 4th quarter.

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the defense was pretty bad

 

didnt we give up over 200 yards rushing in a playoff game?

 

 

Yes but outside of the 70+ yard run by Blount the D held them to 3.5 yards a carry.

 

 

How can you subtract the 70+ yard run to make the statistics look how you want them too.  Did you forget that the defense also gave up that 70+ yard run? 

 

 

Just trying to make a point that they didn't give up a terrible average every play. They just weren't consistent and were worn out by the 4th quarter.

 

 

We just need more consistent pass rush. 

 

 

We need to get more pass rush to draw double teams away from Mathis. For me that is the number one problem for our defense. I hate watching us give up 3rd and 6/7/8 when we cant get any pressure on the QB.

Yea, that big 70+ yard run was on the defense -- but as I noted earlier, as Freeman said after the game - other than that big play, the D played very solid against the run.  I am not saying our defense is great, I am saying "our defense is not that bad" as in I think it is ridiculous that people are calling for people to be fired and things like that.  The Pats are the 3rd best O in the league and considering the amount of turnovers our offense had, we could have been a lot worse.  Worn out in the 4th quarter maybe -- the offense turning the ball over doesn't help with this.    We gave up a few huge pass plays against KC, too -- so yes, we need to limit the big plays that we let up -- but, it's not like we need to go start firing everyone on the staff and cutting every player on our team because we lost in the 2nd round of the playoffs.  This is probably the best defense we've had in years.  And as Pagano said -- every mistake is fixable after looking at the tape -- yes, the Pats executed better than us and we made a few key errors, but it isn't anything we can't/won't fix going forward.

 

As for the consistent pass rush -- yes, it would be great to have a more consistent pass-rush.  However, when our offense puts us in a hole early (i.e., turns the ball over on the first drive leaving the Pats with a 1st and Goal from the 2) -- it makes it hard to be able to focus on a pass-rush.  The most effective way to have a consistently effective pass-rush is to be playing with a lead so other teams are forced to pass.  When we get the ball first and are down 7-0 less than 2 minutes into the game, that makes playing with a lead very difficult.

 

Luck willed us through a lot of comebacks, and that is great -- but, for our team to have a solid pass-rush, I think a good place to start would be to avoid getting in 14-0 or 21-0 holes to start games out.  If we are up 14-0 or 21-0 to start out, we then give the other team very little option to run the ball and can put more emphasis on hitting the QB... Mathis is a future HOF'er (no doubt about this... his 'strip-sack' record is one of the few in the NFL that I will be surprised if it ever gets touched, especially since he is still adding to it) and Mathis can get to the QB given double teams, etc... there are very few (if any) other players in the league with his pass-rush ability -- I think guys like Bjoern and McNary showed some spurts of potential to develop into good pass-rushers, but if we don't give them the opportunity to rush the passer because we are playing from behind, we'll never see that potential develop fully.

 

Going back to when we were considered to have the best pass-rush in the league (i.e., during Freeney's prime when he was getting doubled up and Mathis was left 1-on-1), a HUGE, HUGE, reason we were successful was because Peyton and the offense put points on the board early and often forcing other teams to drop back and pass.  Our run defense during that time was absolutely atrocious, and the majority of the time that we had to play in a big game (e.g., playoff games versus patriots) and did not jump out to early leads, our defense got it handed to them.  IMO, the defense we have now is still a few key players away from being very good, but I think we are better than we have been for a very long time as an overall defense.  Having 17 on IR, with a 2nd year QB, and losing to a future HOF QB and coach on the road in very bad conditions in the 2nd round of the playoffs is no reason for us to start calling for people's heads.  This team is undoubtedly heading in the right direction.  Just think, 2 years ago we were 2-14 and the laughing stock of the NFL.... now with an almost entirely new roster, we are division champs and prior to Wayne's injury were being talked about consistently as superbowl favorites.

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The one thing that you guys who think our defence is not that bad are forgetting, is the fact that solid/great defences hold you in games when the offence isnt producing. Defences should be able to get turnovers, big sacks, rattle the QB/WR/RB. Our defence does that sometimes, but not consistently. Imagine Luck with a strong front 7 like seattle, carolina or san fran have.... We might even be undefeated, and probably win a superbowl. Luck has shown he can work with what he has. But that lack of trust (subconsciously) of the D, as much as he may praise the D, caused him to force throws. He feels like every drive is a MUST score drive, whereas Wilson or Kaepernick dont truly feel that way.

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I agree it's hard to rush the passer when you are in a 14 point hole but I haven't liked our pass rush even in games where we were winning or within one score this year. I'm not limiting my observations to the pats game. We need to add another pass rusher as we are too one dimensional in our pass rush.

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The 3-4 is designed to defend the pass. In my years of watching this scheme I notice one thing. Even when executed with great talent, it is not infallible. In fact I have nicknamed it the dont bend- break defense. Because most of the time an offense gets nothing and goes 3 and out. But a handful of plays a game are big plays. 

 

A play is called everybody lines up, QB likes what he sees, bam stuffed. 

Next play, everybody lines up, qb dont like it changes the play, d changes as well. Bam stuffed.

But every now and then the d calls a play and the O has the right play called or a player makes a great play and big plays happen. 

 

Great talent will help limit these but they will still happen. 

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Pass rusher wont fix %. there is no where for him to play anyway. If you want to pass rush, then its an obvious passing down. Then you are almost always in nickel or maybe even dime. That means no sam and another corner, dime=  no will and another safety.  Every qb in this league will check out of a play if he has a rb behind him to a run play, if you line up 2 dedicated pass rushers on a 3 down lineman front. The 3 tech and/or the 5 tech need to be able to eat up 2 blockers for whoever might be blitzing to get to the qb. Your jack is just not going to be able to get there as often as a 4-3 end. It is a blitzing by confusion defense. The best 2 pass rushers in the league  on this defense is not gonna make much of if any difference. 

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Our defense has gone downhill since Dungy left. Partly players, and partly coaching.

 

as I posted in another thread...(and I believe these to be accurate)

 

Defensive Rankings (Total Yards Allowed / Total Points Allowed) - REGULAR SEASON

2007: ~ 279.7 (Ranked 3rd)  /  16.4 (Ranked 1st) TONY DUNGY

2008: ~ 310.9 (Ranked 11th)  /  18.6 (Ranked 7th) TONY DUNGY

2009: ~ 339.2 (Ranked 18th)  /  19.2 (Ranked 8th) JIM CALDWELL

2010: ~ 341.6 (Ranked 20th)  /  24.3 (Ranked 23rd) JIM CALDWELL

2011: ~ 370.90 (Ranked 25th)  /  26.9 (Ranked 28th) JIM CALDWELL

2012: ~ 374.30 (Ranked 26th)  /  24.2 (Ranked 21st) CHUCK PAGANO

2013: ~ 357.10 (Ranked 20th)  /  21.0 (Ranked 9th) CHUCK PAGANO

 

 

We improved this year but marginally. However, since Chuck was out most of 2012 you can see there was improvement in 2013; especially in the point ranking, but 24.2 to 21 isn't a huge drop...it just says to me that the points scored in 2013 were more than average (hence the term of a passing league now).

 

Our defense still needs some serious help. We should be a top 10 defensive unit if we expect to win the big one. Not saying we can't win it just that the prospect doesn't seem as good. I'd take Dungy and our defenses of OLD compared to where we are today.

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I know a lot of people are asking why our defense is so bad and how can we give up so many points with a defensive-minded head coach.

 

However -- a lot of the points in the post-season should be put on the offense.

 

Against KC -- 2 TD's were on drives where KC moved the ball 18 yards or less (meaning, our defense was starting in the red zone), and 1 FG was when they started inside our 30 yard line.  That is 17 points that the O should be held more accountable for than our defense.  Then they had a 3 play, 79 yard TD drive which lasted 21 seconds.  That was the result of a big pass play, and it wasn't really like KC pounded the ball down our throat.  Granted the D shouldn't be giving up big plays at all, but it worries me less when I see something like that then when I see a drive that took several minutes off the clock b/c they were pounding us.  KC had 3 of those drives for TD's and 1 of those kind of drives where we held them to a field goal. 

 

If you look at the long drives that lead to points alone, KC would have had 24 points, which would be almost 3 points below their season average.  Take away that big play and our D did not play that poorly vs. a very high rated offense.

 

In NE -- 2 TD's were the result of them starting off in our redzone.  Take these points off the board and we would have held them to 28 or 29 points (their season average was 27.8 points).   Then we gave up the 1 play, 73 yard running TD drive.  Take that off the board and they'd have had 21 points, which would be well below their season average.  They only had 3 scoring drives where they really outplayed our offense.  Had we not turned the ball over as much as we did, some of these drives may not have happened.

 

Anyway, my point is -- the D wasn't as bad as the score board suggested in the playoffs.  A lot of blame goes to the O for turning the ball over in bad position (not that any turnover is a good position, but I don't think we can chalk blame to the D at all when we give the ball away inside our own 30 yard line -- which accounted for 31 points out of 87, or 36% of the points given up in the playoffs -- if you really think about it, 1/3 of the points given up due to our offense is terrible).

 

I think the majority of our mistakes are fixable with review of the tape and if we minimize the big plays, our D will be just fine next year.  There is always room for improvement, but I don't think we need to go calling for anyone's head at this point -- if we get some guys back healthy, if our young players continue to improve and if we add a key piece or 2 to the puzzle, we are not as bad as everyone is making it out to be.

Why would you take away a 73 yard touchdown run by the Pats? We should never allow a running back a 73 yard run...That is the main point of everyone saying our defense is horrible! There is way too many times that we don't get off the field on D on 3rd down. We have let too many teams do that to us all season. Our D line gets blown off the ball more often than not. When we do tackle them we are either letting them get 3 or more yards after initial contact. Someone said that we let the opposing QBs perform like elite QBs and also opposing RBs.

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Pass rusher wont fix %. there is no where for him to play anyway. If you want to pass rush, then its an obvious passing down. Then you are almost always in nickel or maybe even dime. That means no sam and another corner, dime=  no will and another safety.  Every qb in this league will check out of a play if he has a rb behind him to a run play, if you line up 2 dedicated pass rushers on a 3 down lineman front. The 3 tech and/or the 5 tech need to be able to eat up 2 blockers for whoever might be blitzing to get to the qb. Your jack is just not going to be able to get there as often as a 4-3 end. It is a blitzing by confusion defense. The best 2 pass rushers in the league  on this defense is not gonna make much of if any difference.

I don't think anyone wants a "dedicated pass rusher" in the first place. We want guys on the line to get better pressure, and if we get a lb that can rush than he needs to be versatile in coverage as well.

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