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Worst Defense in the NFL

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Old 12-28-2006, 12:41 AM   #46
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Re: Worst Defense in the NFL

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Originally Posted by The Huddle View Post
This is the NFL. 20 points per game isn't a good offense, it's an average one. Now if you want to get into reasons why the offense hasn't been consistantly effective- Portis, Campbell, Saunders, poor execution, inept playcalling, whatever you like- that's an entirely seperate matter. But the bottom line is that week after week, drives have stalled and critical points have been lost.

Is the defense awful? Sure- but I'm still not buying the idea that this team's woes are due to the defense any more than the offense.
We're 5 or potentially 6 games worse than last year, and yet, with 1 game to go, are only 500 yards below last season's offensive output. We have put up ~40 yards less than the 13-2 Chicago Bears.

I just don't buy your argument. Of course we don't have a juggernaut offense this year. Didn't have one last year, either. Neither does Chicago have one. The big difference is that this year we don't have a defense that can make plays to help the offense. That IS a legitimate way to win in the NFL. I think you'll find a nearby team proved that strategy successful in 2000, with an offense just as average as this one.
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Old 12-28-2006, 12:51 AM   #47
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Re: Worst Defense in the NFL

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The defense played very well last year (9th overall) without Pierce, Smoot, and very little by way of contribution from LaVar for the last two seasons. Lemar Marshall was an overachiever at the MLB position, and this season played after having offseason shoulder surgery. The loss of Pierson Prioleau and Ryan Clark, coupled with the injuries to Shawn Springs really hurt the secondary, but not to the extent we go from 9th in the league to last. The defense this year did not play with the same disposition it did the past two seasons. They were not attacking the ball in the same fashion which in many ways explains their lack of take-a-way's. I'm inclined to agree with Phillip Daniels when he said he felt it was overconfidence. "We thought we could just roll our helmets out there and get a win".
You are right there was definitely a change in the defense this year. Earlier in the year we would blitz AA constantly and he was not getting anywhere near the QB and when we did not blitz him he was getting burned on deep passes. His partner Sean Taylor, who has the same talents as a Ed Reed, Palamalou and Roy Williams, does not know when and when not to go for the big hit so often times he whiffs and the receiver/ running back that he is trying to kill is running untouched down the field. Carlos Rogers can not defend a #1 receiver so he is better when Springs is not hurt...

Linebackers: The past couple of years I could almost count on Washington or Marshall to make a big play in a game but this year it was not happening and Warrick Holdman was just taking up space on the field.

Defensive Line: Andre Carter was probably our best aquisition this year and I think that his great play will carry over to next year. Golston played well early in the year but I think that he hit a rookie wall or something and he did not produce in the back part of this season but I think that he and Salave'a can do alright at the tackle positions ( I love Salave'as' aggresiveness when he is not hurt) but the other DE position has to be addressed in the offseason, neither Daniels nor Wynn is going to make this defense any better.

all and all we have lots of work to do to this squad
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Old 12-28-2006, 12:55 AM   #48
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Re: Worst Defense in the NFL

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Okay, you don't have a problem saying the defense is the main reason the team is 5-10. I don't have a problem with you saying it either, even if I don't think it's entirely true.

I have acknowledged the the defense has been awful. It's certainly part of the equation...but come on. The Redskins have failed to score at least 20 points 9 times this season, and it would have been 10 if not for a garbage time touchdown against the Colts. That's bad, but what's worse is that they lost 7 of those 9 games. In three of them (first Giants game, first Cowboys game, first Philly game) the offense didn't score a touchdown. In two others, they only scored one.

This is the NFL. 20 points per game isn't a good offense, it's an average one. Now if you want to get into reasons why the offense hasn't been consistantly effective- Portis, Campbell, Saunders, poor execution, inept playcalling, whatever you like- that's an entirely seperate matter. But the bottom line is that week after week, drives have stalled and critical points have been lost.

Is the defense awful? Sure- but I'm still not buying the idea that this team's woes are due to the defense any more than the offense.
So we have an average offense - fine.

But the defense is horrible.

Therefore it's very easy to place more blame on the defense.

The defense is on pace for some quite dubious records, another indicator how just how piss poor they are.
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Old 12-28-2006, 01:05 AM   #49
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Re: Worst Defense in the NFL

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We're 5 or potentially 6 games worse than last year, and yet, with 1 game to go, are only 500 yards below last season's offensive output. We have put up ~40 yards less than the 13-2 Chicago Bears.

I just don't buy your argument. Of course we don't have a juggernaut offense this year. Didn't have one last year, either. Neither does Chicago have one. The big difference is that this year we don't have a defense that can make plays to help the offense. That IS a legitimate way to win in the NFL. I think you'll find a nearby team proved that strategy successful in 2000, with an offense just as average as this one.
No question that strategy has been sucessful elsewhere. And if we hadn't gone out and spend a huge wad of dough on Saunders' playbook and some new wideouts I'd be more inclined to believe that was the stretegy here all along. Implying that was the intended model at this point is a pretty tough sell.

Forget yards. Last year's team scored 359 points, or roughly 22 per game.
This year's team is only averaging about 18. That's notable for a team that's lost four games by a field goal or less. There's your difference between this year and last- or at least as much of a difference as your arguement makes in the other direction.
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Old 12-28-2006, 01:10 AM   #50
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Re: Worst Defense in the NFL

No denying the scoring is down, and I'd wager a great deal of that gap is missing from Santana's statline from this year as compared to last, no?

I don't disagree with your re: Saunders and the legendary 700 pager, though to be fair, even he said it would take a year before everyone had it down. I don't think any of us expected to be this bad in the meantime, though.

Also wasn't intending to say that was our goal, just that it's how we got by last season, and the absence of those big plays on D surely accounts for a large chunk of why we haven't kept games close enough to win and won close ones this year with a similarly mediocre offense as last year's.
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Old 12-28-2006, 01:15 AM   #51
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Re: Worst Defense in the NFL

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So we have an average offense - fine.

But the defense is horrible.

Therefore it's very easy to place more blame on the defense.

The defense is on pace for some quite dubious records, another indicator how just how piss poor they are.

Yes, I'm saying the offense is statistically average (slightly below, actually). However, it's failure at critical junctures during the season has been no less a factor in the team's record than the poor defensive play.
Football is as much a game of momentum as statistics, and this offense has never achieved any momentum.

This team is a mess top to bottom and front to back. It's certainly your prerogitive to blame the defense if you so chose, but I strongly dispute the "everyone knows the defense is to blame" (or words to that effect) sentiment that elicited my original post.
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Old 12-28-2006, 01:37 AM   #52
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Re: Worst Defense in the NFL

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No denying the scoring is down, and I'd wager a great deal of that gap is missing from Santana's statline from this year as compared to last, no?

I don't disagree with your re: Saunders and the legendary 700 pager, though to be fair, even he said it would take a year before everyone had it down. I don't think any of us expected to be this bad in the meantime, though.

Also wasn't intending to say that was our goal, just that it's how we got by last season, and the absence of those big plays on D surely accounts for a large chunk of why we haven't kept games close enough to win and won close ones this year with a similarly mediocre offense as last year's.
You make an excellent point re the offense benifitting from more big plays by the defense last year. Coming at it from that angle does indeed make a more compelling arguement against the defense. I'm just not prepared to throw the defense overboard while the offense watches, especially since I am having a hard time shjaking the feeling that hiring Saunders may ultimately turn out to be the single worst coaching decsion Joe Gibbs ever made. It's not that Saunders isn't a great offensive mind, but what sort of effect does it have when you come into the locker room of a team that just went 10-6 and advanced a round in the playoffs and tell them, essentially, that you're wiping the board and starting from scratch?
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Old 12-28-2006, 06:31 AM   #53
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Re: Worst Defense in the NFL

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Yes, I'm saying the offense is statistically average (slightly below, actually). However, it's failure at critical junctures during the season has been no less a factor in the team's record than the poor defensive play.
Football is as much a game of momentum as statistics, and this offense has never achieved any momentum.

This team is a mess top to bottom and front to back. It's certainly your prerogitive to blame the defense if you so chose, but I strongly dispute the "everyone knows the defense is to blame" (or words to that effect) sentiment that elicited my original post.
We have been pretty crappy in the red zone and on the fringe of field goal range. If you look at our drive stats, we are #20 or better in every per drive statisitc (yards per, points per, TDs per, turnovers per, INTs per, Fum Lost per) except punts per where we are 27th, and average starting field position where we are 23rd starting from the 29 yd line on average this season. So you have a point, but its incomplete.

Do you think we would have failed at so many juntures if we had been given better field position by the D? Face it, we don't force three and outs very often, most of the time we give up a score, or allow a drive that goes many times to midfield, and the ensuing punt pins us deep.

So how many consecutive 3rd downs can an offense be expected to convert? They, by nature, get progressively harder as the D gets less and less field to cover. So when the drive fizzles after 2-3 first downs, has the offense failed? That's opinional, but very few offenses can consistently get TDs when forced to go 80 yards.

Right now our O is right around where it was last year, but right now it has more direction than it did pre Saunders. Get a blocking TE, and either resign or replace Dock, and the offense is complete. The D needs a lot more work.
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Old 12-28-2006, 09:22 AM   #54
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Re: Worst Defense in the NFL

How many extra possessions has the defense given the offense by way of turnover?

I don't think anyone really needs to answer that question, we all know the pathetic answer.
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Old 12-28-2006, 09:52 AM   #55
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Re: Worst Defense in the NFL

leave it to matty to be the voice of reason
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Old 12-28-2006, 09:55 AM   #56
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Re: Worst Defense in the NFL

Certainly both sides of the ball were miserable in a few games - Dallas, NYG, Colts - but isn't the real question here, which side of the ball deserves more attention in the offseason?
I think this is pretty easy - the D. I've said before that we really need to groom some young O linemen & a backup qb, but by far our glaring personnel issues are on D.
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Old 12-28-2006, 10:24 AM   #57
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Re: Worst Defense in the NFL

If I had to break down the reasons for the team's failure this year percentage-wise, I'd say it's about 60% defense's fault to 40% for the offense.
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Old 12-28-2006, 10:36 AM   #58
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Re: Worst Defense in the NFL

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If I had to break down the reasons for the team's failure this year percentage-wise, I'd say it's about 60% defense's fault to 40% for the offense.
Just to be an ass, I say it's 67% defense, 33% offense.

I'll explain my precise percentages at a later date.
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Old 12-28-2006, 10:40 AM   #59
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Re: Worst Defense in the NFL

I could go 65% to 35%, but I'll be damned if I budge from that.
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Old 12-28-2006, 10:43 AM   #60
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Re: Worst Defense in the NFL

I'd rank it 75% on the D, 25% on the offense.

If the D was just middle of the pack in terms of yardage and turnovers I think we'd easily have another 3-4 wins at least.
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