In our first year in 2002 the D was impressive and drew rave reviews from many sources while the offense was inept. But 2 years can make a really big difference (sometimes a single season can). Coleman, Payne, Walker, Glenn,
Sharper are @ or > 30 now. Look at Jason Gilden, the former LB with the Steelers - one year he's a star and the next can't make anyones team. Skill levels deteriorate very rapidly for some, others might make it into their late 30s and still perform to a high level. And players don't have the same kind of resilance coming off injuries when they are 30 or > compared to 25.
Jeff Posey was the sack leader that year and was the only effective pass rusher we have had to date - but surely his absense can't make that much difference. Wong, Babin, and and/or Peek have atleast Posey's level of skill.
This week, for the first time this season, they will face a truly formidable
offense. Gonna be real interesting to see how that plays out.