Originally Posted by NitroHonda
If we don't get any takeaways then it doesn't really matter much how good our defense is. They have to be able to get off the field otherwise teams can just continue to pound the ball and move the chains. If opponents aren't afraid of turning the ball over, they'll go with the safe play more often than not and that doesn't change how good we are at breaking up plays. I know that sounds confusing a little bit but I really believe it really does hinge on takeaways on where our defense will finish and we're terrible there.
It makes sense to me for a team to want to play the safe route more often if they don't fear turning the football over against a defensive unit rather than going for the bigtime play all the time. That's how teams seemed to play us. It seemed like that they would rather have their runningback face off with Morlon Greenwood than trying to match up with Bennett or Dunta. Morlon will tackle them but they at least get some yards. With Dunta, it was a hit or miss but they either lost yards or gave up the big play. We also still have to figure out the Peyton project and then we should be good after that. We do face him twice a season and that plays a big factor into our stats. He's not a stat machine like Brady but a VERY VERY good football player who can get rid of the ball in a HURRY. Just probably one of the smartest football players to play the game.
I'm in no way claiming to be a football expert. Just a regular fan giving his personal opinion. I, of course, could be VERY wrong here.
I won't be giving out any rankings though. I don't really care where we're ranked. I just want to win and play some good football games. We'll blow some. We'll win some.
Defensive rankings are kind of silly actually. The official rankings are based on total yards- which is a very incomplete stat. Too many variables affect total yards allowed...
1. If you're a high scoring offense, your defense will give up more yards because the opposing team will feel compelled to take more chances and throw downfield more often.
2. A team that's excellent versus the run will give up more YPG than a team that struggles against the run because the passing game simply garners more yards.
3. An aggressive defense that creates a lot of turnovers will be more apt to give up big plays as well, which will lead to more YPG.
4. A very good team will have large leads late in games and play prevent defense which will allow teams to pad Yardage statistics.
5. A very bad offensive team will likely give up fewer YPG because the other team will gameplan to protect the ball and play conservatively in order to win, thus padding the statistics of the defense. The best example of this is Bill Parcell's first season with Dallas. Quincy Carter was QB, Troy Hambrick was RB, and the offense was awful. That defense finished #1 in the NFL in YPG- and certainly they were nowhere near the best.
If our defense is able to get off the field on third down, create turnovers, and limit points scored, then it's a very good defense. I could care less how many yards per game it gives up.