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Was our defense really 13th best @ the end of last year?

Closer look at the stats:

13th: 326.0 yards per game
20th: 321 points in 16 games
20th: 30:47 minutes per game on field
12th: 18.3 first downs a game
27th: 1,027 plays from scrimmage
11th: 5.1 yards per play
NFL Stats

Are the rankings in the 20s due to a bad offense? Or because we didn't have a pass rush and couldn't get off the field on 3rd down? Anything to be worried about, or if Goldson and Lawson step up to their potential will we be okay?
[ Edited by global_nomad on Jul 6, 2009 at 9:45 PM ]
  • soao
  • Veteran
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The fact that most stats were skewed on the long side when Nolan was still the skipper means that we were playing to the 13th best for the 2nd half of the season.
once Nolan was fired a noticed a BIG difference in the D, hopefully it carries over to this season
I think this upcoming year we will be at LEAST in the top 10 ranked defenses, if not higher. Singletary is running the show now and knows what kind of defensive mentality he wants his team to have. He will have complete control and respect of the players whether they like it or not. He's not going to get run over by players like Nolan did.
  • 4ML
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 28,483
To me, the stat that matters the most is, points allowed when lookin' at team defense. I think our D improved quite a bit once Singletary and Munasky simplified things for our players, but we are not quite there.

Now, points allowed can be a skewed stat, but to me, even when an offense puts it's defense in bad field position, it is the job of the defense to limit the damage to 3 points or less. Look at the defenses of Ravens, or past Steelers when their offense was pretty bad. They still managed to stay near the top. If we will be a true top 10 defense, then we can't blame it on the offense.

To be consistently in top 10, we have to have really good depth, so injuries and substitutions on long drive won't hurt the D. That is what great defenses have been able to do, and if we are going to build a great D, we'll need good players on 2nd and 3rd team.

Right now, we have several holes. Unproven pass-rush? Unproved FS? No dominant NT. We are lacking starters, forget about depth. I really do hope we have the QB of the future on our roster, so next year, we can really go after defensive players in the FA and the draft.

Can we be a top 10 D this year? Sure. But, we have too many holes to do it consistently.
Defensive rankings are all dependent upon yards given up. I personally believe that this results in skewed statistics.

IMO, defensive rankings should also have some combination of points given up, time spent on field etc.

-9fA
People rely on statistics far too often, and they can be extremely misleading. As much as I would love to heap tons of credit onto our D, I realize that we played in large part a bunch of teams that were spiraling rapidly down the drain. Most if not all of these teams lost their last 4 of 5 games down the stretch (or something close to that).

I'm hopeful, but far from convinced...
put it this way. Educated football fans across the nation who play fantasy football won't be using the 49ers as a starting Team Def slot. So generally speaking they are not thought of as a top 12 team by many.

In a vacuum I can think of the Niners defense as at least a 15-20 squad...but outside of the vacuum and playing opposite of a pretty pathetic offense, they will most likely put up 20th-25th ranked stats in 09
We were ranked 13 because we didn't give up a lot of yards. But then again, we didn't give up a lot of yards because JTO kept turning the ball over giving the opposing offense a short field to drive on. Having said that, we still held a lot of offenses to 3 points rather than a crap load of TDs.

Later in the year, our offense became more sound but our defense gave up more yards than normal only because the opposing offense had more yards to go. However, our defense gave up less points and played much better on 3rd downs later in the year.

You can't compare that Baltimore offense to ours. Ours turned the ball over whereas that Baltimore offense punted to force longer drives.

I consider our defense last year about a 20th ranked defense. Now if our freaking offense can cut the turnovers, then I think we can get as low as a 12th ranked defense.[/left]
Originally posted by Joecool:
We were ranked 13 because we didn't give up a lot of yards. But then again, we didn't give up a lot of yards because JTO kept turning the ball over giving the opposing offense a short field to drive on. Having said that, we still held a lot of offenses to 3 points rather than a crap load of TDs.

Later in the year, our offense became more sound but our defense gave up more yards than normal only because the opposing offense had more yards to go. However, our defense gave up less points and played much better on 3rd downs later in the year.

You can't compare that Baltimore offense to ours. Ours turned the ball over whereas that Baltimore offense punted to force longer drives.

I consider our defense last year about a 20th ranked defense. Now if our freaking offense can cut the turnovers, then I think we can get as low as a 12th ranked defense.[/left]

no the offense has to do much better than that. Remember before 2008 this offense were 3 and out experts. Last year they tried to get away from that, but it just resulted in more TD's a lot more turnovers and the same win loss net result.

So, we can't simply trick ourselves into thinking turnovers is our only problem, that just gets us back to square 1. I am very confident that we are indeed going to cut down on turnovers. I am equally as confident that we won't be any better getting first downs then we were 2005-2007. So its just a wash, and as you point out, it will just change the stat trends but ultimately the defense is going to be placed in a position of disadvantage
  • Chief
  • Veteran
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13th: 326.0 yards per game
20th: 321 points in 16 games
20th: 30:47 minutes per game on field
12th: 18.3 first downs a game
27th: 1,027 plays from scrimmage
11th: 5.1 yards per play

The stats in bold are 100% on the defense, everything else is a combination of defense, offense and special teams.
27th: 1,027 plays from scrimmage This stat says it all
So do any of you master prognosticators that already looked into the future and know how the offense will look wanna hook a brother up with the powerball numbers since you guys can see the future?

Speculation is just that,I do not understand how you guys can be so down on something you have yet to witness.You cannot let the looser mentality get a hold on your fanhood,Denolanize yourself and try to wrap your mind around the fact that the team is improved just from the standpoint that Nolan is gone.Just being held accountable for their jobs is gonna make the players play harder,if they don't you know Coach will put them on the bench with a quickness.Sure there are some unknowns but why automatically assume the worst?You have to have some faith that players we already had will improve,we do have a relatively young core of players.I mean who among you thought Haralson would lead the team in sacks?He improved last year,so why wouldn't he continue to this year?Not every player on your team has to be a superstar to make your team a winner,all they have to do is do their job and that is most of the battle.
  • KasparHauser
  • Info N/A
Originally posted by Joecool:
We were ranked 13 because we didn't give up a lot of yards. But then again, we didn't give up a lot of yards because JTO kept turning the ball over giving the opposing offense a short field to drive on. Having said that, we still held a lot of offenses to 3 points rather than a crap load of TDs.

Later in the year, our offense became more sound but our defense gave up more yards than normal only because the opposing offense had more yards to go. However, our defense gave up less points and played much better on 3rd downs later in the year.

You can't compare that Baltimore offense to ours. Ours turned the ball over whereas that Baltimore offense punted to force longer drives.

I consider our defense last year about a 20th ranked defense. Now if our freaking offense can cut the turnovers, then I think we can get as low as a 12th ranked defense.[/left]

If a defense ranked statistically 13th, why would you rank them 20th? Do you consider your ranking system more accurate? And then said that if the D can get turnovers they will go as low as 12? I'm a bit confused by your statements, defenses are ranked based on statistics, not individual opinions.

That being said, I hope the D this year will be very good - definitely in the top 10, perhaps top-5. I feel this way by the caliber of our players.

Justin Smith, Patrick Willis, Nate Clements, Michael Lewis are all top players, and while the pass rush has been lacking, that alone does not push a team into a top 5 position.
[ Edited by KasparHauser on Jul 7, 2009 at 12:22 PM ]
Originally posted by Memphis9er:
So do any of you master prognosticators that already looked into the future and know how the offense will look wanna hook a brother up with the powerball numbers since you guys can see the future?

Speculation is just that,I do not understand how you guys can be so down on something you have yet to witness.You cannot let the looser mentality get a hold on your fanhood,Denolanize yourself and try to wrap your mind around the fact that the team is improved just from the standpoint that Nolan is gone.Just being held accountable for their jobs is gonna make the players play harder,if they don't you know Coach will put them on the bench with a quickness.Sure there are some unknowns but why automatically assume the worst?You have to have some faith that players we already had will improve,we do have a relatively young core of players.I mean who among you thought Haralson would lead the team in sacks?He improved last year,so why wouldn't he continue to this year?Not every player on your team has to be a superstar to make your team a winner,all they have to do is do their job and that is most of the battle.

you should explain this to Vegas. Really all games should be even money.