Originally posted by Oakland-Niner:
Correct me if I'm wrong Ncommand (seriously), but are we basically playing man straight up and getting pressure with 4? Although it doesn't look as sexy, it may be harder to defend because we aren't leaving areas open by blitzing an extra man.
Honestly, we lead the league in least points allowed, we haven't allowed a rushing TD and we have more turnovers than any other defense (or is hat turnover margin a 27/28). Our run D is keeping the oppossing team to under 75 rushing yards per game. And with the exception of last week, we dont give up big plays. I think we have the toughest redzone D in the league.
Hey Oak...I don't think anyone would argue the success we have had thus far with running a straight up, base 3-4 defense. And to be fair, like a WCO, it takes a good 2-3 years to fully grasp it and that's with the same players growing together.
But I think where I take objection is that we are into week 15 now and we're playing the same way and teams are figuring it out (like defenses have figured out how to beat our offense). We are seeing teams such as the Cards evolving esp. over the past five games into the defense we thought we'd have installed by now.
We are not evolving and we have the four best combo LBers in the game...best front 7. You literally have Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks who can play anywhere on the field; at ILB, OLB, on the DL (inside or outside). You have two big hitters in Goldson and Whitner, amazing quickness and power with Justin Smith and Ray McDonald. You have the two best middle LBers in the game in Bowman and Willis and even Grant isn't a slouch (he already has 1 sack and what, 18 tackles?). There are ENDLESS blitz packages you can use with these guys. Our two CB's play best when they play tight and physical and down hill.
When you give a backup QB all day to throw, don't cover the #1 threat (the only threat) and he has almost 300 yards against your defense off the bench (almost all in the 2nd half), that's on your DC for letting him get comfortable. On the flip side, the Cards NEVER let Alex get comfortable, blitzing over 60% of the time and disguising blitzes close to 100% of the time. They had constant movement pre-snap, guys rushing up, backing off, overloading, causing false starts, forcing us to go to max-protections and giving us essentially ONE OPTION in the RZ. This was the difference in the game...they dictated our offense and forced us to beat them. On the flip side, we sat back and allowed long completions to Fitgerald/Ducet that they turned into long TD's. We played passive hoping they'd make a mistake (and they did with three TO's) yet b/c they were so aggressive on defense, those TO's didn't matter in the end b/c we couldn't score in the RZ. We are also not making any adjustments at halftime like we're seeing with other teams (against us).
At this stage of the season, we should be evolving into a better pressure defense (dictating) and building upon a very solid base defense like what we're seeing in AZ with a Pittsburgh-style defense who is thriving now on scheme alone. Instead, our defense has become vanilla and predictable and our three DL and Brooks are exhausted! That is leaving, even backup QB's who come in off the bench, way too much time to scan through multiple progressions, get comfortable, confident and bold. It also is giving them the W in a critical game!
I understand starting with a base defense, relying on extra DB's to force QB's to throw and make mistakes (TO's) b/c our front 7 is so strong against the run but NOW it's time to start getting more exotic and build upon it b/c come playoff time, sitting back and playing passive will ensure our players are sitting on their couches after the first playoff game.