Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Last year's defensive issues literally can be traced to the moment that Justin Smith got injured against New England.
Hey P, is this really true? I keep seeing it posted all over the place. I believe we saw an article by MM that pointed out the point differential before and after Justin went down. I truly believe that when both Simth's were hurt it certainly affected us...pressures were still there but run defense seemed worse and teams opened it up more. That said, the stats may be a little skewed b/c look who we played...a Patriots team who had to go no-huddle spread to nearly pull the game out, then onto a hot Seattle team at home who was running a wide open offense, then 3 pass-happy teams.
The point I'm trying to make is Whitner was pwned all year long WITH the Smith's healthy (or not). Goldson was still a double-move, double-nightmare, we were still blowing coverages IN THE SUPERBOWL, Rogers still was unable to make a play...all year long when it mattered and Brown, as usual, played very consistent and probably played the best throughout the playoffs and Superbowl (and still got burned a few times). Culliver played steady all year and then got burned by our very own Boldin on jump balls/muscle plays and by the refs.
We seemed to do better in giving up less yards but did give up more points (esp. when it mattered and in the RZ), had way less TO's (fumbles, INT's, passes defended, etc.)...I think we may have been better on 3rd downs though?
I do agree with the premise that a better pass rush and rotation should help the secondary a lot but with a Whitner a year older (and his issues not being fixable), a rookie FS, etc. can this group really help the front 7 and garner "coverage sacks
?" It works both ways.
I love the additions of Reid (the package), Cooper (size and physicality), Morris (slot CB & ST perhaps) and the added competition of Dahl (to push Whitner and insurance) and Nnamdi to push Rogers. Hopefully, scheme, technique, IQ and a better front 7 can mask our true weakness this year and it somehow develops into a strength down the stretch.
[ Edited by NCommand on May 20, 2013 at 7:19 AM ]