The answer is always somewhere in between extremes. Football is the ultimate team game with every facet connected to each other...offense affects the defense, defense affects the offense, ST, play calling, culture of the game, personnel packages, etc.
The thing this defense used to pride itself on was NOT giving up the TD's esp. on the ground in the RZ...we'd give up huge yards though; bend but don't break, but once inside the RZ, we only gave up FG's. While we did play much better offensive teams over this stretch, the results are all the same and that is we ARE giving up those TD's now, both in the air (Whitner alone gave up 13 TD's last year plus had responsibility on the first 3 TD's in the Superbowl, as a quick reference) and we are also giving up easy TD's on the ground inside the 10, typically, right up the gut. This is the most well conditioned team in football and we are only into week 3. We also have a deep rotation of quality players compared to last year. While I'm willing to concede the offense has NOT helped the defense esp. over the past two games, the end result in each of these games (and dating back) have been the same. We ARE giving up those TD's. And THAT is not a championship defense. We have serious problems on defense and they shouldn't be minimized b/c the offensive issues are more glaring "right now."
Many of those issues have been highlighted in other threads (no two-gap NT or rotation, lack of quality DE depth or rotation, out-muscled against power running teams, getting beat up, teams running right at Justin/Aldon with success, CB's are small and weak, untimely penalties, playing "dumb," blown assignments, missed tackles, using the personnel incorrectly; to their weaknesses, critical injuries to the top three positions in NT, CB and ILB/OLB, huge drop off on INT's and PD's, etc.). B/c we have been unable to get off the field on 3rd downs d/t an inability to stop the run, the defense has also contributed to their own demise late in 4Q and the offense has been counterproductive in helping them as well.
The defense has and has HAD serious issues for some time now that many of us have been highlighting...and the offense and coahing decisions aren't helping matters.
[ Edited by NCommand on Sep 24, 2013 at 8:01 AM ]