This is sort of what the OP was originally getting at and backed up by many of us who have noticed a very concerning issue with the style of play by the CB's esp. on 3rd downs:
Ironically enough, it plays right into the issues we have on offense under HaRoMan as well. The Saints game, as a reference, were getting some 4 yards a carry (many on first downs) and when they weren't running, they were passing and picking up positive yards as well. THEN they get to 3rd and shorts all day and this is where I have b!tched since the dawn of time on the technique by our CB's over the past 10+ years (no matter WHO the DC is). We have a tendency, no, a pattern
, to play WAY off on 3rd downs as if every WR we face has 4.2 speed and we've been burned deep all day. I will NEVER understand this rationale but it is giving these QB's an easy out every time, even if we do get pressure. The next time you watch a game, just look to see which CB is playing the furthest off on 3rd down...that is who the QB quickly goes to almost 100% of the time.
The reason this plays into HaRoMan is b/c of the predictability of the offense esp. on first downs. Defenses know almost 100% of the time, that it is going to be a run up the gut and we are CONSTANTLY in 2nd and 10 or 2nd and 10+. Now you're in 3rd and long after that usually and playing right into the defenses strengths. Granted, we've been able to mask this issue a bit with some big 3rd and long completions but eventually, it's going to catch up to you and its certainly catching up to us in the 4Q. A perfect example is this Saints game...on our own 20, 2-minutes to go, the Saints blitz where Iupati would have been (CK has no prayer or outlet here to beat it) and we end up with 2nd and 19...then almost a safety. Punt...Saints win on a short field, FG.
The bottom line: good teams are in 3rd and shorts and poor teams are in 3rd and longs. And this technique/style/pattern of defense on 3rd downs is killing us.
[ Edited by NCommand on Nov 20, 2013 at 7:53 AM ]