In this series of posts, I seek to find the answer to questions that are brought up around here or around the various sports conversation sites. I use a realistic, low-stat opinion to generate discussion about these topics, but I also encourage the use of stats in an argument.
The game against the Packers certainly left a lot to be desired, and rightfully so. The offense and defense failed to show up against the Pack and that's why we're going to be sitting at home watching the Super Bowl instead of in Dallas living it.
Today, I'd like to discuss which of the two primary facets needs a bigger change in order for us to take the next step...or really, the only step left to take. Both sides have a compelling argument. We're talented enough on defense to make some noise, but is scheming the issue? Would a change in coordinators solve the problem or just intensify it?
Would adding offensive talent solve our problems? Would a change of coordinators/offensive schemes fix our offensive woes? Would putting Eric Weems at all 11 positions fix everything?
Jump the jump with me and let's discuss.
While I honestly believe it won't take much to fix our problems, we still have problems that need fixing on both sides of the ball.
If Mularkey leaves, we could soon have a huge problem on the offensive side of the ball because we will then have no OC and no QB coach.
For now, even though this will be much to the chagrin of some of the readers, let's assume Mularkey stays.
That said, I think the offense needs more improvement than the defense. I refuse to count that Packers game as anything more than an anomalous occurrence until it happens again. Then and only then will I start to worry.
When the offense shut down, the defense did not seem capable of carrying the increased load for long. The exception was the Steelers game, but they were without R-berger so that's neither here nor there.
I think adding some speed to our WR corps will help open up the offense. It isn't an uncommon practice to withhold certain plays from an offense because the personnel don't fit. Heck, even if we had a TE that could stretch the field a little, it would probably help.
Now, you're probably thinking I'm crazy because it seems like the D has always kinda been the bane of our existence, even as we've improved, but I think the O has smoke-and-mirrors'd its way to a lot of success, too. We've managed to succeed on O despite using only one RB in a two RB league. Well, essentially one. Snelling may as well just stay seated. All he does is get in some defensive person's face on third down so they don't destroy Matty. (That should be read as: THEY'RE DOIN' IT WRONG)
O has the most room for improvement because of what we're missing. The D pretty much has everything they need. Yeah, a lot of them could be replaced with better players, but by and large they are what they need to be. We have a good set of LBs, two talented young safeties with two solid corners, and an effective DL.
On offense, we don't even have a speed back, so any part of Mularkey's O that would function with one of those is gone. We don't have a true deep threat at receiver, so we're stuck throwing vain deep attempts (which we haven't really been good at anyway) to blanketed receivers. Our OL is kinda in the same boat as the D. They could be replaced by better players but by and large they are what they need to be. I think their run blocking might be more suspect than people realize, though.
I think our O coordinator condition is fine, though not everyone agrees with me, and that's fine. Sure, we could do better, but as Ball Hawk has mentioned several times, many, many teams would kill to be in our position, coordinators and all.
What do you all think? Does the O or D need more improvement, and why do you think so? You only get to pick one. You can't pick both! I look forward to discussing this with you all!
(You all better not all pick the D, I'll be disappointed! But not really, you're free to choose whatever you like.)