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.
I was able to witness the second half of the not-yet-patented "Hey guys, everyone over 20 hasn't had a heart attack. This game isn't close enough." game against the Packers. Yes, Aaron Rodgers could very well be the best quarterback we face all year, but our defense had plenty of time (4th and goal...) to stop them in their tracks.
Rodgers is a fantastic quarterback, but it is likely that if we make it to Dallas, we will face the likes of Rivers, Brady, or Manning. Considering what went down on Sunday, I have to give this a serious thought:
Is our defense, arguably a strong point earlier in the season, turning into a liability?
Follow me after the jump and let's talk about it!I am fresh off of mouth surgery, and it looks like I've been punched in the mouth. Actually, my surgeon might as well have punched me in the mouth because I wouldn't have felt it anyway.
Moving right along, our defense has some solid players on it. John Abraham, Curtis Lofton, Thomas DeCoud, Dunta Robinson, to name a few. All of those men are recognizable, I would say.
We have had some defining defensive moment over the years. The '09 Bears game (not '08), where one Jamaal Anderson forever earned kudos in my book by swatting Jay Cutler's 4th and goal pass away. The Tampa Bay game this year was one as well when we stuffed Blount near the goal line to ice the game.
Yes, we've had some great defensive plays...but why does it feel like this defense still can't be trusted?
I feel like the Falcons somewhat resemble my life in that it is a living embodiment of Murphy's Law. "If it can go wrong, it will."
4th and goal from the 10. I almost felt bad for JA55 because when I watched the highlights, he was double teamed until he got knocked over and couldn't even get up. These poor men play themselves to the point of exhaustion.
The problem is this defense isn't closing out the games it should be closing out. The Ravens game, for instance, was a destruction of a good football team. We were laying the wood to them in the first half, and then Coach Smith pulled out the rainbows and unicorns and told the real D to go home.
Terry Bradshaw said it best. "Their D is just good enough", he said. When is "just good enough" going to turn into "not good enough"?
We have proven that we can play with and beat anyone in the Dome, but what happens when we go to a place like Indy, NYJ, or NE? What if, by some miracle, we have to play @Philly? @NYG?
I'm still skeptical of our defense. While I will agree it is very reminiscent of the Saints D of '09, it's also somewhat of a smoke and mirrors defense. Defenses that capitalize on turnovers are often high risk/high reward. If our offense was inept, this defense would be flat-out awful in the eyes of many. Heck, half the time we can't score off of turnovers, it seems like.
I believe the defense is somewhere in the neighborhood of 7th in scoring despite giving up chunks upon chunks of yards. That's great, as is the run defense (also around 7th) but why do I not trust this defense? Dunta Robinson has improved the secondary, and the pass rush has generated decent pressure at times, but something is still wrong. Why does the D continue to make every game into a heart destroyer?
Is it mostly on BVG's shoulders? We certainly have the talent to be good, but is our scheme lacking? Could it be something totally unrelated to defense in that offenses are just that much better right now? Are defenses going from "shut down" to "don't let them score as much"?
I tell you what, our offense has bailed the D out numerous times. Ravens, Saints, and Packers games all had offensive last-second heroism thanks to defensive failure.
If this isn't addressed, there will be a time very soon when the defense that is "just good enough" becomes the reason the Falcons aren't good enough.
What do you all think? Can we close a game out for once? Who's to blame for these defensive heart attacks? Should we fire BVG for using the prevent while down 3 touchdowns? Should we just fire BVG anyway? Is it not DC related? What in the heck is it gonna take for our D to be awesome? I look forward to discussing this with you all!