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  • Where has defense gone?

    The days of dominant defenses seem to have faded away. The NFL has become an offensive league and teams who pass the ball have been the most successful. Don't get me wrong there are still good defenses out there, but none are as dominant as Steelers and Ravens defenses from a few years ago. Look at the Steelers and Ravens now, they are built behind the passing attacks of their Franchise QBs. Look at the top 10 teams in the league. Colts, Saints, Vikings, Eagles, Cardinals, Bengals, Packers, Patriots, Cowboys. What do they all have in common a Franchise QB with weapons. Could you call any of their defenses consistently dominant? Successful defenses these days can get consistent pressure with 4 and everyone in their back 7 covers.

    So how will the Rams succeed in the new age NFL.

    Offensively it is paramount to find a Franchise QB ASAP. You have a weapon in the backfield in S-Jax, but you still have to continue to add receiving threats. Rams definately need a number 1 receiver and a receiving TE. They have some good young guys right now, but they can't stand pat their and expect to be successful. The Line needs some depth and needs to stay healthy, but a QB could be successful behind that line.

    Defensively the Rams number 1 priority should be finding players who can get pressure that is the bottom line. The secondary is young and has some good players in Butler, OJ, and Bartell. There needs to be upgrades at the number 2 QB and nickel, but this unit could do alot more with more pressure. At LB the Rams are going to need to find OLBs that can rush the passer or cover, 2 things the current ram LBs are not to good at. The front Four is where it all matters Chris Long with help could become a dominant pass rusher. Whether that comes from putting a great DT on the inside or great DE opposite him. The Rams have good young depth at DT, but could use dominant player. The Rams are old at DE and UFA outside of Long, both positions are priorities, but Long and Clifton Ryan seem to be at least solid starters and could excell with some help.

  • #2
    Re: Where has defense gone?

    Its weird you say that, because of the teams you listed as being top teams or being built around this franchise QBs, most have decent defences.

    Going by points per game, Baltimore (2nd), Dallas (3rd), New England (4th), Cincinnati (5th), Indy (7th), Green Bay (9th), Arizona (10th), Pittsburgh (12th) are all in the top 12 for scoring defences. Minnesota are 14th, Philly 16th and New Orleans 19th.

    Conversely, at the moment the Rams are ranked 31st.

    However, the team that is number 1 in scoring defense, the New York Jets, is struggling for wins because their franchise QB of the future has thrown games away for them by throwing a ton of interceptions.

    Either all these teams had decent defences when their franchise QB came along (Pittsburgh, Philly, Dallas, Baltimore, Minnesota, New England), or they only became real contenders once their defence started to improved (Indy, NO, Arizona)
    @EssexRam_

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    • #3
      Re: Where has defense gone?

      I wouldn't draw too many conclusions there. When you talk about those Steelers and Ravens defenses, it's worth mentioning they were both very impressive as recently as last season and are among the best again this season. In addition, the Vikings were very successful with running game and defense before Favre ever came to town, and the Packers' defense has gotten a lot of credit for their success in recent years.

      Tomahawk247 mentioned scoring defense, but total defense (yardage) follows suit. The Packers, Ravens, Bengals, Steelers, Eagles, Patriots, and Vikings make up 7 of the top 10 defenses based on yards allowed.

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      • #4
        Re: Where has defense gone?

        The rules today heavily favor NFL offenses. A defensive player can't do anything to a receiver, can't lead with their head, can't tackle the QB at the knees, get called for late hits which in many instances are borderline at best and are otherwise generally neutralized. I'm sure there will be defenses you can call dominant in the future, but these rules, plus a salary structure that allows for a high player turnover rate will prevent defenses from being dominant for long periods of time.

        As this is now a passing league, I think the biggest key to defensive success is constant QB pressure. The Rams must make a commitment to this and start implementing the high intensity style that characterized Steve Spagnuolo's tenure with the Giants.

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        • #5
          Re: Where has defense gone?

          Originally posted by Goldenfleece View Post
          I wouldn't draw too many conclusions there. When you talk about those Steelers and Ravens defenses, it's worth mentioning they were both very impressive as recently as last season and are among the best again this season. In addition, the Vikings were very successful with running game and defense before Favre ever came to town, and the Packers' defense has gotten a lot of credit for their success in recent years.

          Tomahawk247 mentioned scoring defense, but total defense (yardage) follows suit. The Packers, Ravens, Bengals, Steelers, Eagles, Patriots, and Vikings make up 7 of the top 10 defenses based on yards allowed.
          I understand that and you make good points, but would you consider any of those teams defensive teams? I don't think you can call any of those teams prominently defensive squads that rely on their defenses. Since when did the Pittsburgh Steelers need 500 yards from a QB to win a game. All these defenses are good, but are they dominant?

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          • #6
            Re: Where has defense gone?

            Originally posted by 39thebeast View Post
            I understand that and you make good points, but would you consider any of those teams defensive teams? I don't think you can call any of those teams prominently defensive squads that rely on their defenses. Since when did the Pittsburgh Steelers need 500 yards from a QB to win a game. All these defenses are good, but are they dominant?

            I would still say that the Ravens, Steelers and Vikings are defensive teams though. Id also say that quite a few of those teams i wouldnt look at and say they are only winning because of their QB play. The reason that these teams are winning is because they are becoming more balanced teams. The Ravens, Steelers and Vikes are now contending from a combination of good D and good O. The Cards, Colts and Saints, who in recent years have had great Os, have only really become superbowl contenders since their Ds have started to catch up.
            @EssexRam_

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            • #7
              Re: Where has defense gone?

              Originally posted by tomahawk247 View Post
              I would still say that the Ravens, Steelers and Vikings are defensive teams though. Id also say that quite a few of those teams i wouldnt look at and say they are only winning because of their QB play. The reason that these teams are winning is because they are becoming more balanced teams. The Ravens, Steelers and Vikes are now contending from a combination of good D and good O. The Cards, Colts and Saints, who in recent years have had great Os, have only really become superbowl contenders since their Ds have started to catch up.
              Vikings most certainly are not a defensive team. The Vikings are the Brett Farve show with all those weapons and Adrian Peterson. Steelers I think are the Big Ben show also. When it comes to the Ravens it is still debateable. I'm not saying these defenses aren't good its just that their offenses have pushed ahead of them. Yes they all have good defenses but their offenses are much better. I'm not saying you don't need a good defense, that you do. What is more important is you have an offense that can make plays to win the game. That been the superbowl winning formula the past 2 years. IN 08 the giants D got pressure, but when it came down to it Eli Manning made huge plays to Tyree and Buress to win the game. In 09 Harrison and crew made huge plays defensively, but when Warner and Fitzgerald made a charge, Big Ben Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes had to come up with big plays to win the game. Defense is important because the last 2 winners have had 2 dynamic pass rushers the Giants with Tuck and Osi and the Steelers with Harrison and Woodley.

              Look at the colts, I don't think there defense is really that good, but Freeney and Mathis are elite pass rushers take them out and the defense stinks. The Colts only draft DBS and weapons. Since drafting Manning the only player they have drafted in the first round who isn't an offensive weapon or a db is Dwight Freeney. IMO that has been the model organization of this decade.

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              • #8
                Re: Where has defense gone?

                Originally posted by tomahawk247 View Post
                I would still say that the Ravens, Steelers and Vikings are defensive teams though.
                I agree and those teams are built to put great defenses on the field. The fact they are under performing this year is because their defenses haven't performed as required but that doesn't make them less of defensive focused teams.

                In 1999 the Rams had a pretty bad defense on the field. Especially at run defense. Statistically though it was a great defense. Why? Teams were forced to give up the run because they were in catch-up mode by half time. That makes for sweet statistics. The 2000 Rams faulted very slightly on offense and the defense reverted back to 1998 performance. They turned it back around in 2001 with A. Williams, Lewis, Pickett, Archuletta and Polley (who was GREAT in 2001). The Rams could have very easily built a solid defense for the next decade with that draft but injuries and weirdness turned it the other way. Archuletta was great until the injuries took their toll, Polley was looking superior and then fell completely apart for some reason. Then they let Pickett walk.

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                • #9
                  Re: Where has defense gone?

                  Originally posted by 39thebeast View Post
                  Vikings most certainly are not a defensive team. The Vikings are the Brett Farve show with all those weapons and Adrian Peterson.
                  I really have to disagree there. Pat and Kevin Williams make up one of the best duos around at DT, and Jared Allen is a stud at DE. Teams haven't been able to run against them for a long time (they led the league in rushing defense from 2006-2008). Winfield is a very good and physical corner, and Greenway is a standout at linebacker. I probably wouldn't call them a dominant defense all-around, but if it wasn't for that defense, I think the team would look a lot like the Packers did in the mid-2000s. Favre had receivers there.

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                  • Bralidore(RAMMODE)
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                    Per Steve Wyche-NFL.com

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                  • Barry Waller
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                    Fans always think a team with a good offense and average defense should go all in on defensive help first when spending free agent money and high draft picks.

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