FlyingGreg wrote:And I have stated repeatedly I am very optimistic about this team. I just don't think it's necessarily our time right now. I'm not so sure why that's such a leap to believe - we have a very tough road ahead. How confident are you when this team takes the field on the road? I wish I could get excited about projections and trends when we have put up a 1-5 record -- and that one road win was lucky (Newton missed a wide open receiver in the end zone).
I still think we can make the playoffs this season. But in order to get there, we HAVE TO WIN BOTH REMAINING ROAD GAMES. I don't see us getting in at 9-7 "if" we sweep the last 3 home games (and that would mean beating SF) and lose to Chicago and Buffalo. That's just me, I guess. So somehow this week we are all of a sudden going to "get it"? Perhaps.
As far as what I have seen - I've seen us lose our last two road games when our rookie QB had a 125+ rating and our defense, however you want to explain it, lost the game. Plain and simple. This is why I don't fall in love with statistics and projections. Perhaps they will finally make it happen this week in Chicago - we can only hope.
The problem with throwing season stats out as supporting a point is it's skewed, in both directions. For instance...half of Chris Clemons sacks came in ONE HALF. So is 8 sacks a good season for him, or is it that he only has 4 in all of the other games combined? We lost in Miami, and we forced one turnover and had one sack. Our defense allowed an offense that would never be labeled as "powerful" rack up almost 450 yds, including almost 200 on the ground. And they marched right down the field to win the game in the closing seconds. We lost in Detroit, and we forced one turnover and had two sacks. Our defense allowed Detroit to eat up the last 5 minutes of the game on a 16-play, 80-yard drive to win the game.
Stats and feel-good projections aside -- don't you want a defense that can come up with a stop? What good does it do to be highly "ranked" when this happens?
And as I have said, i respect those who want to use the stats and rankings etc. I don't begrudge you. I just don't see it the same way...which is fine, right?
Before reading this, I'd just like to point out that I kind
of agree with you, but also disagree. Stats are a good indicator of the quality of the team but context DOES matter, in a way that also means that things that DON'T count as stats balance out the context of the stats to some extent (take forcing 2 intentional grounding throws against Tom Brady, which don't register as sacks, even though Clemons forced one)
Does a sack matter if the player is forcing the QB to throw the ball quickly, inaccurately and more importantly... incomplete?
Sacks look good on the sheet, but we're 3rd in terms of yards, 2nd in terms of passing TDs allowed, yet we still have more sacks than the 3 teams ahead of us in those stats (Steelers, 49ers in yards, Ravens in TDs).
The reality is, it doesn't matter if we allow 450 yards in a game if the opposition doesn't score a TD. Even if they do, if its tied at 21-21 with 80 seconds to go and 400 yards allowed and we force a 3 and out and go on to win the game in OT, nobody cares.
If it's tied at 21 all, we've only allowed 150 yards all game (special teams has let us down) and we concede 50 yards and a FG in the final 2 minutes, then you've allowed a respectable 200 yards in the game but failed to prevent them from driving when it matters most.
What seems to be the problem is that from 5 games where we've needed to stop the offense in the final 5 minutes of the game, we've allowed Kevin Kolb to drive 80 yards for a TD in 4 minutes 20 seconds, Matthew Stafford to drive 80 yards for a TD in 5 minutes 7 seconds and Ryan Tannehill to drive 80 yards for a TD in 2 minutes 40 seconds, and then minutes later, a further 65 yards in 1 minute 30 seconds to set up the winning field goal.
An honourable mention goes to when we allowed Cam Newton to drive 79 yards in 7 minutes before stopping them from scoring (and essentially winning us the game). Which shows it doesn't matter how many yards you allow or how many sacks you get AS LONG AS THEY DON'T SCORE. It's all about WHEN, not about WHAT. Take the Carolina game again as an example, what do you think was more important, Clemons four sacks in the first half against GB or Irvin's strip-sack fumble to end the Carolina game?
With less than a minute left on the clock it's unlikely the Panthers would have driven down the field for a TD considering they didnt' score one on offense all game, but that fumble ended the game and made sure they wouldn't.
The defense DID come up with big stops against NE and Carolina, but Newton missed a wide open WR in that 4th down throw which could have won the game for them and we'd be looking at our defense allowing 4 80 yard TD drives when we've been up by a score or less in the 4th quarter (out of 5 games).
Is it safe to say our defense simply isn't "clutch"?