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Realistic Predictions For Defensive Production In 2015


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I don't know what to think.

This defense has been so miserable and frankly embarrassing to watch for so many years that even with the sheer number of personnel changes and Quinn coming in with his attitude and mindset adjustment, it's just difficult to see a drastic change in overall performance in just one offseason.

For the first time in the TD/Ryan era, there have been substantial changes in to the Defense as opposed to the TD philosophy of just going out and over paying for 1 overrated Defensive player, so who knows.

But curious to see what people think could realistically happen.

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So much depends on whether we stay healthy, as several key guys we're counting on...Clayborn, Durant, W Moore....have significant injury history....

and the young kids like Hageman and Beasley and R Allen will need to grow up fast.....

But if these guys can stay on the field, I would not be shocked to see us middle-of-pack (17th or so) defense

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So much depends on whether we stay healthy, as several key guys we're counting on...Clayborn, Durant, W Moore....have significant injury history....

and the young kids like Hageman and Beasley and R Allen will need to grow up fast.....

But if these guys can stay on the field, I would not be shocked to see us middle-of-pack (17th or so) defense

That's a great point.

One of the most inspiring things is that there is a ton of young talent on this defense, which hasn't been the case for a long time.

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That's a great point.

One of the most inspiring things is that there is a ton of young talent on this defense, which hasn't been the case for a long time.

Falcons are IMO a very under-the-radar team right now. If they can stay healthy and OL does not implode, I can see this team winning NFCS and making some noise in playoffs. But they gotta stay healthy.

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I'm hopeful that I just don't have that feeling of complete embarassment watching them play. I honestly don't care where we rank this coming year as long as there are signs of improvement from the line down to the secondary.

That and for them to make the stop when the sound guy plays "all we do is win" after a late 4th quarter Bryant field goal but the other team has 30 seconds left to drive the field... (referencing the Browns game from last year)...

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I'm hopeful that I just don't have that feeling of complete embarassment watching them play. I honestly don't care where we rank this coming year as long as there are signs of improvement from the line down to the secondary.

That and for them to make the stop when the sound guy plays "all we do is win" after a late 4th quarter Bryant field goal but the other team has 30 seconds left to drive the field... (referencing the Browns game from last year)...

I'd like to add that I want to have a good feeling when it's 3rd and long instead of wanting to close my eyes.

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That's what I'm thinking. Middle third and I'm happy.

Closer to 10 than 20 and I'm pretty much ecstatic.

Yeah,

Honestly, if they can just improve on 3rd Down stoppage... That will be a miracle in of itself.

Allowing yardage has never really bothered me, but when you consistently allow 3rd Down conversions like the Falcons have, it's just so painful to watch week to week.

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It's a yin/yang circular balance between offense and defense. They compound on each other. If we control time of possession, the defense is out there less often. If the defense is out there less often, they are fresher and more likely to make plays and get the offense back on the field sooner.

Same thing goes for inside each unit. A circular balance and compounding effect. If the DL pressures the QB, the secondary gets more ints and PD's. If the secondary covers better, the DL gets more sacks. If we stuff the run better, the other team gets less time of possession, passes more, and is likely playing from behind more.

You really don't have to have giant leaps in quality of play. If you have minor ones in each department, they will cause exponential improvement everywhere else.

So as long as we don't have any regression anywhere, and at least incremental improvement in most places where we were bad, then it's virtually a certainty that we will improve overall. And frankly, I see nowhere that we should regress. Even at safety. Lowery wasn't anything special. He played almost every snap and had way fewer tackles and PD's than Ishmael who had a third fewer snaps.

And everywhere else, even the OL, I don't see potential for regression. So we really should be better. Quite a bit better actually. I'm guessing 15-20 on defense and top-5 offense.

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We were the worst defense in the league last year. Looking at the jumps other bad defenses have made in the last few years you see some decent jumps.

In 2012, there were three defenses that jumped from the "20s" to the Top 10. There were an additional two defenses ranked in the 30s that jumped to the top half of the league.

In 2013 four of the Top 10 defenses were ranked in the 20s or later. This includes two teams in the 30s that jumped to the top 10. There were an additional two teams ranked in the 20s or later that jumped into the top half.

In 2014 four teams jumped from the 20s to the top half of the league. Only one team jumped from the 20s into the top 10.

In the last three years, six teams have jumped from the 30s to the top half of the league.

I think we have an outside shot to make a big leap toward the back of the Top 10. But realistically, I'm hoping for something around average.

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I expect us to be better against the run this year with Hags, Soliai, Babs, Reed, Jarrett, and Durant in our front seven. I also think we have enough depth for sustained performance through the fourth quarter due to fresher bodies. If we can get good run defense, then we should be able to avoid explosive plays by not having to cheat with our secondary to support the run. If we can avoid the explosive plays by scheme and better tackling, I can see us moving into the teens for team defense.

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The first three games should give us a good indication of how the defense will play throughout the year. In the first three games we face the 5th, 10th, and 7th teams that ranked in total offense.

Upon further digging we play this season:

Five different teams ( six total times) that ranked top ten in total offense.

Five different teams ( six total times) that ranked top ten in total rushing.

Four different teams ( five total times) that ranked top ten in total passing.

And Four top ten scoring teams.

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Here's our opponent list with 2014 ODVOA in parenthesis.

Philly (13th)

NYG (15th)

Dallas (4th)

Houston (21st)

Washington (28th)

NO (x2) (7th)

Tennessee (29th)

TB (x2) (32nd)

SF (16th)

Indy (17th)

Minnesota (22nd)

Carolina (x2) (20th) (PS WTF do we play Carolina twice in the last three weeks of the year?)

Jacksonville (31st)

I'd expect TB, Indy, Minnesota, NYG to take steps forward. I expect SF and Dallas to come back a little bit....well, with SF, I think they have a chance to be a bottom 5 offense.

Overall, it's a decent schedule for the defense. Not a ton of great OLs here. Facing Tyron Smith, Trent Williams, Joe Staley, Jason Peters is tough but some of these OLs have the potential to be really poor.

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I expect Beasley to come on strong the second half of the season, partly due to natural rookie progression as he gets a feel for the professional level. But also because in the 1st 5 games he's going up against guys like Jason Peters, Tyron Smith, Trent Williams, Duane Brown. Top notch LT's

But after those games there's really no good LT's he's going up against at all lol besides Joe Staley

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Here's our opponent list with 2014 ODVOA in parenthesis.

Philly (13th)

NYG (15th)

Dallas (4th)

Houston (21st)

Washington (28th)

NO (x2) (7th)

Tennessee (29th)

TB (x2) (32nd)

SF (16th)

Indy (17th)

Minnesota (22nd)

Carolina (x2) (20th) (PS WTF do we play Carolina twice in the last three weeks of the year?)

Jacksonville (31st)

I'd expect TB, Indy, Minnesota, NYG to take steps forward. I expect SF and Dallas to come back a little bit....well, with SF, I think they have a chance to be a bottom 5 offense.

Overall, it's a decent schedule for the defense. Not a ton of great OLs here. Facing Tyron Smith, Trent Williams, Joe Staley, Jason Peters is tough but some of these OLs have the potential to be really poor.

Good post Larry. We never know until the season shakes out, but yes, on paper we have a fairly easy schedule.

I think SF takes a huge step back, and I see new orleans continuing to go backwards as well.

I think Houston might be the surprise team in AFC this year. I have no clue what Philly will be like...I'm not sure anyone does.

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