Why Failing Defenses Have Gotten Downright Offensive in NFL
Lost fundamentals and practice time on defensive has led to huge offensive gains.
During Sunday Night Football, the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs combined for 83 points and one, count ’em one, punt, in 60 minutes of football.
High-scoring games have been the rule, not the exception, this season and with teams regularly combining to score 70 more points, defense in the NFL appears to be deader than disco.
There are myriad reasons (rule changes that favor the offense, improved quarterback play, college-style offensive concepts), but many defensive coaches also point to a lack of fundamentals in the players coming out of college and a lack of time to teach them.
“Very few DBs know how to play the ball in the air without reaching, grabbing, tackling or holding a receiver,” one coach told Sports Illustrated. “They never turn and look for the football.”
Those lost fundamentals have been the offense’s gain as points per game, yards per game and yards per play are at all-time highs six weeks into the season.
And, with NFL ratings starting to recover from a slight dip last year and fantasy football more popular than ever before, don’t expect this trend to reverse itself anytime soon.
So maybe Drew Brees shouldn’t get too comfortable with his all-time passing record.
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