Dick’s Drive Chart versus Bears (Game 3)
Another week, another loss. Sure enough, there’s been the usual blather and banter from among the ignorant of the fan base, and it has generally bleated this fable: “If only the offense had played better, we would have easily won this game....and the other 2 as well.”
Yes, the offense has stunk. Smelled. Reeked. But the defense has been exceptionally mediocre and extremely ordinary, and worse, they remain the only defense in the NFL to have not produced at least 1 turnover. That spells SOFT, no matter how many simpletons might try to quibble about how tough and vaunted they are.
Some will point to this Bears game, and proudly support how great and vaunted this defense is. Upon further inspection, you’ll see how very mediocre they played.
First, the typical fan’s broad-brush approach conveniently leaves out key facts and key data. Plus, many an ignorant fan will assume a defense has 17 or 18 drives to contend with, and oh what the hell, if the defense does a shit job on, say 2 out of 17 drives, it's not a big deal. In this case, the Bears had 9 legit drives, obviously not counting kneel-down drives at the end of each half. Here are the results:
1. 13 plays, 51 yards, FG
2. 4 plays, 17 yards, TD
3. 5 plays, 60 yards, TD
4. 5 plays, punt
5. 3 plays, punt
1. 6 plays, 14 yards, FG
2. 5 plays, punt
3. 3 plays, punt
4. 9 plays, 74 yards, TD
So, let's review these 9 drives.
Drive #1 - The Sillers won the coin toss, but elected to defer and kick off. When a home team does this, they are anticipating their defense will SET THE TONE with some in-your-face intimidation and hard-nosed football, and of course get their beer-soaked fans whooped into a loud frenzy in the process. Instead, Dick plays a Softee Defense, and allows the Bears to casually march…and march…and allowed a 47-yard FG on a 51-yard drive that chewed 8 minutes of time. Your offense can’t score while standing on the sideline for an entire half a quarter. Great way to start a game and get the home crowd all fired up. (sic) For the defense, this is a LOST drive.
Drive #2 - After Ben's fumble, Chico took over at the PIT 17. This is NOT "gimme TD territory". In fact, with the small field to defend, it wasn't too arduous a task to ask the defense to MAN UP, BUCK UP, STIFFEN UP, and hold the Bears to a FG. Instead, they go SOFT and allow the TD. A true top-tier defense shuts the door and forces the FG attempt.....or forces a turnover of its own. For the defense, this is a LOST drive.
Drive #3 - Chico takes over after a punt, and soon rips a 55-yard run. They soon score a TD. For the defense, this is obviously a LOST drive. If you're keeping track, it's 3 drives, and 3 LOSSES for the Defense. An absolutely stellar way for the defense to begin a must-win game!
Drive # 4 - hooray, they forced a punt against Gay Buttler. For the defense, this is a Won drive.
Drive # 5 - hooray, they forced another punt against Gay Buttler. For the defense, this is a Won drive.
-------------------- 2nd half ------------------------
Drive #1 - Chico took over at the PIT 29. The defense was obviously rested during HALFTIME, and again had a chance to MAN UP, BUCK UP, STIFFEN UP, and hold the Bears to a long FG on the lousy turf of Heinz Field. Or (gasp) perhaps they could even create a TURNOVER of their own. Instead, they allow the Bears to gain a 1st down and advance 19 yards to the 10-yard line, and then boot a chippie FG. For the defense, this is a Draw drive, which is indeed a generous rating, as it very nearly was a Lost drive. .
Drive #2 - hooray, they forced a punt against Buttler. For the defense, this is a Won drive.
Drive #3 - hooray, they forced a punt against Buttler. For the defense, this is a Won drive.
Drive #4 - After an 11-play drive and a PIT FG made it a 4-point game at 10:43 4Q, The Vaunted Defense -- well rested, no less -- had a chance to stiffen and give the Offense the ball back in nice FP. The Stiller crowd was roaring, and all the momentum seemed to be in favor of the home team. Instead Chico took the ball from its own 26 and marched and marched. 3d & 10 ? Easy conversion for Chico on a QB scramble for 13 yards. 3d & 12 ? Easy conversion on a 41-yard deep ball. Before ya know it, Chico has moved from punting the ball from deep in their own territory, to knocking on the door for more points. Sure enough, on a 3d & 5, Buttler lobs a 17-yard TD to Bennett to make it an ELEVEN point game and all but ice the game. For the defense, this is obviously a LOST drive.
The final 2 drives by Chicago, armed with a comfy 17 point lead, were nothing more than abject turlting, and were nothing more than kneel-down type of drives. Thus, as irrelevant as they were, they are not included here, as some ignoramuses would do.
So, out of the 9 drives, the defense LOST 4 drives, and had a Draw on 1, and Won 4 drives. 4 lost, out of 9, translates to a 44% lost percentage. Hardly impressive, particularly AT HOME and against such a lukewarm offense that started TWO rookies on its OL. In fact, it sux. Add in the fact that they once again failed to force a single turnover, and it's a downright clusterfuk of a failure.
But of course, don’t listen to me. There are plenty of so-called experts in the Pittsburgh media, as well as numerous clumsy fans, who will tell you how great and dominant this defense is, and that “the defense is playing well enough for us to win” Getting a win on only 56% of drives is now considered “well enough”, I guess.
(Still Mill and Stillers.com -- when it comes to the analysis of the Pittsburgh Stillers, no one else comes close….)
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