By TK in ES CoverageIn today's Divisional Debacle, the Defense under Greg Manusky in the first half, gave up 207 yards of offense (105 rushing/102 passing) and two touchdowns. That said, they did manage a single INT on which the Offense actually managed to score a touchdown off of. They allowed 12 of 16 passes to be completed .
In the second half it was 107 yards given up (58 rushing//49 passing) a field goal and a touchdown. They traded their first half pick for a second half sack. However, Dallas completed all five of their pass attempts.
Don't read that thinking "Well it seems like they tightened up some in the 2nd half." They didn't. They simply had about half the plays in the second half. 30 plays in the First and 18 in the Second.
So far in two Divisional matchups, the Defense has faltered in the Second half. They start out like a house of fire for the first few drives until their opponents gradually make adjustments. This Defensive coaching staff fails make any adjustments, whether in game or at the very least at Halftime. They've given up over 30 points per game for a total of 63 points given up in two games. While the Bears are up next, the Pats await and they've put up over 70 points in two games. Yeah. Ok. They did shut out the Dolphins today which is looking like the NFL version of ... ahem... shooting fish in a barrel.
The frustrating thing is Manusky is the DC that the Front Office actively looked to replace during the off season without firing him. When you know they're looking to replace you, most people would make a concentrated effort to show an improvement. Yet Manusky's Defense still keeps acting like it's starring in Groundhog Day.
In his post game presser, when asked directly about if any coaching changes would be made, Gruden said "No, I think after two games – you’re talking about playing two very good offensive football teams and two of the best offensive lines in pro football we just played back-to-back. That’s no excuse whatsoever, but I don’t think we need to hit the panic button yet. We just have to continue to focus on what we can do better to win. Get Jonathan [Allen] in here, get a couple of our corners back in here and let’s go back and strap it up against Chicago [Bears] next week and see what happens.”
Here's another frustrating thing. The defensive communication was an issue last season as well. Wasn't this supposed to have been worked on during OTA's and Training Camp? It's understandable that the rookies would still be on a learning curve, but NFL vets like Collins and DRC you'd think they would have down by the start of the season.
Gruden said they're a very talented group on Defense but that they weren't reaching them. When questioned as to why the coaching staff that has been in place for several years, wasn't reaching them, he defended the comment as them being a young defense. “We have some moving parts now. Landon Collins is a veteran guy but this is his first year, [Montez] Sweat’s in his first year, [Cole] Holcomb, it’s his first year, [Jon] Bostic is in his first year. We’re playing Dominique [Rodgers-Cromartie] at corner and this is Jimmy Moreland’s first year, so it’s not like we are the most experienced group. We feel like were very talented, but we`re still fighting through somethings. There are a lot of things to look forward to, without a doubt, but we do have to play better and strap it up and get back to work."
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