FanPost

The defense should not be blamed for Monday night


A lot of people are calling last night's loss a "total team failure".  I initially agreed with that assessment, but after a good night's rest I went back and looked at the drive summaries.  After taking a second look at the individual drives, I have to say that it is hard to pin this loss on the defense.  Let's look at the drives...

First quarter:

Oakland starts the drive at their own 10 yard line.

-The defense immediately gets a turnover and gives the ball to the offense on the Oakland 15.  This is a HUGE win, and the type of play that can be the catalyst for a blowout if the offense drives it in and scores a TD.

Oakland starts the drive at their own 20 yard line.

-The defense takes over after a kickoff with Oakland at their own 20 yard line.  They give up 15 yards and force a punt.  Win for the defense.

Oakland starts the drive at the Denver 42 yard line.

-This is the first drive of the night that Oakland starts in Denver territory.  Anytime the offense takes over on the defense's side of the field it is a bad situation.  More so when the other team has a kicker like Janikowski (at the 42 yard line, the Raiders can think about kicking a field goal even if they don't gain a single yard).  

The good is that the defense did get the Raiders into third and thirteen.  The bad is that they gave up a first down on that play, and ended up allowing a touchdown on the drive.  This goes as a loss for the defense, but has to come with a qualifier, because the drive did start on the wrong side of the 50.

Second Quarter

Oakland starts the drive at the Denver 23 yard line.

-the second drive in a row that starts in Denver territory.  This is a dangerous situation because the defense is probably still winded from the previous Oakland drive (Denver's offense was only on the field for one play), and with a touchdown Oakland can start thinking about turning this game into a rout.  Well, three plays later it's fourth and six and Janikowski is trotting out for a FG.  HUGE win for the defense, and a great job of keeping the game close here.

Oakland starts the drive at the Oakland 2 yard line.

-When the offense starts a drive at their own 2, the defense needs to force a three and out to give their offense a shot at good field position.  That is exactly what the Denver D was able to do here, good job guys!

Oakland starts the drive at the Oakland 46 yard line.

-This is another drive that starts close to midfield, not the greatest situation for the defense, and they do end up giving away some good yardage to the Raiders.  The positive is that they held in the redzone and forced an Oakland FG.  I have to say this was a minor win for the defense.  They did allow the raiders to get into a first and goal situation, but were able to shut them down in the end.

Oakland starts the drive at the Oakland 39 yard line.

-end of the half, you would like for the defense to not give up a FG, which they did, but on the plus side, they did force Janikowski to kick a record tying 63 yard field goal.  It's really hard to fault the defense for those 3 points at the end of the half.

Third Quarter

Oakland starts the drive at the Oakland 20 yard line.

-Four play and a punt, good job defense.

Oakland starts the drive at the Oakland 20 yard line.

-Again the offense is right back on the field, but this time it's for a good reason (go Decker GO!).  Once again a winded defense results in a good defense with a forced punt.

Oakland starts the drive at the Oakland 20 yard line.

-Three and out for the defense, good job again.

Fourth Quarter

Oakland starts the drive at the Oakland 34 yard line.

-This is the first real fail for the defense.  It did come right after a momentum changing fumble, but the defense should have at least held them to a FG here.

Oakland starts the drive at the Oakland 20 yard line.

-This was a big drive for the defense.  Down by 10, they needed to stop the Oakland offense, and they needed to do it quickly to give the offense time to score twice.  They actually were able to accomplish both.  Forcing a 3 and out was huge for the defense and gave the Broncos life in this game.

Oakland starts the drive at the Oakland 20 yard line.

-This was the last drive of the ball game, and a rough one for the Denver defense.  But in all fairness, it was a tired defense that had their backs against the wall.

 

So to summarize a long post, the defense stopped the Oakland offense on seven of twelve drives (and if you go with a good or bad job review, the defense comes up with a win on nine of the thirteen Oakland drives), held them to field goals on the majority of Oakland scoring drives, forced a turnover that gave the offense a golden opportunity in the first quarter and they held the Raiders to a 36% conversion rate on third downs.

While this wasn't a dominant performance by the defense, they played well enough to give Denver a chance to win the game.  The reason this game was lost can be traced directly to the offense only being able to generate 6 points through 50+ minutes of the game.  Sure the defense wasn't able to get the ball back to the offense at the end of the game, but the offense dropped the ball (both literally and figuratively) much more often than the defense did.

This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Mile High Report

You must be a member of Mile High Report to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mile High Report. You should read them.

Join Mile High Report

You must be a member of Mile High Report to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mile High Report. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker