With more and more offenses going up-tempo, and with yards and scoring increasing, it seems as though playing good defense is no longer a priority in football.
There was a time when defenses consistently mounted a challenge to offenses in college and professional football. But in today’s game, not so much any more. In the push to put more and more points on the board, it seems defense in football has taken a clear back seat to offense. And what’s more, some coaches and players don’t seem to care.
Coaches now a days almost seem to be sacrificing defensive game planning in favor creating more high-powered offense. Basically using the defense as little more than guinea pigs to be dominated by the offensive side of the ball. Where offenses look like well oiled machines, and seemingly running circles around defenses that are supposed to be good.
Rules changes to make the game safer have played a role in offenses running roughshod over defenses. But it also seems as though the mind-set of the game has changed. With more teams running an up-tempo offense, the offensive record books are being unapologetically transformed with each passing week.
And not necessarily because offenses are better, but more than likely because they are simply running more plays in a game than ever. Running more plays creates more yardage production for offenses. Remember when a QB passing for 4,000 yards was a big deal? Now it’s a disappointment if they don’t, as QB’s continue to shatter the 5,000 yard mark. Is 6,000 yards too far off?
Don’t get me wrong, I like offensive football like all fans do, but I also like to at least see an offense be challenged by a good defense. What happened to the chess match? Instead of trying to stop an offense, it seems more and more coaches just want to try to outscore the opposition in an offensive shootout.
Some people think more scoring in football makes the game more exciting, but I don’t agree. If offenses are just going run through defenses like a knife through butter, what’s the point of watching? Why even have defenses on the field if they should act as nothing more than a minor nuisance to offenses?
Maybe it’s just that defensive coaches need more time to catch up with the changes to the game, or maybe they never will. But I think the caretakers of the sport need to slow down for a minute, and realize what’s happening to the game. Defensive coordinators are drawing the ire of fans and even being fired after a bad game, but is it really their fault?
The balance of the game has been slanted so far to the side of the offense, that by the time they want to try to even things out, it may be too late. Is the NFL trying to become like the arena football league where hardly any defense is played? College football is pretty much already like that. Shootout games should be the exception in football not the norm.
And fantasy football could also be a reason for this obsession to create more eye-popping offensive stats. But if the game continues on its current trajectory with defense being downgraded and sacrificed for the sake of more offense, then I fear at some point the game that I love, will begin to lose part of the appeal that made it special.
- Chiefs vs. Eagles: Dontari Poe Breaks Down Chip Kelly’s Offense (arrowheadaddict.com)
- Don’t Be Fooled: The Future of Offense Is Simplicity (mmqb.si.com)
- Kansas City Chiefs Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton talks defending Eagles offense (bleedinggreennation.com)
- Yeah, But Can He Make It in the Pros? (mmqb.si.com)