AllGreenBayPackers.com Poll: Was Week 1 the Death of NFL Defenses?

Clay Matthews is one of the players that can bring some defense back to the NFL.

The first week of the NFL season is usually ruled by defense. Not this year.

Quarterbacks and passing dominated opening weekend in 2011 and it’s going to be interesting to see if the trend continues throughout the season. Some stats:

  • Offenses racked up 7,842 passing yards in Week 1, the most in NFL history.
  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, there were five games where both teams QB’s threw for over 300 yards, also a record.
  • The Patriots-Dolphins game on Monday night was the first to have one QB throw for over 500 yards (Tom Brady) and the other throw for over 400 (Chad Henne).
  • All of these records were set despite the fact that Minnesota’s Donovan McNabb had just 39 yards through the air.

Thanks to rule changes that favor quarterbacks and wide receivers, tight ends that are getting bigger, stronger and faster, and offensive game plans designed to exploit mismatches, defenses have been on the ropes for a while now.


Did defense finally die in week one?

It was only one week so it’s far too early to make any judgement, but it worries me a little. I don’t want the NFL to turn into the Arena Football League where teams move the ball up and down the field at will.

I love defense. I’ll take a 20-17 game over a 45-38 game every time. When a quarterback throws for over 300 yards, I want it to mean something. I don’t want teams with mediocre quarterbacks throwing the ball 45 times per game because the rules make it more beneficial to do so.

Unfortunately, I think I’m in the minority. Along with those record passing numbers this weekend came a record number of television viewers. People want offense, and the NFL is giving it to them.

But do they really want this much offense? The Patriots-Dolphins game was almost unwatchable to me. Standout defensive plays in the Packers-Saints and Cowboys-Jets games seemed to come after strange play calls or stupid blunders from the quarterback, not necessarily from dominant defensive play. And did anyone see Vikings defenders try and fail to tackle Mike Tolbert all game? It was embarrassing.

I probably sound like an old fuddy duddy, and maybe I am. But I want defense to make a comeback and to make it soon. Hopefully things even out in the coming weeks and we’re back to an NFL that features enough offense to please the masses mixed in with games controlled by the defense instead of the quarterback.

What do you think? Did you like all the passing yards and offense in week one? Or are you like me and would rather see lower scoring games with better defense?




Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.


4 Responses to “AllGreenBayPackers.com Poll: Was Week 1 the Death of NFL Defenses?”

  1. Ron LC says:

    Very interesting questions, Adam. My heart tells me this was an anomoly. The strange off-season interupted a routine developed over years by successful NFL clubs. After 4 weeks (my guess), we will finally see the real teams begin to surface.

    For example, there is no way Capers allows a repeat of that abysmal tackling performance again. For the Packers, the Bear game will be the test that counts. Playing a good game there will go a long way in prevent an attack of ulcers. If it’s bad there it’s certainly not the end, but it means there is still a lot of work to do.

    I vote with the majority. For some reason defenses are behind. Even NE!

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  2. Elle says:

    Uh, yeah, let’s not overreact. It was one week. One week after a lockout. One week after a lockout that saw padded practices being cut in HALF due to the new labor contract.

    Sloppy tackling, poor ball-handling fundamentals (TONS of turnovers last week) and blown coverages accounted for the majority of the points scored and yards gained. This will be cleaned up. There were a crap ton of QBs being sacked too because of poor fundamentals/pass blocking.

    By week 3 or 4 you won’t even be asking this question.

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  3. Tarynfor12 Tarynfor 12 says:

    There are somes aspects of the defense I can agree with being atrocious due to limited camp;playbook,new install,reaction speed but,tackling is a fundamental that never changes and no matter how short a camp,that should be as natural as riding a bike,which they don’t seem to have a problem with each day going to practice.

    Benny Sapp was cut from Mia for his tackling and thats fine,because IMO,if you are so close that you can get straight armed…you can grab and tackle and not play patty-cake which is what he did.

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  4. BTF says:

    I agree with the majority thinking that the D’s come round. I hope so anyway. I agree with Adam. Scoring should be hard work. Unfortunately it seems the NFL is not immune to the disease common amongst sports administrators of attempting to make the game more attractive to people who don’t particularly like it…

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