So its no secret our offense is bad. There are good weeks occasionally, such as Oakland, NY Jets game 1, Tennessee, but mostly they are a turnover prone, low point producing unit. I have found myself praising God for our defense almost every time we win. But then I had a realization: wasn't I thinking the exact opposite last year? In 2009, it seemed like every week our defense was giving up too many plays to take advantage of the pounding running game and efficient passing game we had. This year the defense has stepped up big time, but our offense has regressed significantly. So what's diferent?
Same OC (although I do blame him for a lot of our problems).
Better receivers- Camarillo and Ginn are not as good as Hartline and Marshall as starters.
Which only leaves one position group: the O-line.
Now there are two players who absolutely cannot be blamed: Vernon Carey and Jake Long. Carey has had a solid season, and Jake Long is officially the toughest son of a b!tch to ever play the game of football. So I'll blame the replacement of Justin Smiley, Jake Grove, and Donald Thomas with Richie Incognito, Joe Berger and Pat McQuistan/John Jerry.
Now it may seem unfair to blame three players for all our offense, but they deserve the heaping majority for the following reasons:
1: You absolutely cannot blame the recievers. Brandon Marshall hasn't been great, but has been fine. Davone Bess is money. Hartline really stepped it up before his injury. And Wallace and Moore have shown flashes. There have been no major drops, at least not to the point where they could be blamed for a loss.
2: The inside running game has been terrible. I don't care who you have at RB, but inside running needs great O-line play. And Ronnie and Ricky aren't great outside runners, so a lack of push has really taken out our ground game. The current unit doesn't have the same tough guy streak as last year's. Smiley and Grove were mean as hell, and Thomas was a one-purpose-only mauler. I think they were traded/cut for their pass blocking and injuries, but they really were great at beating people up, and Ronnie and Ricky have felt their absence.
3: Pass protection has been suspect as well, even though that is the reason these players have their jobs. Henne has not been able to step up into the pocket because Berger has been stepping on his toes all the time. This doesn't help anything. Their poor run-blocking also hurts the passing game significantly, as last year Henne was mostly looking at easy to read coverages designed to stop the run game. 8 men in the box makes the QB's job easy. Now that teams can stop the run with less players, they are causing more coverage problems Henne can't handle. He should be able to, but can't. So they deserve at least part of the blame.
If you can name an offensive problem we have that these three players do not have a major role in, please tell me. But I can't help envisioning last years clock-owning offense with this years defense and seeing great things. Imagine what the Colts game last year would have been like with this defense. We would have blown out the AFC champion.
I think this suggests our biggest offseason priority- interior line. So what do you think?