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The first quarter of the season is over and we are right where most of us expected: 1-3. I know for me the biggest shock is that the three losses were blowouts. I really thought we'd be more competitive in those games. Its at this point of the season where you want to start looking at how you match up with the rest of the league. This will be a pretty short post with a few basic stats showing where we are in a few key rankings. It'll be fairly boring but I wanted to post it so that later on we can compare these with our stats at the 8- and 12-game mark.
- 20.2 points per game, ranked 23rd overall (wedged between the Jets and Panthers)
- 314.5 yards per game, ranked 23rd overall (wedged between the Raiders and Chargers)
- 15.8 first downs per game, tied for 30th overall.
- 245.8 pass yards per game, ranked 18th overall.
- 68.8 rush yards per game, ranked 28th overall
The number that jumped out for me is the first downs per game. The Patriots are ranked first with 29 first downs/game. That means they accomplish in one half what we accomplish in a full game.
Outlook: It is likely Jake Locker will miss a few games, but I expect these numbers to go up slightly. The schedule gets a little softer and Locker will improve as he gets more comfortable. The passing game is actually decent right now and that number is going to have to increase if we want to compete the rest of the way. I don't expect to see much change out of the run game.
- 37.8 points allowed per game, ranked 32nd overall
- 421.5 yards allowed per game, ranked 31st overall (wedged between the Saints and Bucs)
- 26.0 first downs allowed per game, ranked 32nd overall.
- 285 pass yards allowed per game, ranked 25th overall.
- 136.5 rush yards allowed per game, ranked 27th overall.
It really is THAT bad.
Outlook: This side of the ball is just a mess. Part of me says that with lesser competition the numbers will rise slightly but the problems we've had are still not being corrected and show no hope of improving. There is a strong case to be made that we're the second worst defense in the league right now, narrowly edging out the Saints who give up almost 40 more yards and have an offense that actually moves the ball.
Many of the contributors including myself, have taken heat for being so negative about this team. I'm not saying it can't get better, just that it could be a very slow process. It's going to be about baby steps going forward. A healthy Jake Locker and Colin McCarthy will help but one player is not going to rescue those numbers from worst in the league to average. There are still things to be positive about. We have a lot of young players and watching them develop (hopefully) will be fun and exciting. A win or two in the next few weeks would really help turn this around. Right now though we are what the stats are showing - a bad football team.