With week four of the NFL season almost in the books, the thoughts of last week’s implosion by the Pittsburgh Steelers are still visible for fans. On top the list will be the lack of running game, which for some reason will take precedence for some fans than the true reality of that outcome.Carson Palmer dissecting the Steelers secondary could conjure thoughts of Dexter for some fans.
In breaking down video from the 1-2 start, one similarity can be found in the teams two losses, the amount of zone coverage in play while the defense was being torched. Ironically, the percentage of zone against the New York Jets tilted in the opposite direction.
Could this schematic difference truly make that much of an impact on their defense? The answer could be a resounding yes. One look at the numbers shows the trend perfectly; Broncos passing 253 yards and two touchdowns (73.1 percent completion percentage) and the Raiders passing attack, 209 yards and three touchdowns (70.6 percent completion percentage).
Now, onto the Jets passing game against predominately press coverage, 138 yards and one touchdown (37.3 percent completion percentage). Sure, Mark Sanchez is not Peyton Manning or Palmer, but all three teams have receiving corps that are virtually interchangeable.
While this may be a trend that is more perception than reality, it is also a problem that might be fixed by a subtle change in philosophy or game planning. The idea behind an attacking 3-4 scheme can be in place, even with more man coverage, and that may be exactly what the Steelers need to do at this point.
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