It is amazing how solid a defense can be with a solid DL and a real pass rush. Give JDR and Fox a ton of credit for putting it all together and getting the young guys some swagger and confidence on defense.
However, they finally have players who can win the one on one battles up front, control the running game, and rush the passer. That is the formula for solid defense at this level. Add in the fact that some of the young CB's have stepped it up in coverage and that the safeties actually did not get exposed the last 3 games as much as they did early and this defense is finally, finally getting the Job done.
Players that can execute makes a coach look like a genius, more often than the coach actually being a genius on defense. Offense is truly more scheme oriented than defense in this league, because they dictate the matchups. Defense is still about players who can win the matchup battles no matter what scheme they play against. Look at the games we lost and the schemes we played against defensively. NE, ATL, and HOU all play a tough matchup offense. They get you to play against their personnel and dictate what you can offer defensively to stop it. The great thing about playing them already, is that while they all had early success, we made excellent adjustments to their gameplans and beat the crap out of their matchups in the second half defensively in all those games.
In short, this team is learning how to be a dominant defense as they gained experience against some great offenses early. Now, the only great offense they will face is BAL who is wildly inconsistent. I think they will be prepared to deal with all that offense has to handle this time because they will have a ton of film on them and they will not get to implement anything radically new by that time of the season.
I am so FREAKIN happy that they have the right players finally to be a great defense. Now, they just have to go out their and be hungry every game and prove it