Star is still a question mark, even CJ said he needed to those preseason reps he didn't get. Can't expect the DL to be in late season form of last year out the gate....and when that front isn't on it creates problems. Harper and Tillman both have legit questions in terms of handling speed at this stage. That is half the secondary. Coleman is still largely a question mark. Norman can be great....but we still don't know if he had a season of constantly being that in him and not a dummy. so I easily could see a similar defensive start as last year. Might take awhile to get healthy up front and adjusted....and the secondary to prove themselves.
Okay, go look into DVOA, per drive averages for D in yardage and scoring, and all the other aspects out there to evaluate a defense.... I am using lots and lots of varying stats......against one stat when I voice that view. on the YEAR we were middle of the road. At the END of the season, we were strong. The point...is you can't expect week 1 Rivera to have this team together. It takes him weeks and weeks and weeks to get things right. So I'm not going to go around posting "Carolina week 1 final score will be 45-0 the Jags blow!". That ain't even talking football at that level of homerism.
people tend to confuse things....you aren't being a pessimist if you simply don't take the over the top super dreamy pro Carolina stance. Saying we weren't a legit top 10 overall in 2014i s not being a pessimist .....and the mere thought of the Jags suggesting they could score on us isn't crazy is not being a pessimist.
Harper and Tillman both have lots of question marks. we don't know what we have in Coleman as a starter we don't have enough from Norman to know we will get consistent good play for a season. That is our starting secondary considering we consider our base to be a 4-3 look.
The reason you don't go off yardage is b/c it basically ignores everything else. Big picture we were not one of the top 10 best defenses last year. We weren't 21st in pts allowed b/c of short fields it was b/c we give up HUGE mindboggling plays. You can look at yards but you can't just use it....too much left out. Goes for offense too....a bad offense can generate a lot of yards that make them look decent if you only look at that one stat. Shula also helps that total yardage stat for the D....on a per drive basis Carolina gave up the 16th most yards per drive. Total yards is very incomplete. On the season, we were average IMO. At the end of the year.....if we maintained THAT over the course of the year it likely would have been a legit top 10 D. But Rivera's teams always seem to have some major issues to start a season.....so I don't expect anything to be dominate to start a season. Maybe late.
we were 21st in pts allowed last year.... and the bulk of our starting DL hasn't played in a long time or together. Those expecting some dominate defense performance against an improving offense could be surprised.
The Bills put up 43 pts on the Steelers last week. Steelers might have the worst 2nd, 3rd units that will be displayed in preseason game 4 in all the NFL. I wouldn't let this game really change your mind about hardly anything at all....