The thing is that sometimes the stats you post are skewed and misleading. For example using rankings instead of absolute numbers can lead to very misleading numbers. For example what is the difference between the 10th team, Cincinnatti(.124) (30 turnovers) and 17th team, Carolina (.145) (27 forced but only 23 turnovers) in total turnovers. When you consider they had 13 more defensive drives what was the big difference. Maybe that we jumped on 12 out of 16 fumbles forced and they jumped on everyone of their 16?? Significant?? Hardly..... What about yards per drive? We were 20th at 31.96 or 32 yards per drive. The 10 th ranked defense gave up 29.62 or 30 yards per drive. So we suck because we gave up an average of 2 more yards per drive??
How come you didn't mention TDs per drive where we were 13th (.194) or fumbles per drive where we were 9th( .059). Also didn't mention that we were close to the bottom in regards to LOS/drive (24th at 28.65) suggesting our defense was put at a disadvantage much of the time.
You also failed to put things in context that when you compare the offense and the defense together and look at a net factor like yards per drive we ended up 10th, right below Atlanta. To say we were terrible is hyperbole more than fact.
For those who want the numbers instead of largely useless rankings, here are the numbers from football outsiders so you can compare yourself.
So what are you saying? That if we only would have been better on defense we would have been better on defense? What good does numbers do to determine our standing in the league if not compared to the rest of the league?? You have to use ranking to compare otherwise they are just numbers without context. What you are saying provides less context not more. When stats are broken down into drive stats small differences have big impacts. Otherwise you could just make the argument that all the teams are the same because the drive stats aren't that far apart.
I didn't say we sucked last year, we sucked in 2011, but I did say we were moderately bad on defense. And as for your example of we were only 2 yards behind the number 10 ranked defense, 2 yards per drive over 170 possession is 340 yards. That is very significant. If our average starting field position is the 30 yard line (28.15 was the actual average) that is nearly 5 TDs difference. I think anyone could see that is significant.
I did mention 13th in TDs per drive as I also mentioned our 3rd down success percentage. They are in the same sentence. I didn't include fumbles per drive because it is covered broadly in turnovers per drive. Instead of using fumbles and interceptions separately I used the stat that I felt encompassed them both.
I did not use our starting field position because it doesn't alter anything that much. Evidenced by Pittsburgh's defense being among the worst in starting field position (28th) but still ranks among the best in every other category and Indianapolis being among the best in starting field position and (3rd) and among the worst in every other category.
I also didn't add starting line of scrimmage because the defense doesn't control that, so I felt it didn't have much bearing on our defensive statisitcs as a whole.
NET stats don't provide any context for defense so I don't know why you even included that. NET stats can be bolstered by a great offense or a great defense as it compares between the two. That is more of a team stat.
For instance we are ranked tenth because our offense averaged 1.86 yards per drive more than our defense allowed. That could be a result of good defense or good offense, but doesn't say much about one or the other.
So I stand by my earlier post that our defense, while greatly improved is still not what I would consider a good or even average defense.