July 29, 2012

Is Belichick a top defensive coach?

He isn't according to Jets DB and I don't mean defensive back, Antonio Cromartie.  Cromartie was asked if he agreed with Rex Ryan's assertion that he, Rex, was the best defensive coach in the game, better than Bill Belichick and the Steelers' Dick LeBeau. Cromartie told Newsday:
"I mean, it's him and Dick LeBeau. Rex is first on the list and LeBeau's second."
No Belichick?
"Did I say his name?" Cromartie shot back. "It's Rex and LeBeau. I got a one and a two, not a one, a two and a three."
 Cromartie and Ryan can take their little digs at Belichick and the Patriots all they want.  I wonder if they realize that they are giving Belichick and the Patriots bulletin board material.  In the three years Ryan has had the keys to the Jets, the Patriots have won the division three times.  Last season, the Jets were swept by the Patriots by scores of 30-21 and 37-16.  I wonder if Ryan counts those two games when he talks about being a great defensive coach?

The only season in which Ryan could say that he had anything on Belichick and the Patriots was in 2010 when the Jets split the regular season games and beat the Pats in the Divisional round of the playoffs.  Even during that season the Jets defense got blown away 45-3 late in the season.

It is true that in recent history the Patriots defense has ranked 11th, 25th, and last season 31st in total defense while the Jets defense has ranked 1st, 3rd and 5th during that same time.  Total defense is based solely on how many yards a team gives up through the air and on the ground.  Now lets look at points allowed per game in those three seasons.  New England ranked 5th, 8th, and 15th in points allowed the last three seasons. The Jets meanwhile ranked 1st, 6th and 20th last season. The Patriots defense is better than it appears.  Points allowed is the only stat that truly matters because as the Patriots have shown, they can give up 400 yards of total offense but allow fewer  points than the other team. By doing so they win the game. The only thing that matters. (stats from ESPN)