Though this was a pre-season game w/o much scheming or special packages, defensive trends established in the second half of last year are continuing, and this is a concern.
This excerpted from Dulac's article in the PG:
Still, there are too many holes in the defense, and it has been this way since the second half of last season, even though the defense ranked No. 1 overall in the NFL. And the lapses have been noticeable because too many came in the fourth quarter.
On five occasions in 2007, the defense failed to protect a lead in the final minutes after the offense rallied from deficits, some double-digit shortages. The only time it didn't result in defeat was when Cleveland's Phil Dawson missed a 52-yard field goal as time expired in Week 9.
The most severe collapse came in the playoff loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, when the offense rallied from a 28-10 deficit with three touchdowns in the fourth quarter and the defense let the Jaguars go 44 yards in eight plays and kick the winning field goal with 37 seconds remaining.
And also, there seems to me (please correct this if it is wrong) be a trend of giving up points early in games, on the first drive of the opponents.
And then there is the trend of giving a 10-yard cushion to the opponent receivers, consistent, predictable and easily exploitable.
And finally, there is the trend of poor tackling. This also from Dulac:
The tackling wasn't much better against the Bills.
On three consecutive plays on the Bills' second touchdown drive, Gay missed a tackle on wide receiver Roscoe Parrish, resulting in a first down; cornerback Ike Taylor missed a tackle on wide receiver Lee Evans, resulting in a 17-yard gain, and safety Ryan Clark missed a tackle on a swing pass to running back Fred Jackson, turning a loss into a 5-yard gain.
Dulac's article is right on: [url="http://www.postgazette.com/pg/08228/904538-66.stm"]http://www.postgazette.com/pg/08228/904538-66.stm[/url]