Analysis: Cold Case - The Case of the Missing Defense
By By Jay Sorgi
Welcome to the latest edition of "Cold Case: The Frozen Tundra."
This week's episode looks at the man who murdered the Packers' defense.
OK, it's absolutely wrong to call Bob Sanders a murderer of anything.
In fact, in my dealings with him through Packers-related events, he's an incredibly decent-hearted, energetic, engaging and overall good guy.
But as this year's Packers defense proves again, just because your heart somewhat resembles Mother Teresa doesn't mean you can coach in the NFL.
• 20th in yards allowed.
• 22nd in points allowed.
• 25th in sacks. (Typically a stat that makes a defensive coordinator get sacked.)
• 26th in rushing yards allowed.
Worst of all, in seven different games, this team let opponents take the lead on them in the final 7:17 of the 4th quarter or in overtime.
That's the main reason for the 0-7-in-games-of-a-four-points-or-less-margin statistic.
Are injuries to blame? Somewhat. Losing Cullen Jenkins crushed the defensive line in many ways.
But it's a coordinator's job to help scheme ways to overcome those type of deficiencies.
Considering the way Pro Bowl defensive linemen (including one now-jettisoned KGB) failed to show up time-after-time-after-time, and the amount of times Pro Bowl defenders got burn marks on their backs from receivers, let's just say he didn't do that job.
If he had, and the defense came together in all seven games and did their jobs in the fourth quarter, what would the Packers' record have been?
The same as last year.
Bob "The Defense Murderer" Sanders truly doesn't deserve to be remembered as a bad guy.
But in the NFL, sometimes the good losers' job stability dies young.
So long, Bob Sanders. I genuinely hope you, as one of the good guys, land on your feet and do something wonderful in your future.
And you become a good winner with long job stability.