There seem to be several factors at work with respect to the defense:
Fewell can’t pick who is healthy and who is on IR.
The communication issues are the fault of the players…..I saw at least 2 TDs that were the result of busted zone assignments.
The talent is on Reese – outside of Boley, he has completely failed to upgrade the LB unit….just ask Denver how they are liking Vonn Miller. Granted, Vonn Miller was long gone in the draft....I'm just pointing out the "instant upgrade" a quality linebacker can bring to the defense.
The effort is on the players. There's no reason that JPP seems to be the only guy hustling at times. This was more a case in the NO game than the last two. I'm just saying it was a big issue against Seattle, Philly, and NO.
The schemes are all Fewell...more on that below.
The opponents are just a result of Green Bay and the Saints somehow finishing #2 last year.
My take: It’s not all on Fewell, but a lot of it is. In particular, he continues to rely on the Tampa-2, despite the fact that a) his secondary was signed/drafted for their strength in man coverage, and b) he utterly lacks the Briggs/Urlacher linebacker prototype necessary to make the Tampa-2 most effective. I’m sorry, Perry, but Deon Grant is not a substitute for a good linebacker.
It’s easy to say “they need to blitz more”… I understand that brings its own set of problems. However, when the zone is getting repeatedly abused, and when the defense is literally in the basement on all defensive rankings, how can you justify staying with a scheme that not only gives up points, but looks to be demoralizing your team?
Again, I’m just a fan, and who knows what a 100% healthy defense looks like against a normal schedule? But this defense needs to get a lot more aggressive….because their current approach is an abject failure, and they have a guy named Eli Manning who is used to bailing them out game after game.