FanPost

The real reason for the improved Defence this season: tackling


Visiting the PFF site, I came across this story of the season on missed tackles.    While the story features the best (49'ers) and worst (Tampa) - the next best and worst were also of interest.

Dallas ranked as the second best tackling team, missing just over 7% or just under 4 a game.  

This came on top of the Buffalo game where my eye test suggested a big factor in shutting down the bills was the sure one-on-one tackles for small gains.  Particularly out in the flats, many of which could have gone for significant yardage if the initial tackle had been missed.  

Then followed by the 'Skins game where the 'Boys had 8 tackles for a loss.   As I look at the stats, it seem tackles for a loss happen at a only slightly greater frequency than sacks - so 8 is a huge number.    For comparison, the Dallas offence has given up 4 tackles for a loss in the last 4 games - including the Philly debacle (3 by Miami).    To go with his sack number, this site shows Demarcus Ware as the stat leader in tackles for a loss this season with 19 (Von Miller has 16 and Wimbley 14).    Tackles for a loss require sure tackling as the defender is usually coming up fast on the ball carrier so doesn't have the same opportunity to set, square shoulders etc. 

Who gets the credit for this performance?   My sense is you have to give JG rather than Ryan the bulk of the credit.  I would suggest the more physical practices play a big part in this - you can't improve your tackling skills if you don't tackle full speed in full pads in practice.  

The Eagles by contrast are the second-worst tacklers so far this season.   At over 13% this is close to double the rate of the Cowboys

Also of interest was a 3 year review was the worst tacklers leading into the 2011 season.   Ashante Samuel was #1 on the worst DB's list and Nnamdi was #4.   So I guess someone at the Eagles figured they were going to cover so well they would never have to tackle - or should have realised they needed to pay a bit more attention to tackling practice.  

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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