October 21, 2012; Foxboro, MA USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan reacts during the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-US PRESSWIRE

Schechter's Lectures No. 9: The Prevent Defense


This week’s topic is one that hits all of us football fans at one time or another. All of our teams do it, and it makes less and less sense each time we see it. There was an example of it late in yesterday’s Jets game, but it has happened to all of us. It is supposed to help our teams win games, but all it does is keep them from winning games. The “Prevent” defense.

Take your seats, class is in session.

This is what teams do to try and win games, believe it or not. Brilliant defensive minds think that it is wise, no matter what type of game plan you have played, to abandon it when you are ahead late in a football game. Instead, they play football’s version of a “no doubles” defense, playing so deep that they can’t stop anything short. The theory is that if the defense keeps everything in front of them, they don’t give up the quick score. They don’t give up a deep play.

That part is true, the “prevent” defense doesn’t give up long plays. But, while it is not giving up deep plays, it is eating you up down the field. Yes they are not getting big chunks of yardage, but the offense is still picking up yardage. Earth to defensive coaches, whether the offense picks up 60 yards in 6 plays or 2, they are still picking up the yardage! You “prevent” yourself from winning the game by ceasing being aggressive. You play defense by attacking the other team, not by watching them make plays in front of you. Duh!

All you do by playing the so-called “prevent” defense, is give the offense confidence by being allowed to move the ball down the field basically at will. I mean, I guess it can work if you are up by multiple scores with only a few minutes left in the game, but not, as the Jets did yesterday, up 3 points with 1:31 to go against Tom Brady. That will only serve to prevent you from winning the football game. Come on Rex, you should no better than that.

Haven’t we all been made sick by watching our teams play in this retched defense? But yet, our teams continue to do it. They continue to “prevent” themselves from winning football games. It makes no sense.

School’s out, see you next week.

Tags: Prevent Defense Schechter's Lectures