After watching that pitcher’s duel on Monday Night Football, it brings up a question. What is the difference between a good defense and a bad offense? All the talk is how great the Jacksonville defense was that night. Who’s to say that Pittsburgh’s offense wasn’t just terrible? When the running back gains one and two yards over and over again, how can you differentiate between bad blocking and the back missing his holes, and the defense countering the blocking schemes and filling the holes? When a ball is batted down, was it a poorly thrown ball or great coverage?
I need answers!
What’s the difference? A good defense can sometimes win games. A bad offense can always find a way to lose them.
Anyways - to get to the meat of your question. How do you distinguish between cases where the offense is screwing up and cases where the defense is stepping up. I think it can be tricky, but you can usually tell the difference.
It just takes experience to tell. For example, you can observe whether the OL is pushing the DL off the line. If the OL is not directing the DL, then the proper holes are not going to open. You can also look to see whether the defense is getting penetration on the offensive line. That’s always a good indicator that things are humming for the D and going sideways for the O. Finally, I would say that by looking at the relative location of a defender, receiver, and the ball - you can discern whether a batted ball was a good coverage or a bad pass.
I think there are just certain indicators that you have to keep an eye on.