I think there'll be a theme to many of our posts this week, so I thought I'd whip out the fluffiest of the bunch. Ya see, Rivers will stop by with analysis, TDC will post something intelligent, Tim will figure out a way to involve Comcast, Viagra, Prep-H, or whoever else is sponsoring us these days, and MDC and DreKeem will continue to be figments of our collective imagination. So, after the jump, let's look at some unfancily dancily counting stats!
Here are your counting stat leaders after three games with a touch of commentary.
Tackles: Zac Diles - 21 solo tackles. BRB's favorite cost-effective player leads the team in tackles from his WLB spot. Of these 21 tackles, 20 of them were Dallas Clark catching balls in front of him. Or not. Diles has been good to very good in run support, but he's a liability in coverage if he has to turn upfield. Still, he's a pleasant surprise at the top of the list, and it's a testament to what's been a pretty good start. Honorable Mention: Bernard Pollard (19, many of which were either his own blown coverage or cleaning up blown coverage from a CB) and DeMeco Ryans (16).
Assists: Bernard Pollard - 11 assists. Let's be honest for a moment: Pollard's pile-jumping skills are elite, and that's less an insult than you might think (in this case, at least). Pollard wants to make damn sure the ball carrier is down, and that's a good thing, Martha. Honorable Mention: DeMeco Ryans (9) and Zac Diles (6). Obviously, these are your top three in total tackles.
Sacks: Mario Williams - 4 sacks. In his worst game I can remember, Mario failed to register a single counting stat yesterday. Not only that, but his play/rush/etc. was completely uninspired. Dare I say it looked like Mario was simply going through the motions yesterday? Because, here's the problem...Honorable Mention: Antonio Smith and Jesse Nading (.5 sacks each). And that's it. When Mario didn't show up yesterday, nobody else stepped up. And not a single sack by a non-defensive lineman. Plain hot dog FTL!
Interceptions: None. Zero. Zip. Nada. Nil.
Forced Fumbles: Bernard Pollard - 1 forced fumble. So, are you telling me we have created one turnover in three games? Really? Yep, that's it. Just one.
Passes Defensed: Kareem Jackson - 3 passes defensed. This is logical, considering how much teams have been picking on Jackson. It's something for him to hang is hat on, at least. Honorable Mention: Mario Williams, Glover Quin, DeMeco Ryans.
To me, there are two huge factors that stand out. First, our lack of non-Mario sacks. This has been a problem since Mario joined the team, and we've done little to help him out. Yes, Okoye and Smith have been extremely active, but putting the quarterback on the ground means something, too.
Secondly, one turnover forced. One. Sure, it was a big turnover, but most of them are. Between our failure to create turnovers and our horrid kick return game, our offense is often looking at a lot of grass to mow.
Give your grade on the defense to date in the poll!
Edit: I forgot to add one more nugget. Joel Dreessen has tallied 6 tackles so far this season, mostly (if not all) on special teams. He's the Swiss Army Knife of the team, capable of doing just about everything. In fact, he also leads the team in taking out the garbage before his wife yells at him. He's just that good.