I don't need any lectures about Chief Chavis. His record stands for itself. He is a great DC.
But, this year, in key moments, it was not the D that kept us in the game. It was the Offense.
This is a strange thing to see. The Offense bailing out our D. It has been the case for the last 3 games, at least much more than any of us thought possible for a Les Miles' coached team.
Sure, we continue to suffer from Red Zone anemia. We have lots o work to do. No one is saying otherwise.
But, on balance, I don't think anyone saw this potential "point of inflexion" in our teams personality, where the second half of the 2012 season's hallmark is an exciting/balanced offense that puts up lots of points, combined with a defense that has vastly underperformed in comparison to the long standing brand of LSU Defensive prowess.
And once again, I am not over exaggerating things based on last night. There are 3 things that make me think that the second half of the 2012 season may be a change in our team.
1) The play on the field since the USCe game. It speaks for itself, specifically Alabama and Ole games, but somewhat in the USAe and Miss State games also.
2) Our Defensive depth and talent level for the 2013 Defense may be the most concerning for an LSU team in a long time. Sam and Keke are gone. Logan and Minter and Reid most likely also. We have not one shut down corner for the first time in a long time. They look average out there. Depth and experience at safety is a question, and 2013 may be the first without a big time stud in a while (although, Corey Thompson will hopefully emerge).
3) Our offensive unit, who look as impressive as the 2006 and 2007 teams for the most part right now, is coming back mostly in-tact. We'll surely miss a lineman or two for depth, and Ware is probably gone, but most Tiger fans will come into the 2013 season feeling like a real offensive power for the first time in a long time.
So, I ask...Are we transforming, at least for the near future, to a Offensive-oriented team instead of a Defensive-oriented team?
Or, do we have enough coming back on D next year, and will Chief and Coach Raymond find a way for the 2013 Defense to not be the weakness that keeps us from making a run for the national championship roses?
I think Chief will find a way, but the evidence on the field of-late is requiring me to "think so" more with faith than with evidence. And the offense, other than red zone challenges, has me amped for the 2013 season.
This post was edited on 11/18 at 10:24 am