Yes you read that correctly, Nick Fairley is valued at 25 TDs in 2011. You are probably thinking "here comes another insane post by SouthTunnel. That moron doesn't even know that Fairley plays on the side of the ball that prevents points, not scores them". Well bare with me for a moment and let me break this down and explain...
The simple statistics that I have after the jump, reveal how preventing your opponent from scoring is just as valuable as scoring. Either way points are on the table. So the goal of an athletic competition is not to just score as many points as possible, but to score more than your opponent. When evaluating your team you strive for balance, however you must also figure out which is easier for us to achieve... Scoring more points or preventing them?
As we have discussed ad nauseam on this site, the Carolina Panthers are only a few moves away from being one of the best defenses in the league. Simply adding a couple subtle pieces would achieve this, IF we also pull the trigger on a monster DT like Nick Fairley. In addition to his own sacks and tackles, Fairley would slide coverage away from our very promising defensive ends, making their jobs easier. And this disruption along the line of scrimmage would slow down running backs and fluster quarterbacks, making our secondary and linebacker's jobs much easier.
But enough philosophy, let's look at the actual numbers after the jump...
(That was you jumping by the way. Onto the Nick Fairley bandwagon that is!)
Our very own defensive genius, head coach, Ron Rivera's San Diego Charger defense allowed 5 fewer points than us per game in 2010. That's a total of 80 points on the season. That's an additional 12 touch downs or 27 field goals! Would any of you like to have that in 2011?
Oh, but it gets MUCH better... The Steelers allowed 11 fewer points than us per game. That's a whopping 176 total point difference, or 25 touch downs! If you compare the Steelers to John Fox's shiny new Denver Broncos, it's a difference of 2 TDs per game. Or 240 friggin total points. That's 34 touch downs or 80 field goals! Just from defense alone!
But so what? Who cares about a mere 25 touch downs prevented, when big, bad AJ Green is on the board! I mean he's the Pater-Familia! He's so valuable he's named the color of money. He jumps so "high", they named him after the color of Ricky William's weed! Well sorry folks, but when we look at AJ Green with that 1st overall pick, I'm afraid we're going to have to heed the words of Gang Starr and "take like 2 pulls and PASS".
If AJ Green plays even as well as the great Calvin Johnson did his rookie year, then he'd provide us an additional 4 TDs in 2010. That's only a mere 28 points. But Calvin got off to a slow start. Maybe Green will do as well as the 1st WR in the 2010 draft, Dez Bryant. Doh! That's 6 TDs, which is great for a rookie WR... But unfortunately only 42 points.
Picking AJ Green instead of Fairley would be leaving 50 or up to as much as 150 points on the table. Or potentially a difference of like 20 touch downs! This is why WRs are rarely ever considered as a 1st overall option. Because teams in the state of the Carolina Panthers need to find a way to drastically improve their point differential. And a WR just doesn't accomplish this. However, adding the missing piece to your potentially stellar defense does!
Pump up music: Take 2 "Nick Fairley" Pulls and Pass on AJ Green!
On a side note. When I was a kid I thought this song was saying "kick punt it, kick, kick punt it". Which would be very appropriate for this pro-defense article. But now I see it actually says "get blunted, get, get blunted". Which doesn't at all make the same point, but is still a lot of fun.
... At least so I've heard!