Originally Posted by AcheTen
Defense fluctuates from year-to-year far more than offense.
Defense that is predicated upon a top-heavy list of elite starters, like the 49ers defense, stands a much greater chance of regression than other defenses.
I will honestly be shocked if their defense is still top-10 next year. In fact, I'd bet money that they don't finish in the top-10 in defense next year.
That doesn't mean they can't be a playoff team, especially if their offense is good, which it could very well be. But there are too many variables and factors into what makes an elite defense to just pencil them in year-after-year as a top-5 unit.
And this is what folks were saying after 2011. That the turnovers wouldn't continue to go our way, that it was a once in a generation year, blah, blah, blah. It was like saying that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense would fall off a cliff following the 1997 and 1998 seasons, or that the Steelers would decline after 2004 and 2005 on D yet they were dominant for a number of years. When you have a coaching staff that has been together and knows how to make adjustments and replace players then it's not that big of a deal. Only way SF isn't among the top defenses in 2013 is if everyone on that side of the ball gets injured or Colin Kaepernick on offense gets hurt forcing the defense to have to win every game.