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Mailbag: Improvement On Defense? Reason For Losing Halftime Leads?

ARIC DORONTEL AVIV, ISRAEL

Putting all other problems aside, isn't it clear that our poor defense is the main reason for the 2-3 record? When your defense is ranked 29th, you can't beat good teams. The main problem is that we don't see any improvement from game to game. Do you think we have the talent needed to improve this season?

Bryan: Where I see potential improvement is continuing to allow these young kids to play. Things might not look good now but giving them experience is the hope for later. As they grow your chances grow. It's never easy to go through this but it's what you have to do now.

Rob: I've said since training camp that the rookies and first-year players like Jaylon Smith should be better in November and December than in September and October. Injuries to the young DB's in preseason prevented them from realistically competing for starting jobs. We're already seeing Jourdan Lewis and Xavier Woods earn more snaps, and maybe there's a spot in the safety rotation for Chidobe Awuzie if he can keep his hamstring healthy. I also think David Irving has a chance to be a difference maker on the defensive line, and we saw glimpses of that against the Packers.

ROBERT BIDDYSILSBEE, TX

Do you guys feel we are getting outplayed or outcoached in the second half of the games this season? We go in at halftime with a lead only to give it up in the second half and lose the game.

Bryan: The quality of the opponents have had a lot to do with that. Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, Todd Gurley and others have been difference makers in these games. Are there things they could have done differently game plan wise? Absolutely but in those one on one matchups you've just not been as successful as you've needed to be.

Rob: The clock management on the final scoring drive against the Packers is a hot topic right now, but I think Jason Garrett's point is valid that they did drain nearly nine minutes off the clock on that 17-play drive. They knew Aaron Rodgers was, well, Aaron Rodgers. When you lose, it's always a combination of both: Coaches will say they could've called something differently; players will say they could've executed better. I agree with Bryan that they faced some really good defensive fronts the first month, and they faced an all-time great quarterback last week. That's certainly part of their three losses.

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