To be fair to Todd Grantham, there’s a more fleshed-out version of his fourth-down comment that made the rounds the other day:
“Because of our team, you’re going to have some fourth-down opportunities, so you’re going to have to stop them on four downs. They went for it three times on fourth-down. If we stop any of those, it’s less points. In fact, if we stop the two they went for it on our side, the game is probably over because we’re going to get a field goal and it’s (now) a two possession game. That’s the big thing: You’ve got to finish people off. To do that, it takes some dueling. That’s where we are. We’ve got to learn to finish people off.”
That makes some sense, honestly. The defense doesn’t need to be shutdown good every play. But it needs to win enough key plays to lock a game down after the offense has done its job. The point being that you’re trying to sell inexperienced players on a level of effectiveness that will win you a game. Style points don’t matter.
That’s probably small consolation to some. But I’ll take a season full of one big stop, three-point win sort of games, regardless of the opponent, pretty or otherwise.