It's Scheme, not Talent.
The Zone Defense just doesn't work anymore. The League has caught up to it.
We shut down the Jets pretty good the week before. In that same game you remember Sanchez looking quite like Palmer and Manning on his opening drives. Suddenly he couldn't do jack worth a crap and he looked like Mark Sanchez. Know why? Because the Steelers were smart enough to realize that hey, our Soft Cushion Zone D isn't working, and maybe we'd better start playing aggressive.
New York didn't score again.
The Problem with the Defense is the ego of one guy by the name of Richard Lebeau. Whenever we trotted out the Classic Zone Defense this season, it was picked apart. But on the occasion where we put that crap to rest, the Defense was solid. Even going back to last season, when we put that Zone D away, the Defense played at a new level. Palmer had it too damn easy. It was basically pitch and catch. The Defense didn't put in any effort to challenge the dude or his receivers at all.
Tom Brady constantly made a mockery of the Zone Defense. We played him more aggressively last season, we shut him down.
This "Sit back in a cushion and hope we fool the QB" crap doesn't fly anymore. It's failed all three times we tried it. It has to go. This Defense isn't going to get it's mojo back by trotting out ***** 5-10 yard cushions.