We talked a lot about if extra rest helps a defense last year. Anecdotally it makes perfect sense that it does. But all the research we dug up indicated that there is no correlation to offensive time of possession - either on a per game level or for the following drive - and how many points per drive a defense gives up.
Fair to disagree and think Lamar was a major influence on the excellent finish to the defense in the offseason. I just fall on the other side and think that the defense was excellent of it's own accord.
I think there is a much stronger case that Lamar's presence made things way easier for the running backs and the offensive line than there is a case that Lamar (or the run-heavy offense in general) made things easier for the defense. I'm not trying to argue that Lamar did not improve the offense when he came in. Just that even had the offense not improved, I think the team still finishes with a good record because of the weak schedule and the high level of the defense (and ST).
We also played a lot of bad offenses down the stretch.