Short of a Super Bowl victory, there are few things that could at change the dominant story line of the 2015 Denver Broncos from being the transition at quarterback from Peyton Manning to Brock Osweiler.
Manning, the 39-year-old future Hall of Famer and holder of many NFL passing records, started his 18th pro season slowly. Then he admirably raised his play to typical Manning standards, but then he got hurt, and then he played kind of horribly. During a Week 10 loss to the Chiefs in which Manning threw four interceptions (versus just five completions), the living legend was benched for Osweiler, the 4th-year-pro who had been waiting in the wings as Denver’s presumed QB of the future. In Osweiler’s three starts since then he’s gone 3-0, including an overtime victory over the previously-undefeated defending Super Bowl champion Patriots. Continue reading
If all you’re working with is a TV, a late-night recap show and some basic stats, you may encounter the same methodical flaws in grading a football team’s defensive backfield as you would in grading a baseball team’s outfield.
For the most part, we notice DBs and outfielders when they make a really good play (an interception, a diving catch, a TD-saving tackle, a rocket-like throw) and when they make a really bad play (getting burned for a TD, making an error, committing pass interference, misplaying a ball in the field). Without looking at all the angles and some more advanced stats, it’s easy to lose appreciation for the underrated yet crucial act of being in the right place at the right time. When done right, it makes an effective defense look kind of boring. Which makes a defensive coordinator sleep well at night. Continue reading
Tags: Aqib Talib, Charles Tillman, Chris Harris, Earl Thomas, Janoris Jenkins, Josh Norman, NFL, Patrick Peterson, Richard Sherman, Rodney McLeod, Tyrann Mathieu
Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:
Corey White, CB, Saints (NFL) — In a Sunday night primetime meeting that was hyped as a guaranteed shootout between the Saints and Packers, one team actually decided to play defense. With Green Bay going for a go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter, White tipped an Aaron Rodgers pass near the goal line that was intercepted by linebacker David Hawthorne. That set up a New Orleans touchdown, and they never trailed after that in a 44-23 victory. In the fourth quarter, White added an interception of his own. Continue reading
Tags: Antonio Cromartie, Arizona Cardinals, Auburn Tigers, Chris Harris, Corey White, Denver Broncos, Jonathan Jones, LSU Tigers, Miami Dolphins, NCAA, New Orleans Saints, NFL, Ronald Martin