Posts Tagged With: Darian Stewart

Pick Six: Players of the Week

Eric Berry

Eric Berry

Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:

1. Eric Berry, SS, Chiefs (NFL) — After spending three quarters as supporting cast members on a Cam Newton highlight reel, Berry and the Chiefs defense stepped up in the fourth quarter on Sunday to pave the way for a stunning 20-17 comeback victory over the Panthers.

Kansas City was trailing 17-6 before Berry intercepted a Newton pass and took it back 42 yards for a touchdown. During the return, Berry broke three or four tackles and used two spin moves to get free.

That would turn out to be the Chiefs’ only touchdown of the game, sandwiched between four field goals. Berry finished with a team-high nine tackles, including one tackle for loss, and two pass breakups to go with the pick-six. Continue reading

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Pick Six: Players of the Week

Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:

T.J. Ward, SS, Broncos (NFL): As much as the voters may have wanted to give Super Bowl 50 MVP to QB Peyton Manning, the Denver defense — most notably LB Von Miller — was too good to be denied. One also could’ve made a strong MVP case for Ward, the 6th-year pro out of Oregon who had seven tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery in the Broncos’ 24-10 victory over the Panthers. Ward, who didn’t have a single interception or fumble recovery during the regular season or playoffs before Sunday, picked off Carolina QB Cam Newton in the third quarter when the Panthers were just outside the red zone and trailing 16-7. Ward’s fourth-quarter fumble recovery set up the TD that was essentially the dagger for Denver.

Darian Stewart, FS, Broncos (NFL): Before, during and after the game, the dominant Super Bowl stories revolved around opposing quarterbacks Manning and Newton. Overlooked and underappreciated as usual were the respective defenses, and one standout was Stewart, who is referred to as the quarterback of Denver’s defense. He had three tackles and one sack on Sunday and helped lead a phenomenal team defensive effort by the Broncos. Continue reading

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Super Bowl 50: A look at the secondaries

Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib

Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib

Two story lines have dominated the buildup to Super Bowl 50: Peyton Manning‘s unforgiving oldness and Cam Newton‘s unforgivable Blackness.

It’s no surprise, since quarterbacks are almost always the stars of the pre-Super Bowl show. But in most years there are at least some other intriguing angles for the media and for the public to latch onto: a reclusive running back’s maddening silence, a legendary linebacker’s impending retirement, a curmudgeonly coach’s mysterious methods.

This year, however, it seems to be all about the QBs. Which of course means that the difference-maker who will decide the outcome of Sunday’s game will probably be a player who received little to no attention during these two hype-filled weeks. And that man will suddenly become the subject of a thousand “Who is this guy?” pieces about the “unknown” who was completely available for get-to-know-you interviews while everyone was busy chasing Cam and Peyton. Continue reading

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Pick Six: Players of the Week

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Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:

Sunday’s NFL conference title games were hyped and marketed as a pair of star-studded quarterback shootouts. In the AFC, it was future Hall of Fame legends Tom Brady and Peyton Manning going head-to-head; and in the NFC, former Heisman Trophy winners and 2015 MVP front-runners Cam Newton and Carson Palmer going throw for throw. But while Newton did put together another sparkling stat line, it was the respective defenses of the two winning teams that ultimately proved to be the difference between Super Bowl and sitting at home.

Kurt Coleman, SS, Panthers (NFL): Josh Norman certainly deserves all the praise he’s receiving for pushing his way into the best-cornerback-in-football conversation this season, but Coleman has been an invaluable and overlooked playmaker in Carolina’s secondary. Coleman had two interceptions against the Cardinals in Sunday’s NFC Championship game, one of them in the end zone to prevent what could have been a momentum-swinging TD for Arizona. Continue reading

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Amid QB uncertainty, Stewart leads Denver’s secondary

Ravens Broncos Football

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

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