It’s not like the Los Angeles Rams were a bad defensive team last season.
They ranked 12th out of 32 NFL teams in fewest points allowed (20.6 ppg) and 13th in fewest passing yards per game (217.2 ypg), helping them win the NFC West division title with an 11-5 record.
But after losing 26-13 in their playoff opener to the Atlanta Falcons, the Rams attacked the offseason by turning a solid defense into an amazing one — at least on paper. Continue reading
Chris Harris Jr.
Last season was another typically unimpressive one for Chris Harris Jr. in terms of statistics. But anyone who is familiar with his work knows that the Denver Broncos’ veteran cornerback is defined by the lack of numbers he puts up.
Harris recorded 40 tackles, two interceptions, seven pass breakups and one forced fumble in 2017.
Those numbers are what they are in large part because Harris is such an effective cover corner that quarterbacks often don’t throw in his direction. That means he doesn’t have a lot of opportunities to make tackles or get picks. Continue reading
Of all the Super Bowl heroes to emulate, Aqib Talib is setting himself up for a fall if he’s rolling with Plaxico Burress as his role model.
Considered one of the NFL’s most talented receivers during his prime, Burress’ pro career peaked when he caught the game-winning touchdown in the Giants’ Super Bowl XLII victory over the Patriots.
But later that year, Burress accidentally shot himself in the leg at an NYC nightclub. He ended up serving jail time for criminal possession of a handgun and lost two years of his NFL career.
By the time Burress came back, he wasn’t the same player and his career didn’t last much longer. Continue reading
Usually, when you don’t hear Chris Harris Jr.‘s name much during a game, it’s a good indication that he’s doing exactly what the Denver Broncos pay him to do.
As one of the premier “shutdown” cornerbacks in the NFL, Harris is supposed to blanket opposing wide receivers to the point where opposing quarterbacks don’t want to throw to them. That means Harris shouldn’t give up a lot of catches, which means he shouldn’t get making a lot of tackles and ideally shouldn’t even be getting a lot of interceptions.
But Harris was unusually active around the football during Super Bowl 50. His five tackles against the Carolina Panthers that day tied for his second-highest output of the season, and he added a sack. Which was apparently good enough for the Broncos, who won the game 24-10 and secured the championship with an overall defensive performance for the ages. Continue reading
One could have made a very good case for Denver Broncos strong safety T.J. Ward as the MVP of Super Bowl 50.
Denver’s defense stifled Carolina QB Cam Newton, the NFL’s regular-season MVP, in a 24-10 victory. Even more impressive was that the Broncos’ defense also overshadowed their own quarterback, future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, whose impending retirement was the dominant story line of the buildup to the big game.
Ward had seven tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery against the Panthers. His third-quarter INT ended a drive in which Carolina could’ve pulled to within one point of Denver, and his fourth-quarter fumble recovery set up the Broncos’ final touchdown. Continue reading
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
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
In a great feature authored by ESPN’s Jeffri Chadiha that ran this week, Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib talked about rebuilding his reputation and rejuvenating a career that began with All-Pro potential but almost went off the rails following a string of off-the-field problems in Tampa Bay.
Talib played four and a half seasons with the Buccaneers before being traded to the New England Patriots in 2012 while he was serving a league suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. In 2013, his only full season with the Pats, he collected four interceptions and was named to the AFC Pro Bowl squad. A free agent in 2014, Talib signed a six-year, $57 million contract with the Broncos. Continue reading