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
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
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
Tags: Aqib Talib, Bradley Roby, Charles Tillman, Chris Harris Jr., Cortland Finnegan, Darian Stewart, Josh Bush, Josh Norman, Kayvon Webster, Kurt Coleman, Robert McClain, Roman Harper, Shiloh Keo, Super Bowl 50, T.J. Ward, Tre Boston