Posts Tagged With: T.J. Ward

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

Bradley Roby

Bradley Roby

Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:

Bradley Roby, CB, Broncos (NFL): Starting in place of injured All-Pro CB Aqib Talib on Sunday, Roby came up with seven tackles and an interception, which he returned 49 yards for a touchdown in Denver’s 27-19 win over the Chargers.

With the Broncos trailing in the second quarter, Roby allowed Chargers WR Tyrell Williams to get a step on him on a drag route across the middle. But the ball popped out of Williams’ hands and Roby was in the right place to catch the deflection and take it to the house untouched. Continue reading

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NFL’s Top 100: Broncos SS T.J. Ward (#68)

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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

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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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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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Former NFL safety trying to make it in WWE

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If you’re a fan of both pro football and pro wrestling, there’s no better show to watch right now than “Breaking Ground” on the WWE Network. It is basically Vince McMahon’s version of the hit HBO show “Hard Knocks” — but instead of following NFL hopefuls during training camp, it follows WWE hopefuls who are learning the craft in the WWE’s own minor-league promotion called NXT.

In the first episode of “Breaking Ground,” the first wrestler we’re introduced to is Sabby Piscitelli, a.k.a. “Tino Sabbatelli” in the wrestling world, a 32-year-old who played defensive back for five seasons in the NFL with the Buccaneers, Browns and Chiefs. Continue reading

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Pick Six: Players of the Week

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Six secondary standouts from the football weekend:

Desmond King, CB, Iowa (NCAA): As a unit, the Hawkeyes’ defense thwarted 19th-ranked Wisconsin in a 10-6 upset victory on Saturday, Iowa’s first win over a ranked opponent in 10 tries. As an individual, the junior King was the standout with nine tackles, two interceptions and two pass breakups.

Janoris Jenkins, CB, Rams (NFL): Odell Beckham Jr. almost recreated his famous one-handed catch in the Giants’ win over the Bills on Sunday, but he landed out of bounds. Which means the best catch of the NFL’s Week 4 that counted was Jenkins’ end-zone interception of Arizona QB Carson Palmer in which he trapped the ball against the back of his helmet — similar to David Tyree’s famous Super Bowl snag. Jenkins added five tackles and two pass breakups in the Rams’ 24-22 victory, handing the high-powered Cards their first loss of the season. Continue reading

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