From Nathan Jahnke of Pro Football Focus earlier today:
In 2011 Elvis Dumervil went eight straight games with a sack late in the season. While he doesn’t have a sack yet this year, he has 13 overall pressures which ties him for the most among defensive linemen.
Pressures, schmessures. What every fan wants to see is sacks. There’s something exciting about seeing an edge rusher taking on a player who might outweigh him by 50 lb. and still flash by him, to, and through the quarterback. They’re the Holy Grail for the weekend watchers, a stat you can reel off and feel like you’re talking sense. And, no one can argue that sacks aren’t a great way to create negative yardage for the offense.
The sack is big news.
Elvis Dumervil doesn’t have one this year, and fans are getting antsy. Talk is increasing about how Doom isn’t having the same impact this season; how he’s been soundly beaten by offensive left tackles Sam Baker and Max Starks. With Jason Hunter out for the year and the DL having to try different options to get the pressure that the John Fox/Jack Del Rio scheme calls for, is Doom unfit for his role with the team?
Happy Thursday, friends. The All-22 film was made available yesterday, and I had occasion to review the Falcons game. I saw a lot of positive things to feel good about, but for today, I’m going to focus on some negative things.
Peyton Manning threw three interceptions in the first quarter, and that put the Broncos in a very tough position. They nearly rallied to win the game, nut ultimately fell short.
I’ve reviewed the three plays repeatedly, and there are three general reasons why the interceptions occurred:
1. Mike Nolan is a good defensive coordinator, and the Falcons disguised their coverages well.
2. The Falcons have a very underrated pair of safeties in William Moore and Thomas DeCoud. Each is among the top ten players in the NFL at his position.
3. Manning’s mental game hasn’t been perfect. He may have some rust there that needs to be overcome.
But as one would expect, Peyton didn't have much to say, because what can he possibly offer? He's already told us many times that he's not 100%.
For his part, Eric Decker says Manning "hummed" the deep middle pass that sailed through the wideout's hands, and he of course says he should have caught the ball there.
Chris Harris and Chris Kuper did conditioning work, but neither practiced yesterday; Kuper is reportedly still a week away from practicing. Quinton Carter and Von Miller were limited, while Joel Dreessen and Brandon Stokley are on the injury report but were full participants.
As usual, I’ve been looking over the film of the first game with regard to the offensive line. Health issues prevented my spending the time necessary to fully cover the second game, but I did a little poking around in the stat pile as far as where the Denver OL stands in general.
I’ll work in what I found in the first game - as you’d expect, the stats were better in that contest, simply because the line played very well. Here are just the bare bones of the second game, using the figures over at Pro Football Focus:
Peyton Manning, the outsider
While he continues to knock off the rust from missing all of last season, Peyton Manning should do this: Stay to the outside.
Manning is excelling outside of the painted numbers in the first two games of the season, but he is struggling in the middle of the field.
I don't find this article to be very intelligent, but I wanted to point something out here. There has been a lot of media howling over the last few days about Peyton Manning's diminished arm strength, particularly from Jason Whitlock, but from plenty of others too. Then good ol' Pork Chop says that Manning should stick to the outside.
If Manning's arm strength really is diminished to a significant degree, that should limit his ability to throw outside, and make him most effective inside the numbers. That's what we've seen from weak-armed guys like Chad Pennington and Colt McCoy, as well as legitimately diminished guys like Carson Palmer. As NBC showed in week 1, Peyton's fastball to the outside is almost the same as it was in 2010.
What we're really dealing with here is small sample size, and an idiot who thinks he's doing "analysis" by taking numbers within that sample size, and drawing conclusions from it. When you go 0-for-4 in the deep middle with 3 interceptions in one game, that's ugly, but let's see how it looks five or six games down the road before we start thinking about making pronouncements.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! I'm not sure why I need to clarify yesterday morning's intro, because I thought it was rather clear. But here goes...
Yes, my point was indeed that the officiating played a large role in the outcome of Monday's game. Were their blown calls alone in causing Denver to lose? Of course not. The turnovers helped, as did a dropped interception or two. The pass rush could have been more impactful.
But here's what I find quite amusing regarding the allocation of blame for a loss:
Why is one person's claim that Peyton Manning's three interceptions were the main reason for the loss considered indisputable, while it would be completely invalid to blame the refs?
Both are opinions, and not based in delusion, right? Or is the latter un-American?
The Broncos are placing fourth-round pick center/guard Philip Blake on IR, and promoting center C.J. Davis from the practice squad to take his place on the 53-man roster. Adam Grant, who spent the 2011 season on Denver's practice squad, will rejoin the group in place of Davis.
Blake was inactive for Denver's first two games and was listed on the team's injury report as having a "Thump" issue which limited his practice on Saturday. So, either thump injuries are a big deal, or something else has happened to Blake.
Davis made the team out of training camp but was cut loose to facilitate the addition of veteran center Dan Koppen.
Good Afternoon, Broncos fans! Today is National Cheeseburger Day, so be sure to celebrate with your favorite version of the iconic American food.
A Hamburger Today is marking the occasion by giving away a signed copy of George Motz's Hamburger America. Motz's show Burger Land, which reairs on the Travel Channel next Wednesday and Thursday, is worth checking out.
My favorite version of our national treasure (favorite meal, really) is a rare burger with cheddar at J.G. Melon, along with their crispy cottage fries; the photo below is from my most recent trip there.
J.G. Melon is unfortuntely located on Manhattan's stuffier-than-stuffy Upper East Side, and the service isn't exactly top-shelf. But there's no better burger for my money.
Now, we have another conflict case—and if this one is true, it’s a major stab at the integrity of the game. On Monday, Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy was talking with Anthony Gargano and Ike Reese of Philly’s 94WIP radio when the subject of replacement officials came up. “During the game, they made like a bad call or something, the ref, and I see Ray Lewis pump his chest up, trying to scare him. Don’t you know [the ref] started stuttering? I’m like, ‘what’s this?!’”
Well, most people would stutter if Ray Lewis was in their face. McCoy then had a more disturbing reveation. “They’re like fans. I’ll be honest, they’re like fans. One of the refs was talking about his fantasy team, [and said], ‘McCoy, come on, I need you for my fantasy [team],’ Uhhh, what?”
It’s not known who the official was, or if the official was joking, but even the appearance of this kind of impropriety is absolutely ridiculous. The NFL used to have a strict policy against any sort of wagering among its officials for this exact reason; nobody wants the specter of a crooked game hanging over the league’s head. Nobody wants an NFL version of Tim Donaghy.
How long, Roger? How long before you get the message? How much longer are you going to jerk around with the NFLRA over what amounts to scraps for you and your buddies?
Replacement officials taking heat
“Officiating is never perfect. The current officials have made great strides and are performing admirably under unprecedented scrutiny and great pressure,” Aiello said in an email to The Associated Press. “As we do every season, we will work to improve officiating and are confident that the game officials will show continued improvement.”
Reached for comment Tuesday, Aiello told ESPN in an email “that we are looking at how to improve officiating for the long term, and that is an important part of the negotiations with the NFLRA.”
Spare us the bullshit, Greg.