Happy Super Bowl Sunday, friends. I was going to kick it old-school, and do a Digesting the Seahawks article, but others have pretty much covered that ground by now.
Instead, I’m going to just get a little scattershot with it, and fire off some quick Super Bowl thoughts.
Follow me across the jump, and we’ll get it going.
It's been said many times that quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are great because they can see things in the defense that others can't; that they have some innate ability that's just missing in quarterbacks like Tony Romo or Andy Dalton.
Of course, much of that is true. Manning can spot a leveraged linebacker a mile away, mostly because linebackers are stupid and often give away their intentions due to their aggressive nature. But that's beside the point, really. Each week, we have analysts break down the intricacies of Cover 1 vs. Cover 2, man-press coverage vs. zone, and everything in between.
But sometimes it's simpler than you think. Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding the weakest kid on the playground.
Earlier today, we got refamiliarized with San Diego's offense. Let's check in on the defensive personnel, plus consider some ideas for how the Broncos can complete a season sweep of the Chargers.
Defensive line - San Diego’s line has begun to come together, but they’re still not the team's strongest link. Third-year right end Corey Liuget (94) struggled early in the season with a shoulder injury, but he now has 4.5 sacks, and according to PFF, zero missed tackles. He has also committed six penalties and has struggled at times to get to the running back.
If he gets there, he doesn’t miss, but his lateral movement needs to improve. Luiget also has the most QB pressures on the team, with only 27 - that’s the lowest production from a team leader in the league.
Thursday night, the Broncos will host the Chargers and attempt to win their 11th straight divisional matchup. The two teams first met in Week 10, when Denver jumped out to a 28-6 third-quarter lead thanks to three straight touchdown passes from Peyton Manning to Demaryius Thomas, and then held on for a 28-20 victory.
Each team enters the rematch coming off a big win - San Diego's a 37-14 drubbing of the visiting Giants, and Denver's a 51-28 comeback win over the Titans at SAF@MH.
While the media has overstated the ‘guarantee’ of a win that Mike McCoy supposedly promised for Thursday, the Chargers would no doubt relish the chance to be spoilers of the Broncos’ drive for a Super Bowl berth.
Since it went so well, we decided to do it again. Tom also contributes to Football Outsiders, and we're pleased to work with him again, as we respect his work and thoughts about football.
Here are five questions that I asked, and Tom answered, about the Titans:
Q: The numbers suggest that the Titans pass defense is good. What have they been doing, and who is playing well in pass defense?
Happy Sunday, friends. I had some time materialize on my calendar yesterday, so I used it to watch the Patriots’ last two games.
In Week 9, they hung a franchise-worst 55 points on the Steelers, and won 55-31, and in Week 11, they lost a hard-fought game to the Panthers, on what was frankly a screwjob call by the officials as the clock expired.
The Steelers game was a clear outlier among a ragged group of offensive performances this season, and everything worked well in that game, as they had for Patriots teams of past years. Against the better Panthers defense, the Patriots had a harder time stringing together the drives they had two weeks earlier.
Happy Friday, friends. Rather than doing a Digesting article about the Eagles today, I decided to look at the big question: is their offense a fad, or does it have staying power? Nothing gets football talkers more riled up than speculating on whether new tactics can work over the long haul in the NFL.
Most of them are of the default belief that nothing new can ever work. I’m sure that, in their early days, that was said about innovations like the 3-4 defense, or the zone-blitz, or the shotgun. The reality is that some new stuff works, and some of it is relegated to the dustbin of history.
And then you have something like the Run and Shoot, that worked well for a while, and then ostensibly faded away, but quietly, its principles are still quite common to this day.
Today, I’m going to explain why the Chip Kelly design works, and why it will continue to work in the NFL on an ongoing basis. Hit the jump, and we’ll get to the bottom of this.
Happy Saturday, friends. Today, I'm going to preview the New York (Football) Giants. There are a number of teams in the NFL that I'm indifferent toward, but the Giants are not one of them.
They actually play a key role in my founding story as a Broncos fan. If it wasn't for the Giants, and my dad being an ass on January 25, 1987, I most probably wouldn't be writing for this site today.
You know what I hate the most about the Giants? Their homers in the media, of which there are plenty. I had to listen to Bob Papa Friday morning on Sirius XM NFL Radio make the case that the Giants were going to beat the Broncos because Bill Parcells is getting his Hall of Fame ring on Sunday, and they'd want to make him proud.
Happy Game Day (again), friends. Our loyal reader BRASO called us out in an email for being a bit light on the content lately (sorry about that), so we’re stepping it up. We don't want our readers having to resort to visiting lesser Broncos sites in the absence of content from us.
As in past years, I plan to do an opposition research article each week about the team the Broncos will play. This week, it’s the Ravens.
This is a hard task for the opener, because there’s no regular season film to watch. I did get to see the Ravens’ starters some in the preseason, though, and that combined with things that I think I know from observations of last year’s NFL season will have to suffice. Let’s break down the Super Bowl champions. *vomits*
Happy Football Sunday, friends. I want to run through some thoughts relating to today’s Broncos-Panthers game in Charlotte. I watched the Carolina-Washington game from last week, and I came away feeling like the Panthers have a good amount of talent, certainly more than I'd thought. They’re not a proficient team, though, and their execution comes and goes.
1. I think this is a great test for the Broncos, because it’s a second consecutive early road game in the Eastern time zone, and because with the talent the Panthers have, they’re definitely capable of winning the game.
I frequently talk about proficiency, and I believe that the Broncos are becoming a proficient team, one which expects to execute consistently. Proficient teams show up at 1pm in downtown Charlotte and handle their business against less proficient teams. In so doing, they ensure that they’ll win their division, and they stay in the mix for byes and homefield advantage in the playoffs. This is what the Patriots and Colts did throughout the 2000s, and I’ll be looking for Peyton Manning to preside over a businesslike victory today.