1st-and-20 ain’t no thing with PMFM at the controls

Good Morning, Broncos fans! I'd like to expound upon a couple of my points from last night about the two main figures of SB 48, Peyton Manning and Richard Sherman.

Aside from all the shattered NFL and franchise records, their presence in the Super Bowl, and all they have overcome this season, there are a couple more things about Manning that have really stood out to me.

First, and this is going to be rather sacrilegious (forgive me, Elway, for I am about to sin), but any Elway-era Broncos fan will recall that games at Arrowhead are to be feared.

But, can the Broncos win in Kansas City?

John Elway made all things possible, including victories at Arrowhead. In fact, it was the site of what may have been his biggest post-Drive road victory ever.

But wins at KC were never probable, especially when the Chiefs were better than a laughingstock.

With Peyton Manning, wins at Arrowhead are probable.

(Elway, I humbly swear, I mean nothing by any of this.)


Here's the other thing - as I've noted many times prior, this Broncos team has made a ton of mental mistakes this season, especially holding penalties.

At all levels of football, it's important to keep one's offense on schedule.

Holding calls tend to do far worse than get an offense off schedule - they kill drives. This is basic knowledge that any football fan recognizes.

Including the postseason, the Broncos have faced more than 15 yards to gain a whopping 43 times (according to NFLGSIS) in 2013.

Usually, this is a 1st-and-20 or 2nd-and-20 that follows a holding penalty against the oft-flagged line.

Unfortunately, I can't tell you how many of these situations were eventually converted into first downs, although, I know they converted 12 of those plays into first downs (That by itself is quite impressive).

But time and again this season, these Broncos have overcome long yardage to gain situations with relative ease.

And we all know exactly why this is so.

Can they get over this 1st- or 2nd-and-20 hump?

Probably - they have Peyton Manning.

Richard Sherman

To be clear, I wasn't suggesting last night that anyone who criticizes Richard Sherman is a racist. He's not for everyone, and that's fine.

But one needn't look too hard around the Twittersphere to find blatant examples of disgusting reaction to the corner's Sunday night rant.

It's fine for someone to dislike Sherman's brashness and arrogance. Everyone's welcome to consume sports however they'd like - as pure entertainment, as commentary on our society at large, or as a mix of both.

However, when we use words like thug and class to describe our issues with his interview, we're going too far.

Mind you, these words are never used to describe, say, Jim Harbaugh.

Here's the thing - the substance of what Sherman actually said, as usual, was neither crude nor threatening. It seems like much of the reaction stems from his tone, rather than the words he used. And sportswriters who bemoan the vanilla and cliched quotes they're typically forced to pass along are being hypocritical when they react to Sherman with indignation.

In this Internet age, when we define Sherman solely by his trash talk, we are willfully ignoring what else we know about the man, especially since he has already taken the time to explain where he comes from.

Naturally, Peter King received a flood of Sherman-centric email yesterday.

Broncos

Looking back at tape from Week 2 of the preseason, Chase Stuart reminds us that Peyton Manning had a rather successful night against the Seattle secondary.

Patrick Saunders lays out some of the keys to the game from Denver's perspective.

Tonight's HBO Real Sports will include a feature on marijuana use in the NFL, with old friend Nate Jackson one of the ex-players speaking about it.

SB 48

In New Jersey, two teams used to playing in front of raucous home crowds figure to be greeted by relative quiet.

Although the NYC area is pricey in general, its large number of hotels is keeping rates down relative to other SB sites.

Since they're playing the Devils the next day, Avs players will have a chance to attend the Super Bowl if they'd like.

John Breech is already predicting a 23-16 victory for Seattle.

Seahawks

Pete Carroll (transcript) says the Seahawks suffered no major injuries, and he expects Percy Harvin to practice on Wednesday.

Old friend Hugh Millen breaks down Seattle's three fourth-quarter takeaways.

News

Detroit is looking to extend the contract of DT Ndamukong Suh and will hire Saints QB coach Joe Lombardi, the grandson of Vince, to run their offense.

Giants owner John Mara says he wants to sign Tom Coughlin to a longer deal, even while many Giants fans were hoping the team would find a new coach.

Cowboys owner Jerrah Jones says he's keeping coordinators Monte Kiffin and Bill Callahan.

As expected, Miami's GM search is being muddled by the organization's murky power structure.

Analysis

Matt Bowen offers an All-22 breakdown of several big plays from Sunday, including Sherman's tip and Knowshon Moreno's 29-yard run that followed Peyton's first Fat Man! audible of the day.

Mike Klis recalls some of Bill Belichick's prior sore loser acts.

Brian Burke begins a study into the value of a timeout relative to Win Probability in the NFL.

Mike Tanier, Bucky Brooks, Tony Pauline (North, South), Matt Waldman, and Jene Bramel check in on Monday's Senior Bowl practices.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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