Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Thanks for the sack, buddy

Andrew Luck: The NFL’s Most Perplexing Trash Talker
www.wsj.com

Defensive back Nolan Carroll, who has hit Luck three times and with two teams, remembers the first time it happened while he was with the Miami Dolphins last year. Carroll, now with the Philadelphia Eagles, was blitzing off the edge and got to Luck, knocking him down just after he released the ball. Carroll was walking back to the huddle when he heard “Great job, Nolan!” He turned around, searching for the person who said it—maybe it was a teammate, he thought. “Then I realized it was Luck who said it. I’m like ‘what’s going on? Aren’t you supposed to be mad?’” Carroll said. “So then I’m the one who gets ticked off because an upbeat attitude isn’t something you see.”

Andrew Luck is so nice on the field that it's apparently considered trash talk.

The NFL's version of Jedi mind tricks this is.

Update: you can hear some of his chatter towards the end of this video.

Defenders beware: Peyton Manning brings a world of hurt

Chargers lose Donald Butler for season
www.utsandiego.com

It occurred on a short C.J. Anderson run near the goal line. Butler popped Peyton Manning on the play when the Broncos quarterback attempted to block him, but the injury came after, not during, the exchange, McCoy said.

Okay, so a glance at the replay suggests McCoy is probably right, but it's still a funny story (although we do hope Butler recovers fully and quickly).

It’s a long way from the penthouse to the outhouse

Penalty against Wesley Woodyard crushed the Titans' chance to finally win
espn.go.com

Woodyard said he did nothing to warrant the call.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “Decker [tried to catch] the ball, I stood over by him and he got up and pushed me, I got pushed in the face. I don’t know why. He didn’t explain anything, he just ran over and said, ‘It’s on you 59.’”

Sheesh. There's nothing quite like going from a perennial overdog to a showdown between teams with matching 2-11 records.

Terrance Knighton: Broncos will win Super Bowl 49

Kiszla: Terrance Knighton guarantees a Broncos Super Bowl victory
www.denverpost.com

“It doesn’t matter what happens. At the end of the year, we’re hoisting that trophy…I don’t care if New England doesn’t lose again. I don’t care where we have to play. I don’t care who our opponent is. We’re not going to be satisfied until we hoist that trophy. So if we’ve got to go to New England (in the playoffs) and win somewhere we’re not used to winning, we’re going to make it happen.”

Sounds good. And if it takes someone else beating New England at Foxboro, that would also be fine with us too...

Chris Harris’s is another contract win for the Broncos

Broncos Extend Chris Harris for $42.5 Million over 5 Years
overthecap.com

I would have thought that Harris would have fetched in the ballpark of $10 million a season if he had entered free agency…For the Broncos this marks another in a long line of what look to be discounted contracts for the team. Whether its the Peyton Manning factor or the organization itself, Denver does an excellent job of getting the most value out of their contracts and making players want to play in Denver rather than having to convince them with big money offers.

Hey, remember that theory that Peyton Manning always needed to be the league's highest paid player, and often to the detriment of the rest of his team?

Brandon Flowers: Facing Peyton Manning is tougher than facing Brady or Rodgers

Preparing for Peyton
mmqb.si.com

The point is, no matter how much you plan, now matter how prepared you are, Peyton is in a class of his own. Guys like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are good because whatever the coach calls, they’ll execute. They might check once or twice, but for the most part, they’ll run the play the offensive coordinator calls up, and they’ll make it work. With Peyton, you’re literally playing a coach on the field. It’s almost not fair. You have a coach on the field making calls, changing calls, and then making the throw himself. He’ll tell every single member of the offense what to do. He comes up to the line and tells his offensive line whom to pick up. Everything you do, he knows it, or he can adjust to it. He operates like a machine.

Flowers says the key to beating Peyton is to prevent big plays and wait for his offensive line to screw up, which sounds about right.

Would someone in Denver please point Orlando Franklin to a proper butcher?

Orlando Franklin: I love food, but I have to be careful what and how I eat
sports.yahoo.com

In Denver, there is oxtail, but they’re so huge, so different from Canada. I’ve been here four years and I haven’t found a meat market that will cut them up or anything, so you just get this big oxtail. It takes longer to cook and the flavour is just different.

So whenever I have people come to town from Toronto, I definitely bother them and tell them they need to bring oxtail. It makes their flight a little more uncomfortable because they have to go through customs and declare that they’re bringing meat into the country. They try to tell me no, but I tell them, “Listen, I’m getting you guys tickets to the game, you guys better bring oxtail!”

This is just absurd. Dude's gotta make weight!

Broncos can clinch playoff spot if a million things go their way in Week 14

Broncos, Colts can clinch playoff berths in Week 14
www.nfl.com

Denver captures a playoff spot with a victory over the Bills and a Ravens loss, a Steelers loss, a Browns loss, a Chiefs loss and a Texans loss or tie. The Broncos can also ensure a postseason berth with a win over Buffalo, plus losses by Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and San Diego, a loss or tie by Houston, and a tie by Kansas City.

Piece of cake. Lock it in!

PFF: C.J. Anderson forced 13 missed tackles against Chiefs

ReFo: Broncos @ Chiefs, Week 13
www.profootballfocus.com

No other running back has played more than C.J. Anderson’s 250 snaps in the last four weeks and he is making the most of it with last night’s performance capping off a month that earned him a +15.8 overall grade.

Per PFF, it was another banner performance for Orlando Franklin (+3.7) and Manny Ramirez (+2.2), along with most of the defensive starters.

As for the worst grade of the night, that belonged to Connor Barth, whose minus-4.7 figure appears to be PFF's lowest for any kicker in any game this season.

Alex Smith was the cure for Denver’s pass rush

NFL Week 13 Winners and Losers: PHILIP RIVERS! Aaron Rodgers Is a Wizard, and Patrick Peterson Eats His Words
grantland.com

The Chiefs ran only 44 plays, and 15 of those were runs. That means Smith got hit on 41 percent of his dropbacks…When teams don’t blitz, Smith ranks an Alex Smith–like 20th in QBR, right about league average. When teams do blitz, his QBR drops from 62.8 to 25.9 — the fifth-worst mark in football.

I'll never understand why people don't talk more about Smith's penchant for taking sacks. He's got the fifth worst sack rate in the league this year, and more than anything, that's why he's tied for 23rd in ANY/A. Last night, he kept preferring sacks to taking shots downfield or stopping the clock with throwaways while his team was down multiple scores late.

Fortunately for Denver's defense, another sack machine is coming to town next week, in the form of one Kyle Orton (12th worst sack rate).