4th Down: When to Go for It and Why
First, the No. 1 lesson from my 10 years of data analysis about what to do on fourth down: Teams need to go for it much more often than they do. It does get a little complicated toward the end of games, but coaches should almost always consider going for it.
Obviously, we wouldn't even dream of Foxy going for it on fourth-and-one within his own territory, even less the nine-yard line.
But fewer (zero) 19- and twenty-something yard field goals, and fewer (zero) punts within plus territory, would be a nice start.
2014 NFL Preview: The Broncos vs. The Hopefuls
In the playoffs, Manning’s average QBR was 68.4, for a decline of 6.4 points. But the average QBR for other quarterbacks who played his playoff opponents was 41.9, an average decline of 8.9 points.
When you're dragging a team that doesn't belong there (whether due to talent or injuries) deep into the playoffs, you can't win them all, as Peyton was just telling his good friend, John Elway.
The one glaring omission here is a comparison to someone like, say, Tom Brady.
Breaking Madden: Jadeveon Clowney's quest for 201 sacks in a game
The purpose of this series will surely vary from week to week, but broadly speaking, I’ll be concentrating a little less on destroying a video game I have already destroyed, and a little more on laying waste to our understanding of the sport of football.
We're really sorry we missed this series last year. There's just something about those tiny linemen...
NFL, NFLPA trying again to complete deal to implement HGH testing
One person close to the situation said a catalyst for the latest change in attitude toward the negotiations was the four-game suspension given this week to Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker for testing positive for a banned performance-enhancing substance.
Perhaps Wes will tell us he "DID IT FOR THE GOOD OF THE SPORT."
Peyton Manning: Play 'until you suck'
“If you can really produce and help a team, and you enjoy playing, I think that’s up to the individual.”
Minutes later he said, “Yeah, right until you suck—I think that’s a pretty good rule right there.”
Remember when we would all have been happy with just a couple years out of this guy?
2014 Preview: Denver Broncos
And though he’s listed as a linebacker, Von Miller is often a de facto lineman coming off the edge. He earned a whopping +42.8 grade last season in just nine games, and his return will give the Broncos one of the most disruptive players in the league.
Between his suspension and injury, there's no denying that Von had a tumultuous 2013, and he didn't quite meet his own lofty standards.
But he still graded out as PFF's best linebacker, by far. In just over half the snaps (552 in 2013 vs 996 in 2012), his QB hits (8 vs 16), hurries (27, 52), tackles (25, 43), and run stops (23, 51) were very much in line with his 2012 production.
Coach Fox suggested that Welker’s drug suspension was just as well. “Sometimes these things are blessings in disguise,” Fox said. “The extra four weeks will give him plenty of time to heal.”
Doesn’t that, I asked, suggest that Welker was taking a big risk in planning to return this weekend? Should the team help this brave player decide his career is at an end?
Broncos Preview: Even Better Than Before
Such a MASH-list for a 32-year-old raises a red flag, though Ware had never been significantly dinged prior to last season. If Elway’s bet on him pays off, the Broncos could have the most explosive pass-rushing tandem of all-time.
While he loves their offseason moves, Andy Benoit doesn't see the team getting over the pain of SB 48. In fact, he doesn't even have them returning to the conference title game.
Signed Sunday, A.Q. Shipley ready to anchor Colts line
Shipley was cut by the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday morning, signed by the Colts on Sunday, aboard the first thing flying that evening and at Colts complex before 7 a.m. Monday morning. He huddled with line coach Joe Gilbert for a crash course on the playbook and team terminology. By 10, Shipley was on the field with the first-team offense…The Colts have changed their offensive coordinator, system and language since they traded Shipley to Baltimore in early 2013, but he is a quick study.
A.Q., meet Terrance Knighton. Terrance, meet Andrew Luck.
BTW, the Colts cannot afford an injury to either of their starting tackles this week, either, as both of their backups are hurt.
ReFo: Broncos @ Cowboys, Preseason Week 4
Marvin Austin, DT: +3.9
Breakdown: The former second-rounder made life difficult for the Cowboy backups, registering a hit and pressure rushing the passer to go along with a stop in the run game in 26 snaps. This was in addition to his work as a general nuisance to Dallas – standing up blockers and squeezing the point of attack – that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet. However, with many of his teammates on the defensive line also seeing success in this game (check out 14:55 of the fourth quarter for an example), we’ll see whether this performance (and his +1.7 last week) was enough for Austin to secure a roster spot.
No shock here for Broncos fans, who have watched Marvin put his talents on display in every preseason game.
Marvin is also a lesson to us all: draft grades are not fixed. Talent emerges when it's ready. Injuries, emotional maturity, scheme--all play a role.