Super Bowl Profile: Richard Sherman
Since the regular season ended Sherman has been in coverage for 74 snaps and allowed no receptions.
Zero. Zip. Nada. Nothing.
He has been flagged for holding against the 49ers, but that play aside he has only been targeted twice over those 74 snaps. Sherman has been the very definition of shutdown since the lights went on and things got real.
Of course, with as many great targets as Peyton Manning has at his disposal, avoiding Sherman really doesn't present Denver with a problem.
“Give me another opportunity, and I’ll run a 4.4 for you.”
The Broncos provided Trevathan with that second chance and then some, after stopping his slide through the draft in Round 6. Trevathan’s story could have become a footnote there — the selection Denver used on him, No. 188 overall, was one of the picks acquired by trading Tim Tebow to the Jets.
In my opinion, I think they’ll take some of these shots early in the Super Bowl to see if they can get on the board quick. I think they’ll feel if they can get a couple touchdowns early, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will get impatient against their defense.
It's been a while, and this is a different defense, but Denver did get hurt on some of those familiar play-action boots against Houston last year.
Game Riffs breaks down the Super Bowl from all angles
Early in the week, during the deep freeze, I picked the Seahawks to win—not because of any Manning cold-weather juju, but the simple reality of trying to execute a precision passing game when no one can feel his thumbs. Milder weather, however, favors the team that can do some little things that its opponent cannot.
Vasquez at home with Broncos
“It kind of took me off guard,” he said. “The neighborhood I live in, it’s like something out of Hollywood. People come welcome you to the neighborhood, bringing you baked goods. People coming up, neighbors. They brought like cookies, bottles of wine … At first, I was like, ‘What do you want? What are you doing here?’ Then I realized that’s how people are. I never experienced that. The neighborhoods I grew up in never did that.”
Umm, Louis? They wanted tickets.
Just before the playoffs, the Wall Street Journal ran an article titled “The Seahawks’ Grabby Talons“, which alleged that their defenders “mug, obstruct and foul opposing receivers on practically every play.” The piece is long on anecdote, short on actual data…The piece gives the impression that Seattle’s defense is basically built upon the use of physical contact of a questionable variety on every play. (It also spawned this guest article at Advanced NFL Stats, which makes some pretty wild assumptions about the use of the tactic).
The problem with Lisk's piece is that it presents no baselines, and the Seahawks are the most oft-penalized team in the league this year.
Broncos move Super Bowl practice indoors to avoid injuries, Fox says
There were no injury setbacks, and after practice Fox presented the exact same injury report as he had the previous day: Of the 53 players on the active roster, the only non-participant was defensive tackle Sione Fua.
This entire Broncos season has been about dodging bullets and meeting expectations; or at least, it's seemed that way. So with the ultimate goal just a few days away, it feels like a victory just for the team to get through a practice unscathed, doesn't it?
“He’s [looking] more at the safeties than linebackers,” Dysert said. “Pretty much at the snap is where they’re going to move. You can identify just by the positions of the linebacker where they’re going to go. Maybe if [the safeties] are backed up, you can plan for blitz … things like that.”
Not that the Seahawks staff is reading SI.com a few days before the SB, but given Manning's MO, what are chances that Dysert was completely honest for this piece?
Better With Age
The alternative to trying to fool Manning, and therefore risking being caught out of position, is to simply line up and play base defense. But unless a defense has better players than Denver — unlikely against an offense featuring five players who scored 10 or more touchdowns — that’s not a great answer, either. There’s no such thing as a defense without weaknesses, and Manning knows them all.
Line up and play base defense? That's exactly what Seattle does, as they hardly ever disguise their coverages.
On Sunday, the Legion of Boom will take on the same dilemma faced by every Denver opponent this season: how in the world can you cover all of these guys?
Terrell Davis, and What Makes a Hall of Famer
In his rookie season, Portis rushed for more than 1,500 yards, and the case against Terrell Davis, Hall of Famer began. Portis wasn’t alone. Both Mike Anderson and Olandis Gary managed 1,000-yard seasons in Denver, and the notion caught on that the Broncos’ “system” deserved the credit. “I blocked for every one of those guys,” Nalen says. “There wasn’t anyone that compared to TD.”
Nothing new here, but it all bears repeating until TD is finally enshrined. Anyone who regularly watched Terrell Davis during his prime knows that Nalen is absolutely correct; those other guys posted some big numbers for a year or two, but none of them were on TD's level, especially when considering his postseason career - the greatest by any running back in NFL history.