Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Eagles’ Wolff: I had no shot on Welker’s touchdown

All-22: The State Of the Eagles’ Defense
www.phillymag.com

“Honestly, there’s not a whole lot I could have did there,” Wolff said. “I’m lined up inside and the only route that will get me is the out route. And that’s basically what it is. No lie, before the snap, I lined up, I said, ‘If he runs an out route, it’s a touchdown.’ That’s what I told myself, man. I was like, ‘I hope he doesn’t run an out route.’ And I kind of figured he was because on film, that’s what they did when they were in the bunch, No. 3 mostly runs an out route.”
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“The thing is, Wes Welker, he’s the type of receiver to where if you’re lined up outside, he’ll run inside. Him and Peyton have option routes,” Wolff explained.

This is the same play Ted broke down earlier in the week, but it's great to learn what the player was thinking. Be sure to check out the article though, as there's analysis on several plays from Sunday's win. (via FO)

Mays: Linemen have keyed Denver’s defense in Miller’s absence

Von to the Next One: How the Broncos' Defense Has Thrived Without Its Star
www.grantland.com

By keeping their linemen fresh, the Broncos’ staff is able to encourage and expect this type of effort. This play above is an outside zone run by the Ravens in Week 1, and what stands out is the lateral movement Denver gets from its defensive line. Few teams get a better overall, collective effort in this department than the Broncos.
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The level of coaching is noticeable in a lot of areas, but the way the Broncos use their hands is probably where it’s most impressive. If you look at that first play again, you can see both Vickerson and defensive end Derek Wolfe fully extend their arms as they engage with the offensive line. In some ways, they’re as in control of their blockers as their blockers are of them.

This is about as good a breakdown as I've seen this year regarding the Denver defense. Check it out.

PFF: Clark has allowed just two pressures in two weeks

Secret Superstars: Week 4
www.profootballfocus.com

it’s worth pointing out how good a job left tackle Chris Clark (+3.4) has done as a starter these past two weeks. Given how important it is to keep Manning free from pressure on the edges, the fact that he has come in these past two weeks and allowed just a single hit and quarterback hurry is a real testament to just how well he’s playing.

I find the whole "next man up" thing to be a bit trite (doesn't it apply to every team, at every level, in every sport, in every country?), but the depth on this team has been remarkable. And, they have Peyton Manning...

Malik Jackson: I like being under the radar

The Broncos’ Unknown Stud: Malik Jackson quietly keying Denver Broncos defense
mmqb.si.com

“I think people are like, ‘Who is this guy?’ which is fine with me,” Jackson said. “I’d like to have that breakout season so I hope people keep sleeping on me. I don’t think they know me yet. I’m pretty sure though that when they study you, they’ll know how to beat you so I have to be prepared for that.”

According to PFF, Malik had one QB hit and two hurries among 77 pass rush snaps, for a pressure rate of 3.9%.

This season, he's already accumulated two hits and nine hurries in 92 pass rush snaps, which is good for a whopping 12.0% rate - three times as effective as his rookie season.

Sims: Enough talk about Peyton

Dallas Cowboys LB Ernie Sims: ‘I’m sick of hearing about Peyton Manning’
cowboysblog.dallasnews.com

“I’m sick of hearing about Peyton Manning,” said Sims, who is expected to start Sunday at weakside linebacker in place of Bruce Carter. “We just got to go out there and do what we’ve got to do.”

“You hear it all the time when a guy walks into the locker room: ‘Peyton Manning threw for four touchdowns, this and that,’” Sims said. “Yeah, he’s a great player. You can’t take that away from him. But at the end of the day, we’re all competitors. And me being a competitor, I don’t like that. I am ready to play football.”

Here's the thing, Ernie. Peyton is probably a lot more ready to play football than you are...

A few changes likely for Cowboys’ starting lineup

Cowboys notes: Ernie Sims expects to start at weakside linebacker
www.star-telegram.com

Because of that, Carter might have lost his starting job. Ernie Sims expects to start at weakside linebacker against the Denver Broncos after splitting practice reps with Carter this week…Receiver Miles Austin missed practice again Thursday, casting doubt about his availability for Sunday…Defensive end George Selvie (concussion) did not practice, but he is expected to play.

Bruce Carter isn't kidding when he says last week was one of his worst games as a Cowboy (-2.7 overall according to PFF). But unfortunately for him, it's not even his worst game of the year, which would be his -3.6 (!) performance against Kansas City.

His replacement, Ernie Sims, had six tackles and two stops among just 28 snaps last week, and has a -0.4 grade over 36 snaps on the season.

The Fat Man thinks Pats stand between Broncos and 16-0

John Madden talks about Peyton Manning and the Broncos on his radio show
blogs.denverpost.com

The closest team would be getting in a shootout with Tom Brady; that would probably be a possibility. Kansas City (is a possibility) if they can keep the score down, but you can’t keep the score down, what the heck am I talking about? The only thing I can see is Tom Brady getting some players back, getting in a shootout and beating them.

Of course, the Broncos travel to New England in Week 12, to play their 11th game.

The NFL is racist against white people

NFL Looking At Imposing A Racist Blood Rule
kissingsuzykolber.uproxx.com

Anyone whose ever spent time round a gym will tell you that White people bleed easier then Blacks. Ever seen a Rocky movie? I rest my case.

Any new law would be discriminatory and run a fowl of the Civil Rights Act that protects the well established rights of Whites to look super cool and tough while playing a sport with lots of minorities.

Finally, there is definitive proof of reverse bigotry in the NFL.

Against Jaguars, Broncos open as heaviest favorites in NFL history

Broncos open as 28-point favorites for Week 6 matchup with Jaguars
nfl.si.com

Oct.13-Jaguars vs Broncos-Denver is a 28 point favorite.That is the highest point spread ever booked. It’s on the board & ready for betting.

Let's see your predictions, Broncos fans. Here's mine: Peyton Manning gets pulled after the Broncos' first drive of the second half.

Like Terrell Davis in 1998 (who ran for 2,008 yards despite sitting out eight quarters in blowouts), the biggest threat to Manning's chances at breaking individual league records this year may be the team's success.

Burke: Better to be #1 on offense than defense (like the Broncos)

Week 5 Probabilities: Why Offense Is More Important Than Defense
www.nytimes.com

One lesson from this exercise is that if a team could choose to be ranked No. 1 in the league on one side of the ball and average on the other, it should choose to be the best on offense. It also explains why we see great offensive teams tend to beat great defensive teams.

To illustrate Burke's point, the Broncos are #1 on offense and #24 on defense according to his model, while the Texans are #24 in offense and #1 on defense. Denver is #1 overall, while Houston is #7 (penalties are the other factor, but both teams rank poorly there).

This should only be a surprise to those stuck in the outdated "run the ball/stop the run to win SBs" mindset.

Anyway, even though they're going on the road to play a decent opponent, the Broncos are tied with the Dolphins (home versus the Ravens) for the heaviest favorites of Week 5, at 67%.