Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Bedard: Peyton Manning looked injured since October

The Sun Hasn’t Set on Peyton Manning
mmqb.si.com

I think it’s absurd to believe that Manning aged, suddenly, in the middle of the season and the game has passed him by. To me, the more logical explanation for the sharp contrast between his play before and after Oct. 23 is that Manning played through the second half of the season with serious leg problems he couldn’t shake. And the way Manning throws the ball, he just can’t function very well without his legs.

Often during our in-game chats this season, I would comment to TJ and Doc that, when Peyton Manning's footwork wasn't perfect, he no longer had much of a chance of completing passes. This was a new problem.

We're going to hear/read a lot about Peyton's desire and drive this offseason, but the real issue is whether these are injuries from which he cannot recover.

Glazer: Elway, Fox were headed for divorce for quite some time

Glazer: Fox, Elway had “irreconcilable differences”
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

It just became a situation where it wasn’t just with Fox, it was John Elway with the entire staff.

Of course, if Elway turns around and promotes Adam Gase, Fox/Glazer's story kind of goes out the window. So, we'll see.

Of course, the best part of John Elway’s presser was its very beginning

"Thanks, John Elway" - John Elway
kissingsuzykolber.uproxx.com

Before John Elway began his press conference discussing the future of the Denver Broncos, he just had to get one small thing out of the way: a big thank you to John Elway, who never gets enough credit from John Elway for being John Elway.

TYJE

D-Mac wishes cement truck would land on Peyton Manning’s head

McKee: Peyton Manning Miserably Failed Test Of Courage, Has No Friends On Broncos
boston.cbslocal.com

There’s just something unlikeable about that guy, even if he’s a great guy. Manning, don’t you wish like a cement truck would fall on his head at some point?...Manning has like, no friends on the team…He just doesn’t connect with anybody on the team, so the question is, what kind of ego do you have to have when you’ve got everything, you’re not capable of winning really like you should anymore, but you continue to still put yourself out there? I’m sure you love money, I’m sure you love the attention, but you must not love having friends on the team, because he has none.

D-Mac's job is to try to generate more listeners, I get it. So he's going to--no, he's supposed to--say outrageous things. But who is he talking about, here, Jay Cutler?

Later in the interview, D-Mac adds that Wes Welker never wanted to come to Denver. And maybe there's some truth to that. Either way, the cognitive bias is so muddy at this point with this team, we need a four-wheel drive to get unstuck. The Broncos lost to the Colts, so now we're all creating narratives that support the result.

Silly humans. Cognitive bias is for kids.

Well, of course John Elway spoke to Peyton Manning about John Fox

John Fox out as Denver Broncos coach: Three things to know
www.cbssports.com

It’s possible that Manning directly or indirectly let Elway know that he’d be leaning toward retirement if Fox returned in 2015. Remember, Fox was in Denver before Manning arrived, so Manning was kind of stuck with him.

With Fox out, Manning and Elway could potentially handpick a coach.

On Monday, Elway met with Manning before he met with Fox. What do you think they talked about?

Burke: John Fox made another poor fourth-down decision on his way out

Division Round Analysis
www.advancedfootballanalytics.com

Even though they didn’t go on to get a TD on the drive, it allowed a much shorter FG try…which was a bad call, and here’s why. Trying the FG at that point virtually guaranteed that DEN would be 8-points down, needing a 2-pt conversion to tie the game if they scored again. Two-point conversions are good a little over 45% of the time, but as I wrote on Twitter at the time, 4th and 4s are also converted successfully 45% of the time.

A fitting end to Foxball.

Saddened by Bowlen’s disease, Broncos boost Alzheimer’s awareness in Colorado

Broncos Have a Void That’s Difficult to Fill
www.nytimes.com

Linda Mitchell, the Colorado chapter president, described the Broncos’ involvement as “a game changer.”

She said: “To have their stamp of approval has been huge to us. It’s a gift like nothing we’ve ever received.”

Much to their credit, the Broncos and the Bowlen family have impacted the Alzheimer's Association in several measurably meaningful ways. Be well, Mr. B.

Chris Harris: All of the pressure is still on Peyton Manning

Broncos teammate: 'Pressure is back on' Peyton Manning in Colts showdown
www.usatoday.com

“The pressure is back on him now. Win or lose in the playoffs, it’s always going to fall on the quarterback. It doesn’t matter if we play terrible defense, or if the other team plays terrible on defense. I mean, it’s always going to go on the quarterback,” Broncos cornerback Chris Harris told USA TODAY Sports.

And Peyton wouldn't have it any other way, would he?

Mays: Broncos should throw to C.J. Anderson on Sunday

The NFL Swing Men: Eight Guys Who Could Decide the Divisional Round
grantland.com

As good as the rest of the Colts pass defense has been, their linebackers have a rough time in coverage. Indy finished 31st in DVOA against opposing running backs, and Denver has already shown it’s willing to flip Anderson the ball when the situation calls for it. He has two games with at least eight catches this year, and he’s averaging a healthy 9.5 yards per reception.

Also, Mays thinks the play of Vontae Davis against Demaryius Thomas will be a key for Indy's chances.

Barnwell: If Peyton is hurt, it doesn’t show in his deep throw numbers

NFL Divisional Preview: Sunday Edition
grantland.com

An impressive 25.3 percent of Manning’s post-Rams passes have gone 15 yards or more in the air, up from 20.4 percent through the Rams outing. And while you might easily hop onto the idea that those passes haven’t been very successful, Manning’s decline isn’t all that significant. He was sixth in QBR on throws traveling 15 yards or more in the air before the offensive switchover. Over the last six weeks, he’s fallen to just 10th.

As much as we'd love to buy what Barnwell is selling, there have been many, many throws over the past two months that have made us think there's something wrong with Manning.