Pre-Super Bowl Fun Facts
But Knighton isn’t the only one bringing heat from the right side. The AFC Championship was the sixth game in a row that RE Robert Ayers (+13.3) has graded out in the green. He had four quarterback hurries and a stop against New England and beat Patriots LT Nate Solder (+28.6) for a sack.
Over those six games, PFF has Ayers down for three sacks, two QB hits, 20 hurries (17 of them in the last three games!), nine tackles, two assists, and 10 stops.
First-round bust? Nah. How about peaking at just the right time?
Screens can be stopped when the defense can press, but because of the bunch alignment of Decker and Welker, that option is eliminated. For the defense it’s all about rallying to the football once the catch is made. You’re not preventing the completion. You’re trying to make this a 6-yard play instead of a touchdown.
According to PFF, Demaryius Thomas led all wideouts with 697 yards after the catch, with five of his 14 regular season touchdowns including 15 or more YAC.
Analysis Notebook, SBXLVIII: Where Denver Attacks
Welker in particular has caught all six passes thrown his way when he has been targeted on those intermediate depth crossing routes and will be a real danger against this formation. The interesting matchup here is whether Earl Thomas will key on this route from his center-field position and use his closing speed to lay a big hit on the smaller receiver at some point.
Let's just hope Welker doesn't get to test his claim that he'd play through a concussion in the Super Bowl.
Setting the Edge: Denver Offense vs. Seattle Defense
One run concept that has caused the Seahawks some trouble in the regular season has been when teams pull an offensive lineman from the playside to lead a run to the outside (5.8 yards per carry allowed). Whether with a pitch or a handoff, the Seahawks haven’t fared well against a concept that the Broncos run often (29.2% of outside carries) and to good effect themselves (5.5 yards per carry).
Calling Zane Beadles...
The Broncos offensive line is among the best in the league with point-of-attack double-teams, particularly inside where guards Louis Vasquez and Zane Beadles work with drastically improved center Manny Ramirez. A snowy forecast wouldn’t be ideal for Manning, but it could spell a big day for Knowshon Moreno and Montee Ball.
Of course, for more on Denver's double teams, see articles like this one.
John Elway creating second legacy
“I’m thrilled I can try to make Peyton the best of all time,” Elway told me on Wednesday morning. “Maybe for my legacy that’s not the best thing, but that’s what I want to do.
“My career is my career and this is my next career, and I want to make this next career as good as my first career. The way that’s going to happen is if we make Peyton Manning be the best he can possibly be.”
Remember when Elway shipped Tim Tebow out of town because...he was jealous of him? LOLZ
Woods siding with Raiders' rivals in Super Bowl
“I like the Broncos. I’m good friends with Peyton (Manning),” he said. “Let’s be honest, he got scrutinized pretty hard when he left (the Colts) that he would never be the same after his neck surgery, and it’s right, he’s not the same; he’s better. That’s cool to see. That’s cool to see the hard work that he put in to shut everybody up.”
Surprising words from a Raiders fan, but loyalty isn't exactly Tiger's strongest trait, amirite? (via FTW)
Broncos OC Gase keeps rising as coaching star with Manning intensity
“He was like 25 at the time I met him, and here was this kid who didn’t play college football, and I was overwhelmed by his knowledge and passion for the game, how smart he was,” Martz said.
Is it too early to wonder who will take over for Gase in 2015? Greg Knapp, perhaps? (h/t AldenBrown)
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport said on NFL Network’s “Super Bowl Live” Wednesday that the Broncos don’t expect to be able to re-sign the running back for 2014.
Even (or especially?) with how well Knowshon has played this season, the handwriting's been on the wall since April's selection of Montee Ball, and the rookie's recent development only adds to that.
Wes Welker on the rub route: 'We ran the same play (in New England)'
Welker even confirmed he’s run the same route with the Patriots.
“We ran the same play,” Welker said.