Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Something does not compute here

Peyton Manning, the outsider
espn.go.com

While he continues to knock off the rust from missing all of last season, Peyton Manning should do this: Stay to the outside.

Manning is excelling outside of the painted numbers in the first two games of the season, but he is struggling in the middle of the field.

I don't find this article to be very intelligent, but I wanted to point something out here.  There has been a lot of media howling over the last few days about Peyton Manning's diminished arm strength, particularly from Jason Whitlock, but from plenty of others too.  Then good ol' Pork Chop says that Manning should stick to the outside. 

If Manning's arm strength really is diminished to a significant degree, that should limit his ability to throw outside, and make him most effective inside the numbers.  That's what we've seen from weak-armed guys like Chad Pennington and Colt McCoy, as well as legitimately diminished guys like Carson Palmer.  As NBC showed in week 1, Peyton's fastball to the outside is almost the same as it was in 2010.

What we're really dealing with here is small sample size, and an idiot who thinks he's doing "analysis" by taking numbers within that sample size, and drawing conclusions from it.  When you go 0-for-4 in the deep middle with 3 interceptions in one game, that's ugly, but let's see how it looks five or six games down the road before we start thinking about making pronouncements.

More from Replacement Refs Gone Wild

Replacement ref reportedly told LeSean McCoy, ‘I need you for my fantasy team!’
sports.yahoo.com

Now, we have another conflict case—and if this one is true, it’s a major stab at the integrity of the game. On Monday, Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy was talking with Anthony Gargano and Ike Reese of Philly’s 94WIP radio when the subject of replacement officials came up. “During the game, they made like a bad call or something, the ref, and I see Ray Lewis pump his chest up, trying to scare him. Don’t you know [the ref] started stuttering? I’m like, ‘what’s this?!’”

Well, most people would stutter if Ray Lewis was in their face. McCoy then had a more disturbing reveation. “They’re like fans. I’ll be honest, they’re like fans. One of the refs was talking about his fantasy team, [and said], ‘McCoy, come on, I need you for my fantasy [team],’ Uhhh, what?”

It’s not known who the official was, or if the official was joking, but even the appearance of this kind of impropriety is absolutely ridiculous. The NFL used to have a strict policy against any sort of wagering among its officials for this exact reason; nobody wants the specter of a crooked game hanging over the league’s head. Nobody wants an NFL version of Tim Donaghy.

How long, Roger?  How long before you get the message?  How much longer are you going to jerk around with the NFLRA over what amounts to scraps for you and your buddies?

Greg Aiello and the NFL are full of it

Replacement officials taking heat
espn.go.com

“Officiating is never perfect. The current officials have made great strides and are performing admirably under unprecedented scrutiny and great pressure,” Aiello said in an email to The Associated Press. “As we do every season, we will work to improve officiating and are confident that the game officials will show continued improvement.”

Reached for comment Tuesday, Aiello told ESPN in an email “that we are looking at how to improve officiating for the long term, and that is an important part of the negotiations with the NFLRA.”

Spare us the bullshit, Greg.

Teammate confirms Jay Cutler is a prick(ly) quarterback

D.J. Moore criticizes Jay Cutler
espn.go.com

Chicago Bears cornerback D.J. Moore called teammate Jay Cutler’s actions in the team’s loss Thursday to the Green Bay Packers, “wrong,” saying Cutler “is what he is,” and, “he’s always been that way so I don’t expect him to change.”

Cutler was seen screaming at offensive tackle J’Marcus Webb and bumping into him on the sideline during the 23-10 loss. Webb had a tough game trying to block Clay Matthews, who had 3 1/2 of the Packers’ seven sacks. Cutler threw four interceptions.

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones four interceptions.

Because cats are never happy…

Jay Cutler's attitude criticized by ex-Chicago Bear
www.nfl.com

Ogunleye said Cutler would get his “butt beat” if he wasn’t the star quarterback of the Bears.

“The problem with Jay is we’re not sure about his emotions,” Ogunleye said. “The only thing we see is when he is really angry. Even when he does a really good job he doesn’€™t show a sense of happiness.

“There is no good to Jay, there is no smiling. All we see is when he is pissed off, when he is angry and that reflects in the way people might view him in the locker room. But a guy like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, genuinely they are nice people and they overextend themselves. Tom Brady can be the biggest diva in the world—he has that right, he has won Super Bowls—but he is not that guy. I think that is why he is even more likeable.”

We don't mean to beat a dead cat, but he probably has another eight lives, anyway.

Archie Manning: my boy can make the deep sideline throw

Archie Manning likes what he sees in Peyton's arm strength
sportsillustrated.cnn.com

“We’ve all been saying it for 50 years, but you can tell about a quarterback on a deep sideline throw,’’ said Archie, the former longtime NFL quarterback. “And he made one late in the game to No. 12. I believe that’s [Matt] Willis. See, I don’t even know all the players yet. But that was a good measurement [of arm strength].  And then he had to make a throw out to [tight end Jacob] Tamme, and he was under some pressure and had to throw it out there without any step into it. It wasn’t a bullet by any means, but I think if you’re really limited you can’t even get that ball out there. Because it was all arm. It’s a tough game and you don’t want to play with limitations, but I think he feels like he can still make the throws.’‘

One thing I've never been a fan of is Archie Manning's constant appearances in the press.  But I guess you can't blame the media for seeking him out.  Archie isn't some Pop Warner parent who played a little quarterback in high school.  Who else in the United States played professional football and has two sons who currently play quarterback in the NFL?

It will probably get annoying by year's end, but that's the price you pay for having PMFM as your quarterback.  We can all afford the sacrifice, can't we?

Good thing Peyton took Tripucka’s number

Raiders eyeing long-snapper
www.ibabuzz.com

Travis Tripucka just Tweeted that he is headed to Oakland, presumably for a workout as a potential replacement for injured long-snapper Jon Condo.
“Oakland California, here I come!” Tripucka said in a Tweet. “Another opportunity. Couldn’t be happier! Raider Nation better be ready for the lunchmeat.”

Frank Tripucka's number 18 was one of only three retired by the Broncos (along with John Elway's 7 and Floyd Little's 44), before he graciously allowed the team to unretire it for Peyton Manning's use in March. Surely this was accompanied by a promise to re-retire the number whenever Peyton's time in Denver is up.

But the Broncos may want to consider not giving it back.

After all, Oakland's new long snapper is Frank's grandson, Travis. Imagine if the kid ends up snapping the kick that...never mind. This is just wrong on so many levels.

The first rule of playing with Peyton Manning is:

Tracy Porter's interception of Ben Roethlisberger in Week 1 reminiscent of his Super Bowl pick
sportsillustrated.cnn.com

In camp, I asked Porter if he’d had a moment yet to talk to Manning about Memory Lane, about that night in South Florida when Manning, on his way to becoming a two-time Super Bowl champ, threw a pass that will live in Colts infamy.

“No,’’ he said. “I mean, we’re both professionals. It’d be sort of rookie-ish to mention it. If he wants to talk about it one day, we will, but that’s not the kind of thing I’d ever bring up to him.’‘

On Sunday night, I asked if it had come up yet with Manning.

“No,” he said.

You do not talk about your SB 44-clinching pick-six.

The second rule of playing with Peyton Manning is: You do not talk about your SB 44-clinching pick-six.

Of course, Manning's Colts were already down by a touchdown at the time of Porter's game-ender, but don't let that get in the way of a good narrative, Peter.

ANS: Manning was better than his norm on Sunday

Peyton Manning Measures Up In Broncos Debut
www.advancednflstats.com

Manning was above his own lofty career average in every notable passing statistic outside of raw passing yardage; out of 188 total games, Sunday’s ranked fifth in WPA, fourth in success rate, 40th in AYPA, 31st in EPA/P, 44th in EPA and 53rd in completion percentage—at least in the top 28% of Manning’s best games (note: Advanced NFL Stats’s numbers don’t go back far enough to include Manning’s first two seasons).

It's easy to say that Peyton Manning answered questions about whether he'd be back to form in the affirmative. However, it's important to keep in mind that as these numbers show, Peyton will not typically be as good as he was the other night, relative to efficiency and game impact.

Note to Jack Del Rio

Steelers @ Broncos, Week 1
www.profootballfocus.com

When Roethlisberger wasn’t blitzed, he had a quarterback rating of 113.7. When he was blitzed, his quarterback rating was down to 28.6.

HEED! BLITZ! NOW!