Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Not to pile on Joe Mays, but…

Snapshot: Run Stop Percentage, Linebackers

Touted as a Secret Superstar before last season, Joe Mays made us look like geniuses in 2011 with his superb play in limited snaps. However, 2012 has been a little more rocky. Mays has taken on more snaps in the Broncos’ defense and with that change he has been making fewer plays in the running game. Mays was tied with Bowman for the league lead in Run Stop Percentage in 2011 and his 46 stops were third among all linebackers. This year he has six stops, the worst Run Stop Percentage among qualifying middle linebackers, and an amazingly low nine solo tackles against the run. With the success he has had in the past, one can only expect Mays’ stats to get better as the season goes on.

He's not a candidate to move into the middle, and he does have two missed tackles (which is a lot), but interesting to see Wesley Woodyard among the leaders in RSP (eighth-best, at 13.5%). Also, as much as we've been pointing out the successes of Vontaze Burfict in Cincy, we'd be remiss to ignore his presence on the list of players with the worst RSP.

San Diego is the new Oakland

Broncos fan recovers after attack at Qualcomm Stadium

“Someone spilled their beer on me, and the next thing I noticed I woke up in a hospital the next day,” said Eric, a 22-year-old Broncos fan who didn’t want to give his last name.

Eric said Chargers fans began harassing him because he was wearing his Broncos jersey just before the start of the game.  Within seconds someone hit him on the back of his head, and he fell to the ground and hit his head.  He spent two days in the hospital. Wednesday, he returned home to begin the healing process.

No word yet as to whose jersey it was that caused San Diego fans to act like savages.  A Terrell Davis?  Rod Smith?  Ashley Lelie?   Personally, I'm hoping it was an Elway jersey.  Elway spent years beating the hell out of the Chargers on the field.  Now he's doing it off the field, too.

In the end, it doesn't really matter.  Chargers fans will be Raiders fans.  Or is it the other way around?

Stay classy, Chargers fans.  Oh, and go #$@% yourselves. (via MHS)

Clady making the case for Joe Thomas money

Snapshot: PBE, Offensive Tackles

While Justice has the top rating there’s always more interest in left tackles, so who leads the way there? Well, step forward Ryan Clady who is picking the right time to produce his best form with his contract coming up. He’s building himself a case for Joe Thomas-type money with the Cleveland Brown left tackle just behind him in the third spot.

For the record (or PFF's record), Clady has 240 pass block snaps and only allowed five total pressures.

How much of this will the Broncos brass and John Elway attribute to Peyton Manning?

It may not matter.  If the market perceives that Clady plays at Joe Thomas's level (and perhaps he does), he's going to get Joe Thomas money, which is more than the Broncos offered in the offseason.

Right now--and we're only six games in--Clady may have made the right call by not signing that deal.  Our advice to Clady in the next ten weeks?  Don't play pickup basketball.

Broncos will be without Tracy Porter when they battle Chargers tomorrow

Broncos CB Tracy Porter out with illness for Monday night game against Chargers

Porter has an illness, the Broncos announced, and he didn’t make the team flight to San Diego for Monday’s game. He had practiced all week.

Chris Harris will move from nickelback to starting RCB opposite Champ Bailey, and Tony Carter is expected to replace Harris as the nickelback. When the Broncos go to a six-DB package, they’ll use rookie CB Omar Bolden or one of their backup safeties—Jim Leonhard or David Bruton—depending on the situation.

I've maintained Chris Harris has the ability to start in the NFL.  Tomorrow night, he'll get his first chance to prove it.  The good news for the Broncos?  The Chargers do not have anyone on their roster named Wes Welker.

Unbelievable: 1-5 Chiefs offer Pioli an extension

The NFL Today: Embattled Chiefs GM Pioli offered two-year extension, yet to sign

Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli has been under intense scrutiny from fans and local media, but has been staunchly supported by owner Clark Hunt, who despite the turmoil recently offered Pioli a two-year extension, according to a league source.

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have Bill Belichick thrust upon them.

Our advice to Scott Pioli: sign the extension.  The less strenuous the division is for the Broncos, the better. 

Broncos’ subtle move shows they’re getting smarter

Broncos acquire returner Trindon Holliday

The Broncos are taking a chance that Trindon Holliday can enhance their return game.  The Houston Texans’ kickoff and punt returner this year until he was waived earlier this week, Holliday was claimed and awarded to the Broncos on Thursday,

They say the definition of stupidity is dating a girl with a Raiders tattoo doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Consider the Broncos suddenly wiser.  This move won't get a lot of attention, but I like it.  In previous years, the Broncos have drafted various types of players and hoped someone would emerge as a return threat.  Trindon's signing (we hope) shows a recognition by the Broncos that the strategy has failed.  

Holliday may not work out, but the Broncos deserve some credit for realizing the value of having a return specialist on the roster.

Brees: My boy Phil is elite for another decade

No mistaking the player, but Rivers the person is just misunderstood

“Philip is an elite quarterback,” Brees said after throwing for four touchdowns in a 31-24 defeat of the Chargers and Rivers on Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. “I know at the end of the day quarterbacks are judged on wins, losses and championships, but there have been Hall of Fame quarterbacks who’ve played this game and not won Super Bowls—Dan Marino, Jim Kelly, Warren Moon, Dan Fouts. There are certain circumstances that sometimes come into play ...”

Brees paused.

“Philip’s in the prime of his career and he could be in the prime of it for the next eight to 10 years,” he continued. “The story is still to be written on him.”

Epilogue:  Philip Rivers's career suddenly took a turn for the worst in 2012, when the usually hard-nosed quarterback became skittish in the pocket--flinching from phantom defenders, rushing his throws, throwing off his back foot inside the pocket, and tossing the ball out of bounds at the first sign of trouble.  Perhaps the beginning of the end came with a four-interception performance against the Denver Broncos on Monday, October 15th, when Hall of Fame cornerback Champ Bailey returned two interceptions for touchdowns, and Von Miller (currently nominated for the Hall of Fame), tallied five sacks in one game.  After the game, Rivers could only repeat the word: "Rosebud."

J.J. Watt is 15 feet tall

Woody Johnson: Tim Tebow with Jets for 3 more years

“We should’ve done a better job of accounting for (Watt). And keeping an eye, spy on him. And just don’t throw in that area or throw extremely high ... He’s 6-6. He can jump 30 inches. So he’s probably like 15 feet when you add it all up.” Johnson said.

Putting a spy on J.J. Watt.  Geeze, why didn't we think of that, Woody?

PFF: Von was the best player on the field Sunday

ReFo: Broncos @ Patriots, Week 5

Last season we thought he was as good as any defensive player in football before injuring his thumb and this season he is every bit as good if not better. In this game his grade of +12.3 breaks the scale of the PFF player pages thanks to a day in which he dominated at the point of attack with speed, power and quickness.

If there was a player that impressed every time you looked at him in this game, it was Von Miller who edges a great performance from Welker to earn the game ball.

We already heaped praise on Von Miller for the dominance of his play on Sunday; it was undeniable watching it live, the ANS figures backed it up, and now we have PFF's grades to reconfirm.

On the season, Von ranks second among linebackers in ANS's EPA figure, while his PFF grade (+31) dwarfs that of any other NFL linebacker, regardless of scheme. His +12.3 grade for Sunday alone, is better than the full-season grades of all but NaVorro Bowman (+13.4), Daryl Washington (+13.2), and Justin Houston (+12.7).

Anyone pining for Marcell Dareus (-7.4) or Nick Fairley (-1.1) right about now? Didn't think so.

Broncos adjusted by going with dual calls on defense

Tom Brady's secret to beating Peyton Manning? Being in control

“They’d have two plays called, so they knew what they were gonna do on the next rep,” cornerback Tracy Porter said. “And we’d only have one play called, so we’d wait to get the other play from the sideline, and they’re already lined up. We adjusted, and we started going dual calls in the huddle, let us keep up with the pace of the game. But in the beginning, it did catch us off-guard.”

It's great the Broncos adjusted yesterday.  Sure it is--when in Rome, do as the Romans do.  

But how long did it take before the Broncos started acting like Romans?  Let's hope it happened before the second half.