Tracy Porter's interception of Ben Roethlisberger in Week 1 reminiscent of his Super Bowl pick
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.
Peyton Manning Measures Up In Broncos Debut
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.
Steelers @ Broncos, Week 1
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!
Broncos release Caleb Hanie; Brock Osweiler No. 2 QB
In a move to help maintain budget flexibility for later in the season, the Broncos released backup quarterback Caleb Hanie on Saturday. He was replaced on the 53-man roster by defensive tackle Sealver Siliga who was promoted from the practice squad.
Hanie was released so his $1 million base salary would not be guaranteed. The Broncos also avoided paying him a $250,000 bonus for making the active game day roster. Don’t be surprised if Hanie is re-signed by the Broncos on Tuesday.
Death, taxes, and roster axes.
NFL to use replacement refs
The NFL will open the regular season with replacement officials.
Replacements will be on the field beginning next Wednesday night when the Cowboys visit the Giants to open the season, league executive Ray Anderson told the 32 teams.
FWIW, Andrew Brandt thinks this impasse will end within a week. Let's hope he's right.
Giants DT Marcus Thomas pleads with 'Madden 13' to fix his profile photo
Giants defensive tackle Marcus Thomas—not to be confused with running back Marcus Thomas who had a cup of coffee with the Lions in 2008 and waived by the Broncos in 2009—is fed up. The six-year vet thinks it’s been long enough for the folks at Madden to put a face with a name. Specifically: Thomas’ face with his Madden bio. After exhausting all options (we’re speculating here; for all we know, before Tuesday the extent of Thomas’ gripes may have consisted of cursing EA every time he fired up a game), the New York defender took to Twitter to publicly lodge a complaint…But thanks to the power of the internet, word got back to Donny Moore, whose Twitter bio reads “Madden NFL Live Content Producer & Ratings Czar.” Moore was apologetic and promised to fix the mistake…This prompted a change of heart from Thomas, who tweeted “Thanks, Mr. Madden. I love you.” We’re still not clear if Thomas knows that John Madden isn’t actually a programmer, just the face of a game that’s been around for nearly 20 years. Either way, mystery solved, all is right in the world. Now if Madden could just find a way to help the Jets score a touchdown…
Because how you look on Madden 13 echoes throughout eternity.
Cowboys' Romo already in mental battle against Giants' D; mail
Romo was better last year than our memories of him: 66 percent accuracy (and one memorable overthrow of Miles Austin in the close December loss to New York), 4,184 yards passing, plus-21 TD-INT ratio, a 102.5 rating. “He’s more than capable of winning a Super Bowl in this league,’’ Jason Garrett told me earlier in the day. “Look at John Elway. He went 14, 15 years without winning one, and all of a sudden Denver runs it better and plays better defense, and he wins two, and now people think of him as a top three quarterback of all time. With Tony, we’ve just got to be better around him, and I think we will be.’‘
Garrett was going to bat for his boy Romo--we get that. But whipping out the John Elway comp is simply not the way to go about it. John Elway was a Hall-of-Fame quarterback whether he won a Super Bowl or not. He carried several mediocre Broncos teams (if we're being honest, my orange-and-blue bleeding friends) to the Super Bowl.
What has Tony Romo done with superior talent? Nada, amigo.
When practice started this spring, Porter quickly picked off Manning again. A few plays later, Manning burned Porter deep.
As he walked off the field, the defensive back felt a hand on his shoulder. It was the quarterback, who said: “You tell me what I did wrong on that first play and I’ll tell you what you did wrong on that next play. That’s the only way we’re going to get better. Deal?”
Months later, Porter still shakes his head while telling the story. “Dang right, that was a deal,” he says. “He wants me to be better so he can be better. And he wants to be better to help me get better. I’ll follow a man like that into any game, anywhere, any way.”
Gotta admit that ESPN Mag has improved over the past year or so, even if we'd never subscribe to it by choice (it's a necessary evil of the necessary evil that is ESPN Insider). Anyway, this is an excellent article about the influence Peyton Manning has had at Dove Valley.
There are plenty of other great quotes to take away from the piece, but here's hoping that Greg Orton makes it through to Denver's practice squad, because he sounds like one sharp individual.
Post-Camp Stock Watch: Irving Up; Ayers Down
DE Robert Ayers: That Derek Wolfe — and not Ayers — replaced Jason Hunter this week speaks volumes about where Ayers stands in the defense. He now fills the “experienced depth” role that Brooking and Leonhard were signed to handle at their positions. That’s good for a roster spot, and likely to get him some decent playing time at some point in the season, but is nevertheless a long fall considering that he was an every-down player last year.
Raise your hand if you think defensive coordinator Jack Of The River isn't enamorado with Robert Ayers.
Obviously, Del Rio hasn't been exposed to the genius of Mike Mayock. If he had been, he would have remembered Mayock saying: "Robert Ayers is the best defensive player coming out of this draft. You can get creative with Ayers. He brings your scheme versatility on defense. I think he's a special player."
Blame McDaniels? Hell, why not.
Peyton Manning Feels He Took a Step Forward in the Process of His Return
Your first touchdown pass in your career came against Seattle in a preseason game. What do you remember about it?:
“It was a funny series because the first play we ran the ball. I remember the coach had told me … if the headphones ever go out, just be prepared to have your own play. The headphones go out on the second play of the game. I kind of stayed poised, didn’t call a timeout, called a little draw play and got four yards. Anyway, it was like a third-and-five or six and Seattle, being a smart defense, naturally you’re going to blitz a rookie quarterback, and they brought everybody. We called a little three-step drop, safe pass, no reads or anything. It was called Scat Right 92 and I was throwing to Marvin [Harrison] breaking the huddle. … They blitzed everybody and he just hit that seam and all I remember is running down that field and thinking, ‘This NFL is easy.’”
Do you hear that? The NFL is easy, like stealing literacy from a Raiders fan.