Offensive outburst, meeting of legends set up conference finals
On the evidence of a full season of play. Bailey had gone one-on-one with the best receiver of nearly every team Denver had faced. And, until Saturday it had worked every time. Bailey had a superb season. We voted him our 2nd Team All-Pro corner (an honor that was replicated in the AP All-Pro team released on Saturday) because he stood out on tape and this was reflected in the numbers too.
In terms of giving up first downs/touchdowns per coverage snap he was ranked fourth overall among corners, and of those above him, no one was given the same coverage responsibilities he had. On balls that traveled over 20 yards in the air he allowed only three to be completed all year, with none of these going for touchdowns. Covering the likes of Vincent Jackson, Andre Johnson, A.J. Green, Roddy White and Brandon Lloyd, Bailey gave up only 17 completions of more than 10 yards and a single touchdown all year.
Naturally, Saturday marked Bailey's worst grade of the season according to PFF. His best? Week 15 at Baltimore, when he held Torrey Smith to one catch for 14 yards.
Champ had a great season, and the 1,048 snaps he took prior to Saturday showed he is far from over the hill. No, he couldn't have had his worst game as a Bronco at a more inopportune time. But don't let that define him, his season, or his future in Denver.