PFF: Broncos Defense Shines

Pro Football Focus released their top-graded players for the Broncos-Ravens game. The top five for the Broncos:

OLB DeMarcus Ware (+10.9)
OLB Von Miller (+6.5)
ILB Brandon Marshall (+5.4)
OLB Shaquil Barrett (+3.6)
S Darian Stewart (+3.4)

The top-rated player for Baltimore was Jimmy Smith at +3.4, the same rating as Stewart.

The Broncos didn’t have as good of a day on offense, obviously. PFF’s Sam Monson has some thoughts about Peyton’s struggles.

With that said, all the worries about Brandon McManus missing two field goals (one into the wind) in the preseason were for naught, as evidenced yesterday, and as PFF acknowledges.

Perhaps Broncos fans should relax as well about the offense, too?

Twitter Reacts to Denver’s win over Baltimore

Scrolling through my twitter feed, basking in the post victory glow, I saw a number of noteworthy tweets worth sharing with you, Broncos Country. Instead of jamming them into a comment somewhere, I decided to make this into a quick weekly article. Some of these tweets aren’t terribly relevant (Shaq Barrett’s tweet for instance) but this will mostly be interesting quotes and insider thoughts on the previous day’s game. Also, I don’t agree with all the viewpoints shared in this article, and C.J. Anderson is not the next Montee Ball.

Continue reading Twitter Reacts to Denver’s win over Baltimore

Quick Takes: Ravens at Broncos, 2015 Week 1, 19-13 Win

Childhood photo of new Broncos defensive mastermind, Wade Phillips

Well, Kubiak’s first game as a head coach is officially in the books. Personally, I’m just happy football’s back. Remembering years like 2013, it’s amazing that we could even win a game scoring only 19 points. Our defense can win games clearly, they did today.

Continue reading Quick Takes: Ravens at Broncos, 2015 Week 1, 19-13 Win

Neither One Play Nor One Call Decided Broncos/Ravens

So today’s Denver Broncos game against the Baltimore Ravens was decided by an Darian Stewart interception in the end zone, but if only pass interference had been called on David Bruton Jr. like it was a few plays earlier.

Or so one might think, anyway.

As a sportswriter, I am all too familiar with how we like to describe games. We spend our time thinking about what’s the story in every football game. But like many fans, we fall into the trap of thinking about the final plays of a close game, leading to us writing how a close game comes down to one final play, which gets dissected by everyone.
Continue reading Neither One Play Nor One Call Decided Broncos/Ravens

Owners, Union To Negotiate Change In Disciplinary System

Via Mark Maske of the Washington Post:

NFL owners are prepared to negotiate with the players’ union about changing Commissioner Roger Goodell’s role in the league’s player disciplinary system before the end of the 2015 season, according to multiple people familiar with the situation. It is not clear how Goodell’s role would be modified.


The negotiations could result in an extension of the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the union that currently runs through 2020.

As I’ve indicated in the past, no matter how much bad PR the commissioner’s office sustains, the owners won’t relent on this power without getting a concession from the union in return. Extending the current CBA, one that the owners have good reason to believe favors their side, strikes me as a smart exchange on their part.

Ravens/Broncos Injury Report

The Ravens will have a few notable players out or doubtful for Sunday’s game.  Of most interest in the out category is their first round rookie Breshad Perriman.  This leaves the Ravens’ receiving targets rather thin apart from Steve Smith.  Although Smith and Aqib Talib have a long history from their NFC South days, I would think that Chris Harris would get the lion’s share of coverage on Smith, leaving Talib, Bradley Roby, and others on other targets.

Also out for the Ravens is #2 RB Lorenzo Taliaferro, which could put more wear and tear on Justin Forsett.  And noted as doubtful is DE Timmy Jernigan, the player that likely allowed the Ravens to trade away Haloti Ngata.

The Broncos, meanwhile, are relatively healthy, with only Kenny Anunike out for sure.  However, as you know they will also be without TJ Ward and Derek Wolfe for this game.  Perhaps the most encouraging note is that Emmanuel Sanders wasn’t listed on the injury report at all.

Raiders Narrative Begins in 3… 2… 1…

I’ll leave this for the rest of you to discuss.

UPDATE [Nick]:

Midweek Musings Bonus: 2015 NFL Season Preview

So we have arrived at the first day of the 2015 NFL season. Everybody does season previews, so somebody here at Thin Air should as well and that’s where I step forward with what was my originally planned Midweek Musings.

The only projections I’ll make are how the teams finish within a division and which teams go to the playoffs. Otherwise, I’ll talk about the observations I have about each team, their strengths and weaknesses and which coaches might have their jobs on the line. And yes, there will be as much snark as there is smart observations, so be prepared.

Let’s get this underway, shall we?
Continue reading Midweek Musings Bonus: 2015 NFL Season Preview

Von Miller Continues to Get More Favorable Contract Comparables

As always, the first contract numbers leaked to the media are inflated, so take those with a grain of salt.  But considering that Dareus was taken with the pick immediately following Miller, there’s little doubt that John Elway’s going to have to get a hefty checkbook out next offseason should Miller have the type of year we’re all expecting him to have.