DeMarcus Ware Earns AFC Defensive Player Of The Month Honor

An accolade well-deserved:

For the first time in his career, DeMarcus Ware is named his division’s [sic] Defensive Player of the Year [sic].

After turning in 3.5 sacks and a league-leading 11 quarterback hits through the first three games of 2015, outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware has been named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month.

I’ve been on the record, as several others have been, that this would likely be Ware’s last season in Denver due to salary cap constraints and the young acquisitions of Shane Ray and Shaquil Barrett.  I’ve also felt that Ware surely knows that this could be the plan, and that a player of his caliber would step up to the plate to try scramble that plan.  Only time will tell, but so far Ware is proving his worth on the field much like Marshawn Lynch did for Seattle last year.

No Practice Wednesday For Ty Sambrailo

If you’ll recall, Sambrailo was holding his wrist late in the game against the Detroit Lions. If Sambrailo can’t go, Michael Schofield will likely get the start.

Sambrailo’s injury might explain why the Broncos added Anthony Johnson to the practice squad.
Continue reading No Practice Wednesday For Ty Sambrailo

Midweek Musings: The Vikings And Other Issues

One may quibble with how the Broncos won the first three games of the season, but nobody is ever going to be unhappy starting the NFL season 3-0. Thus far, the Broncos have established themselves as the team to beat in the AFC West and are in good position to enter the Week 7 bye with a 6-0 record.

By no means will it be an easy task, but the next three matchups favor the Broncos on paper. The Broncos are ranked ahead of the Vikings, Raiders and Browns in Football Outsiders’ DVOA rankings, in the Pro Football Reference Simple Rankings System and in the Pro Football Focus power rankings. One may debate the criteria each site uses to determine rankings, but three sites that seek to go beyond the usual stats people trot out consider the Broncos to be better than the opposition the next three weeks.

I’ll also throw in Andrew Mason’s power rankings, in which the result is the same: The Broncos outrank their next three opponents.
Continue reading Midweek Musings: The Vikings And Other Issues

Oh When The Saints Mess With Their Cap…

The New Orleans Saints restructured the contract of Drew Brees, deferring $2.6M in cap charges to next season.

As Jason Fitzgerald notes, the Saints’ cap situation is terrible, as they were pushing against the limit this year and will be close to that next year. The Saints continue to believe they are just a few players from a Super Bowl when they are not.

Brees’ 2016 salary becomes fully guaranteed in February, meaning the Saints will have to make a quick decision on his future. If they finish 5-11 or worse, the best thing would be to find somebody willing to trade for Brees, and failing that, they need to cut him.

Either way, the Saints are very much like the Broncos in 2008 when Mike Shanahan’s bad personnel decisions caught up with him. I may talk more about how the teams compare later on.

UPDATE: Shanahan’s final season with the Broncos was 2008, not 2007. I have corrected that.

Could Any 3-0 Team This Year Go 16-0?

OK, so earlier this week, I said my Midweek Musings would be about the 3-0 teams and where they stand. Well, OK, I sort of lied.

Actually, it came down to me having some time to squeeze this in today and wanting to talk more about things pertaining specifically to the Broncos in the Midweek Musings. I’m sure you won’t argue with additional content, right?
Continue reading Could Any 3-0 Team This Year Go 16-0?

Pro Football Focus Gives, Then Defends, A -0.8 Grade For Aaron Rodgers From Monday Night

If you watched last night’s barbecue of Kansas City at Lambeau in a 38-28 Packers victory that wasn’t as close as the final score suggests, you likely got the takeaway that Aaron Rodgers is rightly the defending NFL MVP, tossing five touchdowns–several of those against a choice foe of Peyton Manning’s in Marcus Cooper.

But the metrics of Pro Football Focus paint a different picture, as the title of this thread suggests.  Knowing that this would be a controversial finding, PFF wrote an article explaining this grade.  The core of the explanation comes down to two arguments:

  • Three of Rodgers’s five TDs passes were judged to be the result of exceptional play by Randall Cobb instead of by Rodgers.
  • Rodgers earned two negative plays with a fumble lost (but it was nullified by a Chiefs penalty) and a dropped interception to Josh Mauga that, in their judgment, possibly should have been a pick six.

I’m going to reserve my own comment until a possible later time to think over the arguments and counter-arguments (and suffice to say, there are plenty of the latter).  In the meantime, if you’re looking for something from PFF that satisfies your Broncos fandom, I would recommend this article that explains the perpetual ceiling that the Chiefs will have with Alex Smith as their starter.