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Raiders News

Defensive inconsistency hurting the Raiders when it comes to interceptions. posted by Raiders News

An interception is more than just a take away or a change of possession. It’s a huge momentum changer and one pic can bring a team from being out of the game to a roaring comeback.

However, the 0-8 Raiders don’t know much about momentum changes as they rank dead last in the league in defensive interceptions with only 3 so far on the season and 23 over the past 3 years.

Sure, the game has changed considerably. With greater concerns for player safety, hard nosed defense isn’t what it used to be. The NFL is becoming more and more a flag football league where completions and record high passing games the norm, but that shouldn’t stop a team from having an aggressive defensive mindset.

The greatest reason why the Raiders rank last in INTs is the lack of consistency in the secondary. The Raiders have had a different set of starting cornerbacks in each of the past three seasons.

That lack of continuity causes a defense to play more cautious, not knowing the ebb and flow of their teammates so they can read off each other and know when one is going for the receiver and one is free to try and snatch the ball out of the air from the receiver without worry that he’ll miss and give up 6 points.

So how does a team build that mindset without getting burned on each and every play? Practice. Practicing a more aggressive, interception friendly defense during practice is the only way the Raiders will ever climb out of the bottom of the Interceptions ranking. Because game time is too late for on the field experiments, especially with All-Pro Peyton Manning and the Broncos coming to town on Sunday.

Continue reading "Defensive inconsistency hurting the ..."


Broncos Fan

Wes Welker Injury Update and what does it mean for the future of the Broncos star wide out? posted by Broncos Fan

It hasn’t been easy for Bronco’s star wide out Wes Welker. He started off the 2014 campaign with a concussion during a preseason contest which would have sidelined him for at least one regular season game, but to compound the issue, he was suspended an additional 4 games as he tested positive for amphetamines.

Depsite the general public ridicule that came with his drug testing results, the league reinstated Welker only two weeks later instead of serving his original 4 game suspension.

Things may have seemed to be looking up for Welker until last Sunday when he left the game with a back injury. Another snag for the All-Pro receiver to an otherwise dismal year.

Is this the end for Welker? Probably not, but it’s not too far off. He is nowhere near his Pro-Bowl numbers and his output was the lowest he had since back in 2006. His role on the team is diminishing as the Broncos are looking to the next man in who is healthy and can stay healthy.

With a quarterback like Peyton, you don’t need to be reliant on a specific receiver to generate your offense. Peyton will make an offense click with just about anybody, and the Broncos are far from just having ‘anybody’.

Demaryius Thomas is one of the best wide receivers in the league. At 26 years old, he's at the peak of his powers and has a long, bright future ahead of him. Add in the teams best Red Zone target, Julius Thomas, and it’s clear that the Broncos can produce yardage and points just fine.

In addition, the signing of Emmanuel Sanders served to drain some of the targets that might've gone Welker's way after the departure of Eric Decker. Sanders is having a great season, on pace to set personal bests in receptions and receiving yards.

Continue reading "Wes Welker Injury Update and what ..."


Broncos Fan

Can Manning Take The Broncos Back To The Superbowl? posted by Broncos Fan

The Denver Broncos looked  invincible going into Super Bowl but was sent crashing back to earth by the tight defense of the Seattle Seahawks to lose, 43-8. The debacle stole the thunder from what was a solid season for the Broncos where they went 13-3.

Any story about the Broncos starts with league MVP Peyton Manning. The five-time MVP was spectacular last year with 55 touchdown passes, a single-season record. He also registered an 8.3 ypa and 5,477 yards. But it remains to be seen how Manning will sustain his brilliance as he enters the late 30s. Now 38, Manning could be a step slower this year.

Making things difficult this year is that the team would have to face the NFC West this year after feasting on the poor NFC East defenses the previous season. He struggled mightily against the Seahawks in the Super Bowl, and now he’ll have to deal with them again as well as defensive teams like the 49ers, Cardinals, and Rams.

Aside from the schedule, the Broncos will have to deal with a declining supporting cast. They lost Wes Walker, a favorite target of Manning. Left guard Zane Beadles also left town, and it is expected that Orlando Franklin will take his spot. Chris Clark will then take over Beadles’ old position.

Fortunately, the defensive unit of the Broncos did not lose key pieces. In fact, it may have improved its secondary with the addition of Aqib Talib, one of the best corners in the league. They also signed safety T.J. Ward, and he’ll provide a lot of help in the defensive backfield.

The Broncos will still be a contender for the NFL championship. While the offense is expected to drop, Manning should still be able to find his way and carry the offense. The good news is that the defense may have even been improved.

Continue reading "Can Manning Take The Broncos Back ..."


Amari Harris

The Fix 10-12: QB Overdose posted by Amari Harris

The turning point.

Tough loss for the Dallas Cowboys last week.  And it wasn’t one of those 24 hour losses either.  It was one of those that you think about for the next few days, and depending on how things go as you get into the middle part of the schedule, one of those games you think about all year.  A “What if?”  game, if you will.  I predicted that the Cowboys would beat the Broncos because I knew they could match up and I knew they could step their game up to stiff competition.  Did I expect a 48-51 shootout?  Hecks naw, but in hindsight it should have been obvious.  I bet that the defense would step up rather than Tony Romo actually playing at a Peyton Manning-like level.   Instead Tony Romo played perfect for exactly 58 minutes of the football game.  Peyton Manning did the same, except his mistake came earlier in the game rather than in crunch time. 

It’s ironic because Peyton is also known for making those critical mistakes in the clutch, but Romo beat him to the punch last sunday.  I can imagine a scenario where the Cowboys punted the ball to the Broncos in the last couple minutes of the game and Manning actually threw the “ game losing interception” (hyperlink).  But Romo beat him to it.  The QB duel was worth the angst.  Porous defense for sure, but the QBs made the game.  And in case anyone didn’t know, Romo is an elite quarterback.  He is not a clutch quarterback, but then again neither is Peyton Manning. 

Continue reading "The Fix 10-12: QB Overdose"


Amari Harris

The Fix- 10/4 posted by Amari Harris

Friday Football Fix: A Rare Guarantee!

I apologize for not posting before the games this weekend.  I visited my mom’s house for the weekend which meant no computer and no internet and I forgot to post before leaving for the weekend.  I’ll post what I had written to prove to you all that I knew that Antonio Gates and Danny Woodhead would destroy the Dallas Cowboys, as I knew they, along with Eddie Royal, were the only real offensive threats they may not be able to handle.

Despite the sheer inability to cover those two individuals the Cowboys looked like they were well on their way to victory, after a Sean Lee interception return for a touchdown toward the end of the first half that put them up 21-10.  I think every Cowboys fan let out a collective sigh of relief, and felt that we pretty much had this one in the bag (I’ll include myself, as I ominously used the words “Victory Cigar” after that play *slap*).  They proceeded to allow 20 unanswered points, 400+ yards and 3 touchdowns from Phillip Rivers, and breakout performances by Woodhead and Gates.  Yes, it was a disappointing day.  Even with the Giants and Eagles losing once again, and the Cowboys remaining as the sole leader of the NFC division, they really could have gotten off to an encouraging start. 

Nonetheless, the past is the past, and this is a new week; a very big week indeed.  The juggernaut Denver Broncos come to town with the most unstoppable offensive machine since the Greatest Show On Turf.  The Broncos have not just beaten, but dominated every team they’ve faced this year.  They have one 14 regular season games in a row and all of them by more than a touchdown.  Suffice to say, the Cowboys will be heavy underdogs this week.  And I love it…

Continue reading "The Fix- 10/4"


Joe Anello

Free Agency 2013: Days Two and Three posted by Joe Anello

Welcome back everyone! I would have posted this last night but the lack of sleep Monday night really caught up with me. Now I’m back and ready to pick apart the transactions of days two and three of NFL free agency. Let’s get that money man!

OG Gosder Cherilus signs a 5-year, $34 million deal with Indianapolis Colts.
Additional signings: OG Donald Thomas (4 years, $14 million), LB Erik Walden (4 years, $16 million), S LaRon Landry (4 years, $24 million)

This is a group of Colt signings that I didn’t discuss in the day one recap because I was exhausted and there were too many to address. Cherilus was overpaid, but I get it. Thomas’ deal is tolerable and revamps the interior of their line. I don’t feel confident that Walden’s contract will prove to be money well spent. Still, signing Landry as well gives Chuck Pagano a play-making safety in his secondary. The Colts are spending, but not as crazily as the Dolphins.

WR Wes Welker signs a 2-year, $12 million deal with the Denver Broncos

Okay, I have a LOT to say about this deal. I took to Twitter to express my thoughts shortly after the news broke, but I felt utterly hindered by the 140-character limit. I was really upset by the news that New England only offered Welker $10 million (including incentives). He’s only been one of the hardest workers on your team for the past six seasons and this is how he gets rewarded? EFF YOU PATS.

Welker’s caught 100 balls in his entire run with the Pats and hasn’t shown signs of slowing down. So imagine my surprise when I heard the Broncos only had to pay him $12 million… for two years!  If he, in this odd-as-hell receiver market, shouldn’t get more than $6M a year, I obviously don’t know football.

Continue reading "Free Agency 2013: Days Two and Three"


Joe Anello

Free Agency 2013: Day One Recap posted by Joe Anello

NFL Free Agency started with a flurry this afternoon, with deals being announced by the minute shortly after the clock struck 4PM ET. I’m here to take a look at some of the bigger deals of the day and offer a quick take. First though, I want to cover a few of the moves made on Monday, before free agency.

(Note: I’m only going to discuss ACTUAL roster movements. While a running back visiting a crappy team *cough*ReggieBush*cough* might be newsworthy, I ain’t got time to talk about every little flight here.)

(Second note: for those of you looking for my take on the Chicago Bears’ moves, check out my earlier post here.)

 

Minnesota Vikings trade WR Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks

The Vikings received first and seventh round picks in the 2013 draft and a third round pick in the 2014 draft.

The Seahawks received Harvin and signed him to a six-year, $67 million dollar deal. ($25.5 guaranteed.)

Minnesota obviously wanted to get Harvin out of their hair. Despite Harvin’s interviews to the contrary, he and head coach Leslie Frasier did NOT get along. But what player won’t love Pete Carroll? An A-HOLE, that’s who. Props to Minnesota for getting a decent bounty for Harvin, but that 25th overall pick might not be a game-breaker. Still, they’re better off. For Seattle, this deal signifies how close they think they are to a title. They’re putting all of their chips in the Harvin basket now, as they released return man Leon Washington as a result of this trade.

Continue reading "Free Agency 2013: Day One Recap"


Joe Anello

The Final Drive: 2013 Divisional Round posted by Joe Anello

The 2013 Divisional Round is completed! The best weekend in football lived up to the hype, with crazy finishes (double overtimes) and historic performances. Let’s not put off this any longer. It’s time for The Final Drive!

(12-6) Baltimore Ravens 38

(13-4) Denver Broncos 35

After the Ravens were forced to punt on their opening possession, this game got crazy… fast. Trindon Holliday took that punt return back 90 yards for the first score. A 59-yard pass to a streaking Torrey Smith (who was torching Champ Bailey deep most of the day) from Joe Flacco tied the game up. On Denver’s ensuing drive, a pass from Peyton Manning tipped off the hands of Eric Decker into the arms of Corey Graham, who boomeranged it to make the score 14-7 Ravens. Manning took the ball right back and marched his team 74 yards in 11 plays, ending with a pinpoint pass to old friend Brandon Stokley on the side of the endzone. 14-14. Were you still breathing at this point? A score from both teams in the second quarter kept the game tied at 21 going into halftime. And the drama did not subside in the start of a crazy NFL weekend.

Denver Head Coach John Fox will (and should) catch a lot of flak for not even attempting to try to get in field goal range with two timeouts and 20-plus seconds left on the clock. (As we would see later in the weekend, that’s not an impossible feat to accomplish.) Fox got extremely conservative in the offensive play-calling, leaning on the run too often when he had one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time on the field. (Though doesn’t Peyton have full authority to change those calls at the line? Hm.) Not going for a third down conversion late in the fourth allowed the Ravens to get the ball back with just enough time to make something happen. And they certainly did.

Continue reading "The Final Drive: 2013 Divisional Round"


Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: 2013 Divisional Round posted by Joe Anello

Alright everyone, it’s my favorite football weekend of the entire season! At this point we have the eight best teams left in the hunt for the Lombardi Trophy, including the two greatest QB’s of our era in the AFC and a crazy Saturday night rematch in the NFC. I have stumbled out of the gates with my picks, currently standing at 1-3 after the wild card round. I owe that to every favorite covering last week and my apparently desperate need to pick against almost all of them. This week shall be different! I hope. Let’s get to The Opening Drive of the Divisional Round! (As always, point spreads are obtained from VegasInsider.com.)

 

(11-6) Baltimore Ravens at

(13-3) Denver Broncos

4:30 PM ET, CBS

This is the first of two AFC rematches that were completely one-sided in the first go-rounds. The Broncos slapped around the Ravens 34-17 in week 15, part of their 11-game winning streak to end the regular season and claim the one seed. In that game, Peyton Manning had very pedestrian numbers, but was bolstered by ground game that featured 45 carries, the most of any Manning team in his career. Their 163 yards pounded a then-short-staffed Raven defense. This game will be different, in that Baltimore is much healthier now. Ray Lewis is back, as is linebacker Danel Ellerbee. Still, the Raven corners are average at best, so they’re not going to be able to contain Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker on the outside.

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: 2013 Divisional Round"


Joe Anello

The Final Drive: Week 17, 2012 posted by Joe Anello

Oh man. The drama from week 17 in the NFL was palpable! I don’t have time to lather you up with a witty intro, so let’s get right into The Final Drive!

(10-6) Cincinnati Bengals 23

(10-6) Baltimore Ravens 17

Well the Ravens probably didn’t want to win this game. Consequently, they looked a tad disinterested. Not a lot to talk about here though. Moving on!

(6-10) Tennessee Titans 38

(2-14) Jacksonville Jaguars 20

This game had no playoff implications whatsoever, but I wanted to touch on the fact that the Titans scored FOUR touchdowns in a span of five minutes without touching the ball on offense. Darius Reynaud ran back two punts for scores while Zach Brown pick-sixed Chad Henne twice. That’s impressive as hell. But it might not be enough to save Mike Munchak’s job.

(11-5) Indianapolis Colts 28

(12-4) Houston Texans 16

Anyone else really interested in seeing how Houston performs in the playoffs? They went from almost the de facto number one seed with a bye all the way down to the three spot with what should be a tough game against the Bengals coming in round one. For the Colts, they might be emotionally peaking at the right time. It’s time for Luck to show his stuff in the postseason.

(9-7) New York Giants 42

(4-12) Philadelphia Eagles 7

It was a mighty effort against a crappy opponent, but the Giants’ losing their prior two games was too much to overcome. They’re 9-7 once again, but this season they have nothing to show for it. Maybe next year Eli. And I’ll likely be acknowledging Andy Reid’s final season/career in Philly tomorrow, when I’m writing about his dismissal. EEP!

Continue reading "The Final Drive: Week 17, 2012"

Denver Broncos News

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Mark Sanchez a surprise participant in Broncos OTAs (Yahoo Sports)

[read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Jimmy Garoppolo has the opportunity of a lifetime this season (Shutdown Corner)

Jimmy Garoppolo finds himself in a pretty good situation. He can prepare all offseason as if he'll be the New England Patriots' starting quarterback for the first four games of the season, thanks to Tom Brady's suspension. He prepared all last offseason for the same opportunity, only to have a court overturn Brady's suspension at the last minute. But he still had a chance to get used to the feeling of being a starter. And maybe Brady finds a court to overturn his suspension again, though that seems unlikely. Garoppolo is probably going to be the Patriots' starter to begin this season, and it's an opportunity that could pay off in a huge way for him. Think about Brock Osweiler. Osweiler was looking at the possibility of going into free agency with almost no regular-season snaps on tape. But Peyton Manning got hurt, Osweiler showed enough in seven starts with the Denver Broncos last season to get a $72 million deal from the Houston Texans, and now he's their starter. It's easy to see Garoppolo, who was a second-round pick drafted to sit behind a legend just like Osweiler was, following a similar path. The Patriots already seem to be preparing for just that, having drafted N.C. State quarterback Jacoby Brissett in the third round of this year's draft. Here is the optimistic plan for New England: Garoppolo plays well in four games, the Patriots flip him for a high draft pick, Brissett is then groomed to be Brady's possible successor, Garoppolo signs a huge extension with his new team, and everyone wins. Can it happen that easily? Perhaps. Garoppolo has played well in the preseason, for whatever that's worth. He seems to have the skill set to run the Patriots' offense just fine, and he'll have a great team around him. His play will be compared to how Brady does upon his return (Osweiler didn't really deal with that because he was compared to 2015 Peyton Manning, which ended up being favorable), but it's easy to see Garoppolo playing well, the Patriots winning a few games and a desperate team talking themselves into investing in him. It's an incredible opportunity for Garoppolo, assuming he doesn't have the rug pulled out from underneath him again. Here's what Garoppolo faces, in terms of New England's first four opponents, and a glance at what he's done in his limited playing time: [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Mark Sanchez undergoes thumb surgery on non-throwing hand (Yahoo Sports)

[read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Broncos add linebacker Dekoda Watson (The Associated Press)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -- The Denver Broncos signed unrestricted free agent linebacker Dekoda Watson on Monday, adding a special teams ace who's been in the NFL for six seasons. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Ex-NFL receiver Reche Caldwell in running for worst criminal ever (Shutdown Corner)

Reche Caldwell was a fair-to-middling NFL wide receiver. But as a criminal, he was truly awful. In a lengthy takeout feature , ESPN has detailed the strange crime spree that followed Caldwell's career in the league for seven years. Let's just say that he might not have been special on the field, but he certainly was better at that than he was trying to break the law. Although Caldwell's post college peak came when he became Tom Brady's most trusted receiver on the 2006 New England Patriots, it was one of the least-talented groups Brady ever threw to —and yet that team still almost made the Super Bowl that year. But it was Caldwell and his two key drops in the AFC championship game loss to the Indianapolis Colts, who went on to win the Super Bowl, that defined his career. A season later, after wallowing with the Washington Redskins, Caldwell was out of the NFL. From there, he went back to Tampa, where he grew up and was still revered to a degree, and opened a not-so-secret gambling ring. Caldwell got in deep, and soon the word got out that he and a large crew of his pals were betting on —among other things —NFL games. Perhaps the fact that it was stationed right near an elementary school wasn't the brightest of ideas in the first place, or the fact that Caldwell parked his bright red jeep out front almost daily. "I see now, yup, not the greatest location for that kind of thing," Caldwell said with a chuckle. "Too big, too fast. I laugh at my stuff too. What else can you do? I have to laugh. I really thought I was some kind of a criminal? All I know is, everyone kept telling me, 'The police don't care about this stuff, you'll never get caught,' and the next thing I know I'm headed to prison, saying goodbye to my kids, wondering: 'What happened to me?'" Caldwell and his buddies got sloppy and soon started taking bets from undercover cops. As Caldwell was watching his former team, the San Diego Chargers, beat the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2013 postseason, the betting parlor was being raided and Caldwell detained, a half-eaten sandwich ripped from his hand and the front door flattened by a tank. One day you're catching touchdowns from Brady. The next you're being interrogated by a bitter FBI agent with a Boston accent. "You're that guy who cost Tommy anudda Soupa Bowl," Caldwell said, doing his best impression before turning serious. "What else can I do? It's not like I was trying to drop those passes." After being released, Caldwell clearly was undaunted. He was busted again —this time for searching "MDMA-Molly-China" on the internet, ordering what he assumed were illegal drugs, having almost five pounds of the stuff shipped to his door, tracking the package online and then signing his real name for it when it arrived. Naturally, a SWAT team was lying in wait. Once more, Caldwell had been pinched. He thought: "Aw, man, not again." But yes, Caldwell was sent to prison for that, too. And he's serving a 27-month sentence, which his attorney said looked like it actually caused relief in his client when he was sentenced. After all, crime wasn't paying off too well. Caldwell's mother agreed. "Good lord that boy was a bad criminal," she said, "and thank Jesus for that." He's now telling his story and sounds like a man who realized his many missteps. Caldwell is eligible to be moved to a Tampa-based work-release facility, where he can be closer to his son and perhaps celebrate his little brother's Super Bowl victory as a member of the Denver Broncos back in February (Andre Caldwell is now with the Detroit Lions). "I'm not gonna blame football or concussions like everybody else for my mistakes," Reche said. "I don't blame my education or my hometown or my family. I have a great family. I had a great childhood. I grew up in a great place. This is about losing my way, being around bad people and making bad choices, and that's all on me." - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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