Throwback Thursday: He said “F” Me

8/23/2014

This is where Peyton Manning got into the face of then Texans DB D.J. Swearinger, after a dirty hit to the head of Wes Welker. Well it was following a touchdown pass. Manning was later fined for “taunting”, and said the money was “well spent”.   Swearinger when asked what #18 said to him, “he said F me”.

What’s your assessment, after last weeks game of the Bronco’s defense. Do you think they’ll perform better against San Fran? I see them getting more coordinated as time marches on. Your take guru.

I think they are inconsistent. They are ranked 4th in yards allowed per game, 3rd in yards allowed per play, 10th in 3rd down conversions, and 7th in points allowed and I prefer looking at scoring over yards. Yards can be(not always) an overated stat due to garbage time production.

It is hard for me to see a top 10 defense at this point much less a top 5 D. 

I’ve never been fond of rankings like that because they aren’t pure. By that a team could improve in any of those metrics from year to year, but it would still be dependent on what other teams did for their ranking to go up or down*.  So I don’t put much merit in the actual rankings, I would dig a bit deeper and look at the core #’s.

  • Scoring is down from 24.9 to 20.8
  • Turnovers are down from 1.6 to 1 a game.
  • Yards per game is down from 356 to 318
  • 3rd down conversions are actually up from 38% to 39%
  • They are a bit more stingy in the red zone this year @ 52% down from 61% so that is a plus.
  • Yards per play is down  from 5.3 to 4.7
  • Sacks are up from 2.6 to 3.0
  • The are a wash at allowing completed passes with 58.24% moving to 58.45%.

It’s not apples to apples comparing a full season to 5 games, and 4 out of the 5 teams they’ve played this year either won 10 games or made the playoffs last year so the competition is up. The offense isn’t performing at their all-time highs they were last year and that can affect the defense. For example, last year the offense converted 46% on 3rd downs, this year they down to 43%. Not a lot, but it can contribute.

It’s football, it’s rare for both sides of the ball to be performing at the top levels for the entire part of the game. The D has to step up here, the O has to deliver there.

New York’s offense can’t be the standard bearer for this defense. They do not have an adequate QB and he moved the ball on Sunday. Kaepernick is streaky at times and a bit inconsistent himself. The Broncos have let QBs with the ability to run hurt them at times and CK has the ability to run. Russell Wilson killed the defense with slow developing QB scrambles a few weeks ago. 

They have improved, but I don’t see the top of the line defense at this point. They need to produce more turnovers, QB pressures/sacks and own 3rd down for that to happen.

*San Diego led the NFL last year with a 49.03% 3rd down conversion ranking. So far this year they have upped that # to 53.76%, yet are ranked 3rd behind Dallas (56.25%) and New Orleans (54.84%), so the NFL rankings would suggest a regression, but the core # show improvement at this point and again it’s not fair to judge a full season vs. 6 games in the case of the Chargers.

Thank you for the question.

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