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Blogs

Peyton’s place in the NFC West

Posted by Darren Urban on February 4, 2014 – 11:57 am

The chances of Peyton Manning repeating his historic 2013 season are slim anyway. No one has ever thrown 55 touchdown passes in a season for a reason. But after watching the Broncos’ offense struggle in the Super Bowl against the Seahawks, you wonder what kind of season Manning can compile when a fourth of his games will be against the intense defenses of the NFC West.

It was a notion I pondered briefly on Twitter yesterday. One game is not nearly enough of a sample size, of course. But — depending on whatever turnover all the teams involved have — the physical nature of all the defenses in the division seems unlike most of the ones the Broncos play. It certainly seemed that way Sunday. Manning got his completions (34 for 49) but only had 280 yards and one touchdown. In fact the 280-1-2 INT line looked a lot like what a QB might put up in an NFC West game. Something Carson Palmer might do. But Palmer had a much better defense at his disposal.

The NFC West defenses were ranked first (Seattle), fifth (SF), sixth (Arizona) and 15th (St. Louis). Of the 13 teams the Broncos faced in the regular season, eight were ranked 20th or lower, and only two — the Giants and the Texans — were officially top 10 defenses, although both teams struggled all season.

(And before anyone gets it twisted, I am a Peyton believer. He didn’t play well Sunday but that doesn’t take away from him being one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time — which is always going to be a subjective title anyway. No one else has done what he has done in a season like 2013, regardless of the defenses faced. And before anyone in the NFC West can get too high and mighty, remember that the Rams were the only team in the division who didn’t try to sign Manning in 2011.)

We’ll see if the gaudy stats make a comeback. Interestingly enough, the Broncos did see the NFC West this season, kind of. The four-game preseason slate was against all four NFC West teams. But that’s preseason, and with all due respect to Denny Green, it was pretty meaningless, even that third game against the Rams.

In Manning’s long career, the Cardinals have only faced him — truly, without him sitting in a meaningless game — once. That was in a Sunday night game in 2009, when Manning tore them up and the Colts bombed the Cards. Manning is still pretty dang good. But the Cards’ defense is much, much better than that 2009 version. The Broncos do get to host the Cardinals next year (the 49ers also go to Denver; the Broncos visit St. Louis and Seattle.) Already, a subplot emerges for the 2014 season.

ManningCardsUSE


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Posted in Blog | 2 Comments »


2 Responses to “Peyton’s place in the NFC West”

  1. By D on Feb 4, 2014 | Reply

    I was wrong too, Darren. The great thing about the NFL, if Denver and Seattle played again, Peyton probably would will his team to a victory…even though his defense overall is not good. (I do like their D tackles who did shut down Lynch)

    Peyton was smart enough to choose Denver in 2011 for two reasons…better Oline than AZ and a weaker division.

    Can’t wait until March for free agency and hopefully by then Keim has resigned a few of AZ own free agents…

  2. By ored on Feb 4, 2014 | Reply

    i think the score speaks for itself,seattle just took denver out of it’s game,everytime they mounted a comeback of sorts,seattle would just strike somewhere else and the defense was constant,they never let up,something i think we learned to do also,with all our turn overs,we hung tough against them.one difference between cards and probably majority of teams is we want to play the seahawks and 49ers,might as well put the rams in there also,it’s a pride thing that we belong.

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