Six Pack: Facing Top 5 Defenses a Coin Flip

Win McNamee

I'm doing an extensive study at the moment that looks at a quarterback's entire body of work when it comes to facing off against top 5 defenses (yards and points differentiated). Well, if your Quarterback is Peyton Manning it is a 50/50 proposition.

1) Manning 28-27 all time...

against either a top five defense in points, yards, or both combined. This includes a 6-6 playoff record. Part of the reason of doing this study is to see how other quarterbacks matchup against each other in this regard. I also want to see how much each quarterback regresses/progresses in comparison to their career averages. In the end, which quarterbacks struggled more with superior competition?

Since the 2008 season, Manning is 11-6 (9-3 regular season, 2-3 postseason).

In the regular season, Manning is 960-1532 (62.6%), 11,226 yards, with 72 TD, 56 INT, and a 85.3 passer rating.

Here are his splits from both the regular season and playoffs:

 Tot G Com Att % YDS Y/A TD TD% INT INT% Rate 43 G 22-21 960 1532 62.6 11,226 7.3 72 4.7 56 3.6 85.3 12 G 6-6 301 466 64.6 3,476 7.5 18 3.8 11 2.3 90.0

Overall a better completion percentage, INT %, and passer rating than the regular season to go along with a slightly higher yards per attempt average.

How do these 55 games compare with the rest of his career?

 Category Com Att % YDS/G Y/A TD TD% INT INT% Rating Career 23.2 35.5 65.3 272/G 7.7 2.0 5.6 0.92 2.6 96.5 V top 5 22.9 36.3 63.1 267/G 7.4 1.6 4.5 1.2 3.3 90.0 Difference -0.4 +0.8 -2.2 -5.0/G -0.3 -0.4 -1.1 +0.28 +0.7 -6.5

We see less than one unit difference between his completions and attempts. We see a negative 2.2 swing in completion percentage, a slight drop yards per game at 5, as well as a negligible losses in Yards per Attempt and TD passes. Furthermore, we see a slight increase in positive Interception ratio and percentage.

Over the course of Manning's career, we see a reduction in overall Passer Rating.

How will other QB's stack up? Stay Tuned!

Every season it seems as if your favorite NFL team picks so and so, passing on some other stud who ends up making more of an impact. Looking back to the infamous 2009 NFL Draft, much has been made of taking Knowshon ahead of Brian Orakpo and trading a future 1st (Earl Thomas) for Alphonso Smith.

But with the power of hindsight the biggest mistakes might have occurred in the 2nd round when the Broncos took Alponso Smith 37th ahead of S Jairus Byrd (42nd), Darcel McBath 48th ahead of RB LeSean McCoy (53rd). Add to that Richard Quinn at 64 instead of DE Michael Johnson (70th). Hindsight stinks doesn't it?

3. The Broncos could have had (Part II)...

Bring this subject up to staffer Ian Henson and you have the recipe for a rant. Going back to John Elway's 2nd draft, the Duke could have stayed where they were at #25 and selected RB Doug Martin. Two trade downs and bad value later, they move to #36 and snag Derek Wolfe.

The biggest miss could have been when Elway decided to choose Brock Osweiler at #57 in front of Lavonte David (58) and Ronnie Hillman at #67 instead of Russell Wilson (75). Even though the book on Brock Osweiler has yet to be written, hindsight stinks doesn't it?

4. Go get this guy

Every year it happens. We each fall in love with prospects we would like for our team to pick. Well, it has started earlier than usual for me. I would like for the Broncos to pick LB Ryan Shazier. I don't care if he's smaller or not prototypical Mike size. Put he, Von Miller, Danny Trevathan, and Wesley Woodyard on the field at the same time and you have arguably the most athletic and playmaking potential amongst any LB corps in the NFL.

5. Not thrilled about shuffling the OL.....still

Move Franklin inside, Clark to RT and Voila! You have a new improved offensive line. Not so fast. There are no guarantees Franklin can dominate inside or replace the athleticism of Zane Beadles. There are no guarantees that Clark won't still struggle with elite pass rushers, which he will face more often against teams with a complete pass rush. Teams like Seattle who have a rush from both edges can move guys around and exploit mismatches.

You might end up weakening two positions in the process. Keep Franklin where he's at, keep Beadles or replace him, but don't assume you can move these guys around as interchangeable objects.

6. Horse Tracks

Report: Atlanta Falcons to release Thomas DeCoud - NFL.com
The trimming of the Falcons' roster has continued. Yahoo! Sports reports that Atlanta safety Thomas DeCoud will reportedly be cut by the fourth day of the league year. The team will save \$3 million against the salary cap.

NFL in talks to move 2015 Pro Bowl to Arizona - NFL.com
Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that active and substantial discussions have taken place about relocating next January's Pro Bowl to Arizona, the site of Super Bowl XLIX.

Salary cap expected to exceed previous \$130M figure - NFL.com
The 2014 salary cap is expected to exceed the previously projected figure of \$130 million, Albert Breer reported Tuesday. What does that mean for coveted free agents like the Panthers' Greg Hardy?

Broncos want more, far more, from Miller - Denver Broncos Blog - ESPN
INDIANAPOLIS — In the moment, John Elway was talking about quarterbacks and about some of the football lessons his father, Jack, had taught him

No more, no less, combine still puzzle piece - Denver Broncos Blog - ESPN
INDIANAPOLIS -- Back before there were signs at an airport that is no longer used, before it was broadcast live and before it was one of the most publ

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