clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Horse Tracks: PFF gives top cornerbacks versus each route type

Both Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. made Pro Football Focus’ list of top cornerbacks versus each type of route run.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NFL: AFC Championship-New England Patriots at Denver Broncos Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Editor’s Note: First, a public apology is in order. As some of you know, Tuesday’s Horse Tracks post was a plagiarized version of a well-written post on Monday from Erick Trickel of Mile High Huddle. Upon being made aware of the offending post, I immediately removed it and reached out to Chad Jensen, the managing editor over at MHH, to apologize.

Mile High Report does not condone plagiarism in any way and, as such, the blogger responsible for yesterday’s post has been let go.

And finally, a personal thank you to those of you who spotted the similarities of the two posts and alerted us to that fact within an hour of publishing. This enabled me to remove the post from the site as quickly as we did. We are very fortunate to have the community of commenters we have on Mile High Report. - Tim Lynch

When I saw Pro Football Focus tweet out a tease for a story titled "The NFL’s Best Cornerbacks versus each route type in 2016", I knew the Denver Broncos No Fly Zone would be represented somewhere in there and I was not disappointed.

First up, Aqib Talib for Hitches and Comebacks. If you’ve watched Talib pick a pass off and return it for a touchdown, you know that he usually jumps this type of route to get that pick six. Here is what PFF said about Talib in their post:

Best CB defending hitches and comebacks in 2016 (min. nine targeted routes): Aqib Talib, Broncos

Talib led the league in QB rating against on hitches and comebacks, at 15.4. He was targeted on 16 such passes, allowing seven catches for 63 yards, only 9 of which came after the catch. Talib had the third-most interceptions, with two, behind only the Chargers’ Casey Hayward and the Bills’ Stephon Gilmore, who each had three. On top of his interceptions, Talib also had two passes broken up. Six of his 16 targeted coverage snaps came while in man coverage; he allowed three first downs, but no play went for more than 9 yards. Zone coverage allowed Talib to keep an eye on the QB, and he was able to jump two of the 10 routes he faced in zone for interceptions.

Then, of course, Chris Harris Jr. for Crossing Routes. You put Harris in the slot and there is no cornerback better than him at defending against the pass. Marcus Peters had a good year, but Harris does it every single year. PFF still gave him the honorable mention though:

Honorable mention: Chris Harris Jr., Broncos

Harris was second to only Marcus Peters in yards allowed per target, at 2.69 yards. He was targeted seventh-most frequently on crossing routes, but allowed the 101st-most yards out of 109 qualifiers. Targeted 13 times, Harris allowed seven completions for 35 yards and a QB rating against of 59.5. Seven of the targets Harris saw came out of the slot, and on six of them, he was in man coverage. On those plays, he gave up two completions for 9 total yards and broke up one pass. Harris played six targeted snaps on the outside, three times in zone coverages, and three in man. On the outside, Harris gave up four completions for 23 yards, none of which went for first downs.

I feel like these guys could have made the list multiple times, but the breakdown of each position and each player made sense.

Horse Tracks

Two New Veteran D-Linemen Enter Denver's Free Agent Radar - Denver - Scout
The Broncos are looking to sign a couple free agent defensive linemen and two new options recently emerged on the market.

Broncos' Brandon Marshall honored with inaugural Harvard social justice award -
Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall will be honored by the Harvard Graduate School of Education for his social justice work over the past year.

Paul Klee: No more rookie alibis for Paxton Lynch and Denver Broncos in Year 2 | Colorado Springs Gazette, News
DENVER - Should the Broncos' cafeteria serve only chili cheese fries as...

Will the Broncos get another year out of DeMarcus Ware? |
DENVER - What is DeMarcus Ware's future with the Denver Broncos in the coming season?  When the Broncos placed Ware on injured reserve for the final game, even though he wasn't terribly hurt, it was a sign that he had played his last game in Denver.

Top free-agent offensive tackles
Who will be the offensive tackles on the market during the 2017 NFL free-agency period? Andrew Mason gives you his overview. (AP Images)

Why Tony Romo would be a huge upgrade for either the Broncos or Texans - The Washington Post
Romo has been selected to the Pro Bowl four times and ranks fourth in NFL history for quarterback rating.

Bears have reportedly begun to actively search for a trade partner for Jay Cutler -
Cutler, who arrived in Chicago in 2009, has almost certainly played his last game for the Bears

Predicting every NFL team's expected free-agent spending, from lavish to penny-pincher | FOX Sports
Not every team that has money is willing to spend it.

The Latest: Video shows assistant Steelers' coach scuffle | FOX Sports
PITTSBURGH (AP) The Latest on the incident outside a bar that led Pittsburgh Steelers assistant coach Joey Porter to be fined for disorderly conduct (all times local):

Cleveland Browns Should Pursue Kevin Zeitler in Free Agency | FOX Sports
The Cleveland Browns have a chance to strengthen their line while weakening the rival Cincinnati Bengals. They would be foolish not to take it.Roughly 10 years ago, the Cleveland Browns made a bold move by inking standout guard Eric Steinbach to a seven-year, $49.5 million deal in free agency. The...

LeGarrette Blount one-ups Tom Brady, says 'I feel like I could play 100 more years' -
Blount is about to hit free agency, but the running back would love to stay in New England

Even with Drew Brees, Sean Payton admits Saints are always looking for quarterbacks -
Brees might be 38 years old but he's still among the NFL's best passers

Kirk Cousins reportedly won't sign new contract before franchise tag deadline -
The quarterback is letting it known that he'll be playing a game of chicken

Panthers release Mike Tolbert | ProFootballTalk
The Panthers have released veteran fullback Mike Tolbert. Tolbert, 31, was named to his third Pro Bowl last season. He spent the last five seasons with the Panthers.

Payton addresses speculation, expects Cooks back with Saints | ProFootballTalk
Saints Coach Sean Payton told Sirius XM Radio Tuesday that he "absolutely" expects wide receiver Brandin Cooks to be back with the team in 2017. "If you really want to cut down to the chase, he's a magnificent kid," Payton said, per the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "[He's] a worker.

DeSean Jackson -- Philadelphia Eagles return would be 'great story'
DeSean Jackson, just weeks away from free agency, said returning to the Eagles would make for a "great story," but if he were to leave the Redskins, he ultimately wants to play with a 'great' QB.

Martellus Bennett will test free-agent market -
Martellus Bennett will reach the free-agent market, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday. Is there still a chance Bennett will return to the Patriots after testing his market value?

Pittsburgh Steelers want James Harrison back for 2017 -
The Steelers and James Harrison are mutually interested in maintaining their current relationship. The ageless linebacker was one of the strengths of Pittsburgh's defense last season.

Police value Tom Brady's missing jersey at $500,000 -
The greatest caper of the post-Super Bowl LI era has involved Tom Brady's missing jersey. According to the Houston Police Dept., the lost threads are worth a cool half million dollars.

John Ross says he ran 4.30 laser-timed 40-yard dash -
One of the 2017 NFL Draft's top prospects at the wide receiver position, Washington's John Ross, said he ran a laser-timed 4.30 40-yard dash last week.

Marlin Briscoe | Oklahoma Drill