Film Room
Analysis beyond the numbers

Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

by Cian Fahey

Look kids, new writer! Today we're happy to announce that Cian Fahey is taking over our Film Room column. Unfortunately, Andy Benoit's new role with Peter King's MMQB site means he won't be able to write for us on the Internet anymore, although he will still be writing for the book. Even if he's not writing for FO, you should definitely make sure to still read his pieces over at MMQB, like today's piece about how the read-option may change as it becomes less of a novelty in the NFL.

When we found out we needed a new writer for Film Room, Cian was able to slide in at the last minute. He'll make sure you all still get your recommended weekly dose of scouting and play breakdowns to go with all those FO stats. He'll also be contributing each week to Audibles at the Line. Cian is from Ireland, so he extends our writing staff across the pond. You may know him from articles he writes for Bleacher Report and Football Guys, as well as a really great series of film studies on cornerbacks and pass rushers he did this offseason on his own site Pre-Snap Reads. Cian also adds another Steelers fan to our ensemble, joining J.J. Cooper, Scott Kacsmar, and Mike Kurtz. Next week, we'll be introducing Steely McBeam as our new mascot.

Peyton Manning eviscerated the Baltimore Ravens defense in Week 1 of the NFL season. Manning threw for a record seven touchdowns and wasn't intercepted, so it doesn't take much insight to say that he played well. However, his display went further than that. Manning didn't just throw for seven touchdown passes, he showed off the true value of elite quarterback play.

Elite quarterback play can't be overvalued in today's NFL. It's the reason why players such as Tony Romo, Matthew Stafford, and Joe Flacco have all received huge contract extensions in recent years. None of those quarterbacks would be considered top-tier, but the desperation of franchises to find good quarterbacks, let alone true difference-makers, has eradicated the idea of fair value.

To digress a bit, Manning's performance in Week 1 explains why there is a debate over whether Jadeveon Clowney should be the top pick in the 2014 NFL draft. Clowney is a freakishly athletic defensive end for South Carolina -- a once-in-a-generation type of player -- but some have argued that because he is not a quarterback, the consensus opinion that he should go with the No. 1 pick is wrong. How does this connect to Peyton Manning? Well, in Week 1, Manning played against an elite defensive end, plus another very gifted pass rusher. You saw what good that did.

Since Manning threw for seven touchdowns, one would think that his offensive line was outstanding or those excellent pass rushers had off days.

But former Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs and former Denver Broncos star Elvis Dumervil were outstanding against Manning in Denver last Thursday night. Neither had an off-day and neither faced an offensive lineman who was able to contain him. In fact, not only did left tackle Ryan Clady fail to contain Suggs, he struggled throughout the game at both pass protection and controlling the edge in the running game.

Clady and right tackle Orlando Franklin faced off against Dumervil and Suggs in pass protection a combined 71 times. On those snaps, they contained their assignments alone just seven times each. The Broncos anticipated those struggles with a game plan that would slow down the pass rush.

On the first seven snaps of the game, the Broncos ran play-action fakes three times and ran the ball between the tackles twice to give the edge rushers more to think about. This is a standard approach for teams looking to prevent the opposition from solely focusing on the quarterback with their explosive edge rushers. While the plan made sense, it didn't have any lasting effects.

On Manning's second pass attempt, his first without a play fake, pressure forced him to get rid of the ball quickly and use his outstanding throwing mechanics to avoid what could have been a costly turnover.

The Broncos motioned Knowshon Moreno into the backfield from his position out wide to give them seven blockers for Manning. Theoretically, that should have allowed them to comfortably deal with the Baltimore pass rush even if they rushed all six defenders who lined up in the box. The extra blocker would also allow them to double team at least one of Dumervil or Suggs.

The Ravens don't rush all six defenders in the box at snap; instead Josh Bynes and Daryl Smith hesitate before Bynes moves towards the quarterback and Smith drops out into coverage. While Smith drops out into coverage, he still stays close to the line of scrimmage long enough to occupy the Broncos' left guard and center. This means that Ryan Clady focuses on right defensive end Chris Canty, allowing Suggs to immediately attack tight end Julius Thomas. On the other side of the field, Bynes occupies Moreno to give both Dumervil and Suggs one-on-one matchups.

As soon as Suggs engages Thomas, the tight end is rapidly moving back into his quarterback. Thomas only needed to withstand Suggs' initial bull rush so that Clady could come back to double team the Ravens defender, but Suggs was too powerful. Dumervil works down the field against Franklin on the other side of the pocket. Franklin initially does well to cut him off from the quarterback, but Dumervil dips beneath him. That gives Dumervil an opportunity to attack Manning from his blind spot.

Suggs is much too quick for Clady to get back into a double team. Thomas has no chance of stopping him from getting to Manning, so even as Suggs loses his balance he is still falling into the lap of Manning. Suggs' presence prevents Manning from stepping into his throw, as the left side of the image above shows.

The right side of the same image shows how Dumervil was in position to make a play on the ball from behind Manning before he started his throwing motion. However, Manning's throwing motion is so tight that Dumervil has no chance of getting near the ball before he lets it go. The yellow line indicates how far Manning's arm drops, whereas the red line would be where it needed to be for Dumervil to have any chance of knocking it free.

This is the type of tight play that most quarterbacks are asked to make on occasion during games. Manning attempted 42 passes against the Ravens last week, and he used his quick release to avoid sacks on 17 of those attempts. Many of those plays looked like the one above, but that number also includes the plays where Manning's pre-snap reads allowed him to get rid of the ball before the defenders had a chance to penetrate the pocket. To go along with those plays, Manning also avoided three sure sacks with his pocket presence.

Manning was the primary reason that the Ravens only had three sacks against the Broncos. 11 times he was the reason Dumervil couldn't finish the play, while he was the reason Suggs couldn't finish the play an incredible 16 times.

In order to help their offensive tackles, the Broncos did make use of double teams often. Suggs was blocked by two players or chipped with a tight end or running back on eight plays, while Dumervil was double-teamed 10 times. On three plays, the Broncos doubled-teamed both Suggs and Dumervil, exposing their offensive line inside.

Haloti Ngata twice got to Manning on those plays, but the quarterback again foiled those plays with his quick release.

The first of those passes went to Thomas for a touchdown in the second quarter, while the other went to Ronnie Hillman for a first down.

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When the Ravens did sack Manning, it was because he was unable to make those instant reads and exceptionally quick throws. Suggs' sack came just before halftime, as he fought his way through Clady to take Manning down. Dumervil's sack came when he exploded through a double-team attempt to start the third quarter.

When Suggs was the Defensive Player of the Year in 2011, he had 14 sacks and seven forced fumbles. He completely dominated Clady, which bodes very well for his potential to return to that form, but it also highlights just how well Manning played.

Manning almost completely neutralized the edge rush from both Suggs and Dumervil without much help from his offensive line. The fact that Suggs and Dumervil could play so well and Manning still tossed seven touchdowns goes to show just how valuable elite quarterback play is.

Of course, the argument against that statement is that the Broncos' receiving options were too diverse and talented for the Ravens to compete in the secondary. It's true that those weapons played a huge role in deciding the game, but their impact on Manning's play is overstated. Throwing to Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, and an upstart Julius Thomas is always going to be an attractive situation for a quarterback. But Manning didn't have all those receivers to work with on every play.

Jimmy Smith, Corey Graham, James Ihedigbo, and Michael Huff were overmatched, but Lardarius Webb played like a shutdown cornerback. Despite the fact that it was his first game back after the second ACL tear of his career, Webb flashed the same aggressive style and versatility that had made him a special player previously.

Using the Pre-Snap Reads cornerback analysis criteria, which you will find listed at the top of this article, Webb played 22 snaps in man coverage and gave up just three routes. One of those routes was a five-yard "in" route against Decker on second-and-9 that came against off-coverage. The other two came against Welker, but one of those required a perfectly thrown pass from Manning against good coverage from Webb. That play was negated for a holding penalty.

Webb primarily played left cornerback early in the game, covering Decker 10 times and Demaryius Thomas three times. However, after halftime, the Ravens moved Webb on to Welker in the slot. Welker didn't catch a single pass except for the aforementioned 14-yard gain which was negated by penalty. For the whole game, the Broncos only gained six yards off of Webb in man coverage, and he had similar success in zone coverage.

On the play where Welker fell to the ground late in the game after Manning extended the play into the right flat, Webb aggressively played underneath expecting safety help. However, the route combinations dragged the safety away, meaning that Webb lost Welker long enough for him to win on the route. Welker also caught a touchdown at the goal line when Webb lined up over him, but that appeared to be the result of a blown assignment between Webb and Graham rather than a failed coverage.

Manning targeted Webb less than any other cornerback and had very little success when he did. The Ravens didn't anchor their coverage off of Webb, but Manning definitely understood where he was on the field and was reluctant to throw in his direction. That, combined with the pressure he was constantly dealing with from Suggs and Dumervil meant that Manning's performance, even though it was a record-setter, will still be underappreciated.

The value of Manning is never understated, but his work is sometimes underappreciated if enough attention isn't paid. His performance against Baltimore not only showed off his talents, it completely took the focus off excellent games from Suggs, Dumervil and Webb. Webb and Suggs, in particular, may not play a better game all season. But none of the national attention has focused on how well they played since little of what they did helped the Ravens compete with the Broncos.

That is why Joe Flacco got a huge contract. That is why Teddy Bridgewater or Marcus Mariota may go ahead of Jadeveon Clowney in the 2014 draft. That is why the quarterback position is the most powerful in the NFL.


59 comments, Last at 14 Nov 2013, 11:48am

3 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

The trouble is...How many qbs possess ALL of these different traits? While its true the value of a qb is higher than that of Jadaveon Clowney, comparing that qb to manning is really unfair. Brady is the only qb I've ever seen that has had this kind of pocket movement and presence. We're talking two players over the last 15 years.

Oh and this article was fantastic.

58 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

I think that is the point Cian is trying to make in the article; not all QBs have the ability of Peyton Manning (or Tom Brady) but when a team finds a QB that has 70% of the skill/talent of those truly elite QBs have then you pay them b/c there is no way you can justify letting the QB get away when the other options are replacement level QBs.

2 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

Fantastic debut piece. I was focusing on Webb during the game and commented multiple times on how well he was taking away his man. Manning, not only efficient in his motion and drops, is absolutely unbelievable in going through his reads and finds the open man far more than most. Great piece looking forward to more.

4 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

I love watching Manning play, and it should be recognized how elite (there's that word again, ugh) his skills are, but this piece also, once again, illustrates an aspect of today's game that I don't like. The notion that your two offensive tackles can go 14 for 142, and you'll still score 49 points with 7 td passes, indicates to me that it is just too easy for receivers to get open.

No, I'm not the target market, but I want to see passing made more difficult. Allow contact with receivers for 10 yards, or I'm not buying any NFL authorized memorabilia!

(Don't ask when was the last time I bought any).

6 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

I will join your rebellion by rebroadcasting games with only the implied oral consent of the NFL!

More seriously, this actually makes me wonder if Marino is in fact underrated. It's been a while, but I distinctly recall him consistently making the exact same kind of plays, and completing passes to worse receivers in much tighter coverage. Better than anyone else I've seen, Marino could whip the ball between the linebackers at 100 mph with barely a windup.

5 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens


I do agree in general that passing has become a lot easier now. And I do wish that the nfl started to crank down on it more.

Still, I don't think just anyone can hang 49 pts despite horrible tackle play. WE've seen the chargers get derailed by it, The bears get derailed by it, we've seen it affect how tony romo looks. Hell, I've even seen Rodgers get frustrated when his tackles are playing lousy(remember the seattle game?) Manning is the exception to that rule.

13 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

I'm a Colts fan, so I've seen pretty much every game of Manning's career. AFter seeing him play, the only way to really make him less effective is to consistently get pressure up the middle, preventing him from stepping up in the pocket. He handles pressure coming from the edges extremely well, so much so that it barely fazes him, but when pressure comes right up in his face, his throws aren't anywhere near as effective (like most QBs I guess). Teams that can consistently pressure him this way, are the ones that usually end up winning against him.
The playoff games against Pittsburgh in 2005, and San Diego in 2007, 2008 come to mind.

16 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

Not that I disagree, but to your last point about the playoffs, it was an edge pressure that killed him in those San Diego games. In 2007, Tony Ugoh was beat on 4th-and-goal by Shawne Merriman. In 2008, rookie tight end Gijon Robinson forgot the snap count and Tim Dobbins got the sack on a 3rd-and-2 that would have won the game for the Colts if they converted.

GIF of Robinson play -

11 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

Agreed. I would actually take it a step further and allow a 15 yard contact area on receivers. Plus, this would tie in nicely with the NFL's safety movement. A free running receiver is susceptible to more kill shots than a receiver who is being jammed and bumped all the way down the field.

Just for fun, this would be my ideal NFL passing environment:
6.8 Y/A
56 Comp %
7.5 Sack %
4.0 TD%
4.0 INT%

How about you?

15 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

The problem with this is...while passing offenses have gotten easier, the numbers are definitely showing that running the ball has definitely gotten harder. Thus, I suspect that if you were to curtail passing significantly, you wouldn't be increasing rush performance, just rush attempts. Btw, all attempts to look at why the passing game has gotten more effective center on a few items, namely - the short passing game has become much easier. In fact, someone tried to compare medium and deep passing to 10 years ago and found the numbers relatively unchanged. What had changed was passes to the slot receiver, slot tight end, running backs, and the screen game. Basically, teams went spread and threw short. Since short routes are the easiest and least risky, it gave passing offenses more return and less risk. If you want to make passing harder, make the rules favor stopping short routes.

18 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

Yards per attempt on the ground have increased significantly in the past several years, getting to an all time high in 2012. Running has definitely not gotten harder, else two of the 7 2000 yard seasons wouldn't have happened in the last 4 years (and 3 in the last 10).

Passing has benefited from a lot of rule changes, especially the rules that prevent zone defenders from knocking the ball loose by launching (which basically ended the Cover 2). Fixing the "problem" would require something drastic, like actually calling holding penalties.

Passing has also benefited from the general increase in the skills knowledge and experience of football players and the resulting ability of coordinators to manage more complex schemes. This is probably not a "problem" that can be solved.

19 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

If you look at FO's dvoa database, specifically at VOA which attempts to just record rushing performance independent of opponent adjustment as well as their normalizing for era and just look at raw voa, Offensive rush VOA has been in decline over time. In fact, over the last 6 years, it has been negative, including in 2012, when it was the 2nd lowest ever recorded within their database.

46 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

What then should we use? Running back YPA can be highly misleading as well. It tends to unfairly punish bad teams who fall behind while probably skewing things in the favor of good teams running out the clock late in games. Using DVOA is problematic because its already been era corrected and we're trying to get an idea of the gap across time. Thus, I went with VOA.

20 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

Here's my larger point. Ok, so offenses have gotten bigger, stronger faster. But in theory, the defensive players should also be benefitting from increased training regiments and film study. My biggest point was, the increase in numbers is coming from some innovation that was not in existence prior to the early days and its not as simple as saying better offensive players. For me, its the discovery of spread and the slot and interior production. Indeed, if you look at the growth in dyar across positions, the outside number 1 receivers have shown the lowest growth rate in dyar over time. The highest has been the running backs, tight ends, and number 3 receivers.

26 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

I do not want the game to go back to how it was in the Dead Ball era. While I wouldn't mind seeing the restrictions on contact beyond 5 yards loosened up a little bit, I think the game is mostly fine how it is. Rules will continue to be tweaked, of course, but I have little problem with this passing era of football. I think there may come a point where the NFL starts reversing some of their pass-friendly rules, but only by a little bit, nothing that would devalue the position of QB.

I also think there may be some truth to the fact that a lot of the offensive scheme innovations around today simply didn't exist back then. Part of that reason is the fact that so many NFL coordinators at the time didn't think they could work at the NFL level, but I wonder how well a spread offense, or even a read-option offense, would've worked in the 1980s if somebody had simply bothered to try it beyond a few "gimmick" plays. Hell even 5 years ago nobody thought it would work.

31 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

I don't either. I wasn't alive in the 70's, but I imagine it wasn't a very exciting brand of football. In fact, I have no issue at all with high passing yardage totals and lots of touchdowns. However, I'd like to see those rewards balanced out by increased risk, specifically more INT's and more sacks. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I think big defensive plays are the most exciting plays in football, and are certainly more enjoyable than a parade of no-risk screen passes with 20 yards of YAC.

But I agree that innovation has definitely contributed to increased passing efficiency, independent of any rule changes.

33 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

I'm not really sure if there's any way to change the game in that way without also significantly harming the passing game as a whole. Any rule changes that will allow for more interceptions, more sacks, and lower completion percentages will also mean an overall devaluing of the passing game in a way that would bring the attempts and the numbers way down. It's just not as easy to change the rules in favor of defensive players anymore, particularly with the way the NFL is emphasizing safety. I love big defensive plays as much as the next person, but the days of defensively-dominant football is a thing of the past. I'm not sure how much more room there is for the passing game to improve, but 4,000-yard passing season and 65% completion rates are going to remain the norm for the foreseeable future.

39 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

I think the one thing you need to remember is that although people have been *saying* "the NFL is turning into an all-offense league!" that really, points per game has only been increasing in the past 2-3 years, and in actuality, offensive touchdowns/game haven't even been increasing at all. The past few years have been 2.3, 2.3, 2.3, 2.2, 2.2, 2.2, 2.1 touchdowns/game. While this might seem like a steady increase, it's just the same level that you had in the late 1980s. 1983-1987 had 2.4, 2.3, 2.3, 2.2 2.4 touchdowns/game.

Let me stress this again - everyone's saying "OMG everyone scores 7 TDs a game now!", but the most touchdowns/game in the NFL actually occurred 30 years ago.

In fact the only reason why points per game are higher now than in the mid 1980s is because of field goal kickers. In fact, if you're going to be concerned about something changing in the game, field goal kicking should be it - field goal percentage has been rising steadily, with no sign of slowing down. (For instance: field goal percentage in 1983: 71.7%. 2012: 83.9%.)

So I think part of the reason why the NFL might not be that concerned about it is because I don't actually think there's strong evidence that it's not a passing fad. If passing really was so much more effective than running, why aren't teams scoring more?

41 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

Hey, I'd be in favor of narrowing the goal posts as well, along with all out of bound punts inside the 10 being brought out to the 10; stronger incentives for running an offensive play on 4th down, as opposed to kicking, would be a very good thing, in my view.

I really wasn't making the claim that scoring had increased, as much as I was commenting on how the formula for offensive success has changed. I'd be interested to look at how passing success outside the red zone has changed in the last 10 years, compared to passing success within the red zone has changed. It may be it is impossible to give stronger incentive to running, and offensive line play emphasis, without bringing back 1970s style deadball, but I'd like to explore it.

42 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

Points per game is only part of the equation. It seems like teams like the Patriots (the past few years) and wherever Peyton Manning is can just move the ball at will with short passes. This is actually shortening games because there are fewer incomplete passes to stop the clock and drives take more plays.

I would be really curious to see drives per game and plays per drive compared over the decades.

Edit: There is also potential that increased emphasis on passing creates more of a division between haves and have nots. So while the league average might be similar the teams with good QBs are further above the average, while the teams with bad QBs are further below the average.

45 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

As the uber stat nerd that I am, I attempted to do a very deep statistical decomposition of passing growth, using ANYA as my variable. I haven't completely cleaned up the model yet, but there's definitely been a trend growth in passing the ball over the entire period of the nfl. The trend growth has been more or less consistent over time. That said, the trend growth did experience some extreme shifts that have persisted over time. The first shift occurred in 1983, after which the trend growth continued until another big shift in 2004, and then another huge shift in 2008. As weird as it is to say, the passing landscape has dramatically changed even as short as 10 years ago.

I haven't actually tested these reasons, but I suspect the big shift in 2004 was the result of the chuck rule, but the 2008 shift, imo, is the result of teams going spread.

52 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

I'm assuming that all of the shifts you noticed were upward. If so, I would guess the following:

1983: Marino and Elway enter the NFL. They were pretty good, right?

2004: The NFL had to tell their referees that pass interference, illegal contact, and holding were still defensive penalties, following the Pats-Colts 2003/2004 AFC Championship Game.

2008: The other 31 teams had all offseason to look at the Patriots game film from 2007, and decided that they needed to be more aggressive in spreading the field and passing, because the best passing team in league history just went to the Super Bowl and finished their season 18-1.

53 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

The shifts were positive and bumped growth up significantly. The why becomes more difficult to answer. The reasons you gave could all be true, but they could all be just after the fact judgements. Truth is we won't know until we have some better data to really break down where the numbers are coming from.

48 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

Sure, teams seem like they can move the ball at will. But I think that's being compensated for by the fact that they have to go longer in order to actually score, due to a combination of kickoffs improving, and field goals becoming automatic.

So I'm not actually sure that it's true that the league could swing back to a more run/pass combination (and it also just might be true that any one of free agency, college football, etc. is forcing the move to a pass-oriented game), but it's definitely true that restricting passing would have to be compensated by other things that might not be desirable.

I'd love to see drives/game too. I think the telling story would be average line of scrimmage/drive, though. Like I said, if you remove the effect of field goals, offensive output is pretty steady over a long period, but passing is definitely increasing, so there's got to be something compensating it.

So while the league average might be similar the teams with good QBs are further above the average, while the teams with bad QBs are further below the average.

1983: 2.4 offensive touchdowns/game. The best team in the league (the Redskins) scored 59 touchdowns in 16 games. The worst team in the league (the Giants) scored 21.
2012: 2.3 offensive touchdowns/game. The best team in the league (the Patriots) scored 59 touchdowns in 16 games. The worst team in the league (the Chiefs) scored 17.

Pretty much exactly the same. You're right in that the distributions may have shifted a bit, but there are 4 more teams now, so you'd expect a little spreading in any case.

14 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens


Awesome write up, but I feel morally obligated to offer my services in designing your graphics for you. Let me know where I can e-mail you, or Aaron has my e-mail address if you'd prefer to e-mail me.

Looking forward to more of these!

22 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

To look at things with purple colored glasses, for giving up 49 points, the Ravens defense didn't play that bad. I thought their front 7 was relatively stout and put on good pressure. Manning just dissected the secondary. But I'd imagine regarding non-Manning QB's (Peyton, that is), the Ravens D will do fairly well.

23 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

This is a nice article but I do have a couple of issues with it. Manning's quick release avoided 17 sacks? I think that's hyperbole, especially without context. Would an average qb have been sacked 20 times? Clearly not. Quarterbacks are supposed to get rid of the ball under pressure and climb the ladder to evade the rush.

My other quibble is that I think you have overstated the extent to which Manning's receiver corps is overstated. Those guys nearly made Tebow look like an NFL passer and that was without Wesley Welker and a young tight end who looks a lot like Shannon Sharpe in those colours.

Still a promising debut for the young prospect from the Emerald Isle.

27 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

They certainly made him look better than he would've looked on the Jets, or the Patriots, or most teams.

Get on NFL Rewind and watch some of that film from the 2011 Broncos season. Their receivers bailed out Tebow a lot. They certainly wouldn't have won that playoff game against the Steelers without Demaryius Thomas. Without him and Decker, Tebow probably would've been a sub-40% passer. That offense was downright ugly. It's crazy to think there's still people out there that think Tebow has any chance to be an effective NFL quarterback.

29 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

"Many of those plays looked like the one above, but that number also includes the plays where Manning's pre-snap reads allowed him to get rid of the ball before the defenders had a chance to penetrate the pocket."

This part is important. The way the number was created was by assigning a primary reason for each failed pass rush. That means when Manning was throwing the ball before the edge rushers could even engage the offensive line(not screen passes though), that counted towards the 17. Therefore, it's not really avoiding 17 sacks in the way you are thinking.

49 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

I missed that 17 comment. What BS. In the pictures for the play where Manning supposedly saved the day with his mechanics, Dumervil is moving laterally along the 15 yard line. The two pictures show that he makes no progress toward the seventeen where Manning has set up even after the pass is away. He has been diverted behind the pocket, exactly as you are supposed to handle speed rushers. He's only a threat if Manning scrambles, or if Dumervil grows six foot arms. Mechanics had nothing to do with it.

Manning does have nice mechanics, although on this play he didn't step into his throw as he should, for good reason. If the other sixteen plays saving the day are like this one, the whole premise is screwed up.

Compare the quality of the analysis here to Word of Muth. It's like night and day.

40 mmqb

dont link to bad articles like the one on mmqb where they got the read-option all wrong. makes you look silly as well

54 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

When Manning had his record setting year for TDs, he lost one lineman to free agency before the season and 3 others to injury in mid-season. By the 2d half of the season, he was playing with an undrafted rookie and a rookie late round draft pick as 2 of his linemen. They were horrible. To truly appreciate how horrible his protection was sometimes, one has to go back and look at the film. Bad. Seriously bad.

When Manning hit Stokely on the record-setter against the Chargers, his left guard was bodily thrown aside to the ground. Manning threw as he ran backward to gain time. Earlier, a LB bullrushed one of his quards 10 yards straight back and past him to get the sack.

55 Re: Film Room: Peyton Carves up the Ravens

To be fair, that year he had three very strong receivers to help contribute to his magical season. Still, its made for an uncomfortable reality for the legion of non manning fans to accept that his o line is usually spotty at best. I remember thinking they were a very good zone stretch running team, but they were mediocre at pass blocking. Go back and rewatch the 2006 afc champ game and you'll see an o line that was downright awful most of the night.

57 one

Peyton Manning eviscerated the Baltimore Ravens defense in Week 1 of the NFL season. Manning threw for a record seven touchdowns and wasn't intercepted, so it doesn't take much insight to say that he played well. However, his display went further than that. Manning didn't just throw for seven touchdown passes, he showed off the true value of elite quarterback play.