GET TO THE QUARTERBACK
Wrote extensively about this earlier in the week so no reason to repeat. Here is a passage from that short piece:
And pass rush, despite what people will have you believe, is not necessarily a quantifiable statistic. Sacks are great but pressuring a quarterback into a poorly timed throw can often be far better. Sustained pressure throughout a game is a recipe for success but intense pressure in the fourth quarter, with the game on the line, is a recipe for championships.
Pass rushers, much like quarterbacks, must raise their games in the pivotal moments.
The postseason is a collection of pivotal moments. The Super Bowl is a hundred of them.
MORE THAN ONE WAY TO PLAY QB POSITION
There is an inane phrase repeated, many times in Chicago, about a quarterback being a “guy that can win you the Super Bowl”. Let’s take a look at Peyton Manning’s 2015. He completed less than 60% of his passes in a league where you could complete 60% of your passes. His touchdown-interception ratio of 9-17 will be the worst such differential attached to a Super Bowl starting quarterback in history. He has the mobility of Stonehenge. And, let’s not forget, he seems completely unable to throw the ball outside the numbers or down the field. 2015’s version of Peyton Manning checks none of the boxes for a “guy that can win you the Super Bowl.”
Yet here he is. And the last two weeks he’s played the position in a complementary fashion. When your defense is great, you don’t turn the ball over. Just because teams are baiting you to throw the ball deep, doesn’t mean you have to embrace your own limitations and attempt to take the advantage. Manning is playing with the intelligence one might expect from one of the smartest quarterbacks that’s ever lived. In the age of the gaudy quarterback statistics, he’s playing the game like it’s 1966.
HOME FIELD STILL MASSIVE ADVANTAGE
Honest question. Would the Broncos have won either of their playoff games on the road? I don’t think so. When you build a team with defense as the strength, playing postseason games in your building is a remarkable advantage.