PFF Preview: Colts @ Broncos, Week 1
The first Sunday night football game of the season has the 2013 AFC South Champion Indianapolis Colts taking on the reigning AFC Champion Broncos in Denver.
Peyton Manning looks to continue his legacy of dominance coming off the 2013 regular season with the highest overall QB grade in the league of +47.0, and only being sacked a meager 18 times. He also posted a 99.68 PFF QB Rating which was tops among QBs with at least 400 drop-backs and the Indianapolis defense will have a tall task of stopping the ex-Colt without their best pass rusher.
The suspended Robert Mathis was second in our 3-4 OLB overall grades in 2013, and posted the seventh-best Pass Rushing Productivity mark (factors in sacks, hits, and hurries) among 3-4 OLBs who rushed the passer on at least 300 snaps. However, the Colts will return re-signed CB Vontae Davis who finished fouth among CBs in overall rating.
Here are three more notable numbers for each side:
Andrew Luck – The third-year man showed great decision making in 2013 with his arm and his legs: he threw nine interceptions which tied for fourth-fewest among quarterbacks with at least 300 drop-backs while also posting a run rating of +9.4, ranked third out of all QBs.
Dwayne Allen – The Colts missed him last year after tearing his ACL, he was rated the second best overall tight end in 2012 behind only Rob Gronkowski.
Arthur Jones – Signed in free agency, the new starter graded out positively against the run and while rushing the passer in Baltimore last season, finishing as the 12th overall 3-4 defensive end in the league.
Ryan Clady – Only started two games last year. In 2012, he was rated the fourth-best left tackle in the league and notched a Pass Blocking Efficiency mark of 97.2, which was also good for fourth among all tackles.
Emmanuel Sanders – Comes over from Pittsburgh after posting an 80.8 WR Rating (passer rating on balls his way) in 2013, and figures to have an even larger role with Wes Welker possibly missing time.
TJ Ward – Will be a major upgrade over last year’s starting safety Duke Ihenacho. Ward has started 38 games the last three seasons and has improved every year. In that span, his lowest overall ranking among safeties was 14th in 2011, while his highest was the fourth he earned last season.
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