Tag Archive | "Peyton Manning"

NFL quarterbacks shattering records


Throughout the history of the National Football League the quarterback position has been one of great importance and in the minds of many NFL fans and the media the quarterback is usually the one to blame when things go awry.

While the game has traditionally focused on an even balanced attack consisting of passing, running and strong defense, recent statistics suggest this trend has shifted.

The passing game has exploded. 

During the 2009 season a total of ten quarterbacks passed for over 4,000 yards.  Matt Schaub of the Houston Texans compiled the most at 4,770 yards and nearly propelled his team into the NFL playoffs for the first time had it not been for several missed kicking opportunities earlier in the season. 

Also included in that elite list was Brett Favre of the Minnesota Vikings.  Though Favre had struggled with his decision on retirement earlier in the year, he led the Vikings to within one game of a Super Bowl appearance – a large part of which hinged on his arm. 

Among the other starters that exceeded 4,000 yards in 2009 are both Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints and Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts.  Not surprisingly, the Saints and Colts collided in the Super Bowl with Brees’ performance earning him the Super Bowl MVP. 

Interestingly enough, the leading rusher for the Super Bowl Champion Saints last season was running back Pierre Thomas with a total of only 793 yards.  A year earlier the Pittsburgh Steelers became Super Bowl Champ with another leading rusher with less than 1,000 yards in Willie Parker with only 791. 

The trend of recent NFL drafts supports this change in style of offense on the field.  In the 2009 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions drafted Matthew Stafford No. 1 overall with their first pick of the draft.  Placing the bank on the arm of their new quarterback, the Lions signed Stafford to $78 million, $41.7 million of that guaranteed, an NFL record. 

Later in the same draft, the New York Jets moved up with a trade and selected Mark Sanchez No. 5 overall.  Sanchez later signed a deal worth $50 million.  As the largest contract the Jets had offered in the history of the organization, the deal included $28 million in guarantees.  Sanchez became only the fourth rookie quarterback in NFL history to win his first playoff game. 

In the 2010 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams passed up the opportunity to take college defensive star Ndamukong Suh in favor of selecting Sam Bradford.  Although Bradford has yet to agree to a deal it is expected that the Rams will offer a deal that will likely surpass the record received by Stafford a year earlier.

Although teams are more likely than ever to place a premium on a young quarterback during the draft, it doesn’t always work as expected.  In 2007, the Oakland Raiders selected JaMarcus Russell with the No. 1 overall pick of the draft after Russell had displayed a substantial amount of talent throughout his days at LSU and was highly coveted following the NFL Combine. 

After a long holdout, Russell and the Raiders agreed to a contract worth $61 million with $32 million guaranteed.  As a starter for the Raiders, Russell would finish a dismal 7-18 before being released in May 2010.     

What does this mean in terms of the growing popularity of the sport?  The NFL leads the way among all professional sports organizations in television ratings and will receive a combined total of $20.4 billion from FOX, CBS, NBC and ESPN.  The current terms of the deal are until 2011 for FOX, CBS and NBC with ESPN maintaining rights through 2013.  Between the four, the contract of ESPN is the most valuable at $8.8 billion.  For the first time ever, the 2010 Draft was aired in prime-time and reported a 30 percent hike in ratings.

In 2003, the league launched the NFL Network.  Many argue that the network is among the most successful of the networks devoted to the four major professional sports.  In 2010, the network began airing Canadian Football League games and will air the Grey Cup.  Some criticize that the league is airing CFL games in order to stir further interest in a full-time team in Canada. 

Despite whatever motive may exist, the league has shown an interest in international exposure evidenced by playing a regular season game annually in both Toronto and London.  Closer to home, the league often makes its presence felt in San Antonio. 

While the success of all four sports leagues is apparent, only the NFL could move forward in operations without a marketing department.  When such a successful product explodes on the field boosting television ratings to levels previously not imagined the surge in viewers and in the cash flow destined to come from networks can only be expected to inflate further. 

 As long as the pigskin is being tossed for a record number of yards the NFL can continue to expect the popularity to follow.  And in this economy, it is nice to have advertisers that are looking for you!

 Used with permission of the author.

Cade Caldwell is an Atlanta-based sportswriter and contributor to Sports Climax.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Manning Dissects Jets’ Defense Leading Colts to AFC Championship


INDIANAPOLIS – Colts quarterback Peyton Manning figured out a way to dissect the New York Jets defense and Peyton Manningoutplayed Jets rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez on Sunday, leading his Colts to a 30-17 comeback victory and earning a trip to Miami to play the New Orleans Saints in the Super Bowl.

Sanchez came out swinging, holding his own and taking an early lead in the game. After trailing 3-0 on an early Kelly Stover field goal, Sanchez hit a streaking Braylon Edwards with a perfect pass and the speedy wide receiver did the rest, sprinting 80 yards to the end zone and a 7-3 lead.

The Jets appeared eager to show the Colts that they could play with them and they did in the first half. Their #1 ranked defense came out with a vengeance, sacking Manning on consecutive plays in the first quarter and making the Colts earn every point in a closely played first half.

Sanchez connected with Dustin Keller on a 9-yard touchdown pass in the 2nd quarter to put the Jets up 14-6 then after the Jets defense forced a turnover they were able to turn it into 3 points when Jay Feely split the uprights for a 17-6 lead.

Manning and the Colts would prove they were unfazed by the Jets early success, quickly driving the field with Manning hooking up with rookie Austin Collie 3 times, the final one a 16-yard touchdown that cut the Jets lead to 17-13. It was the first TD allowed by the Jets stingy defense in the last 2:00 of the first half all season long.

When it was apparent that Darrelle Revis was containing one of Manning’s favorite target’s Reggie Wayne he had no problem finding 2nd year man Pierre Garcon and the rookie Collie for multiple completions and Jim Caldwell’s team went into locker room with regained momentum.

With the Jets’ secondary covering Dallas Clark and Reggie Wayne, Manning chose Garcon who was drafted in the 6th round of the 2008 draft with the 205th pick and Collie who they acquired in the 2009 draft with the 127th pick as his primary targets.

Manning threw a perfect strike to Garcon for a 4 yard TD and a 20-17 lead in the 3rd quarter and later found Dallas Clark for a 15 yard TD and a 27-17 lead. Those scores were part of 21 unanswered points by the Colts.

The Colts defense also came into play, swarming the Jets’ potent rushing attack and holding them to just 89 yards on 29 carries.

The Jets had averaged 170 yards per game on the ground this postseason. Sanchez’ stats for the game were a respectable 17-of-30, 257 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT with two different receivers finishing with more than 100 receiving yards.

Before it was over, Peyton Manning proved why he is one of the most elite quarterbacks to ever play the game going 26-39 for 377 yards and 3 TD’s and becoming the first player in league history to throw for at least 300 yards on 7 different occasions in the playoffs.

Garcon finished with 11 catches for 151 yards and a touchdown while manning connected with Collie 7 times for 123 yards and a score. It was Collie’s first 100-yard game as a pro.

Jets coach Rex Ryan summed it up during post-game. “With Peyton Manning, if you can’t disrupt his rhythm, he’s going to kill you,” said Ryan.

Finishing off the scoring Stover booted a 21-yard field goal for a 30-17 lead at 5:33 in the final quarter then the Colts defense shut down Sanchez and the Jets securing a trip to Miami on February 7th.

MORE ARTICLES by DREW BASTIAN:

Favre on Fire in 34-3 Win at Metrodome

Ravens Defense Smothers Brady and Blows Out Patriots

Copyright © 2010 – Sports Climax

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NFL Pro Bowl Teams


The NFL Pro Bowl selections are in. Brett Favre (11th Pro Bowl) was among eight Minnesota Vikings who made the peyton manning picsNFC Pro Bowl team, while Peyton Manning (10th Pro Bowl) was one of six Indianapolis Colts on the AFC squad.

One of the biggest surprises was the AFC North division champs Cincinnati Bengals (10-5) being snubbed in the voting.

Here is a complete list by team.

* Asterisk denotes starter

AFC Pro Bowl Selections

Balimore (5) * Ray Lewis, inside/middle linebacker
* Le’Ron McClain, fullback
* Haloti Ngata, interior lineman
* Ed Reed, free safety
Ray Rice, running back
Buffalo (1) Jairus Byrd, free safety
Cleveland (2) Joshua Cribbs, kick returner
Joe Thomas, tackle
Denver (5) Champ Bailey, cornerback
* Ryan Clady, tackle
* Brian Dawkins, strong safety
* Elvis Dumervil, outside linebacker
Brandon Marshall, wide receiver
Houston (4) Brian Cushing, outside linebacker
* Andre Johnson, wide receiver
DeMeco Ryans, inside/middle linebacker
Mario Williams, defensive end
Indianapolis (6) * Dallas Clark, tight end
* Dwight Freeney, defensive end
* Peyton Manning, quarterback
* Robert Mathis, defensive end
Jeff Saturday, center
* Reggie Wayne, wide receiver
Jacksonville (1) Maurice Jones-Drew, running back
Miami (1) * Jake Long, tackle
New England (4) Tom Brady, quarterback
* Logan Mankins, guard
Wes Welker, wide receiver
* Vince Wilfork, interior lineman
N.Y. Jets (3) * Alan Faneca, guard
* Nick Mangold, center
* Darrelle Revis, cornerback
Oakland (2) * Nnamdi Asomugha, cornerback
Shane Lechler, punter
Pittsburgh (2) Casey Hampton, interior lineman
* James Harrison, outside linebacker
San Diego (5) Kris Dielman, guard
Antonio Gates, tight end
Nate Kaeding, placekicker
Kassim Osgood, special teamer
Philip Rivers, quarterback
Tennessee (1) * Chris Johnson, running back

NFC Pro Bowl Selections

Arizona (4) * Darnell Dockett, interior lineman
* Larry Fitzgerald, wide receiver
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, cornerback
* Adrian Wilson, strong safety
Carolina (2) * Julius Peppers, defensive end
DeAngelo Williams, running back
Chicago (1) * Lance Briggs, outside linebacker
Dallas (6) Miles Austin, wide receiver
Leonard Davis, guard
* Andre Gurode, center
Jay Ratliff, interior lineman
* DeMarcus Ware, outside linebacker
Jason Witten, tight end
Green Bay (3) Nick Collins, free safety
Aaron Rodgers, quarterback
* Charles Woodson, cornerback
Minnesota (8) * Jared Allen, defensive end
Heath Farwell, special teamer
Brett Favre, quarterback
* Steve Hutchinson, guard
* Bryant McKinnie, tackle
* Adrian Peterson, running back
Sidney Rice, wide receiver
* Kevin Williams, interior lineman
New Orleans (5) * Drew Brees, quarterback
* Jahri Evans, guard
* Darren Sharper, free safety
Jonathan Stinchcomb, tackle
Jonathan Vilma, inside/middle linebacker
N.Y. Giants (1) Shaun O’Hara, center
Philadelphia (6) David Akers, placekicker
Trent Cole, defensive end
* DeSean Jackson, wide receiver/returner
* Jason Peters, tackle
* Asante Samuel, cornerback
* Leonard Weaver, fullback
San Francisco (3) * Vernon Davis, tight end
Andy Lee, punter
* Patrick Willis, inside/middle linebacker
St. Louis (1) Steven Jackson, running back
Washington (1) Brian Orakpo, outside linebacker

Copyright © 2009 – Sports Climax

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After 8 miles of receiving yards, Marvin Harrison leaving Colts


INDIANAPOLIS – After tallying up more than 8 miles of receiving yards wearing a Colts’ uniform, Marvin Harrison will not be returning (AP Photo/Chris Park)to the team he has called home since 1996.Indianapolis Colts’ owner Jim Irsay found himself in a tough spot while the organization attempted to work something out with the aging receiver.

After several attempts to restructure the contract, the two sides remained far apart so Harrison asked to be released and the Colts are honoring that request.

Harrison has been a staple in the Colts’ organization over the past 13 seasons with his best year coming in 2002 when he snagged 143 receptions for 1,722 yards. The 36-year-old wideout has seen his production decline over the past few seasons with 60 receptions last season and 20 in an injury-shortened 2007.

On ESPN, John Clayton reported that receivers in the No. 1spot earn in the vicinity of $9 million per year and Harrison was being relegated to the No. 3 spot that normally calls for $2.5 to $3 million.

Harrison played college ball at Syracuse and was the Colts’ first round draft pick in ’96. His career stats bellow Hall of Fame and include 1,102 catches for 8.28 miles (14,580 yd) and 128 touchdowns.

Peyton Manning who has passed for 259 miles (45,628 yards) as a Colt left a statement on his website saying “I know I would not be the quarterback I am today if it wasn’t for Marvin”.

Harrison must now find a home after a stressful off-season that included being investigated for a shooting that occurred outside a business he owns in Philadelphia. Charges were never filed in that case.

Copyright © 2009 – Sports Climax

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NFL Pro Bowl selections and surprises


Selections were announced for the NFL Pro Bowl game on Tuesday and here’s a quick run-down.

(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)The N.Y. Jets had the most selections with seven and QB Brett Favre who leads the league in interceptions is on that list.

There are 17 first time appearances for the AFC and 14 for the NFC.

Titans RB Chris Johnson is the only rookie selected.

Both Mannings will participate. QB Peyton is starting for the AFC while QB Eli is on the NFC squad.

The combined age of the NFC kickers is 86 years (see below).

Teams not represented are Detroit, Jacksonville, Cincinnati and St. Louis.

Players not selected included Cowboys QB Tony Romo and pot-stirrer WR T.O.

A few comeback players are also joining the NFC team.

Topping that list is 44-year-old John Carney who actually put on the pads early in the season to play “fill-in” for a few games while the Giants’ starting placekicker Lawrence Tynes was nursing an injury.

Carney responded by kicking 27 of 29 field goals and his only two misses were blocked. The kicker has remained in the position on a full-time basis and was rewarded by being selected to represent the NFC this year. Carney, the oldest player ever selected for the game, will be joined by teammate 42-year-old punter Jeff Feagles.

Arizona Cardinals QB Kurt Warner who joined the Cardinals to mentor young Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart finds himself in the limelight again after rebooting his career in the desert.

Warner, who has passed for 4,290 this season and led his team to a guaranteed home playoff game, will start for the NFC. He will have familiar targets as teammates, WR Anquan Boldin and WR Larry Fitzgerald both were voted in.

Copyright © 2008 – Sports Climax

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