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Tag:Reggie Wayne
Posted on: January 6, 2011 8:35 am
Edited on: January 7, 2011 11:14 am
 

Colts vs. Jets: 7-Point Playoff Wild Card Preview

Posted by Andy Benoit

CBSSports.com's patented and award-winning 7-point playoff preview gets you ready for each and every playoff game. And as an added bonus, check out our playoff podcast preview:



1. New York Jets (No. 6, AFC, 11-5) @ Indianapolis Colts (No. 3, AFC, 10-6)

Rex Ryan is getting yet another crack at a legendary quarterback who is 5-0 all-time against him (counting Ryan’s days as the Ravens defensive coordinator…and NOT counting the Week 16 Curtis Painter Game from last year). Ryan calls his matchup with Peyton Manning “personal” – almost like it’s a foot fetish issue or something. Or maybe by “personal” Ryan means that he takes the losses personal (yeah…probably that one). In that case, someone can inform Ryan that Manning isn’t making it personal – he tries to exploit the holes of every opposing coach’s system.

2. PLAYOFFS?! Watchability Ranking (On a scale of 5 'Jim Mora Faces')



AFC Championship rematch? Definitely worthy of primetime slot and 5/5 Jim Mora Faces. (And any game that follows an NFC West-related game is going to naturally look great by comparison.)

3. Key Matchup to Watch: Jets DB's Drew Coleman & Dwight Lowery vs. Colts Blair White & Jacob Tamme

The winner of this weakness-on-weakness matchup could very well determine the outcome of the game. About 10 seconds after they learned they were playing the Colts, the Jets announced that shutdown cornerback Darrelle Revis would shadow 111-catch wideout Reggie Wayne. In the past, Manning has had no problem going elsewhere with the ball when Wayne is bracketed by safety help or facing a superstar cover artist.

Manning’s No. 2 option Saturday is Pierre Garcon, though Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie poses a tough challenge. Cromartie does not have the physicality or technique to grind with the über-strong Garcon, but his lanky 6’2” frame and ball skills give him lethal playmaking prowess. Manning knows all about that playmaking prowess – he’s been picked off four times by the ex-Charger (three coming in an ’07 Sunday night contest).

And so we get to Manning’s third read: wideout Blair White or tight end Jacob Tamme (depending on the formation). Both are better options than you’d guess but, of course, worse options than their injured predecessors (Austin Collie and Dallas Clark). What makes White’s and Tamme’s wild card contributions significant is that the Jets ancillary pass defenders have struggled mightily at times this season. The 45-3 shellacking from the Patriots, for example, was a product of Tom Brady throwing repeatedly to whichever receiver New York’s backup corners lined up against. That said, White and Tamme are not as dynamic as Deion Branch and Aaron Hernandez.

As defensive backs go, Coleman and Lowery are both very good blitzers. Though he hasn’t done so nearly as often this season, perhaps Ryan will elect to gamble. Manning, however, is revered around the league for his ability to punish a blitz (he has mastered “the little things”). In all likelihood, the Jets are going to have to rely on their backup defenders winning their man-to-man matchups. Ironically (and fortunately), those matchups are against Indy’s backups.

4. Potentially Relevant Video

There is a certain video involving a certain member of the Jets coaching staff circulating around the internet these days, but at some we have to commit to having maturity and class. So, we’ll pass along something else. Because interceptions were a bit of a bugaboo for Indy’s quarterback this season, and because this game (like all playoff games….and all games in general) will probably come down to turnovers, we’re going with The Manning Face.



5. The Colts will win if ...

Their defense can hold an opponent to 80 yards rushing or less for a fourth straight game. In fact, keeping the Jets’ sixth-ranked rushing attack under 125 yards would probably do the trick.

6. The Jets will win if ...

They can maintain a simplistic, ball-control oriented gameplan for Mark Sanchez. Doing that involves playing for field position, keeping the score close by limiting the Colts’ possessions early and banking on at least one big play (think Brad Smith kick return, Santonio Holmes catch-and-run or a turnover that leads to immediate points).

7. Prediction: Colts 24, Jets 17
Posted on: January 3, 2011 9:39 pm
 

Headline: Hot Routes 1.3.11: final stats overview

Posted by Andy Benoit



Because nobody cares about the box scores in Week 17, we’ll use this opportunity to take a final look at some of the interesting individual player stats from the 2010 NFL season.
  • Brandon Lloyd wound up leading the league in receiving yards (1,448). Second in receiving was Roddy White (1,389) who, oddly enough, had 38 fewer receptions than Lloyd.
  • Chris Johnson finished with1,364 yards rushing, which ranked seventh in the NFL and left him 1,136 yards shy of his preseason goal.
  • Guess who finished sixth in the NFL in passer rating: Josh Freeman. The Bucs will be a very trendy pick in 2011 – you watch.
  • Tom Brady had 36 touchdowns and just four interceptions. The last time we saw a ratio this impressive was…well, Tom Brady. In 2007 he threw 50 touchdowns and just eight interceptions.
  • Danny Amendola finished ninth in the NFL in total receptions (85) but averaged just 8.1 yards per catch. The 8.1 yards was easily an all-time low for a wide receiver with at least 60 receptions.
  • DeSean Jackson had a 1,000 yard season despite only 47 receptions. He averaged 22.5 yards per catch (or nearly three Danny Amendola catches per catch).
  • Mike Wallace averaged 21.0 yards per catch and finished fifth in the entire NFL in receiving yards.
  • Devin Hester set an NFL record by averaging 17.1 yards per punt return.
  • DeMarcus Ware wound up leading the NFL in sacks (15.5). Did anyone even know that Ware was in contention for a sack title? His three sacks in the final game against Philly’s backups pushed him ahead of Tamba Hali (14.5 sacks).
  • Ed Reed played in only 10 games but still led the NFL with eight interceptions.
  • The interceptions leader list also tells us that two first-round rookie cornerbacks really lived up: New England’s Devin McCourty (seven picks) and Cleveland’s Joe Haden (six).
  • Miami’s Dan Carpenter, a Pro Bowler in ’08, tied Washington’s Graham Gano for the league-lead in missed field goals (11). Both won Special Teams Player of the Week awards at some point during the season, though.


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Posted on: December 10, 2010 12:10 am
 

Peyton politely reminds us not to overreact

Posted by Will Brinson

It would nearly have been possible over the last three weeks to forget that Peyton Manning is really, really good. I say nearly because if you turned on the television at any point, that idea was ruined because everyone was screaming about one of the worst stretches in Manning's career.

On Thursday, as he led Indianapolis to a 30-28 win, Peyton reminded everyone exactly who he is and what he does.

Lest you forget, some numbers: Manning's 315-yard game puts him in a tie with Dan Marino for the most 300-yard games in NFL history (63), he crossed the 4,000-yard marker (11th time in his career), and his two touchdown passes gave him 25-plus for the 13th straight season.

He should have had another, but Blair White's, ahem, defense in the middle of the third quarter on a third down would-have-been touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne gave the Titans a little bit of new life.

Asked afterwards what he said to the rookie following the play, Manning laughed it off.

"Like I said, y'all have so many cameras with this coverage and I realize you can't do anything without getting filmed," Manning said. "So I asked [NFL Network sideline reporter] Alex [Flanagan] what I said to Blair and she said she couldn't repeat it."

He was a lot more jovial after the game though, especially because a) Indy's back in the playoff race and b) we don't have to spend the next 10 days talking about the decline of Peyton (Manning claims he doesn't read/listen to stuff, but at some point Tom Moore told him to "keep his head up," so he knew things were bad).

"Hey, nobody likes losing three in a row," Manning said when asked if he was frustrated by the losing. "That's been kind of new to us, that's been kind of foreign territory to us, but it's part of football. "Somebody asked 'Are you in a slump?' and I guess maybe I was, but I'd been on kind of an eight-and-a-half-year hitting streak going into that. It kinda came out of nowhere, but I plan on getting out of it."

Indy's still got work to do, of course, but Thursday night's game -- coming off three straight losses on a short week, no less -- was an example of a different-looking Colts team than we'd gotten used to over the past few weeks.

I kind of thought we got back to being that three-dimensional offense again," Manning said afterwards. "Some first-down runs, some play-actions, some drop-back, we had a good mix and I thought that really got things going for us tonight."

Of course, it's easy to run when the Titans are begging you to do it -- Tennessee declined to put anyone in the box, and Javarris James (17 carries, 49 rushing yards) and Donald Brown (15 carries, 38 yards) were able to establish something resembling a mediocre running game, which is more than you can say for the Colts over the past few weeks.

And aside from White's blunder, the Colts did what they've been doing all season, which is get locked in once they find the red zone and convert drives into touchdowns.

"I just thought we had that good flow," Manning said. "We stayed out of the third and long for the most part. We've been getting in some third and longs, and those are hard to overcome.

"We've been really good in the red zone -- I think we are No. 1 in the red zone, we just haven't been getting down there much. As you can see, it's taken us long drives to get down there, but once we get down there, we get touchdowns."

There are still plenty of issues for Indianapolis to work out, especially on the defensive end. Allowing Kerry Collins to go 28/39 for 244 yards and three touchdowns (even if it some of it was in junk time) and giving up 100 yards to a previously stone-cold CJ2K is indicative of issues that could come into play during the next three weeks as the Colts try and walk down Jacksonville in the AFC South.

They're dealing with injuries too, but at least things are all good on the locker room/team chemistry front.

"If you had told me [White, Tamme, James, etc] were gonna be playing at the beginning of the season, I probably would have said that's not good for us," Manning said when asked who was to blame for the team's losing streak and his rash of picks. "But these guys are learning, and it's my job -- and our job -- to help them. So I think as a veteran, it doesn't do any good to blame anybody else and it's really not about who's fault it is. It's about how you handle it and how you fix it."

And that's the thing -- you can take away Joseph Addai, and you can take away Dallas Clark, and you can take away Bob Sanders (although he hasn't really been there since he signed his contract anyway), and you can take away Austin Collie, and as long as you don't take away Peyton Manning, the Colts are going to have a chance at winning week-in and week-out.

That doesn't make him the 2010 MVP (although you have to imagine he heard everyone crowing about Tom Brady's performance Monday and it boosting him to top dog status), but it does make him, well, Peyton Manning.

Which is something that a lot of people foolishly forgot for the last three weeks.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: December 9, 2010 2:52 pm
 

NFL Podcast Preview: Titans vs. Colts

Posted by Will Brinson

The Thursday night NFL matchup features the Titans vs. Colts and before the season, this puppy looked pretty sweet, since it features superstar power in Peyton Manning and Chris Johnson. Somewhere along the line, Peyton lost his arm strength and defenses figured him out (just kidding) and Johnson's team forgot he was on the roster (maybe not kidding).

Can Peyton bounce back and find someone other than Reggie Wayne for big yards? Will the Titans be motivated with the possibility of Jeff Fisher leaving? Should Fisher leave if Bud Adams refuses to cut Vince Young loose (random rant No. 2)? Just how handsome is Tom Brady (awkward, random rant No. 1)? Why isn't Brady a bigger star than Peyton? Can the Titans get CJ2K more involved? Will their defense even bother showing up on Thursday?

Andy and I answer all those questions (plus, much, much more) below -- just hit the play button below and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Posted on: November 1, 2010 11:00 pm
 

Wayne eclipses 10,000 yards

Posted by Andy Benoit

When all is said and done, it could very well be Reggie Wayne, and not Marvin Harrison, going down as the most prolific wide receiver in Colts history.

Against the Colts on Monday, Wayne became just the 34th player in NFL history to eclipse the 10,000-yard mark in career receiving yards. Heading into the game, Wayne needed five yards to reach the milestone.

Wayne is only 31. Assuming he has another four quality seasons left in him (and he should, given that he’s taken few hits and never been injured), he’ll make a run at Marvin Harrison’s 14,580 career receiving yards mark. Harrison currently ranks sixth all-time in that category.

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Posted on: October 7, 2010 1:30 pm
 

Week 5 Key Matchup: youngsters vs. Manning

Posted by Andy Benoit

The Kansas City Chiefs have only a few days remaining as the “NFL’s lone undefeated team”. Romeo Crennel’s much-improved defense, like many defenses, does not match up favorably with the Peyton Manning-led Colts offense.

To set the table, let’s acknowledge that Manning is very familiar with Kansas City’s 3-4 scheme. For years he faced it in big games when Crennel was the defensive coordinator in New England. Those Patriot defenses were savvy veteran units that relied heavily on presnap disguise. This Chiefs defense is a callow unit that tends to rely more on athleticism.

Part of the reason Manning baits so many players into presnap guessing games is because the Colts offense almost never refers to presnap movements and gyrations. Instead, everyone lines up and holds still. (Think about it….when was the last time you saw one of the Colts receivers go in motion?) This is to allow Manning to diagnose the defense. But a side effect is, there’s nothing for defenders to look at except Manning. P. Manning (US Presswire)

The Chiefs must avoid getting caught up in what No. 18 is doing. Those hand signals will not be figured out. The Colts are so guarded about their signals that they do not even reveal them to their own players until the 53-man roster is set. (This, by the way, made Blair White’s debut off the practice squad all the more impressive two weeks ago, as the undrafted rookie had to basically learn all of the signals overnight.)

Personnel-wise, the Colts have the ability to neutralize Kansas City’s best players. Cornerback Brandon Flowers is on a Pro Bowl track. However, he plays the left side, which means he will NOT be lining up against Reggie Wayne. Wayne, instead, will be covered by Brandon Carr. Carr has the strong frame needed to run with the thick 198-pound Wayne, but it’s a tall order for the third-year pro to defend the league’s most fundamentally sound receiver.

Derrick Johnson is one of the better pass defending inside linebackers in the NFL, which should make for an interesting showdown with Dallas Clark. Expect the Colts to split Clark out even more than usual in order to compel Kansas City’s safeties to tip their hand and get involved.

The difference-making piece to this puzzle is that the upgraded Chiefs pass-rush won’t be a factor this game. Kansas City’s best sack artist, Tamba Hali, is a high-energy, second-effort type player. Manning, who masterfully masks the limitations of his below average offensive line, simply gets rid of the ball too quickly.

Kansas City will need at least two turnovers and a big play on special teams to hang with the Colts this Sunday.

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Posted on: October 6, 2010 12:20 am
 

Another impressive passing record in Indy

Posted by Andy Benoit

Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne took advantage of the Jaguars’ major problems at the No. 2 cornerback spot Sunday (The Jags recently benched Derek Cox for Bengals castoff David Jones; Jones has been spotty in his man coverage technique). Wayne caught a career-high 15 passes for 196 yards. (The 10th-year veteran is now on pace for an 1,800-yard receiving season.)

The eruption left Wayne with 9,849 career receiving yards. Most of those yards have come from a Manning pass. In fact, on Sunday the duo moved into second place all-time for yards between a quarterback-receiver tandem. Here’s the amazing kicker: first place of all-time is Manning and Marvin Harrison (12,766 yards).

In his prime, Harrison was the most fundamentally sound wideout in the NFL. Somewhere during the two years preceding Harrison’s 2008 exit from football, Wayne assumed that title.

Wayne is only 31 and has never had a serious injury. In fact, thanks to the finesse nature of Indy’s offense, he hasn’t taken many hits. It’s likely that he has five good seasons still left. Manning has at least five good seasons left. It’s not a matter of whether the two set all the quarterback-receiver records – it’s a matter of whether they can make those records untouchable.

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Posted on: October 3, 2010 9:46 pm
 

A special win for the Jaguars

J. Scobee celebrated after kicking his 59-yard game winning field goal (AP). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

When Jacksonville PK Josh Scobee’s 59-yard field goal barely sailed over the cross-bar as time expired and into the Jaguars mascots arms, the jubilation could begin. Scobee yanked off his helmet and ran screaming around the field.

"I've never been that excited to hit a field goal in my life,” Scobee told reporters after the game, including Rapid Reporter Jim Nasella.

You can forgive his excitement. For a team that has faced much adversity this season – tepid fan support, a coach in Jack Del Rio whose backside was beginning to feel rather warm, a QB situation that is stomach-churning, a defense that hasn’t been impressive and a squad coming off the worst back-to-back beatings in club history – beating the Colts was a moment of pure joy.

Much of the credit must go to RB Maurice Jones-Drew (26 carries, 105 yards, one receiving TD and one rushing TD), but QB David Garrard had quite a game as well. He was 17 of 22 for 163 yards and two scores, and he led the Jaguars on a last-minute, 59-yard drive that set up Scobee for the game-ending heroics.

"Jacksonville did a good job of controlling the clock,'' Colts WR Reggie Wayne said. "Nothing you can do, the guy (Scobee) boomed it.’’

Plus, you can’t forget the offensive line, which kept Garrard upright and shut down the Colts fearsome pass rush of Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis.

More than anything, it was simply a special win for a team in desperate need of one.

“It was a great moment in that locker room,'' Del Rio said. "I said, 'Guys you want to savor this. You want to get together tomorrow and enjoy it.'”

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