Fear. It’s a powerful drug. It’s also what a lot of fans having been spewing online when it comes to the Chiefs’ new AFC West nemesis, who has added his arsenal of arsenic to the mile high men in horse suits. Enter –> drawn out neighing sound.
So, what’s the prescription for this Manning festation?
The Chiefs. The Chiefs already are the cure.
However, to determine just how the Chiefs are the remedy, we must first understand the disease.
Before we get into that, I just have to say, I haven’t seen so many people who cared so much about where a white man landed since… John Glenn slipped in the bathtub.
Now, let me apologize right here, before I start getting hate mail, because I, in no way, was trying to disparage anyone who is part of a group, especially the space program.
While with the Indianapolis Colts, Peyton Manning played many of his games from in front, ahead on the scoreboard. The offense was a quick strike unit and scored a high percentage of times in their first and second drives of the game.
That created the kind of pressure that would drive an opponent out of their game plan and force them to go to a passing game almost exclusively, because they had to play catch-up ball.
None of this is new. We’ve known about this game plan and style of attack that Manning and the Colts have employed for years now. The problem for the Colts of course is that whenever Manning is not in the game, that plan ceases to work (see the Colts’ 2011 season record).
Much has been made of Romeo Crennel’s record against Peyton Manning because he’s probably the only defensive coordinator who has a winning record against him.
Instead of looking at just the win-loss record, it may be more productive to look at each game’s scoring totals by quarter.
Several things stand out about these numbers.
First of all, Romeo Crennel is 6-3 in these games versus Peyton Manning.
Secondly, in the first half of all of these games Crennel’s defense is able to hold Manning’s offense to a low point total except one in which Manning’s team scored 17 points. On average, Manning’s offenses have averaged 6.1 points in the first half against Crennel’s defenses, including the games Crennel’s teams lost.
6.1 ppg. You don’t get to be known as one of the all time greatest based on 6.1. Unless you’re on the other side of the field.
Peyton Manning is often referred to as a football genius. He’s a thinker who adapts well at the line of scrimmage. He first came into the league in 1998. Romeo Crennel came into the league in 1981 with the New York Giants. Romeo’s experience and football knowledge is what is ignored in this equation. He has consistently been able to outthink the thinker. If you can fully appreciate the gridiron “chess match” from the standpoint of experience… then favoring Manning is an insult to Romeo Crennel’s record and reputation.
A QB genius with 13 years of experience vs. a defensive master with 30 years of experience.
Romeo has had the upper hand against Peyton because….
How would you finish that sentence? You can draw your own conclusions.
I’m happier to have RAC in the Chiefs clubhouse than the brother Manning.
Another outstanding stat is Crennel’s 1st quarter stats against Manning. His defenses have held Manning’s offenses to three points or less in every game they played, except one, in the first 15 minutes of play.
Manning has averaged only 2.1 points per game in game against Crennel’s teams in the first quarter? Yep.
This keeps the game so close that the Colts defense can’t execute the skills they were built to explicate.
There’s a psychological component too. If you’re used to being the front runner, then when the game is close or you’re the one who’s behind, the psychological demands are unfamiliar to you and you have a tougher time adapting in those circumstances. In other words, the lack of familiarity is emotionally uncomfortable territory.
When the Colts offense was able to get ahead early in games, defensive players like Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney had a chance to pin their ears back and go after opposing QBs knowing full well that the other team has to pass because they’re too far behind to run the ball.
That’s the Manning disease.
In short: how did Crennel beat Manning all those times?
He Manning-ed the Manning.
It’s a whole team concept. Crennel’s team scores early and gets ahead and that takes away Manning’s running game, thereby forcing him to become one dimensional – - passing only. When that happens, Crennel’s team can pin their ears back and go after Manning.
Also, Manning can be rattled (see the “psychological component” above). To do that you have to get to him early and often, maintain a lead or keep the game close.
So, is there some extra magic potion the current Chiefs can drink to make themselves innocuous to the PM poison?
Besides having Romeo Crennel on their side, this offseason the Chiefs may have been stocking the clubhouse with more donkey antidepressants and Peyton panaceas.
Peyton Hillis (ph) will help by eating up yards on the ground, using precious clock and making first downs to keep the germy genius off the field.
Kevin Boss will help plow the road for JC and ph and give the QB another outlet to keep drives a-driving.
Stanford Routt is excellent at man coverage and the Chiefs were fortunate to sign him with the exit of Brandon Carr. Covering receivers closely, who Manning is attempting to throw to, is critical and the Chiefs have two very good, experienced, cover corners in Flowers and Routt. However, the Chiefs may need more.
Eric Winston will be an ultimate weapon in the fight against Manning-fectious diseases. Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller will be neutralized with Branden and Eric putting the kibosh on the Peyton plague.
I believe Peyton Manning, in part, choose Denver because of a big advantage he “perceived” to exist on the Broncos’ roster… Dumervil and Miller… and that they could serve as a makeshift Mathis and Freeney. Now, the Chiefs will be able to manning-handle them easily with Albert and Winston.
The Chiefs roster is already constructed to thwart a full blown Manning attack. Tamba Hali and Justin Houston will be doing high fives with Mr. M in the middle. With Eric Berry returning and with the Chief still strong at the corners, there’s going to be very little time to throw against the Chiefs defense. Oh, the blitzes ye shall blitz. With Jamaal Charles and Matt Cassel back at full strength, the Chiefs offense should retun to the top of the league in rushing and winning the time of possession will certainly cure what ails.
Although I believe that the current Chiefs roster is set to whip up on Peyton Manning, as is, I also think two out of their first three draft picks may likely be drafted with the idea of firmly offsetting that Bronco infirmity.
So, who, in this draft, specifically, could help to reduce the PM temperature?
Some say it’s a quarterback league but, it’s more like a quarterback plague… because of Manning. So, who better to draft than players who can cover receivers or get after the QB.
Here are some prospects the Chiefs could be drafting in April: early in the first round
DT/DE Fletcher Cox- AA’s own Lyle Graversen beat me too the punch but his post on Monday called Chiefs Dark Horse Draft Pick: Fletcher Cox lays out the real advantages to the Chiefs grabbing Cox in the first round. Cox, of course, is a pass rush specialist but he could begin to give the Chiefs DL a… NY (Giants) state of mind. He’s big. He’s strong. He’s fast and displays great inside and outside moves. He’s not particularly good against the run, yet but would give the Chiefs some immediate ammunition against all the QB gunslingers like Manning.
NT Dontari Poe- Poe may not be a great QB sacker (1 sack in 2011) but, he can stop the run most certainly and stopping the run can help make any opposing offense one dimensional. Also, see The Chiefs Top Draft Pick Has To Be About Manning by Nicholas Alan Clayton for a greater perspective about Dontari Poe.
Trading back to later in the first round:
OLB Whitney Mercilus- Mercy, mercy me. He may be better than Justin Houston. Right now. You just can’t have enough guys like that who can get after the QB. Mercilus had 16 sacks in 2011. That translates to 20 sacks per season in the NFL, in dawg years. He has some awesomely sweet moves and knows how to keep offensive tackles from locking him up. I rarely see offensive linemen latching onto him and keeping Mercilus from getting free. I once saw Mercilus give Ohio State OT Mike Adams an inside move, consequently beating two offensive linemen in the process, on his way to sacking the QB and forcing a fumble. [This may be another faux pas on my part but infrequently a player 'makes a move' and it reminds me of a Derrick Thomas move. That move was it.] Mercilus had nine forced fumbles, 22.5 tackles for a loss and 57 tackles. He’s only a junior but, with moves and numbers like that, why go back for a senior year?
SS Mark Barron- Barron is the best safety in this draft. It’s believed that the Patriots are sweet on him since he’s been taught in the ways of the Saban/Belichick Jedi system. Kinda makes sense. If Pioli could pick him up it would turn the Chiefs’ safety situation, which was a position of weakness last season, into a position of strength this year, especially with the return of Berry. Any improvement in the backfield is going to help against the mile high malady.
In the second round, with the 44th pick:
Dont’a Hightower- Hightower is more physical than Luke Kuechly but, may not be better at reading and dissecting plays. However, when Hightower reaches the QB he can, and does, put a load of hurt on him. Legally of course. We wouldn’t want anybody to get hurt.
CB/KR Jayron Hosley- Hosley is a Virginia Tech product, Brandon Flower’s alma mater. Hosley is quick and fast and a top-notch kick returner. He can out jump a gazelle and could play the nickel or out wide. Hosley plays with great energy and would make a wonderful addition to the Chiefs’ defensive backfield and return team. Some corners don’t play up to their level of speed. Hosley does, which is 4.38 in the 40. NEPatriotsDraft.com says Hosley is comparable to Asante Samuel. Me likey.
In the third round with the 75th pick:
FS Markelle Martin- Martin, out of Oklahoma State, is 6-1 and 207 and runs a 4.38 40 yard dash. Sporting News ranks Martin as the best coverage Safety in the draft this year. Martin’s speed is undeniable and he was the Player of the Game in the Alamo Bowl. He’d be great when teamed with Kendricks and Berry.
CB Trumaine Johnson- A tall corner at 6-2 and 207. He could help cover the multitude of tight ends flooding league rosters. On tape, the aspect of Johnson’s game that I like most is that he keeps his eye’s on the QB and is looking for the ball all the time. The aspect I like least is his recovery time but, I think that is a technique problem that good coaching could overcome. In interviews he is polite and friendly. A lady’s man. A Pioli guy.
The rest of the league may be drinking the Kool-Aid but, the Chiefs have the antidote and they know just where to stick the syringe.
Exit–> long drawn out painful neighing sound.