ENGLEWOOD, COLO. (AP) - Peyton Manning wasn’t the only free agent who had a spectacular Denver debut. So did the man who denied him a second Super Bowl trophy and is now trying to help him hoist another.
Tracy Porter earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors Wednesday for breaking up five passes, collecting eight solo tackles and returning an interception for a touchdown that sealed the Broncos' 31-19 win over Pittsburgh.
“I’ve spent a lot of years locking receivers up,” Porter said. “I just had to make the best of my opportunity.”
Porter’s five pass breakups marked the most by a Denver cornerback since Deltha O'Neal had six on Oct. 7, 2001, against Kansas City. And it was half the total he had all of last season, when Porter returned from microfracture surgery on his left knee to play in 14 games.
Porter nearly picked off Ben Roethlisberger twice before he stepped in front of Emmanuel Sanders and took the interception 43 yards for the touchdown with 1:58 left in the fourth quarter Sunday night.
“It always feels great when a defensive back gets his hands on the ball,” Porter said. “I didn’t securely catch it, but I made the play.”
“It’s a great feeling, because you try so hard on one side to shut down your side,” Bailey said. “It’s good to have a guy over there that can hold his own.”
“He was a good cover guy,” coach John Fox said. “He was available. We felt strong about trying to get him and fortunately it worked out.”
Now, it’s no longer a “pick on the other cornerback” approach when facing the Broncos as much as it’s a “pick your poison” proposition again.
“Both guys have been around and made a lot of plays,” safety Jim Leonhard said. “And I think for a lot of years, it was Champ and a couple young corners to where obviously they’re not going to test Champ. The defense where it is now, Tracy’s been around a long time. He’s made plays, he’s been to Super Bowls, he’s been in the playoffs, that experience, it means a lot to a corner. And I don’t think you’re just going to be able to say, ‘We’re going to avoid Champ,’ and go to the other side all day like maybe in certain years you were able to do that.”View Entire Story
By Elaine Donnelly
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