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Published on 03/18/2013 at Mon Mar 18 04:44.
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Denver Broncos safety Rahim Moore (R) throws Buffalo Bills wide receiver Donald Jones to the ground after an incomplete pass to Jones during their pre-season NFL football game in Denver August 20, 2011. Moore was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct on the play.  (REUTERS/Rick Wilking)

Denver Broncos safety Rahim Moore showed marked improvement from 2011 to 2012 (REUTERS/Rick Wilking)

At any gathering where there are at least two fans of the Denver Broncos communicating with each other, there will indubitably be a point in the discussion when the topic turns to Denver’s need for a free agent safety.

Aside from a play that really wasn’t his fault, Rahim Moore was one of the best safeties in the entire NFL last season.

Don’t lynch me just yet, there is proof, this isn’t just opinion.

I will pull the proof via the analysis that the great people at have provided over the course of the last few months. Illuminating first that PFF included Moore in their, ‘2012 PFF All Sophomore Team‘. It would be fair of you to point out that there simply aren’t that many safeties from the Class of 2012 who are seeing a significant amount of time.

However, they backed that opinion up by also placing Moore in their, ‘All AFC West Team‘. In fact, the only member of the Broncos secondary who didn’t make the list was Mike Adams, but more on him in a bit.

Moore allowed just ten first downs or touchdowns in his 609 snaps, that is 1.64% (ninth least overall in the NFL for a safety). That is in man coverage and zone coverage, great for a safety and phenomenal for a cornerback. Compare that to the best cornerback, Chris Culliver (493 snaps, 17 first downs/touchdowns allowed (3.45%)), Champ Bailey (586 snaps, 25 first downs/touchdowns allowed (4.27%), sixth overall) and Chris Harris, Jr. (493 snaps, 25 first downs/touchdowns allowed (5.07%) seventeenth best in the NFL).

It should also be noted that the Bailey/Harris tag-team are the best overall duo when it came to one of the site’s other statistics that they use to measure cornerbacks — Yards Per Coverage Snap, with Bailey at fourth best in the NFL and Harris at ninth overall.

Now, with Moore in the top ten in the NFL for safeties statistically, where did Adams finish? He was in the bottom ten (528 snaps, 29 first downs/touchdowns allowed, (5.49%), eighth from the absolute worst in the NFL). Keep in mind that Adams played a lot of man-to-man in Denver’s nickle defense.

It was hard not to notice Moore’s improvement from his rookie season to 2012, it is unfortunate that he will be remembered for a play that knocked Denver out of the playoffs (despite our exhaustive breakdown of what led to that touchdown happening).

John Elway stated in an interview with Denver’s 104.3 The Fan that the team was looking forward to the return of Quinton Carter (who spent most of 2012 on injured reserve and whom Moore surpassed in training camp to become the starter). Although Carter’s return has been put on indefinite hold. It may be that Denver picks up a free agent safety this off season, but it certainly won’t be to replace Rahim Moore.

  • Carlo Scuri

    there’s no doubt that overall Rahim had a great season, his dramatic improvement as a player is clear. That said, the play that put us out of the playoff is his fault. It has been a terrible play by Rahim and this needs to be said too.

  • Pete Baron

    I forgave him a few weeks after that loss. Some of my lesser worries about this coming up year lay on Moore’s shoulders. I have much larger worries with other players that struggled in that game.

  • TheTroglodyte

    Cool stats!

  • jdkchem

    If Moore is the biggest of the Bronco’s worries than you should be making space at Dove Valley for the Lombardi trophy

  • TD30ismvp

    As long as he changes his nickname from “The Dream” to “The Whiff” I will forgive him. Unless he was doing the whole calling a bald guy “curly” or a big guy “slim” thing…then it’s ok.

  • Geoff Bangs

    I don’t argue that Moore is a fantastic young safety. He progressed tremendously this season and yes Mike Adams is the one who needs to be upgraded but forgive him? Not yet, not even close. Same way I havent forgiven Manning for trying to roll out and be a hero on 2nd & 6. The same way I dont forgive Fox for expecting Hester to pick up a first down. They’ll be forgiven when they win us a playoff game like they owe us and themselves.

  • Pete Baron

    Or forgiving Champ for giving up 14 points (you know, twice as many pts as Moore gave up)?

  • Draper

    Very well said.

  • Doom92

    Ahhh nothing to forgive… it was one play and while that one single play could have advanced us I don’t think that one play EVER wins or looses a ball game. I know fans look at it differently and I did to, at the time. But truly one play doesn’t win or loose a game.

    Plus he stepped up after big time… didn’t see anyone else doing that. I never heard Champ say “if I had not sucked on those two plays we’d have won”… But its just as true ;-).

  • RichmondBronco24

    The play wasn’t even entirely his fault. I have actually been very pleased with Rahim’s improvement this season. He is a solid safety and everyone will end up forgetting about this by next year. Even if I did almost throw up in my mouth when the play first happened!

  • disqus_CzsFHKMe9N

    Wont and cant do it

  • Cheyenne Kid

    He will learn big time from that play. And he had a great year otherwise, so yes we have other areas of the team that need addressed either through the remainder of Free Agency and the draft. He will be chomping at the bit to keep improving!

  • Gary_in_SD

    He’s a very good player, but does need to be called out for a huge mistake. It will only make him better if he’s never allowed to forget it. If he makes that play, then you have to believe that the Broncos would have been champs.