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 ProFootballFocus.com 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.