Yesterday we again decried ESPN's attempts to paint their own Total QBR as a revolutionary passing metric. Another day, another gross instance of statistical malfeasance, this time delivered by CHFF's Kerry Byrne in a column for SI. It's pretty bad, quite frankly - virtually a page out of the playbook for how to misinterpret and overstate stats and their meaning.
The spirit of what Byrne and CHFF are trying to do (factor rushing into a QB rating) is excellent, and in full disclosure it's something I've also been working on since last year myself. Yet, the manner in which Byrne is presenting the data for Tebow's 2011 starts is completely self-serving and ignores some crucial context. Let's examine some of the more glaring fallacies of Byrne's column:
Under-the-radar coaches have teams rising (mostly) from obscurity
People said he couldn’t win with Tim Tebow as his quarterback; that all he was doing by playing the former Florida star was allowing Tebow to demonstrate why he can’t make it in the NFL. Yeah, sure, and 6-foot quarterbacks like Drew Brees can’t, either. It’s not just that Fox had the courage to make the move; it’s what he did with it. After the Broncos were shredded at home by Detroit, he decided he could keep losing with Tebow in a conventional offense or tailor his attack to suit his quarterback’s unique skills.
Whether Miller realized it or not, he did have a major impact on the missed attempt. It was his effort (by tackling Mike Tolbert in the backfield) that added 4 yards more onto Novak’s 53-yard kick…Miller’s play was called “single strong,” and it called for the rookie to blitz from the outside…Miller’s outlook on the play actually symbolizes his effort this season: He is simply going about his business with no desire to take the credit…Miller isn’t just one of the best rookies this year—he’s one of the best defensive players overall.
Race for Rookie of the Year: Miller by a Mile
In fact, there’s a legitimate case to be made that Miller, the all-around excellent player specializing in terrorizing quarterbacks, is the Defensive Player of the Year…He not only has the most QB knockdowns of any player (11 sacks and 18 hits), he also leads all 4-3 OLB’s with his +19.3 run defense grade. Throw in a positive grade in coverage, and I’m asking myself one question. If he’s this good already, how good will he be with a full offseason under his belt? Note to everyone voting for rookie of the year, if your ballot doesn’t read Von Miller (with some exclamation marks) then you have failed football.
Neighbors not happy about 'mini Las Vegas' at Mile High
Some neighbors living near Sports Authority Field at Mile High are concerned about a proposal to place three large bright logos on the side of the stadium. The Sports Authority logos are about 10 feet tall and 120 feet wide. People who live near the stadium say the logos will be too distracting and make their community look like a “mini Las Vegas.” On top of that, the logos will be lit up at all hours of the night.
The Broncos have signed CB Tony Carter and WR Greg Orton to their practice squad to replace Kyle McCarthy and Mike Mohamed, who were both promoted from the PS on Monday. Denver originally signed Carter as an undrafted rookie in 2009, while Orton was with the team during the 2011 preseason.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his YGS column yesterday, Ted addressed my own mentally masturbative claim from our CTF in which I suggested the Broncos would be "a legit team" with a league-average QB. I was not discounting Tebow's contributions to Denver's winning streak when I wrote that - we can't arbitrarily subtract his play from the past six weeks and say the Broncos would still be 5-1. It would be foolish and pointless to do so, actually - Tebow played a part in all five wins in varying degrees (IMO none more so than in San Diego). They didn't win in spite of Tim or his play. Obviously, Tim has a lot to do with how and why the Broncos have been so effective running the ball, and I have no problem accepting that they'd be far less devastating there (if even very good at all) with another QB.
My opinion was (and still is) that another QB (not necessarily Orton), given the quality of defense and special teams Tebow's been afforded these past six games, would do quite well, and that success would be sustainable (which is what I meant or should have written when I wrote legit). I don't think it's a far reach to say there are plenty of NFL QBs who would be scoring significantly more than the 16 points per game the Tebow-led offense has been accumulating. However you slice it, the abundance of one- and two-minute offensive possessions Denver's gotten in the past six weeks are pure defense killers.
Tebow, Broncos defying odds with close wins
If Tebow and Denver are going to use this nice run to become better, they can’t buy into the hype that it has created. The beauty of Tebow’s winning is that it gives him more chances to develop his passing skills, which he will need if the Broncos are going to transition to being a true contender. Otherwise, this is just a blip, an anomaly that will not hold up over the long-term.
Jacksonville gets a head start
Among the offensive assistants the Jags might consider are Rob Chudzinski of the Panthers, Jay Gruden of the Bengals and Brian Schottenheimer of the Jets. Some defensive considerations are Chuck Pagano of the Ravens, Dennis Allen of the Broncos, Mike Zimmer of the Bengals,Winston Moss of the Packers and Jerry Gray of the Titans.
The Professor needs to stick to teaching students at Bonita's Institute of Toupee Design. Hopefully, Allen's name doesn't get too common in these speculation pieces this year.
Happy Victory Tuesday, friends. Are you getting used to Victory Tuesdays, yet? I kind of like them, personally. Those of you who had your hearts set on a Top-5 pick may not, but football is funny. Players and coaches like to win, and they try really hard to make that happen, and sometimes they get it done, even if some find it to be strategically unpreferable. In this space, we’re always pro-#winning, so deal with it. Ready… BEGIN!!
1. Today, I want to share some thoughts about why the Broncos are winning, and why it has seemed like a tale of two seasons. There are a number of reasons for it, and it qualifies as a confluence of all of those reasons. I’m one guy with an opinion, but here’s my list:
a. It took a little while, but the team has taken very well to the new defensive scheme. The Broncos tried to use even-front players in a Fairbanks-Bullough 3-4 scheme for two seasons and didn’t have great results. This staff came in and installed an aggressive 4-3 that has a very simple and sound approach to gap control.