The Daily Lard 12-3-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! I know some of you are probably exhausted by the Tebow/stats talk, but in the comments of yesterday's Lard, reader DavidinLA shared a link to a Mark Kriegel column about those very topics, and I think it's worthy of some discussion. If nothing else, I'd like to share my opinion of stats and writing about them in general.

My first reaction to Kriegel's column is that a red flag goes up for me anytime a sports columnist who rarely or never mention stats in their typical writing decides to suddenly cite them because they happen to support his/her viewpoint. In this case, Kriegel sought out some stats to prove his point, which is the worst mindset from which to turn to stats - when you set out to prove something via stats, you are going to have blinders on, and you're going to get someone to feed you some line of crap, because damnit you've got a deadline to meet and a premise to bolster.

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Why even call it Denver anymore?

NFL.com Is Still Calling The Broncos The "Denver Tebows"
deadspin.com

The “fast-charging Denver Tebows” are still “in the hunt” for a Wild Card spot, according to NFL.com. I’d prefer the Denver Not Kyle Ortons, but that’s just me.

Miller to be game-time decision; Peterson out for Vikes

Von Miller was a limited participant in practice Friday and will be a game-time decision for Sunday's matchup in Minnesota. Eddie Royal and Willis McGahee also practiced.

Update 2:19pm ET - Miller and Royal are listed as questionable for Sunday, while McGahee, Ryan Clady, Daniel Fells, and David Bruton are probable. In equally big news (if not bigger), Adrian Peterson is listed as out for Minnesota, Percy Harvin did not practice due to illness but is expected to play, as are LB E.J. Henderson, G Anthony Herrera and TE Kyle Rudolph, and CB Asher Allen is questionable.

Digesting the Vikings

Happy Friday, friends.  It’s time to Digest the Minnesota Vikings, who despite their 2-9 record have a bit of power behind their punches, and can knock you out if you don’t come correct.  They’re lining up to have a very high draft pick in 2012, and I think that they can have a pretty quick turnaround in 2012 assuming they pick wisely, and their young QB improves.  For now, though, let’s take a look at them in their current state.

Generally, I’d say that the Vikings profile kind of similarly to the Broncos in some important ways.  To wit:

a.  Both teams start young QBs who can look good one play and bad the next.

b.  Both teams struggle to protect the passer in the straight-up dropback passing game, but both can get the running game blocked a lot of the time.

c.  Both teams can rush the passer creditably from both edges, although the Vikings’ second-best guy (Brian Robison) is not really close to the Broncos’ (Elvis Dumervil) level.

d.  Both teams have a good set of DTs who stuff the run well, and both teams’ LB corps are better against the run than in coverage.

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Lombardi: Tebow is wearing opponents down in Denver

Eagles must change, beginning with Reid; Week 13 notes
www.nfl.com

One of the elements of Tim Tebow’s game that goes unnoticed is that when he plays at home in the Mile High City, the altitude affects the opponents after spending three quarters chasing Tebow around. John Elway would wear out his opponents with his ability to move around, and Tebow does the same. They have different styles but the results are the same—defenses get tired.

Mike Silver has accepted that Tim Tebow just wins

Talking Tebow, spiraling Eagles and big awards
sports.yahoo.com

If you’re wondering whether others have similarly skeptical beliefs about Tebow – yes, they do: Others being virtually every player, coach and talent evaluator I’ve spoken to over the past month-and-a-half. And you know what? None of that matters. The running game’s working, the defense is playing lights out and Tebow is winning. And opponents are starting to get affected, too, simultaneously playing scared and overextending, like a talented tennis player getting mentally undone by an opponent who’s just pushing the ball back and trying not to make mistakes. Never mind that Tebow, by all objective standards, is terrible at throwing the ball, or that his success makes no rational sense: I’m over it. I’ve accepted the fact that it just works, somehow, and it doesn’t seem like the madness will stop anytime soon.

I know what some of you are wondering, but I just can't answer that right now...

Schefter: Tebow makes history weekly

Tim Tebow is history in the making
espn.go.com

He is a phenomenon. Since taking over as the Broncos’ starting quarterback, he has given both his critics and his supporters the evidence they need. What’s undeniable is that in each game he has started and won, he has accomplished historic quarterback feats…Tebow is entertaining, captivating, polarizing. But nearly every week, he’s also history.

The Daily Lard 12-2-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! You may recall that the other day I applauded the "spirit of what (Kerry) Byrne and CHFF are trying to do" with their "Real QB Rating" before going on to criticize Byrne's interpretation of the numbers CHFF's new metric had spit out. Well, I guess I should have looked deeper into this Real QB Rating, because as Mike Tanier explains in great detail, it has extreme flaws. Relax, Tebowmaniacs - none of this is a criticism of Tim, but rather of CHFF's methods as they relate to Real QB Rating.

So, here's the problem with it: Real QB Rating relies upon the old-school QB Rating as a framework, and it overcredits completion percentage in a big way - and as my friend Ted Bartlett has written many times already, completion percentage is completely overrated (although I wouldn't go as far as to say it's worthless). As Tanier shows, a slight improvement in completion % without adding even a yard of production has a significant positive impact on a QB rating, and that's just not going to help us evaluate a quarterback.

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Open Thread - Thursday Week 13

Enjoy the game! Mike Tanier, Matt Bowen, Bill Simmons and Joe Fortenbaugh present their thoughts on the matchup.

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McClain keeps it Raider, faces charges in Alabama

Raiders' McClain arrested for firing gun, assault
www.csnbayarea.com

Lt. John Crouch of the Decatur Police Department told Comcast SportsNet that McClain has been charged and was held in custody after allegedly assaulting an individual, holding a gun to his head and firing a shot next to his ear.
“I can tell you that Rolando McClain is under arrest,” Crouch said. “He’s been charged with third degree assault, menacing, reckless endangerment and discharging a firearm in city limits.”

The bond is only $2,000, which indicates that these crimes are probably not that serious, but I suspect that NFL will be suspending Mr. McClain onces it gains the facts.  The Raiders sure are penalty-prone, even when they're in Alabama on Wednesday of a game week (and what's up with that)?

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