10 Things We Learned: Thrilling Week 14 Edition
If Denver makes the playoffs, it will probably be as the No. 4 seed. New England will probably be No. 1 or No. 2, with Baltimore or Pittsburgh the other home-field team and the other at No. 5. So, the road reads like this: host BAL/PIT, at BAL/PIT/NE, at BAL/PIT/NE, then vs. Green Bay in the Super Bowl. All four teams will be at least 12-4, and the Packers will probably be unbeaten. All four teams have Super Bowl history, experience aplenty, great coaches, great players. And then there are the Broncos, owners of the worst defense in the NFL a year ago by any measure, a team that started the season with Kyle Orton at QB and were the only sure non-winner in the AFC West, a team that was 1-4 and thinking about the Suck For Luck sweepstakes just two months ago.
But, you know something's bound to happen, don't you? Even I do...
Good Morning, Broncos fans! What's there to say anymore? Well, aside from the fact that Denver is now alone in first place after yet another needle-in-a-haystack win? The Broncos beat the Bears 13-10 in overtime thanks largely in part to the powerful right leg of Matt Prater and the apparent desire of Marion Barber to toss the game. First, Barber inexplicably ran out of bounds as the Bears were trying to run out the clock on Denver, instead giving Tim Tebow & Co. an extra 30 or 40 seconds with which to work with (rather than the 56 seconds they ended up getting) before they tied the game on a 59-yard blast from Prater.
Then, while running for what looked to be the game-winning TD in the extra session, Barber incredibly coughed up the ball on the Denver 33-yard line, and Chicago wouldn't get the ball back. Instead, Prater ended the game with a 51-yard no-doubter, and the Broncos are now 8-5 and a full game ahead of the Raiders, who got blasted 46-16 in Green Bay as expected.
As for the rest of the game, it was Week 7 in Miami all over again, again. 55 minutes of pure, unadulterated offensive suckitude. Only the most devoted of Tim's devoted fans saw an NFL quarterback wearing #15 for the first 92% of the game, but at this point what does it matter? Denver is now 7-1 since Tebow made his 2011 starting debut in identical fashion against the Dolphins, and they're likely headed to an AFC West division title and a home playoff game unless they slip up in Buffalo or at home against Kansas City in Week 17. Incredible, truly.
Words can't describe what just happened.
I have nothing of use to write tonight as I sit here in stunned silence.
How else can one describe this game? I've seen an elephant fly.
I am as emotionally drained and exhausted as I've ever been after a Broncos game.
That was one of the greatest wins in the organization's history.
If you don't believe this team can make it to the Super Bowl after tonight, then you will never believe in anything.
Some Coloradan soul has gone to the trouble of creating a limited run of 1,000 of these bad boys so get them while they’re hot (Five for $15). Once they’re gone, they’re gone! Unless…no that’s not for a few more months still.
I'm holding out for a Tebow tree topper...
Broncos may avoid 1st-round QB
If Tim Tebow continues to show improvement and leads the Broncos to the playoffs, the franchise is likely to commit to him as its starting quarterback in 2012 and not automatically use a first-round draft pick on another quarterback, according to team sources. Any commitment to Tebow as a starter does not mean the Broncos will ignore the quarterback position in the offseason because Denver only has Tebow and rookie Adam Weber under contract beyond this season. If Denver commits to Tebow as a starter, the Broncos will “draft the best player available” regardless of position, a source said, whereas the organization and executive vice president of football operations John Elway had expected to use a first-round pick on a quarterback in April’s draft.
Enjoy the games everyone, and Go Broncos! Inactive for Denver are WR Eddie Royal, FB Quinn Johnson, LB Mike Mohamed, G Manny Ramirez, T Tony Hills, TE Julius Thomas, and DE Derrick Harvey, while Chicago will be without QB Jay Cutler, QB Nathan Enderle, RB Matt Forte, S Major Wright, G Ricky Henry, TE Andre Smith, and DT Anthony Adams.
This means Von Miller, Willis McGahee and Ryan Clady should all play despite their respective injuries. Julius Thomas continues to be in street clothes despite glowing reports during training camp.
Although the Broncos are favored today, the ratings say there's a 51% chance they lose.
What does Jeff Sagarin know that we don't? Nothing really, it's a glitch in his model that hasn't accounted for both Jay Cutler and Matt Forte going down in recent weeks. It's the same glitch that took weeks for the Colts to work their crappiness through the statistical system.
So look for a Broncos win.
Enjoy the games, everyone!
Good Morning, Broncos fans! As another slate of NFL games chock-full of bone-jarring tackles approaches, another sobering article is here to remind us of the long-term consequences facing the players whom we'll soon be imploring to lay down a harder hit, or to get an extra yard or two for the benefit of our fantasy teams. Peter King and SI spoke with 39 of the 48 players (46 are living) from the Week 1 roster of the 1986 Bengals, and they of course found a wide range of maladies, from the aches and pains inherent of any physical sport or labor to the precursors of dementia and worse.
How these ex-players (gladiators?) look back upon their careers is similarly expansive, from CB Ray Horton's I'd do it again in a minute, to S David Fulcher's it wasn't worth it whatsoever, to TE Eric Kattus not wanting his own sons to take up the sport at all. If I have a son someday, I doubt I'd encourage him to play the game. Yet here we are...
LOVIE: WE KNOW WHAT'S AT STAKE
This will be difficult. Whether because of altitude or whatever, the Broncos have the NFL’s best record at home (218-84) since 1975. They already have lost to Oakland, San Diego and Detroit at home this year.
The Broncos do indeed have the best home record since 1975. Wait, 1975?
Often in our quest to build a gigantic sample size, we end up creating a worse problem--we ignore the obvious, like new stadium construction, regime and player changes, and you know, recent five and ten year trends, which would match current rosters.
But it's one hell of a statistic. Even the wine-and-cheese crowd that currently inhabits SAF can get behind it.
Griffin wins first Heisman Trophy for Baylor
Griffin received 405 first-place votes and 1,687 points. Luck received 247 first-place votes and 1,407 points to become the fourth player to be Heisman runner-up in consecutive seasons and first since Arkansas running back Darren McFadden in 2006 and `07. Alabama running back Trent Richardson was third with 138 first-place votes and 978 points. Wisconsin running back Montee Ball (348 points) was fourth and the other finalist, Louisiana State cornerback Tyrann Mathieu (327) was fifth. Griffin’s highlights were spectacular—his signature moment coming on a long, cross-field touchdown pass with 8 seconds left to beat Oklahoma—and he put up dizzying numbers, completing 72 percent of his passes for 3,998 yards with 36 touchdown passes and a nation-leading 192.3 efficiency rating.
Got myself a little man crush on RG3, I'll admit it. So although this has nothing to do with the Broncos (or does it?), it gave me the chance to express myself emotionally and work in a random Star Wars reference at the same time. Here is the dizzying play in case you missed it: