The Broncos and Jets open Week 11 tonight, and the rest of the country will get its first look at Tim Tebow as a starting NFL QB. What will they get? Three yards and a cloud of dust from both teams, with the defenses and punters as the stars of the show? Or will Sexy Rexy's defense dare Tebow to air it out and find a willing adversary? Some are suggesting that Rexy's D won't allow the Broncos to run the ball with any sort of success, while the extra-short week (the Jets played Sunday night) and travel across two time zones and up to altitude could help to level any talent deficit Denver may be facing. Let's see if the Stats That Don't Lie will offer any hints:
Tanier: Forget the platitudes, Tebow's going to fail
Can the Broncos win with almost no passing game? Is the option a viable NFL offense? Were we wrong to bury Tebow after his embarrassing effort against the Lions? Has Tebow’s running ability changed the way pro football will be played? The answers are no, no, absolutely not, and get serious…What their offense is doing, with the exception of the Raiders game, is scoring 17-18 points against awful opponents and getting blown out by good ones…Tim Tebow is truly a one-of-a-kind quarterback. He’s Benjamin Button. He is going in the wrong direction, not blazing a new path.
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Tonight's game should be fascinating if speculation about Denver seeing a Cover 0 from the Jets is true.
The thinking is that in order to stop the Broncos' running attack, Rex Ryan is going to go to the Cover 0 more often than not.
If that's the case, it won't be boring. Exciting football is dangerous football, in which the defense operates on the razor's edge of risk and reward.
The Cover Zero says, Throw at us, we dare you.
Let's take a quick peek at what it looks like:
Q&A with NFL Network's Mike Mayock
What I’m fascinated by is not the ability of Von Miller, because you could see that coming out of college, but I really like the creative ways they use him to get him in one-on-one situations…NFL defensive coordinators absolutely hate the option game. They don’t usually have to deal with it. They can’t stand it…Right now, I think Denver is the wild card (in the AFC West)...I think they’re playing with house money right now, and that’s always a dangerous position.
Three to Focus On: Jets @ Broncos, Week 11
When a team runs the ball 55 times and attempts just eight passes and still wins, it’s fair to wonder if teams are taking them very seriously despite their success…If the Broncos come away with a win here, it’s a safe bet that opposing defenses will absolutely be taking them seriously in the future… The Broncos have generated little pressure outside of Miller, but his play has ascended to another level the past two games and Miller’s teammates began feeding off his efforts last week. For the Broncos to upset the Jets, they could use another productive game in the pass rush department…The Jets’ secondary certainly has the skill and experience to handle Denver’s receivers, but no matter how good a defense is, it’s hard not to sell out against the run when you’re certain it’s coming every down.
Analysis Notebook: Week 10
Whatever you think about Tim Tebow as an NFL quarterback / media circus, you can’t deny it’s great to watch the Broncos break out a college offense for him to run against the Chiefs…This is a far cry from the complex reads NFL quarterbacks are expected to master and it is rarely used much at this level because it converts the quarterback into just another ball carrier, one open to all the full-force hits like any other runner. In short, you’re paying your quarterback far too much money to expose him to that kind of beating on a regular basis, but Tim Tebow is something of a different player, isn’t he?
Analyzing NFL running games through 10 weeks
As teams — and by extension, their opponents — become more prolific at passing, the opportunity cost of not passing increases…The Falcons and Broncos have been surprisingly difficult to run on in 2011. In Denver, rookie of the year candidate Von Miller has been an absolute monster not just at getting to the quarterback but at frustrating opposing running games.
Is Tebow a legitimate (triple) option?
Can Tebow succeed in the NFL running the option?...He is a big, tough runner who does not turn the ball over, can use the option’s leverage to exploit overly aggressive pass-rushing defenses, and can withstand the physical pounding that accompanies the life of any person brave enough to regularly run the ball in the NFL…Tebow’s productive career might not last much longer than Mark Stevens’ career.But the QuantCoach has seen enough in the last two weeks to predict that, using the leverage derived from his unconventional option, Tebow will deliver the 2011 AFC West title to Denver.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Greg Cosell was likely speculating when he suggested during his weekly podcast with Doug Farrar that Rex Ryan's Jets might keep nine men in the box and run Cover-0 with Darrelle Revis and OctoDad. Because as Ryan Wilson pointed out in a post yesterday, Sexy Rexy's book Coaching Football's 46 Defense has an entire chapter devoted to defending the option, and as part of the lead-in to the chapter, he writes:
As a DC, you should avoid rigging a "special" defensive plan versus the option. Every defensive scheme can be manipulated to meet the demands of stopping an explosive option attack. Generally, it is a bad idea and an unsound premise to structure a special defense for the option. With the 46 pressure defense, you don't need a special plan or a gimmick, you only need practice at the sound strategies available inside the package...The 46 allows you to plan various strategies to attack the option. These looks are accomplished through varying the individual responsibilities of your perimeter and second-level players...Just as the DE can be assigned different responsiblities, so can the free safety and linebacker.
I think you get the picture, but if not then sign into your Amazon account, click on Search inside this book, submit option and you'll find that Rexy devotes more than eight pages to the weakside option. Hopefully Mike McCoy or one of his assistants brushed up on this chapter, because frankly they'll need some creative wrinkles to outscheme a guy who literally wrote a book on defense. Either that, or they'll need to have superior personnel or out-execute the Jets defense, which is tied with Denver for eighth-best in terms of yards per rush allowed. Which one do you think the Broncos are counting on accomplishing?