Tracking Tebow, Week 15: Learning experiences
Unlike the Lions game in Week 8 (the last time the Broncos lost, by the way), where Tebow looked thoroughly confused (and, incidentally, a week before the Broncos went all in on read-option football), the second-year quarterback continues to get better.
But there are also signs that opposing defenses are beginning to get a bead on the offense that made Tebow a Heisman trophy winner in college. The question now, with two games left in the regular season and the Broncos trying to old onto the AFC West lead: Can Tebow’s mastery of option football be enough to overcome its potential flaws? It’s one thing for an opponent to know how to stop Tebow, it’s something else entirely to actually pull it off.
The IAOFM staff discuss the Denver Broncos' 41-23 Week 15 loss to the New England Patriots
Ted: Happy Weird Football Sunday, gents
Doug: Hey, the band's back together! Good to see you Doc
Ted: Howdy Em
Doc: Hey, Ted, Doug. Great to be back! And, Weird is right!
Ted: The Packers insisted on attacking KC's strength all day, rather than hitting their weakness. They might have gotten away with it, if not for bad drops and penalties. Plus, the Packers defense was bad all day. Except for the red zone
Doug: Maybe they just believe in Kyle Orton
Ted: Could be. I'd damn sure believe in him more than Tyler Palko
Re-Focused: Patriots @ Broncos, Week 15
Coverage was certainly an issue, but the tackling was even worse. The secondary missed seven tackles as a unit, led by CB Champ Bailey (-1.8) who missed three. For the game, the Patriots picked up 203 of their 320 passing yards after the catch, all due to the poor tackling or defenders being out of position…Like Vick, Tebow tends to hold the ball for quite a while as he waits for plays to develop downfield and on a few plays, Tebow scrambled wildly with nowhere to go as the Patriots did a decent job of keeping him bottled up. There were still a number of plays where Clady got beaten right off the snap by Anderson and Moore so it was not a good day, as Tebow was pressured on 19 of his 32 dropbacks…Like most analysts, I haven’t been impressed with Tebow’s throwing of the football, but he appears to be improving every week and as long as teams have to respect him as a runner, he will have some open windows in which to throw.
Fan Gets Bill Belichick Tattoo After Losing Bet (Video)
Broncos fan Brady Wagner was so sure his team would beat the Patriots Sunday, he wagered a tattoo with a childhood friend. If Denver won, Wagner’s friend would have to get a Tim Tebow tattoo. If the Patriots won, Wagner agreed to get a Bill Belichick tattoo.
Why anyone would ever bet on something they have zero control over, with the stakes being a tattoo, is beyond my comprehension. But hey, whatever floats your boat.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! The official playoff scenarios haven't been released by the league yet (that's supposed to happen today), but it appears a Denver win at Buffalo combined with an Oakland loss or tie at KC would clinch the AFC West for the Broncos. And according to Stuart Zaas, the Broncos can also clinch a wild card spot on Saturday by beating the Bills, plus losses or ties by the Titans, Jets and Bengals.
The Niners beat the Steelers 20-3 last night in a game delayed twice by a power outage, and Ben Roethlisberger turned it over four times (three picks, one fumble). Big Ben played with a brace on his high ankle sprain (on his left/plant leg) but was apparently not hobbled. It will be interesting to see if the Steelers play Roethlisberger the next two weeks, although presumably they will since they still have a shot at both the AFC North title, the #1 or #2 seed and a first-round bye. The loss for Pittsburgh keeps Baltimore ahead of them in the standings (by virtue of sweeping the Steelers earlier in the season) and increases the likelihood that the Broncos would end up hosting the Steelers in the Wild Card round, should Denver win the AFC West.
So, if Big Ben plays the next two games but Baltimore hangs on for the division title, the Broncos would likely be facing a more faithful but less mobile Roethlisberger in the playoffs. Hmm. Before we get carried away, let's get to the links.
Bill Belichick accurately predicted John Fox would chicken out
Belichick plays to his opponent like no other coach in the league. If he was facing a gambler like a Mike Smith or a Sean Payton, there’s no way Belichick leaves a potential fourth-and-1 conversion, and potential 20-7 lead, for the taking. Instead, he seemed to anticipate that Fox would cave, kick the field goal and get away with a nine-point lead. No guts, no glory. Following the field goal, New England scored the next 27 points, en route to an easy 41-23 victory.
I think all of us here at IAOFM have written about this before, most recently in the Gut Reaction from Sunday.
John Fox, we repeat: grow a pair.
Coming tonight: we're moving our comments over to Disqus.
It means having an IAOFM membership is no longer required to post here. An account at any major site (or Disqus, which I'll recommend) will be necessary.
Why change? Features, features, features.
Update after the jump
Pats’ Brady takes some air out of Tebow mania
Not long after New England’s 41-23 victory over the Broncos, a triumph which clinched the AFC East title for the Pats (11-3) and put them on track for a first-round playoff bye, I entered the visitors’ locker room and encountered Brady as he headed for the showers. Securing a white towel around his waist with his right hand and holding a shaving kit with his left, the future Hall of Famer stopped cold when I asked if he’d sensed, after Tebow’s late touchdown, that the game might be slipping away.
“I’ve been in a lot of big games, Mikey,” he said, looking me directly in the eye. “Games a lot bigger than this.”
In addition to reminding everyone that he gets texted by pro athletes, Mike Silver really wants you to know he's tight with Tom Brady.
We get it, Mikey. You're kind of a big deal.
All four AFC West teams in contention for division title
“We’ve got better odds than we had in 2008,” Rivers told The San Diego Union-Tribune after Sunday night’s 34-14 smashing of the Baltimore Ravens. “We’ve got a chance.” But that hinges on winning at Detroit—where the Lions will be looking to claim their first playoff berth since 1999—and getting help from elsewhere.
Sorry, Phil, you can only roll the dice so many seasons in a row. This time, you're going down--and your little dog, Norv Turner, too!