The Daily Lard 12-21-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Don Banks is loving the storylines of the AFC West right now, and who can blame him? There sure is a lot of wackiness going on here, and there could be no more interesting regular season finale than Tim Tebow versus Kyle Orton for the division title. And as Banks highlights, the Chargers are the only team in the division whose W-L record underachieves their point differential.

In fact, if the teams' records matched what would be expected from their point differentials (Pythagorean Wins or PW), San Diego would be the lone 8-6 team, Denver and Oakland would each be two games back at 6-8, and Kansas City would be 3-11 rather than the 6-8 mark they currently sport (You can see PW on each team profile over at PFR as "Expected W-L"). Sure, it's the actual games that really count and ultimately a team is judged by its record. But as we've seen over a zillion times, your team isn't really that good until it posts some decisive (on the scoreboard) victories.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 12-21-11"

Tebow takes praise the same as the criticism

Tebow pleased to hear Broncos exec Elway believes in him

“Mr. Elway is obviously one of the best to ever play the game,” Tebow said of the Hall of Fame quarterback who now runs the Broncos’ football operations. “To get any compliment from him is extremely nice. He’s been around this game a long time. That’s nice to hear.”

Robertson disgusted by Tebow skit on Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live's Tim Tebow Satire Raises Ire Of Pro-Christianity Voices

Pat Robertson claimed the SNL skit was “anti-Christrian bigotry that’s just disgusting.” Robertson, 81, told viewers on the Christian Broadcasting Network’s 700 Club that had the skit been about another religion, things would have been much different.  “If this had been a Muslim country and they had done that, and had Muhammad doing that stuff, you would have found bombs being thrown off, and bodies on the street,” Robertson said.

Okay, okay, I'll take the bait, Pat. It's a slow news night.  First, while I won't deny that anti-Christian bigotry does exist in America, and I understand the religious right can be a little sensitive to this sort of thing, I think Roberston is completely wrong in the case of SNL.  SNL, by its very nature, satirizes that which is mainstream in American society.  They've been doing it for decades. Do they lean to the left?  Probably so.  But bigotry?  Come on.  His second point about the Muslim country, while potentially correct, misses the point entirely.  America is neither a theocracy, nor is Islam the dominant/mainstream religion. Oh, and Tebow isn't a Muslim.

If Roberton's point is to suggest that satirizing a Muslim version of Tim Tebow in Saudi Arabia would result in bombing, then okay, so what?  If, on the other hand, his point is to suggest that the same would happen if Tebow were a Muslim athlete in America is really stretching it.  To consider this is to engage in a lot of hypothetical gymnastics, all of which require another dimension of space and time.  It assumes some mythical reality in which Tebow is a Muslim quarterback who praises Allah to a mainstream audience of Muslims while inspiring other guys like Wesley Woodyard and Brian Dawkins to also praise Allah. In short, it's just a context that doesn't exist in American society.  And as a thought experiment, it requires us to bend the context to an alternate reality.  It's like when people ask me what would happen if Tim Tebow were a Muslim in America, and I say to them that the phenomenon that is Tim Tebow wouldn't exist if he were (there aren't enough Muslims in the United States to support the staggering jersey sales, for starters).  I suspect Robertson can find lower-hanging fruit than the SNL skit.

Whither the customizable eye black?!

Gifts For People Who Have An Opinion About Tim Tebow

Nobody puts the “Christ” in “Christmas” like America’s greatest football phenomenon. Don’t stop with Denver Broncos gear—Tim Tebow is much more than just an athlete, as the bio of “Timmy” on the Tebow family ministry’s website makes clear. Here are a few ideas to help your favorite Tebower get closer to Him this holiday season.

Elway: Do I think (Tebow)‘ll get there? Yeah, I do

John Elway endorses Tim Tebow

“Tim Tebow’s not going anywhere. I mean, he’s going to be a Bronco and we’re going to do everything we can and hopefully he’s that guy…The best way for Tim to develop was to be good on the defensive side and take our time with him on the offensive side. And that wouldn’t dump all the pressure on him and say, ‘Here you go, in your second year you need to go out and score 35 points a game.’...I think the big picture with Tim is we’ve got to see the whole body of work. And so really what you want to see with him is the improvement that’s going to happen over time.”

“We want it to happen because of the competitor he is and what type of person he is and how he represents not only himself but represents the Broncos and the city. People have been watching him, so he’s a draw. But that’s where some time in the offseason (helps) and it comes down to timing and throwing…Do I think he’ll get there? Yeah, I do.”

Elway hedges his words with the typical hopefully but this is undoubtedly John's most emphatic statement in support of Tim Tebow's future as the Denver QB. And in the end it will all come down to his actions rather than his words, but this is still a far cry from saying he hadn't seen improvement out of Tim only weeks earlier.

Wilson: Tebow improving; did Pats provide executable blueprint on how to stop him?

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.

Chewing the Fat: Week 15 - Broncos vs Patriots

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

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PFF: Keys to loss were poor tackling in secondary and pass protection; Tebow improving

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.

At least it’s not a centaur

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.

The Daily Lard 12-20-11

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.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 12-20-11"

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