10 Things We Learned: Professional Week 12 Edition
And then there was Tebow. He followed the same blueprint he has in all five of his wins this year; don’t turn the ball over, hit a few big passes, stay close until the last few minutes of the fourth quarter. Win. People seem to think the fascination with Tebow has to do with his religious beliefs, but they don’t make him the lead story every week. It’s the winning, and the weirdness of it all…GM A.J. Smith hasn’t shown much penchant for sentiment, trading Drew Brees, kicking LaDainian Tomlinson to the curb at the first signs of wear, firing Marty Schottenheimer after a 14-2 season. So, if the Chargers lose next week at Jacksonville on Monday Night (ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!!?!?!) and Oakland beats Miami, Smith could make his move.
Audibles at the Line: Week 12
I was actually ready to compliment Norv for balancing runs with passes on that last drive. Then he ran three straight times to settle for that 53-yard field goal. I was shouting “punt!” because I honestly felt they had a better chance pinning the Broncos and seeing if they could drive 50 yards. Instead, the Broncos get the ball in position to pick up two first downs and win the game. Man, you cannot make this stuff up…Von Miller saved them this game too—on third down he knifed in to drop Mike Tolbert for a four-yard loss. Miller just went right through Antonio Gates on the play. Novak’s field goal missed just wide, and likely would have been good from four yards closer. Easy to blame Norv here, but give Miller credit for being a straight baller.
Calling Interference on Pass Interference
Turner pretty clearly gave up at the end of overtime…By taking an instant timeout, Turner could have forced the Broncos to run another play to try to run the clock down, and if anyone is aware of what can happen with an extra snap before a field goal attempt, it’s the Chargers…The Chargers ran Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert on three consecutive plays for no net gain, and Novak promptly failed to put his 52-yarder through the uprights. That’s the exact sort of overtime behavior Brian Burke noted in his research into why Mike Smith’s fourth-and-1 decision was correct; essentially, coaches clam up in overtime when they get anywhere near a reasonable field goal. And it’s also worth noting that the Broncos passed up two fourth-and-1 opportunities with their excellent running game and promptly let the Chargers drive down the field on them … only to get lucky when the Chargers gave up and then missed their field goal.
Can someone tell Fox about the fourthdownulator, please?
The big reason Denver is winning is defense, RB play, and special teams. However, because of Tebow’s unconventional style and scheme, some of the success of the Denver running backs could rightfully be attributed to him. Plus, he may be the perfect fit for a team built around defense. He doesn’t turn the ball over or take sacks, and he can use the clock by playing keep-away with his running. But keep in mind, except for his possible effect on RB success, WPA already captures these considerations.
One thing that doesn't get enough press is Burke's point about the RB play and Tebow because the two relate. The other way of getting at the same point is to ask, Would McGahee be running the ball as well as he has without the threat of Tebow's running?
We all know the answer to this question.
There were plenty of other quotes to pull from this interesting piece by Burke. Here's another: "I enjoy watching Tebow play because I love the unconventional offense and I love the innovation. I love that John Fox fits his scheme to his personnel and not the other way around. And in an age when every minor successful play results in some ridiculous showboating, finger-wagging dance, Tebow's attitude is refreshing."
Agreed. When dudes are making fun of other dudes by mocking gun play as their touchdown celebration, it's going a little far.
11-28 The John Elway Show Part 1
He’s really making strides each week…I was surprised that people took it to be a negative answer…it wasn’t meant to be a strike at Timmy at all…I need to do a better job of communicating…it’s something I’ll learn from.
In his day, John Elway could backpedal as fast as any quarterback to get into his drops. Today, though, on his weekly radio show, he was faster.
There was no mention of third-down struggles. There was no mention of championshp football. There was barely a mention of Von Miller.
Elway just hugged it out (metaphorically speaking). He had nothing but praise for Tim Tebow. In fact, he claims he was surprised (yeah, right) the fans reacted so negatively to his comments about Tebow last week.
Best line: "We're tackling, catching, and running, and that's what it's all about."
2nd-best line: "He [Kyle Orton] is a good human being."
3rd-best line: "If you have a positive mindset, good things are gonna happen."
Let me see if I have this straight. If you have a positive outlook, can tackle, catch, and run the football, you can kick ass?
Thou Shall Not Doubt: Tebow delivers another win
Watching Tim Tebow play quarterback is like getting a root canal at a strip club. Excruciatingly painful yet wildly entertaining at the same time. For the fifth time in the last six weeks, the quarterback - incarnate has led the Denver Broncos from temptation and delivered them from defeat…Most importantly, for the fourth time in as many wins, Tebow did not commit a single turnover…Progress, albeit slow, is still a welcome sight, especially when it provides another exciting win and a lethal blow to a division rival.
So Did Tebow Play Well?
Not according to ESPN’s Total QBR, a relatively new rating system that assigned Tim Tebow a low score of 29.7 in Denver’s overtime victory against San Diego on Sunday.
Remember how ESPN had to frantically explain why their new-fangled secret metric to end all QB metrics except they're the Worldwide Leader and you don't just dive into stats with little practice and lots of fanfare gave Tim Tebow a higher Total QBR in his first start than it did Aaron Rodgers? Well, now they have to spend columns trying to explain why Tebow's Total QBR ranks 31st overall. More of this fun to come, until ESPN hopefully abandons Total QBR someday...
How did Kyle Orton end up in Kansas City?
Chiefs’ Bernard Pollard injures Tom Brady ⇒ Matt Cassel replaces Tom Brady ⇒NE Patriots finish 11-5
Good Morning, Broncos fans! If yesterday felt like Groundhog Day, that's because it basically was. The Broncos have found a winning formula, one with several parts stellar defense (22 tackles from Von Miller and D.J. Williams, three sacks from Von and Elvis Dumervil, 36 points allowed in three weeks), a few parts punishing running attack (208 yards including 117 from Willis McGahee), one part excellent special teams (a huge 31-yard PR by Eddie Royal which led to their first score), and a dash or two of luck (two missed FGs by Nick Novak, two Denver fumbles but none lost) and opponent blunders (Norv Turner's Andy Reid-style handling of the clock before halftime) thrown in for good measure.
Denver and San Diego needed OT to reach a combined 300 net passing yards, and the Broncos did Herman Cain proud with their continued offensive futility: nine pass completions, nine punts, nine penalties. But no matter, because a win is still a win, and this 16-13 victory moves the Broncos over .500 for the first time since being 8-4 in 2009 and losing four straight. It should be mentioned that Tim Tebow made some key throws late in the game, and seven of his nine completions went for first downs. Denver has now won five of six and four straight, including three road division victories in a four-week span - a remarkable feat in any season and no matter the circumstances.
Quick, I know how we can settle this Broncos quarterback controversy very quickly.
Clone Von Miller.
Miller did a little bit of everything today except throw the football. He got to the quarterback. He beat the double team. He made the Chargers' offensive linemen look like they were on skates. And when the Broncos needed him most, he slithered through the line and knocked the ballcarrier out of field goal range. As a result, the Broncos won in overtime 16-13.
Miller is pure mayhem. He changes games the way Lawrence Taylor did. He's the single best draft pick of the 2011 draft class.
Watching Miller play requires you implant a swivel on your neck and suspend your belief that a linebacker can be out of this world against the run or the pass. He's turned the Broncos defense into a dominant force in a matter of months.
Before I prop up his candidacy for President of the United States, let me say one more thing.
It doesn't matter who the quarterback is as long as the Broncos have Miller in the game.