Good Morning, Broncos fans! The Denver offense must have set their watches wrong upon arrival in Minnesota, because they did their thing about an hour earlier than usual in leading the Broncos to a 35-32 victory over the Vikings and into a first-place tie with the Raiders. Instead of waiting until the last five minutes of the game to show up as has been their trademark, Tim Tebow & Co. came out firing after halftime.
Following their fourth-consecutive brutal first half (48 net yards, one first down, zero points), the Broncos scored 28 second-half points and Tebow was a sparkling 6-of-9 for 173 yards with two TD passes to Demaryius Thomas - the first a beautiful strike on a busted coverage by the Vikings and the second a catch-and-run by Thomas after Tebow bought time outside the pocket before making a patient throw.
True to form early on, the Denver defense kept the Broncos in the game and provided all of the team's first-half points with a pick-six from Mario Haggan, who was subbing for the injured Von Miller. But Willis McGahee was caught for a safety on the Broncos' first play from scrimmage, and a fumble by McGahee and another by Tebow led to a pair of Vikings field goals, helping Minnesota to a 15-7 halftime lead.
Don't look now, Denver, but the Broncos are in first place!
This was a game the Broncos should have won, but who would have thunk it?
Like this? Yeah, just like this. The Broncos' high-octane offense put up 28 points on the road, my friends.
Their offense was a second-half juggernaut. It came at just the right time.
On a day in which the Broncos needed Tim Tebow to pass as well as he's been running the football, they got exactly what they needed. Tebow had his best passing day as a pro.
Their remaining schedule has them playing at home three out of four.
Do you believe? You'd better start.
Enjoy the games everyone, and Go Broncos! Unfortunately Von Miller has been ruled out of the game today; joining him among inactives are Rahim Moore, Quinn Johnson, Mike Mohamed, Manny Ramirez, Tony Hills and Julius Thomas. Minnesota will be without CB Asher Allen, RB Adrian Peterson, CB Chris Cook, S Andrew Sendejo, OL Brandon Fusco, OL DeMarcus Love and DE D’Aundre Reed.
We're going to change things up a little bit with Week 13's STDL. As I mentioned last week, I'd been thinking of switching the passing numbers here to NY/A (Net Yards per Attempt) from ANY/A (Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt) since NY/A is better at predicting future results, which is the whole point of this column. NY/A adds sack data to plain old YPA (Yards per Attempt), while ANY/A adds the weight of touchdowns and interceptions to the mix. Why is NY/A more predictive, while ANY/A is more retrodictive (better at explaining why something already happened, rather than what's likely to happen next)?
Touchdowns and interceptions are more random than YPA. Not random, mind you, just more random than YPA - in other words, if your offense is effective at moving the ball down the field, it's likely to score more than an offense that doesn't move the ball well. Naturally, the 2008 Broncos would stand as a stark exception (2nd in Yards per Play, 16th in Points). Of course, this means I need to reconsider whether to keep touchdowns in with the rushing data. That could be next week's tweak...
Plus, we'll take a look at how Tim Tebow stands in relation to the other QBs in the league via NY/A and ANY/A data, but with rushing stats baked in! As always, there'll be something in it for Tebowmaniacs and Tebow Skeptics alike.
Quick, what's more likely? Me winning a round of picks or Norv Turner keeping his job?
I'd say I've got better odds. Norv has a quarterback who resides inside his own dome. At least I tied for first this week.
Another bit of good news: the Broncos are favored against the Vikings today. The numbers say they've got almost a 53% chance of skull busting the Norsemen.
Enjoy the games, everyone.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! As distant and microscopic a possibility playoff contention had appeared just a few weeks back, Denver has a chance to move into a tie for first place in the AFC West today with a victory in Minnesota combined with an Oakland loss at Miami. Key to the Broncos' chances will be the status of Von Miller, who had surgery on Tuesday to repair torn thumb ligaments and will be a game-time decision. But even if he does play, he'll be wearing a cast on his right hand and will likely cede a good deal of playing time to Mario Haggan.
For those of you clamoring for Tebow's pass/run data combined, stay tuned...
Good Morning, Broncos fans! I know some of you are probably exhausted by the Tebow/stats talk, but in the comments of yesterday's Lard, reader DavidinLA shared a link to a Mark Kriegel column about those very topics, and I think it's worthy of some discussion. If nothing else, I'd like to share my opinion of stats and writing about them in general.
My first reaction to Kriegel's column is that a red flag goes up for me anytime a sports columnist who rarely or never mention stats in their typical writing decides to suddenly cite them because they happen to support his/her viewpoint. In this case, Kriegel sought out some stats to prove his point, which is the worst mindset from which to turn to stats - when you set out to prove something via stats, you are going to have blinders on, and you're going to get someone to feed you some line of crap, because damnit you've got a deadline to meet and a premise to bolster.
Von Miller was a limited participant in practice Friday and will be a game-time decision for Sunday's matchup in Minnesota. Eddie Royal and Willis McGahee also practiced.
Update 2:19pm ET - Miller and Royal are listed as questionable for Sunday, while McGahee, Ryan Clady, Daniel Fells, and David Bruton are probable. In equally big news (if not bigger), Adrian Peterson is listed as out for Minnesota, Percy Harvin did not practice due to illness but is expected to play, as are LB E.J. Henderson, G Anthony Herrera and TE Kyle Rudolph, and CB Asher Allen is questionable.
Happy Friday, friends. It’s time to Digest the Minnesota Vikings, who despite their 2-9 record have a bit of power behind their punches, and can knock you out if you don’t come correct. They’re lining up to have a very high draft pick in 2012, and I think that they can have a pretty quick turnaround in 2012 assuming they pick wisely, and their young QB improves. For now, though, let’s take a look at them in their current state.
Generally, I’d say that the Vikings profile kind of similarly to the Broncos in some important ways. To wit:
a. Both teams start young QBs who can look good one play and bad the next.
b. Both teams struggle to protect the passer in the straight-up dropback passing game, but both can get the running game blocked a lot of the time.
c. Both teams can rush the passer creditably from both edges, although the Vikings’ second-best guy (Brian Robison) is not really close to the Broncos’ (Elvis Dumervil) level.
d. Both teams have a good set of DTs who stuff the run well, and both teams’ LB corps are better against the run than in coverage.
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! You may recall that the other day I applauded the "spirit of what (Kerry) Byrne and CHFF are trying to do" with their "Real QB Rating" before going on to criticize Byrne's interpretation of the numbers CHFF's new metric had spit out. Well, I guess I should have looked deeper into this Real QB Rating, because as Mike Tanier explains in great detail, it has extreme flaws. Relax, Tebowmaniacs - none of this is a criticism of Tim, but rather of CHFF's methods as they relate to Real QB Rating.
So, here's the problem with it: Real QB Rating relies upon the old-school QB Rating as a framework, and it overcredits completion percentage in a big way - and as my friend Ted Bartlett has written many times already, completion percentage is completely overrated (although I wouldn't go as far as to say it's worthless). As Tanier shows, a slight improvement in completion % without adding even a yard of production has a significant positive impact on a QB rating, and that's just not going to help us evaluate a quarterback.