Yesterday we again decried ESPN's attempts to paint their own Total QBR as a revolutionary passing metric. Another day, another gross instance of statistical malfeasance, this time delivered by CHFF's Kerry Byrne in a column for SI. It's pretty bad, quite frankly - virtually a page out of the playbook for how to misinterpret and overstate stats and their meaning.
The spirit of what Byrne and CHFF are trying to do (factor rushing into a QB rating) is excellent, and in full disclosure it's something I've also been working on since last year myself. Yet, the manner in which Byrne is presenting the data for Tebow's 2011 starts is completely self-serving and ignores some crucial context. Let's examine some of the more glaring fallacies of Byrne's column:
The Broncos have signed CB Tony Carter and WR Greg Orton to their practice squad to replace Kyle McCarthy and Mike Mohamed, who were both promoted from the PS on Monday. Denver originally signed Carter as an undrafted rookie in 2009, while Orton was with the team during the 2011 preseason.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his YGS column yesterday, Ted addressed my own mentally masturbative claim from our CTF in which I suggested the Broncos would be "a legit team" with a league-average QB. I was not discounting Tebow's contributions to Denver's winning streak when I wrote that - we can't arbitrarily subtract his play from the past six weeks and say the Broncos would still be 5-1. It would be foolish and pointless to do so, actually - Tebow played a part in all five wins in varying degrees (IMO none more so than in San Diego). They didn't win in spite of Tim or his play. Obviously, Tim has a lot to do with how and why the Broncos have been so effective running the ball, and I have no problem accepting that they'd be far less devastating there (if even very good at all) with another QB.
My opinion was (and still is) that another QB (not necessarily Orton), given the quality of defense and special teams Tebow's been afforded these past six games, would do quite well, and that success would be sustainable (which is what I meant or should have written when I wrote legit). I don't think it's a far reach to say there are plenty of NFL QBs who would be scoring significantly more than the 16 points per game the Tebow-led offense has been accumulating. However you slice it, the abundance of one- and two-minute offensive possessions Denver's gotten in the past six weeks are pure defense killers.
Happy Victory Tuesday, friends. Are you getting used to Victory Tuesdays, yet? I kind of like them, personally. Those of you who had your hearts set on a Top-5 pick may not, but football is funny. Players and coaches like to win, and they try really hard to make that happen, and sometimes they get it done, even if some find it to be strategically unpreferable. In this space, we’re always pro-#winning, so deal with it. Ready… BEGIN!!
1. Today, I want to share some thoughts about why the Broncos are winning, and why it has seemed like a tale of two seasons. There are a number of reasons for it, and it qualifies as a confluence of all of those reasons. I’m one guy with an opinion, but here’s my list:
a. It took a little while, but the team has taken very well to the new defensive scheme. The Broncos tried to use even-front players in a Fairbanks-Bullough 3-4 scheme for two seasons and didn’t have great results. This staff came in and installed an aggressive 4-3 that has a very simple and sound approach to gap control.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his latest mailbag, Mike Klis goes all Woody Paige in responding to a reasonable and intelligent question about the Broncos' struggles to score points and extend drives beyond three plays with Tebow at the helm. He does so by cherry-picking some numbers which make the Tebow-led offense appear more productive than it's been; according to Klis' calculations, the Broncos have scored 21.2 points in their five wins under Tebow, as if points per win ever mattered. For one, this removes the 10-point effort against the Lions, which when included brings the figure down to 19.3 points. Secondly, two of the touchdowns scored during this time were provided by Eddie Royal's punt return in Oakland and Andre' Goodman's INT return against the Jets. Without those, the offense is down to 17 points per game, and then there's the issue of two games having gone to overtime, without which the Denver offense is scoring 16 points per game since Tebow took over.
Do all those other scores count? Of course! Should the Broncos give them back because Tebow wasn't responsible for them? Nope. But really, let's not say the offense is scoring 21+ points a game, okay? I can just see the water cooler conversations now. Fan A: The wins are nice, but we need to score more points to beat the good teams. Fan B: You're an idiot! They're scoring 21.2 points with Tebow! Mike Klis said so, must be true ZOMG!!
Denver has placed CB/KR Cassius Vaughn on IR and signed S Kyle McCarthy and LB Mike Mohamed to fill the roster spots previously occupied by Vaughn and Kyle Orton. McCarthy dressed for eight games last season but was a casualty of final cuts in September, while 2011 sixth-rounder Mohamed was active for two games in the absence of the injured D.J. Williams. Interestingly, the Broncos chose not to promote Adam Weber and will instead stick with just two QBs despite the fact that Tim Tebow runs as much as he does - his 22 carries yesterday were the most by a QB in at least 60 years.
The IAOFM staff discuss the Denver Broncos' 16-13 overtime victory over the San Diego Chargers
Doug: I'm sure happy for the 4:15 start so we can see all these great finishes
Ted: Yeah it worked out pretty well
TJ: Wow, this game just got going quick, haha...and we're off!
Ted: Weather looks nice in Whale's Vagina
TJ: Shift shift shift, SD loves that
Ted: They really like to get quick separation with it
TJ: Goody jumped that
Doug: Pretty terrible throw. Oh my - Ryan Mathews does Denver like Knowshon does KC - Mathews has two 100-yd games, both against Denver
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.