Happy Tuesday, friends. I have limited time today, due to a confluence of continuing holiday activities and the continuation of my year-end financial close, so I’m just going to share some observations from my fantastic trip to Buffalo on Saturday.
a. It’s really pretty funny, but Tim Tebow looked great in warmups before the game, and during the game. Whenever he was just making throws in non-game situations, the throws were perfectly on-target, and his delivery looked excellent. Didn't his reputation used to be that he couldn't make a throw in warmups? Maybe it was bizarro Tim on Saturday – good in practice, shaky in the fourth quarter of actual games?
Seriously, though, of the interceptions I witnessed in person, there were three flavors of them. The first one was a good decision and a very good job extending the play, but a terrible overthrow of Demaryius Thomas. The second pick was a case of staring down Eric Decker and not looking off a Cover-1 Safety; Tebow needs to get better at looking away from the intended receiver, because Decker had his corner beat, and the throw was good, if Jairus Byrd isn’t able to jump it.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! According to Nick Canepa, the Chargers will fire Norv Turner at some point next week, and there's a good chance that A.J. Smith will be joining him. For his two cents, Canepa thinks firing Smith would be a mistake, and he says not only that rumors of Bill Cowher already having interviewed for Turner's gig are untrue, but that San Diego owner Dean Spanos is unlikely to hire one person to handle both the GM and head coaching duties - something Cowher is said to be seeking.
If Smith retains the GM gig, Canepa is hearing that Jeff Fisher could be interested in joining the Chargers, but he says Smith's closeness to Jon Gruden makes Chucky the best fit for the job, if not the most likely successor to Turner. Meanwhile, Kevin Acee writes that should Spanos drop the axe on Smith, the Rams will pounce and hire the egomaniacal pair of A.J. and Chucky. This would apparently send current Rams HC Steve Spagnuolo back to Philly as their DC, and of course it also would free up Josh McDaniels (this part is my speculation) to potentially be reunited with Scott Pioli in KC as either his head coach or handpicked OC - perhaps under Romeo Crennel.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! The Packers locked up home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs last night with a 35-21 victory over the Bears. Aaron Rodgers notched the first five TD pass game of his career, and the Bears' fifth straight loss polishes off their once promising playoff chances.
The elimination of Chicago also clinched a playoff spot for the Falcons, who need to beat the Saints tonight to remain in the running for the NFC South title. The final NFC playoff spot comes down to Cowboys at Giants Sunday night for the NFC East title - winner takes the division, loser is out.
(Warning: This has very little to do with the Denver Broncos. But it's midnight and it's the day after Christmas and I don't care one bit.)
People often come up to me on the street and say, "Dude, you're an expert on the Denver Broncos. Would you mind telling me what band from the 80s you think Tim Tebow is?"
Often, I'm so wrapped up in my life as a highly influencial facilitator of the powerful elite, I have little time for these sorts of trivialities.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! The AFC West is set up for a wild finish next Sunday afternoon, as the Broncos host the Chiefs and the Raiders face the Chargers in Oakland. Denver's only path to the playoffs is via the division title, but they have three ways of claiming it: 1) beat KC; 2) tie KC, plus Oakland ties or loses to SD; 3) lose to KC, plus Oakland loses to SD. As for the AFC's final wild card spot, Oakland can nab it with a victory and some help, but Denver has no shot at it due to victories yesterday by Cincinnati (23-16 over the Cards) and Tennessee (23-17 over Jacksonville).
How did we get to this point? Well, the Broncos came up pretty small yesterday, especially the offense and special teams, which combined to allow 21 points to the defense's 19 in a 40-14 loss to Buffalo. The 21 came via a punt return TD by Leodis McKelvin and two fourth quarter pick-sixes by Tim Tebow, although one of those could be changed to a fumble. As for the defense, they struggled to keep the Bills outside the 20 but stiffened up once allowing them in (Buffalo was 1-6 in the red zone).
The Broncos lost the turnover battle (0-4) for the third straight week and have given the ball up nine times over that stretch (seven of them by Tebow). They also lost Chris Harris to a pinched nerve, Quinton Carter to a severe bruise on his lower back, and Brian Dawkins to a reaggravation of his neck injury which is feared could end his playing career.
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the team;
Not an offense (or defense or special teams) was stirring, not even a dream.
John Foxball requires good field position and a positive turnover ratio,
Neither of those things happened today.
It doesn't matter who is your quarterback; it doesn't matter how much you believe; it certainly doesn't how many times you kneel and pray.
Football is football--even the night before Christmas.
Enjoy the games, everyone! Go Broncos and Chiefs! Inactive for the Broncos today are WR/PR Quan Cosby, S Kyle McCarthy, LB Mike Mohamed, G Manny Ramirez, T Tony Hills, TE Julius Thomas, and DE Derrick Harvey. Buffalo will be without WR Naaman Roosevelt, RB Johnny White, DB Josh Nesbitt, T Sam Young, DL Jarron Gilbert, WR Ruvell Martin, and TE Fendi Onobun.
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Let's take a quick pre-game look at how the Broncos and Bills match up:
Let's see how Tim Tebow's offensive numbers look after nine starts as the Broncos starting QB. Prior to the New England game, Tebow was 20th in the league in Adjusted Net Yards per Touch and 33rd in Net Yards per Touch, out of the 40 passers who had attempted 100 or more passes. While there are now 43 QBs who've thrown over 100 passes, we'll constrain the list to the top 40 players in terms of attempts:
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Pretty exciting day today, as Denver has a chance to clinch the AFC West today with a victory over the Bills combined with a loss or tie by the Raiders in Kansas City. It would mark the team's first division title since the 2005 season. The Broncos can also clinch at least a wild card with a win in Buffalo combined with losses by the Jets (Giants), Bengals (Cardinals) and Titans (Jaguars), all of whom are playing at home today and kicking off early.
The Raiders will be without several key players who did not practice all week - RB Darren McFadden, S Michael Huff, WR Jacoby Ford and DT John Henderson.