Fat Off the Bone: Week 8 - Tebow and Stafford

Tomorrow's game features two young quarterbacks who still have a lot to prove.

For Matt Stafford, it's if he can stay healthy. For Tim Tebow, it's if he can play quarterback at all.  A lot has been said about Tebow's mechanics, decision-making abilities, and abilities in the pocket. Most of it comes in the form of generalities.  This includes heaping portions of the words "intangibles" and "pocket awareness."

The two quarterbacks are separated by about 600 throws in the NFL. That's the rough equivalent a full season. As I scouted the Lions for tomorrow, what kept coming up over and over again was just how Matthew Stafford had improved in his presnap reads, getting the ball out on his drops quickly, and trusting his instincts.

If Stafford is what Tebow want to aspire to, then what exactly does he need to do to improve?

Let's remove the hype and the emotion; let's remove the stats; let's simply see.

Perhaps then we can find agreement.

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STDL: Week 8 - Broncos vs Lions

Welcome to Week 8's Stats That Don't Lie. So far, the stats have not been lying, painting a bleak picture in Green Bay, giving the Broncos a fighting chance against San Diego, and predicting an ugly victory in Miami. Obviously, the question this week is whether the Broncos and Lions are true reflections of the figures they've posted to this point, or are they completely different teams with Denver making the change at QB and Detroit struggling on offense since Jahvid Best went down with his latest concussion? Quite frankly, we have to hope for the latter, as the numbers don't appear to give the Broncos much of a chance...

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The Daily Lard 10-29-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Chris Benson previews tomorrow's game for PFF, and he says it's practically a must-win for the Lions after having dropped two straight. He figures we'll see plenty of carries for Knowshon Moreno and Lance Ball in the absence of Willis McGahee, but says that despite Detroit's struggles against the run in recent weeks, they're not lacking for defenders who play it well.

Benson is excited for the matchup of Champ and Megatron, as he points out that most teams don't move their top cornerbacks around to shadow top receivers, unlike Denver with Bailey. As for the Denver passing game, he writes that Ndamukong Suh will be licking his chops for those frequent occasions where Tim Tebow turns himself into a runner and foregoes the NFL's quarterback-protecting rules, and that Orlando Franklin should need less help with Cliff Avril than he did against Cameron Wake of the Dolphins.

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Digesting the Lions

Happy Friday, friends.  I watched some Lions-Falcons on Thursday evening, and I think this game looks a little better for the Broncos than I thought it did a few weeks ago.  Teams are figuring out how to play the Lions, and there were a lot of lessons to be taken away from this game.

This may be shorter than a usual Digesting piece, just because the Lions aren’t doing anything tremendously complicated.  They’re trying to execute, and lately, they haven’t been getting that done very effectively.  There are reasons for that, which we’ll now explore:

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The Daily Lard 10-28-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! What a remarkable week for Tim Tebow, huh? First, he onside kick diving catches nickel personnel against obvious draw singlehandedly brings the Broncos back from down 15 points with three five minutes left in the game against a terrible real NFL team to snatch victory from the jaws of the winless Dolphins defeat. Then, we learn that Tebow really is closer with his offensive teammates than is Kyle Orton, hence the incredible effort they all put forth on his behalf for five minutes all game long.

Next, we find that a pair of Tebow's pants are available on eBay for the low, low price of $5,000 $4,999.99 (Free shipping!!!). Then, a vomit-inducing an awesome music video dedicated to His his greatness, AND we find out that he's got a DVD coming out (I already pre-ordered 35 copies of it to distribute to my family at Thanksgiving)! (Amazing he found time to film a DVD, hawk undies, and do a book tour in between all those countless hours practicing his snaps from under center and perfecting his throwing motion.)

But yesterday Tebowmania reached another new pinnacle, with his very own Taiwanese animation and a new meme he inspired on Sunday called Tebowing going viral. Heck, even Von Miller got swept up in the craze. And to think, it all started at the bar I used to watch Broncos games at until I got DirecTV just so I could Chew the Fat with the guys. Not to be a jerk about it, but how can anyone complain about East Coast media bias when Tim Tebow's very first meme starts in the heart of New York City? Hahaha.

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Tim Tebow + Taiwanese animation = Hilarity

Tim Tebow has finally arrived. Sure, he's been getting all of the attention on the Worldwide Leader and on NFLN, he's got a new DVD coming out, a memoir that's been flying off shelves at Wal-Marts nationwide, and an awesome a nausea-inducing song dedicated devoted to him. Everyone on TV and on the internet has dissected his every move on the football field, whether with the football or on Demaryius Thomas. But let's be honest: you've not done a thing in this world until you've been immortalized via Taiwanese animation, and Tebow has achieved just that. Enjoy! (via CBS Sports)

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The Dude’s Mail Revue: Tebow, Elway, and things that do not matter

Dude's Mail Revue 400x145Fat Man writer TJ “The Dude” Johnson posts The Dude’s Mail Revue on Thursdays whenever the hell he gets around to it.  He takes your questions and gets your opinion about the state of the Broncos and the NFL. You wanna tie the room together?  Or say what you'd like about the tenets of national socialism? Drop TJ a question: tjthedudejohnson@gmail.com.

(NOTE: Marmots were harmed in the writing of this Revue)

TJ, your bias and persecution against Tim Tebow is becoming more evident every week.  What did he do to you? By the way, if you ignore this email, I'll just send it again next week.  God Bless.

--Alexandra Forrest, New York, New York 

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The Daily Lard 10-27-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! In Andy Benoit's preview of Sunday's game, he says we shouldn't expect to see much change in Tim Tebow's throwing motion going forward, that we can at least hope his footwork will improve, and he calls Tebow's arm strength "middling" by NFL standards. Benoit's answer to the question of why the Broncos don't unleash Tebow's game earlier is that doing so would create more mistakes and bigger deficits. And, nothing Benoit saw Sunday served to convince him that the Broncos have a true deep threat who can stretch a defense among their wide receivers. He writes that this is why the Broncos are so conservative on offense, although of course this is Foxball! Denver wasn't exactly chucking it downfield with Brandon Lloyd and Kyle Orton, either...

Benoit says the Lions' run defense is much better than their ranking would suggest, and that a few missed tackles have led to big runs and those poor numbers. But he thinks the Broncos need to try to attack Detroit up the middle in the run game, and pretty much abandon the idea of running outside. As for the Lions' offense, Benoit says the absence of Jahvid Best has really hurt their passing game and tightened things up for Calvin Johnson, who is seeing more double coverage as a result. This, combined with the presence of Champ Bailey and the pass rush ability of Von Miller tells Benoit the Broncos should be able to hang with the Lions' passing attack.

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Fattening Up on Orlando Franklin

There’s no real question about it - I’ve been looking forward to watching the film on RT Orlando Franklin since the beginning of this series. I loved it when Denver took Franklin with the 14th pick of the second round back in April, and I felt at the time that the issues of his potential problems vs. speed rushers and in pass blocking in general were being overblown. Now I had a chance to find out.

IAOFM reader Chibronx noted that the recent tale of the offensive line’s development is one of the best stories of the Broncos that no one is talking about, and I agree with him. My own experience (and some of you have actually played the position and have commented on this to me), has been that many of the fans have little understanding for the OL positions. I don’t blame anyone - the TV turned us into a nation of watchers rather than a nation of doers back in the 1960s. If the camera follows the ball, you may not hear an OL player’s name unless he whiffs on a block or commits some other infraction. How do you learn? Well, dropping by IAOFM is certainly the first step, but I hope to add some specifics through this series. I’d like to start with the player himself, since the fanbase knows him the least.

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The Daily Lard 10-26-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! So, Nate Jackson thinks the fact that Tebow doesn't fit everyone's conventional mold of a QB is good for football. Should Tebow become a sustained NFL success, that will absolutely be true. It's always neat to see the prevailing wisdom of the day turned on its head, no matter the forum, and a winning Tim Tebow would be great for the sport, not just for the Broncos. Yet, just like it's irresponsible to declare Tebow will never be an NFL QB, it's a bit early to be pronouncing him a football hero, wouldn't you say? Or, is perspective only welcome when the Broncos lose?

You know what else is funny about Jackson's column? The notion that passing the football and stopping the pass is the surest pathway to winning has only recently overtaken the outdated mindset of running and stopping the run. Sure, there have been plenty of championships won over the past several decades by teams that leaned primarily on their passing games, but the notion that this NFL is a "passing league" is still relatively new. And guys like Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees have reset the bar for precision quarterbacking over the past decade or so. But, Jackson finds this all too bland for his blood.

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