Gut Reaction: Week 9 - Broncos at Raiders

There was a quarterback today who looked lost,  threw multiple interceptions, drowned in the pocket, and lost the confidence of his entire organizaton and city.

His name wasn't Tim Tebow.

Tebow was all but given up on a week ago; multiple reports had him walking the plank by halftime.

Those reports have been greatly exaggerated.

Yo, ho, ho, and a bottle of Broncos Kool-Aid.  Tim Tebow used the zone-read option to escort the Raiders dancing pirates to Davy Jones' Locker.

Avast, Broncos fans.  Tebowmania is back for another voyage.

Let's get to the Positive, the Negatives, and the Who the Heck Knows?

The Positives

1. I liked the first and second series by Mike McCoy.  Sure, the Broncos went three and out both times.  Yet, the first run showed some good push from Zane Beadles; further, getting Tebow lathered up on 3rd and 4 with a quarterback run was a good move.  It probably worked (bad spot) and it would have given Tebow some needed confidence from the initial drive.  The screen and shovel pass on the second series also broke tendencies, which is hard to argue with.  The results, however, said otherwise.

2. Mike McCoy, bravo.  The Broncos were doing everything they could today to give Tebow some low-risk passes while at the same time play to his strengths (see: zone reads, pistol formations, and rollout passes)  This is what you get if you want to see Tebow succeed.  If you want the Broncos to open up the playbook on 2nd and long, that's a different channel.  It might be the channel next year.

3. Great throws by Tebow on both of his touchdowns.  I think he played about as well as he could today. Tebow improved, and his yards on the ground more than made up for the poor completion percentage.  The Tebow critics can pipe down for at least a week.

4. Eric Decker is quietly putting together a great year, and doing so with multiple quarterbacks.

5. How fun was it to say "VonDoom?"  "VonDoom VonDoom VonDoom VonDoom!"

6. You little scoundrel, Von Miller.  You just keep beating people on the edge and pressuring the quarterback.  I'd call you the coxswain of the defense, but then people would assume I was a little too into you.  Seriously, imagine this defense without Miller?

7. In typical Raiders fashion, they kept trying to give the Broncos opportunities through stupid penalties.  Go bless yourself, Oakland.

8. For an undrafted free agent, Chris Harris is starting to really grow on me.  Perhaps the Broncos should scout more often in Bixby, Oklahoma.  Harris not only led the Broncos in tackles today, he played excellent in coverage.

9. The decision to substitute Eddie Royal as a punt returner late in the game?  I was pretty sure it was awesome.  The silence from the Black Hole after the play confirmed it.  Suck it down, you degenerates!

10. Willis McGahee and the interior of the line (Beadles, J.D. Walton, Chris Kuper) were absolutely superb today.  I saved the best for last.  Could this be the beginning of the maturity of a young interior line?  Oh, by the way, McGahee and Tebow both had over 100 yards on the ground.  I now find myself trying to remember when a Broncos quarterback and running back both had over 100 yards in the same game.

The Negatives

1, Rahim Moore left the game early, and it was too bad.  He had a real chance today to grab the starter's job right back today.

2. Britton Colquitt has had a great year.  Thus, it pains me to give him a Stonehenge Award.   Should he have taken a safety instead of giving the Raiders a short field?  Let the debate begin.  I'd give you the answer, but I don't have one.  I'm not sure what the expected points values would be when taking into account the two possessions the safety would have created.  My initial take is that he did the right thing, though.

3. In the lingo of pirates, a bilge rat is the lowest of the low.  Raiders fans were already bilge rats.  We knew this.  But after throwing beer bottles at Von Miller after the game, Raiders fans took it to a new level.  Scurvy dogs!

4. Andre' Goodman is getting a little long in the tooth and it's starting to show.  He's still technically sound, but there are four of five plays each game in which being a technician can't help you. Goodman is still a pro, but expect the Broncos to address cornerback in the draft.

5. I don't think I've ever seen a game in which Ryan Clady has been called for holding three times.  I'm not saying it hasn't happened, but I can't remember it.

6. Lost in the excitement today was the lack of 3rd-down conversions.  The Broncos were 3 for 12.  I'm not bitching.  I'm just trying to get to ten here, folks.

7. John Fox taking points off the board?  Not sure about that one, and when I say that, I mean, I'm not sure.

8. Tebow's clock management needs to improve.  Ask Eric Decker.  Actually, don't ask Decker, he may scream at you to take a timeout.   You don't want to see Eric when he's angry.

9. Knowshon Moreno continues his descent.

10. I don't think the zone read is going to be there for the rest of the season, but what do I know?  I thought the Raiders would have adjusted for it by halftime.  Maybe the zone read is here to stay?

The Who the Heck Knows

1. Did John Fox make the right decision by taking points off the board near the end of the half?  If you believe Tim Tebow is a legitimate NFL quarterback, he probably did.  You can throw EPV (expected points value) out the window in the final minute of the half, so we are left with the raw and emotional consequences of the decision.  This is one of those calls that deserves a healthy debate, and frankly, I don't know that there is a right answer.  Sound off on this one if you get a chance.

2. The field in Oakland today was a bog; it was only fit for hobbits.  I thought I saw lichens growing out there--wait, that was Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly.

3. Prepare yourselves, Broncos fans, for the onslaught of Tebow fanatics in your face.  I personally can't complain.  If you haven't noticed, Tebow fanaticism--on both sides--is great theater.  Theater of the absurd?  You decide.

4. I listened to David Treadwell in the Broncos pregame show.  He's one of the biggest Tebow defenders I've encountered in Pundit Land.  If you love Tebow, you'll love yourself some Treadwell.  He's been chopping the you have to call the plays to fit the player wood the last two weeks. I happen to agree with his perspective about running more misdirection and bootlegs for Tebow, but that's something we've been saying here at IAOFM since he walked in the door.

5. Miami destroyed the Chiefs today in Kansas City.  Todd Haley can hug a razor (really tightly, let's hope).

6. Before the game, Adam Schefter said that if Tebow shows improvement, he'd remain the starter.  I can't see how anyone would say he didn't improve today.

7. John Elway led off his pregame interview reminding everyone that the Broncos really are trying to win each week.  Now, John, why would feel the need to do that?  Wouldn't we all just assume so?

8. What do you expect, Oakland?  The QB you just traded a 1st- and 2nd-round draft pick for was tailgating several weeks ago at the USC game.

9. I can no longer use the phrase "Suck for Luck" and the Denver Broncos in the same sentence.  Awwww, poor TJ.

10. Don't look now, but the Denver Broncos are one game back in the race for the AFC West.  Worst division in football?  Yeah.  Do I care?  No.

I’m glad we had this talk.  Now, vaya con Dios, Brah.

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