The Daily Lard 1-12-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his analysis of the Denver/New England matchup, Andy Benoit thinks Tim Tebow will again be given enough time to make some throws against the Pats' Cover 3 defense. As for the running game, Benoit thinks the key will be how well J.D. Walton holds up in his one-on-one matchups with Vince Wilfork, against whom Walton thrived in their Week 15 meeting.

On the other side, Benoit thinks the Broncos will again have trouble covering both Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez; his guess is they'll place Chris Harris on Hernandez duty and again utilize D.J. Williams and Wesley Woodyard to disrupt Gronkoski's release at the LOS. Benoit says New England's likely response of putting Gronkowski in the slot and forcing a matchup with someone like Jonathan Wilhite could cause serious issues for Denver.

Meanwhile, Pat Kirwan thinks this rematch will be closer than the first meeting was, and that the Pats' lack of playmakers like Pittsburgh's Troy Polamalu and James Harrison may allow Denver to put up a bunch of points. On defense, Kirwan figures the Broncos will have a tougher time rushing Tom Brady than they did against Big Ben, and he strangely thinks the Broncos have more distractions despite having nothing to lose and New England's coaching changes.

Broncos

Notes from Andrew Mason, Tom Kensler and Gray Caldwell: Brian Dawkins and Eric Decker again missed practice due to their injuries.

As Andrew Mason and Kenny Legan detail, Mike McCoy crafted the game-winning play call during halftime Sunday.

Lee Rasizer and John Powers on the difficulties Demaryius Thomas has overcome in his career and in life.

Kensler says we should expect to see more of Matt Willis on Saturday; Jeff Legwold considers the task facing Dennis Allen & Co.

Mark Kiszla thinks Willis McGahee is the Broncos' offensive MVP; Woody Paige doesn't think the Broncos will win, but he thinks throwing to Jeremiah Johnson would help the cause.

NFLN's Sound FX clip from the Broncos/Steelers game; video of Mike McCoy, Dennis Allen and several defenders speaking yesterday; McCoy and Demaryius Thomas talk about the game-winning TD; NFLN will have plenty of Broncos coverage the next couple nights.

Sam DeWitt shares his own memories of The Drive.

Tebowmania

Tebow is now the most popular active athlete in America, according to an ESPN poll.

Gawker presents an introductory guide to Tebow for non-sports fans, while Sports Pickle offers up a litmus test for whether one qualifies for the Tebow bandwagon (via SOB).

Tebow's Jockey ad campaign has gone from t-shirt modeling to shirtless. (via KSK)

So, some click-whoring no-name website decided to post a bunch of photos imagining TIm Tebow's children were he to mate with celebrities. Oh wait, it was NFL.com. Naturally, this prompted some reactions from With Leather and Deadspin, where of course they took it to the next level: what if Tim were to mate with a panda, White Michael Vick, or  Skip Bayless?

Naturally, some gossip site took the NFL.com post and turned it into a rumor that there's something between Tebow and Katy Perry.

Drew Magary responded to several burning questions fans may have about Tebow.

Conan O'Brien did one better than a Tecmo reenacion of the game-winning TD from Sunday by using peanuts.

Speaking of Tecmo, there's now a t-shirt available of a Tecmo Tebow Tebowing.

The Nuggets GM thinks his team would have won on Monday night had they had Tebow on the squad.

Patriots

DL Kyle Love missed practice but is not injured; 15 Pats were listed as limited participants in practice yesterday.

Although most of the Pats have experienced the playoffs plenty of times, 14 of them have not.

Jason Cole says Tom Brady's intensity goes up another notch come playoff time.

Michael Whitmer on the challenge New England is facing with Tebow.

Trimmings

Mike Silver minces no words in calling new Raiders owner Mark Davis in over his head for his decision to fire Hue Jackson and to only interview one GM candidate, even if he settle on a quality choice in Silver's estimation. Jackson now realizes his news conference after Oakland's loss to San Diego was a bit misguided; McKenzie has scheduled an interview with Miami interim HC Todd Bowles. Plus, more on Davis' epic hairdo from KSK.

In potentially bad news for Denver, Jeff Fisher is reportedly leaning toward taking the Miami job, which would leave the Rams gig available for Dennis Allen to pursue.

Shanny hired Raheem Morris to coach Washington's secondary; Indy has named Ryan Grigson their new GM; the Bears are targeting several candidates for their GM job; Brian Schottenheimer and Mr. Dirk Koetter are candidates for the Bama OC job.

As Packers OC Joe Philbin mourns the loss of his son, Mike McCarthy and Green Bay's offensive assistants are filling in for him.

Ex-Badgers QB Russell Wilson is entering the NFL draft rather than report to the Rockies.

Some anonymous Jets players told the Daily News how they really feel about the Sanchize for his attitude and work ethic; Doug FarrarUnsilent Majority and Burnsy react.

Scrapple

Andy Benoit and Pat Kirwan preview Saints/Niners; Kirwan and Bucky Brooks consider Giants/Packers.

Mike Lombardi thinks Atlanta's FO has overestimated their team by evaluating their play at home rather than on the road.

The ANS probabilities give Denver a 16% chance of winning Saturday and a 2% chance of getting to the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, Brian Burke is starting to work on valuing QBs monetarily; so far, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have been relative bargains to their teams.

PFF is tracking 2012 free agents; among the key players for Denver are Matt Prater, Brodrick Bunkley, Marcus Thomas and Wesley Woodyard.

Wes Bunting ranks his top 10 QB prospects for the 2012 Draft; Rob Rang lists some players who have something to prove between now and April; Matt Miller evaluates A&M's Ryan Tannehill, who is on both Bunting and Rang's lists.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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