Good Morning, Broncos fans! Yesterday's loss to San Diego locked up the 2nd overall pick in April's draft for the Broncos. While a last-second victory on a Hail Mary yesterday would have been exciting, quite frankly it would have been disastrous for Denver in terms of the draft - the Broncos would have slipped all the way to 5th overall. Instead, Denver will have their pick of the defensive litter should Andrew Luck enter the draft and go first overall to Carolina (or another team in the event of a trade). With Miami's loss yesterday, it appears Denver will enter the draft with three choices among the top
47 - (2, 34, 47). Correction: Denver's top three picks are at 2, 36 and 46
Tim Tebow finished with 285 yards of net offense on 52 chances, bringing his QB rating (77.8), average per throw (8.0) and per offensive chance (7.1) down a bit. However, this wasn't a huge shock with the Dolts and their top-rated defense in town. Still, Tebow's average throw and chance over his three starts were each almost a full yard higher than Kyle Orton's, and his total offensive TD rate of 5.93% is exceptional - for perspective's sake, Tom Brady's rate was 6.8%, while Philip Rivers' was 4.9% and Orton's was 3.7%. Tebow's rate stats are quite similar to those of Michael Vick, who has averaged 8.1 yards per throw, 7.5 per offensive chance and an identical 5.93% offensive TD rate.
If yesterday was a glimpse of the Broncos' future with Tebow, then good things are in store, in the form of points and victories. TJ and I both love to talk about what correlates to winning, and of course it's always passing, or more specifically adjusted net yards per attempt. However, there is one offensive statistic that translates to wins on a higher level, and that would be points scored. We may have to get used to a low completion percentage and an interception rate more like John Elway or Brett Favre than Tom Brady's for the next decade or so. But if along with that come the excitement, extended plays, and points in bunches that Tebow has exhibited in his NFL cameo, then we'll have plenty to cheer for going forward. So, sure - the Broncos were 4-12 and the laughingstock of the sports world in 2010; but we're on the upswing; after all, we've got ourselves a quarterback.
Belated note: I must acknowledge that of course, the stats above should be taken with the large grain of salt that is its small sample size. Three starts is but a smidge in the career of an NFL quarterback, and I don't mean to say that we definitely have the next Michael Vick on our hands here with Tebow - just that the potential is there. There will be bumps along the way, defenses will make adjustments to lessen the impact of Tebow's running, but one would have to think Tebow's acumen in the passing game will improve with time. But certainly there is no guarantee that it will. Thanks to chibronx for the reminder on the old small sample disclaimer - Doug (10:06AM ET)
Here's the box score from yesterday's game for your perusal.
Chris Hall and Broncos TV recap the game.
Cassius Vaughn ran back a kickoff 97 yards for a TD yesterday - watch it here. When's the last time the Broncos had more than one good kick returner on the squad? Well, now we've got at least four - Vaughn, Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas and Eddie Royal.
Highlights from NFLN's GameDay.
Mason sums up Tebow's performance and the game.
Klis summarizes the game.
LJ on Tebow's up-and-down day.
Woody says John Elway will be introduced as the Broncos' new head football man at a news conference on Wednesday. Bafflingly, Woody is critical of the decision this year to make Ben McDaniels the QB coach in recapping everything he thinks went wrong. It's an awful column, save the actual news regarding Elway.
Krieger on Elway's return to the Broncos. As we're all wondering, Krieger asks if Elway knows what he's getting himself into and whether the challenge is just to big for someone who's never been an NFL executive or coach.
Klis on the possibility that Elway will be speaking with Jim Harbaugh about the head coaching job at tonight's Orange Bowl.
Doug Farrar on the Elway hiring.
Mason goes over some of the more interesting numbers from Denver's season.
Kiszla has already labeled Tebow "Teflon" and thinks a high-profile coach like Harbaugh or Jon Gruden would be scared away by his presence.
Players reacted to the news that Elway will be running the show shortly.
Notes from the DP - Champ says that although he wants to win, his first choice will be to stay in Denver.
Legwold goes over what went wrong for Denver's defense this season.
Mario Haggan gave fencing a shot the other day.
The Dolts reflected upon their disappointing season.
Tim Sullivan grades the Dolts' performance yesterday.
Remarkably, Jokeland finished 8-8 by whipping the Chefs. In fact, Jokeland went a stunning 6-0 within the division.
Notes from Tafur.
Cam Inman says Jokeland should stick with the Cable guy.
But Mike Lombardi is hearing that the Crypt Keeper is thinking otherwise.
Mellinger on the oversized ego of Handshake Haley as Charlie Weis heads out the door.
Teicher on how hard Weis is trying even though he's a lame duck.
Babb on the Chefs' loss to Jokeland.
Here's the playoff schedule for next week.
Tom Coughlin will be back with the G-Men next year.
Mike Lombardi says the University of Pittsburgh is interested in hiring Marvin Lewis.
Matt Bowen evaluates the playoff teams.
Peter King wraps the weekend in his MMQB. He doubts the Broncos will be able to woo Harbaugh.
Don Banks thinks the Crypt Keeper is nuts if he cans the Cable guy, and figures Josh McDaniels is a perfect fit in KC - except for his relationship with Handshake Haley.
For those still wringing their hands about the Broncos having traded away
8 fumbles Peyton Hillis, the great white hope he finished the season yesterday with seven games of fewer than 50 yards rushing and nine with fewer than 60 yards rushing. Of his five 100-yard rushing games, three came against atrocious teams (Cincy, Buffalo, Carolina). He also failed to get into the end zone over the Browns' final five games. But he can still hunt possum pull a truck, so keep the narrative going!