Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

No Plan B, No Dice

Polian regrets not having backup plan for Colts
sports.yahoo.com

On Wednesday, Polian told The Associated Press that not grooming a replacement for the injured Manning was the primary reason the Colts collapsed this season, going from Super Bowl contender to the league’s worst record. “I’ve always told the staff that our approach should be to hope for the best but plan for the worst, and I didn’t do an adequate enough job of planning for the circumstances we were in,” Polian said in a phone interview. “It led to this catastrophe.”

When asked if he was referring specifically to finding a backup for Manning, Polian said: “Yes.”

Risk--it's a harsh reality of any business.  Good businesses have contingency plans; better businesses have two (or three).  Either Bill Polian misjudged the risk of Manning going down for an extended time and he chose to ignore it or he simply believed his contingency plans were enough.  Clearly, whatever the reason, he failed to account for the probability of a 2-14 season.  A little hubris?  Apathy?  Feeling a little too comfortable after a decade of Manning? 

Risk management--it does a body an organization good.  

Kirwan: Quinn could see action; look for Steelers to air it out

Tebow, Broncos no match for Steelers' top-ranked defense
www.nfl.com

Tebow couldn’t beat the only two playoff defenses he faced (Detroit Lions and New England Patriots), and this Steelers unit will clearly be his toughest challenge yet. I won’t be shocked if backup Brady Quinn gets some consideration in the second half.

Roethlisberger averages 37 pass attempts a game this year (40 per game on the road), and now that running back Rashard Mendenhall is out with a knee injury, expect at least 40 throws on Sunday.

Broncos a steal at 120 to 1

Postseason Projections: Wild Card Round
www.advancednflstats.com

It seems even three consecutive losses is not enough to put a damper on Tebow-mania. Denver’s odds of winning the Super Bowl are variously listed as anywhere from 50/1 to 120/1, but, regardless, the Broncos are still over-valued, with the model estimating their true probability of a Super Bowl win to be less than one in eight hundred.

Hey, a 19% chance of beating the Steelers? Not too shabby!

If Tebow had DeSean Jackson, he’d be tearing it up

Tebow Experiment's Top Lesson: Broncos Need More Firepower
www.huffingtonpost.com

So it took defenses three months to figure out that the best way to beat a quarterback is to make sure his receivers don’t get open? If that’s the case, every defensive coordinator whose team lost to the Broncos should be fired. The way to stop Aaron Rodgers and Tim Tebow is the same way to stop any quarterback who can hurt you with his legs—you force them to stay in the pocket, pressure them from their throwing-hand side when they try to run, and cover their receivers tightly. The difference is that Rodgers still has the accuracy, pocket awareness, offensive line protection, and receivers to still beat any team in the league even when he’s forced to stay in the pocket. Tebow has none of those things, which leads to the final point the Tebow experiment has shown.

The Broncos need DeSean Jackson. If the Eagles franchise-tag him, the Broncos need to trade for him and give him a new deal. If he’s a free agent, they need to sign him and let him know he’s going to be an important part of their offense.

Having Tebow spend time working personally with John Elway on mechanics should be at the top of Fox’s offseason to-do list, but doing whatever it takes to obtain Jackson and motivate him to be a featured part of the offense should be the next item on the list. The Broncos’ coaching staff should also study every nuance and intricacy of what made Urban Meyer’s offense successful at Florida with Tebow and Harvin, and figure out how to implement those wrinkles into the Broncos’ game plans next year. In the draft and free agency, Denver can then focus on strengthening its defense.

Elway still digging Tebow

John Elway says he's taking a big-picture view of Broncos' playoff berth
www.denverpost.com

Elway said that he saw progress from Tebow in the 11 games since Tebow replaced Kyle Orton as starting quarterback.
“For Tim and his youth, and number of starts he’s had, Tim has done a good job this year,” Elway said.

Among other issues Elway addressed:
**On if Brady Quinn could get a chance to play quarterback if Tebow continues to struggle: “I don’t think so, but you never know. I think the coaches are looking at it right now,” Elway said. “We’re in the playoffs, and the coaching staff is going to do anything they can to help us win this football game.”

Terrell Suggs won’t be Tebowing

Terrell Suggs on Tim Tebow, Broncos: We Don’t Need God on Our Sideline
larrybrownsports.com

Naturally, Tebow believes it is God’s will that allowed the Broncos to reach the postseason.  Terrell Suggs would agree with that, but he also believes that unlike the Ravens, the Broncos need God’s help to win. “With all due respect, we don’t need God on our sideline,” Suggs said Tuesday morning on ESPN First Take. “Once again God had to save Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos. Tebow couldnt even give them two drives? Seven to three (KC-Denver score)?”

A quick bit of advice to all the kids out there--when someone begins a sentence with the phrase, "With all due respect," it means they are about to disrespect you.

Of course the Ravens don't need God.  They've got Joe Flacco.  Have you seen that guy's Fu Manchu?

Broncos one step closer to repeating as AFC West champs

Chargers to retain Turner, Smith
www.utsandiego.com

The Chargers have announced that head coach Norv Turner and General Manager A.J. Smith will return in 2012.

“Bottom line, I believe these two men give us the best chance to get back to the playoffs,” club President Dean Spanos said in a statement posted on the team’s website. “A.J. Smith is the best man to improve our roster, and Norv Turner is the best man to lead that roster on the field.

THANK YOU, Dean Spanos!

Meanwhile, Mike Martz has resigned as the Bears OC. Perhaps Jay Cutler will be reunited with his BFF Bubble Screen Bates.

When a tube of lipstick just ain’t enough

Michele Bachmann Is Just Like Tim Tebow, Says Most Inevitable Campaign Ad Ever
deadspin.com

One won the Iowa straw poll five months ago and is now trending in single digits on the day of that state’s caucus vote. The other made the playoffs despite a three-game losing streak to end the regular season with a .500 record. See? They’re exactly the same!

Not quite Fergalicious, but it works

Ryan Clark won’t play in Denver, Mike Tomlin says
www.washingtonpost.com

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark will not play in the team’s wild-card playoff game against the Broncos in Denver because of the adverse effects playing at a high altitude has on a condition Clark has. “I met with him and informed him I am not going to allow him to play in the game,” Tomlin said. “It was an easy decision for us. When looking at all of our data, we came to the determination he is at more risk so we are not going to play him. It’s that simple.” Clark has sickle cell trait, a condition that caused serious problems for him when the Steelers played in Colorado in 2007. Because his major organs were deprived of oxygen, Clark ended up losing his spleen and gall bladder.

During the Broncos' winning streak, belief began to matter more than game plans.  Here at IAOFM, we're happy to bring it back:

  • Opponent's starting running back injured--check
  • Opponent's starting safety with rare sickle cell trait--check 
  • Opponent's starting quarterback barely walks--check

Kacsmar: If one team can pull off comeback this weekend, why not Denver?

Captain Comeback Week 17: 2011 Regular Season Review
www.coldhardfootballfacts.com

But Sunday’s game at home against rival Kansas City, with the division on the line, was most troubling.

When does “he just wins” come to an end? How does a four-game losing streak sound? That might just be the motive John Elway was hoping for all year to go another direction next year.

Maybe Denver can pull off the upset, which would only blow up Tebow-mania to a new fever pitch, and send Elway into a tizzy from the press box as he begrudgingly displays his approval

If you had to pick a game from the Wild Card schedule to show up in next week’s Captain Comeback, this would be the one, right?