Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Tebow’s pick now a fumble, but still worth six points to the Bills

One Tebow interception changed to fumble
blogs.denverpost.com

Make that three picks Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow threw against the Buffalo Bills, not four. Tebow was whacked from behind on the arm by Bills linebacker Chris Kelsay. The ball popped straight in the air and was nabbed by Spencer Larsen who ran it in for a touchdown. After further review, the NFL stat men ruled the play should have been ruled a fumble _ and that is the way it looked _ that was returned for a TD.

NFL players usually don’t talk quarterbacks, but when they do, they prefer Cam Newton

Sporting News player poll: It's Newton over Tebow in a landslide
aol.sportingnews.com

We asked one starting player from 30 teams (we didn’t pursue a vote from Carolina or Denver for obvious reasons) this question: Who will finish with more NFL victories in his career, Newton or Tebow?

RESULTS
Newton: 25 votes
Tebow: 5 votes

PRO-NEWTON: “Newton. He’s a way better player. Much, much better. Cam’s like 10 times better. Cam’s only going to get better. He’s scary as it is right now.” — NFC offensive player

PRO-TEBOW: “Tebow. It just seems that’s the way his life trend is going, man.” — NFC defensive player

Stay thirsty, Tebow fan boys.

Would a division title now be good for the Broncos in the long term?

Broncos Win By Losing
dailydickpunch.com

Well, it was a really fun ride. Stop laughing, I’m serious. It was a blast going 7-1 down that magical stretch when things just started falling into place for the Denver Broncos. Unfortunately every lucky streak — and that’s what it was, don’t kid yourself — must come to an end at some point. After the Patriots game I still thought that the Broncos would win out, make the playoffs, and could even win a playoff game at home. I see nothing. And if I’m being honest, I have no desire to see this version of this team playing an obviously superior Pittsburgh or New England in the “real season” of the playoffs.

I actually rooted for the Broncos to lose the season finale last year, and coming up short against San Diego likely made the difference between Denver landing Von Miller at #2 rather than someone else at #5 or #6. I'm more interested in sustained success and SB titles than a win here and there, so I can certainly see where Sam is coming from here. And, there's always the (likely) chance that the bar be set inappropriately high next year by both fans and punditry should the Broncos win the West:

They were a playoff team last year. Couple more pieces and they're contenders.

But Tebow carried them to the playoffs. Of course he's the future!

There is value in making the playoffs, especially in the form of experience for young players and cash in Mr. B's pockets. But what if the Broncos are just this year's version of the 2010 Chiefs? Would a division title now be more costly down the road?

Fifty Million Evangelicals Can Be Wrong

Tebow has ways to go to win respect as QB from fellow players
www.nfl.com

It should be noted, by the way, that Tebow’s most recent falter against the Bills, which included four interceptions, occurred after the Pro Bowl vote. Tebow’s season was instead judged on his seven wins and two losses (to playoff teams Detroit and New England). 

While he might forever muster a respectable portion of the fan vote (which accounts for one-third of the overall selection process), attaining the vote of the players and coaches (which each also account for one-third) will be a different story.

Surprise, Romeo Crennel wants to win

Romeo Crennel to use Chiefs' starters
espn.go.com

Few people outside Oakland would begrudge the Chiefs for taking it easy against Denver. Crennel doesn’t expect that to be the case, though. He plans to put his best team on the field rather than get some young players in for the experience, guys like rookie quarterback Ricky Stanzi who have spent the majority of the season on the practice squad or the sideline.

“Every game that you play, the guy has to look in the mirror and know he’s giving his best effort to try to win the game,” Crennel said. “I think that’s the case Sunday with Denver, every guy on the team, the coaches included. Like I said, it’s never one guy.”

It's wishful thinking to suggest that Romeo Crennel approach Week 17 against the Broncos as if it doesn't matter. 

It's also comical.  Hey Romeo, um, listen, would you mind playing your practice squad quarterback this game, you know, for experience?  We know you want to coach again in this league and want to win bad, but let's pull back on that fire a bit and let Ricky Stanzi play this thing out.  He could be the real deal.  

Wilson: Tebow still improving, but Buffalo perfected game plan Patriots introduced

Tracking Tebow, Week 16: Defenses are catching on
eye-on-football.blogs.cbssports.com

A week after New England worked to contain Tebow in the pocket and forced him to win the game with his arm, Buffalo perfected the game plan. The Bills usually rushed four, dropped seven into coverage, made sure Tebow didn’t break the pocket for long runs, and made him squeeze throws into tight windows, often with disastrous results.

But don’t mistake the Bills’ game plan for Tebow reverting to the form that had him embarrassed by the Lions back in October. He continues to improve, even if incrementally. The problem: as defenses become more comfortable recognizing and attacking the Broncos’ option scheme, Denver will need to find ways to adapt. And that will mean using Tebow in more conventional ways. Can they (he) do it?

Will Von Miller lose Defensive Rookie of the Year?

Miller's production has slipped after injury
espn.go.com

Miller, the No. 2 overall draft pick, needs three sacks Sunday at Kansas City to tie Jevon Kearse’s rookie record of 14.5 sacks, set in 1998. San Francisco’s Aldon Smith, the No. 7 overall draft pick, has 14 sacks. He has 6.5 sacks since Miller’s injury. It will be interesting to see who wins the NFL defensive rookie of the year award. Miller has been on the field more than Smith and has he had a bigger impact throughout the year, but Smith’s sacks numbers may be difficult to deny even though Miller has 29 more tackles than Smith.

Williamson raises a fair point that wouldn't have been even remotely possible three weeks ago.  As we know, and as John Elway confirmed this morning, Miller's hand injury has affected his sack totals.  But do sack numbers mean more than overall production?  Let's just quickly throw down the lines of both players"

Name Team  Snaps  QB Sacks  QB Hits  QB Pressures  Tackles  Assists  Stops 
 Aldon Smith SF 446 14 12 30 12 2 22
 Von Miller DEN 873 11.5 19 28 41 8 41

I could have easily turned all of these into rate stats (sacks/snap, etc.), but they would essentially show the same thing: Aldon Smith has been more productive as a pass rusher, while Miller has been more productive overall. We're clearly biased here at IAOFM. We think Miller is the next Derrick Thomas, but with the chops to also play the running game. Does that mean he's Defensive Rookie of the Year?  In our minds, it certainly does.

Maher breaks the first rule of satire

Bill Maher Slams Tim Tebow on Twitter
www.opposingviews.com

On Saturday, Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos had a very bad day as they lost to the Buffalo Bills 40 - 14.  That led so-called comedian Bill Maher to tweet: “Wow, Jesus just f****d #TimTebow bad! And on Xmas Eve! Somewhere in hell Satan is tebowing, saying to Hitler ‘Hey, Buffalo’s killing them.’
Fox News’ Eric Bolling responded:  “Bill Maher is disgusting vile trash. I can’t even repeat what he just tweeted about Tebow..on Christmas Eve. #straighttohellBill”

Eventually I'll learn not to dip my toe into these things, but until then, here we go.  I get satire; I get hyperbole; in fact, I engage in a fair amount of it myself. Sometimes, I'll even get a reader who emails me upset until I remind them that they shouldn't read every headline I write literally until reading the story.

When you're a young and impressionable man, they send you--cleanly shaven, of course--to Satire School. On the first day, before they assign you lockers, they write on the chalkboard the fundamental rule: No Hitler jokes.

John Elway: when you lose the rock, you lose the game

12-26 The John Elway Show Part 1
www.denverssportsstation.com

“...turnovers kind of got to us again…we were in the football game, and the next thing we knew, we were kind of out of the football game…execution hasn’t been as good in the last couple weeks, but we haven’t done anything to help ourselves with turnovers.”

Elway said little of significance (as you'd expect) in this interview. He's probably just glad it's his last of the year with Vic and Gary.  Here are a few of the nuggets:

  • Regarding the release of Kyle Orton, he did note that hindsight is always 20/20, but also said, "It was the best move for the Denver Broncos."  When asked how much information Orton can provide the Chiefs on the Tebow offense: "There's not a whole lot Kyle can do to hurt us."  Elway further noted that the Broncos hardly use any audibles.
  • About the conservative play calling: "At times it may look conservative, but that's what has worked for us."
  • On Brian Dawkins: "We needed that leadership back there...when he's not back there, we're missing that leadership that he has."
  • On Von Miller: "When you take a pass rusher and put a cast on one hand, it's going to affect him. Von has been frustrated by that."
  • When Gary Miller asked Elway if he would give Tim Tebow some advice going into a big game, Elway said he would do what he could, but that "he's been in national title games before."

The biggest revelation to me from this interview is that the Broncos don't give Tim Tebow a lot of audibles. Elway also confirmed something we've suspected all along--Von Miller really doesn't like playing with a cast on his hand.

Although we poke a little fun at Vic and Gary from time to time, props to them for putting Elway on the spot. The Broncos said they wanted to be more transparent this year. Vic and Gary made them live up to that promise.

Screw StubHub, get out your guitar

Saints Tight End Jimmy Graham Grants Christmas Wish After Hearing Teen's Catchy Tune
www.thepostgame.com

New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham has won many fans this season. But perhaps none greater than 16-year-old Alex Newman. The New Orleans native learned about football from her dad when she was only 8, and she was instantly hooked on her home team. Dad also taught her the guitar, and this Christmas, Alex decided to put those skills to use crafting a tribute to her favorite Saint. On Saturday morning, Stella woke her big sister to tell her some big news. The video made its way to Graham, who made sure the girls got tickets to Monday night’s game against the Falcons.

I'm totally jealous of this 16-year old girl. This never worked on Lita Ford or Dokken when I tried it on them back in the day.