Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Wilson: Tebow improving; did Pats provide executable blueprint on how to stop him?

Tracking Tebow, Week 15: Learning experiences
eye-on-football.blogs.cbssports.com

Unlike the Lions game in Week 8 (the last time the Broncos lost, by the way), where Tebow looked thoroughly confused (and, incidentally, a week before the Broncos went all in on read-option football), the second-year quarterback continues to get better.

But there are also signs that opposing defenses are beginning to get a bead on the offense that made Tebow a Heisman trophy winner in college. The question now, with two games left in the regular season and the Broncos trying to old onto the AFC West lead: Can Tebow’s mastery of option football be enough to overcome its potential flaws? It’s one thing for an opponent to know how to stop Tebow, it’s something else entirely to actually pull it off.

PFF: Keys to loss were poor tackling in secondary and pass protection; Tebow improving

Re-Focused: Patriots @ Broncos, Week 15
www.profootballfocus.com

Coverage was certainly an issue, but the tackling was even worse. The secondary missed seven tackles as a unit, led by CB Champ Bailey (-1.8) who missed three. For the game, the Patriots picked up 203 of their 320 passing yards after the catch, all due to the poor tackling or defenders being out of position…Like Vick, Tebow tends to hold the ball for quite a while as he waits for plays to develop downfield and on a few plays, Tebow scrambled wildly with nowhere to go as the Patriots did a decent job of keeping him bottled up. There were still a number of plays where Clady got beaten right off the snap by Anderson and Moore so it was not a good day, as Tebow was pressured on 19 of his 32 dropbacks…Like most analysts, I haven’t been impressed with Tebow’s throwing of the football, but he appears to be improving every week and as long as teams have to respect him as a runner, he will have some open windows in which to throw.

At least it’s not a centaur

Fan Gets Bill Belichick Tattoo After Losing Bet (Video)
larrybrownsports.com

Broncos fan Brady Wagner was so sure his team would beat the Patriots Sunday, he wagered a tattoo with a childhood friend. If Denver won, Wagner’s friend would have to get a Tim Tebow tattoo. If the Patriots won, Wagner agreed to get a Bill Belichick tattoo.

Why anyone would ever bet on something they have zero control over, with the stakes being a tattoo, is beyond my comprehension. But hey, whatever floats your boat.

John Fox - coward of the county?

Bill Belichick accurately predicted John Fox would chicken out
sports.yahoo.com

Belichick plays to his opponent like no other coach in the league. If he was facing a gambler like a Mike Smith or a Sean Payton, there’s no way Belichick leaves a potential fourth-and-1 conversion, and potential 20-7 lead, for the taking. Instead, he seemed to anticipate that Fox would cave, kick the field goal and get away with a nine-point lead. No guts, no glory. Following the field goal, New England scored the next 27 points, en route to an easy 41-23 victory.

I think all of us here at IAOFM have written about this before, most recently in the Gut Reaction from Sunday.

John Fox, we repeat: grow a pair.

Tom Brady: it ain’t no thang

Pats’ Brady takes some air out of Tebow mania
sports.yahoo.com

Not long after New England’s 41-23 victory over the Broncos, a triumph which clinched the AFC East title for the Pats (11-3) and put them on track for a first-round playoff bye, I entered the visitors’ locker room and encountered Brady as he headed for the showers. Securing a white towel around his waist with his right hand and holding a shaving kit with his left, the future Hall of Famer stopped cold when I asked if he’d sensed, after Tebow’s late touchdown, that the game might be slipping away.

“I’ve been in a lot of big games, Mikey,” he said, looking me directly in the eye. “Games a lot bigger than this.”

In addition to reminding everyone that he gets texted by pro athletes, Mike Silver really wants you to know he's tight with Tom Brady.

We get it, Mikey.  You're kind of a big deal.

Phil Rivers likes to gamble

All four AFC West teams in contention for division title
content.usatoday.com

“We’ve got better odds than we had in 2008,” Rivers told The San Diego Union-Tribune after Sunday night’s 34-14 smashing of the Baltimore Ravens. “We’ve got a chance.” But that hinges on winning at Detroit—where the Lions will be looking to claim their first playoff berth since 1999—and getting help from elsewhere.

Sorry, Phil, you can only roll the dice so many seasons in a row.  This time, you're going down--and your little dog, Norv Turner, too!

Straight Cash, Homey

Patriots-Broncos helps CBS earn second-best preliminary NFL rating since 1998
www.washingtonpost.com

The highly anticipated matchup between Tom Brady and Tim Tebow helped draw the second-best preliminary television rating for a regular-season NFL game on CBS since the network acquired the AFC package in 1998.

The New England Patriots’ 41-23 win over the Denver Broncos led to a 19.5 overnight rating and 36 share for CBS’s NFL coverage Sunday. Only the Nov. 4, 2007, games highlighted by a meeting of two undefeated teams, the Patriots and Colts, had a higher rating in the last 14 seasons on the network with a 22.5/39.

Phil Simms: Brady and Tebow are twinsies

Tom Brady Shows Tim Tebow What A Real Quarterback Looks Like
deadspin.com

As far as I could tell on Sunday, Tebow’s main power seems to be to make football announcers abandon their critical faculties. When they weren’t hyping Tebow’s mere presence, the CBS team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms were making excuses for his poor throws and his team’s mediocre play, while minimizing New England’s dominance. “It didn’t come out of Tebow’s hand clean, but it doesn’t matter,” Simms said after Tebow’s first completion of the day. When the Patriots took the lead for good in the second quarter, Simms said, “We sit here and I feel like it’s been all Denver up to the point.” At that moment, New England had possessed the ball for all but 12 of the game’s previous 478 seconds. CBS later showed side-by-side video of Tebow and Brady throwing, and Simms told us we were looking at “the exact same thing,” by which he must have meant a man throwing a football. When he finally admitted that Tebow had made a poor throw, Simms excused it—and, by extension, every other Tebow errancy—by claiming that his misses are due to an overabundance of caution. On the very next play, Tebow must have been feeling extremely cautious. Nantz reminded us that he’d have an entire offseason to get better.

Sarah Palin: Jesus will…Jesus will…rock you!

In Case You Were Wondering, Yes, Sarah Palin Is A Tim Tebow Fan
www.sportsgrid.com

“I am so pro Tebow…you know he is unashamed of his savior, Jesus of Nazareth.  He knows that Jesus is gonna rock your world when you give it all over to him.”

Really, we can't make this stuff up.

I'm glad Palin clarified that she was talking about the Jesus from Nazareth, and not Jesús of Vegas, who hooked me up with some sweet Ray-Bans last summer.  He definitely rocked my world. Keep on rockin' in the free world, Jesús...to that crazy casbah sound.

Comey: Tebow’s a keeper at QB

10 Things We Learned: Upsetting Week 15 edition
www.coldhardfootballfacts.com

But Tebow played a heck of a good game against the Patriots, and his performance should be extremely encouraging to Broncos fans and management.

He’s shown huge improvement in just a half-season of play, going from a quarterback who couldn’t be trusted to make the simplest throws to a guy who had more than a few nice tosses against a willing New England defense. Assuming he can turn about 10 percent of his throws from errant to on-the-mark, he’s going to be a good one.

The debate over what the Broncos want to do next year should be moot. They hired John Fox to bring toughness and running to the organization, and with Tebow they’re in extremely good position to do that. If your QB has six turnovers in nine starts, in his first real action? You stick with that guy, period.