Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

How I get from Joe Theismann to Chaka Khan

Retired scramblers weigh in on Tim Tebow debate
www.ajc.com

“You’ve got Aaron Rodgers, you’ve got Drew Brees, you’ve got Tom Brady that set a standard of excellence in football that we haven’t seen,” said Theismann, now an NFL Network analyst. “What makes 2011 so unique is we have seen quarterback play in this league at such a high extreme and in Tim’s case, the bottom rung when it comes to completions.”

Besides Tim Tebow, what other athlete in football can generate an article that includes quotes from Steve Young, Randall Cunningham, Bobby Douglass (don't challenge the spelling on this one), and Joe "Snap, there goes my fibula" Theismann?  Nobody, that's who. I find myself questioning my own position on Tebow if it at all approaches Theismann's.  The last time he was relevant, Turbo and Ozone (and Chaka Khan) were ripping it up in the first Breakin' movie:

Blinding Tebow with Science

Science says: Tim Tebow can improve as a passer
sports.yahoo.com

“Just as a simple example, say that a quarterback wants to throw a bomb, nearly 60 yards. The quarterback releases the ball at 50 mph with a release angle of 45 degrees, and the ball is caught at the same height at which it was thrown. The ball goes nearly 56 yards down the field in about 3.22 seconds if we ignore air resistance. A well-thrown spiral doesn’t have too much air resistance, so those numbers don’t change much when including the air,” Dr. Goff said.
“If you drop the arm a foot like in a sidearm throw such as Tebow’s, the range is just a tad over 49 yards and the time of flight is about 3.3 seconds. The conclusion of something like a 12 percent reduction in bomb distance is the new result, as long as one assumes the release speed has dropped 5 percent and the release angle has increased five degrees.” The result is a reason why players in the secondary are perhaps making plays on Tebow’s throws and knocking down passes.

Zed: Ahh..well. Bring out the PhD.

Maynard: I think the PhD's sleeping.

Zed: Well, I guess you'll just have to go wake him up, now, won't you?

Battlefield Tebow

The People Who Hate Tim Tebow
www.grantland.com

The crux here, the issue driving this whole “Tebow Thing,” is the matter of faith. It’s the ongoing choice between embracing a warm feeling that makes no sense or a cold pragmatism that’s probably true. And with Tebow, that illogical warm feeling keeps working out. It pays off. The upside to secular thinking is that — in theory — your skepticism will prove correct. Your rightness might be emotionally unsatisfying, but it confirms a stable understanding of the universe. Sports fans who love statistics fall into this camp. People who reject cognitive dissonance build this camp and find the firewood. But Tebow wrecks all that, because he makes blind faith a viable option. His faith in God, his followers’ faith in him — it all defies modernity. This is why people care so much. He is making people wonder if they should try to believe things they don’t actually believe.

You've heard a lot about the people who love Tebow. You've heard a lot about the people who hate him. This piece explores the intricacies of both sides. There are a lot of ins, a lot of outs. It's got more substance than your typical martyr piece. 

I'll have to admit I rather enjoyed this one. On more than one occasion during this winning streak, the thought did occur to me (albeit briefly) that a higher power has interceded on Tebow's behalf in a football game. I then came to my senses--immediately.

Didn't I?

Harvard geeks still trying to make doves cry

Tebow is Still Producing Miracles: An Update
harvardsportsanalysis.wordpress.com

In Week 12, the Broncos beat San Diego with a game-winning field goal in overtime. Tebow’s WPA (still negative at -0.23) was actually slightly lower than expected, given his EPA (-0.2). This means that, as before, Tebow’s plays negatively affected the Broncos’ chances of winning…Denver tied the game on a field goal with 1:34 left and won with another field goal in overtime (after the Chargers bungled a field goal chance of their own)...In Week 13, Tebow played arguably the best game in his short career, throwing for 202 yards with a completion percentage of 67%. This resulted in an EPA of +2.0, a positive contribution to his team’s success. Using our regression from last week, however, his WPA of +0.24 was still higher than expected (by 0.31), given his raw on-field performance…And, once more, Tebow was the beneficiary of a healthy dose of late game fairy dust: Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder’s interception, returned to the 15-yard line with 1:33 remaining, which set up a chip-shot, game-winning field goal by Matt Prater.

I have a feeling we´ll be hearing more from these guys in the next four weeks.

Tebow is gold.  Tebow is clicks.  Tebow is everything you need and more.

PK: TT is not VY v2.0

Three storylines to watch as playoff race gets interesting; mail
sportsillustrated.cnn.com

“As a Tennessee Titans fan, I remember this exact story playing out with Vince Young when he was made the starter in 2006. The Titans started the season with five straight losses before making an improbable playoff push behind the heroics of Young despite ugly stat lines and split public opinion about whether he was a just “winner” or getting lucky and not being the long term answer. We know how this turned out in Tennessee. It’s fun while it lasts but it doesn’t last long in the NFL. Do you see a similar scenario playing out in Denver?’‘

King: Tebow didn’t have that 2-4 start Young had. He walked in and has gone 6-1, with the interesting comebacks to boot.

One would think PK could come up with a better argument than going scoreboard, right? Like, Tebow drinks the same Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino® Light that he himself prefers?

Make room in Tebow’s heart for capitalism

Tim Tebow Nike Ad: Be The Hammer Or The Nail
network.yardbarker.com

Tim Tebow isn’t your prototypical NFL Quarterback…Actually he resembles more of a rugby player than a football player…Here’s Tebow’s new Nike ad — Be the Hammer or the Nail –I know there’s a Jesus joke somewhere in here.

I was heartened to see Tebow has other things going on besides religion and football--namely, making some straight cash money.

For a few weeks, I was starting to buy into the notion that he really was Mother Teresa in cleats. Evangelicals--especially in the employment of Nike--don't take vows of poverty, however.  

Looks like the boys over at Nike did their own version of banning Bible verses from Tebow's eye black. They've swooshed him.

Tebow probably hasn't made the connection between the sweatshops in the Philippines and Nike's ever-improving gross margins. I doubt it would matter.  

Corporations > Tebow.

CBS trying to keep NBC from flexing Broncos/Pats to SNF

NBC, CBS fighting over Tim Tebow vs. Tom Brady
www.denverpost.com

Tim Tebow and the Broncos may be headed to prime time again, but not if CBS gets its way. The NFL and NBC want to switch the Broncos’ Dec. 18 game vs. New England at Denver to its Sunday Night Football broadcast at 6:20 p.m. Kickoff currently is scheduled for 2:15 p.m., but NBC wants to show the game in favor of a Baltimore-San Diego matchup that had previously been scheduled that night.

Can't blame CBS for not wanting this game moved. Ratings, baby!

Kacsmar: More Broncos comeback history from Tebow

Captain Comeback Week 13: Ready for the Fourth Quarter
www.coldhardfootballfacts.com

Denver continues to win by the slimmest of margins, and always with 10 pass completions or less. Every week you think it’d be harder to document Tebow’s rise (for He has risen), but it’s actually not. There are plenty more nuggets to dig out of this odyssey of success…This is only the 3rd time the Broncos have had 3 consecutive fourth quarter comeback wins in their team’s history…This current third streak [is] the only time Denver has done it in the same season and with the same QB (Tebow).

Bowen explains how Tebow/Thomas hooked up for first TD

How did Tebow beat the Vikings Cover 2?
www.nationalfootballpost.com

Today, let’s talk Denver vs. Minnesota from this past Sunday, take a look at the Broncos’ “4 Verticals” route shceme and break down why this coverage was a bust that led to Tim Tebow’s TD pass to Demaryius Thomas…We talk about matchups all of the time and this route scheme is no different. With Thomas (X) getting a free release vs. a rolled-up CB to the open side of the formation, the Broncos have created a 2-on-1 situation vs. the FS in the deep half. Test his discipline to stay square in his backpedal to play over the top of two vertical routes…What do we have now? A busted coverage due to the route concept. With the FS driving to the middle of the field, the open side deep half (highlighted in white) is wide open. Too easy for Tebow and Thomas. Can’t let that happen in the NFL.

Even Ryan Wilson has caved on Tim Tebow criticism

Tracking Tebow, Week 13: The Tebolution continues
eye-on-football.blogs.cbssports.com

We can chuckle all we want about Tim Tebow, glorified H-back, but the Chiefs and Bears would love to have him right now. Nothing he does on the football field is pretty but there’s no denying that he’s efficient. No one—not even Tom Brady, former 199th pick who cries when he’s reminded of his draft-day free fall—gets more out of their abilities. Because, realistically, Tebow should be a blocking back. He should be playing on the coverage and return units. He should be on the roster bubble every preseason. And yet here he is, doing what he’s done since high school: winning.

I was expecting to see more talk of wide open receivers, but perhaps that'll come later in the week...