Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

FO: Time to blow up the Chargers

Audibles at the Line: Week 12
www.footballoutsiders.com

I was actually ready to compliment Norv for balancing runs with passes on that last drive. Then he ran three straight times to settle for that 53-yard field goal. I was shouting “punt!” because I honestly felt they had a better chance pinning the Broncos and seeing if they could drive 50 yards. Instead, the Broncos get the ball in position to pick up two first downs and win the game. Man, you cannot make this stuff up…Von Miller saved them this game too—on third down he knifed in to drop Mike Tolbert for a four-yard loss. Miller just went right through Antonio Gates on the play. Novak’s field goal missed just wide, and likely would have been good from four yards closer. Easy to blame Norv here, but give Miller credit for being a straight baller.

Foxball bolder than Norvball, by a skosh

Calling Interference on Pass Interference
www.grantland.com

Turner pretty clearly gave up at the end of overtime…By taking an instant timeout, Turner could have forced the Broncos to run another play to try to run the clock down, and if anyone is aware of what can happen with an extra snap before a field goal attempt, it’s the Chargers…The Chargers ran Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert on three consecutive plays for no net gain, and Novak promptly failed to put his 52-yarder through the uprights. That’s the exact sort of overtime behavior Brian Burke noted in his research into why Mike Smith’s fourth-and-1 decision was correct; essentially, coaches clam up in overtime when they get anywhere near a reasonable field goal. And it’s also worth noting that the Broncos passed up two fourth-and-1 opportunities with their excellent running game and promptly let the Chargers drive down the field on them … only to get lucky when the Chargers gave up and then missed their field goal.

Can someone tell Fox about the fourthdownulator, please?

Suddenly Tebow is getting more interesting

Tebow
www.advancednflstats.com

The big reason Denver is winning is defense, RB play, and special teams. However, because of Tebow’s unconventional style and scheme, some of the success of the Denver running backs could rightfully be attributed to him. Plus, he may be the perfect fit for a team built around defense. He doesn’t turn the ball over or take sacks, and he can use the clock by playing keep-away with his running. But keep in mind, except for his possible effect on RB success, WPA already captures these considerations.

One thing that doesn't get enough press is Burke's point about the RB play and Tebow because the two relate.  The other way of getting at the same point is to ask, Would McGahee be running the ball as well as he has without the threat of Tebow's running?

We all know the answer to this question.

There were plenty of other quotes to pull from this interesting piece by Burke.  Here's another:  "I enjoy watching Tebow play because I love the unconventional offense and I love the innovation. I love that John Fox fits his scheme to his personnel and not the other way around.  And in an age when every minor successful play results in some ridiculous showboating, finger-wagging dance, Tebow's attitude is refreshing."

Agreed.  When dudes are making fun of other dudes by mocking gun play as their touchdown celebration, it's going a little far.

Elway can’t backpedal fast enough on Tebow

11-28 The John Elway Show Part 1
www.denverssportsstation.com

He’s really making strides each week…I was surprised that people took it to be a negative answer…it wasn’t meant to be a strike at Timmy at all…I need to do a better job of communicating…it’s something I’ll learn from.

In his day, John Elway could backpedal as fast as any quarterback to get into his drops.   Today, though, on his weekly radio show, he was faster.

There was no mention of third-down struggles.  There was no mention of championshp football.  There was barely a mention of Von Miller.

Elway just hugged it out (metaphorically speaking).  He had nothing but praise for Tim Tebow.  In fact, he claims he was surprised (yeah, right) the fans reacted so negatively to his comments about Tebow last week.

Best line: "We're tackling, catching, and running, and that's what it's all about."

2nd-best line: "He [Kyle Orton] is a good human being."

3rd-best line: "If you have a positive mindset, good things are gonna happen."

Let me see if I have this straight.  If you have a positive outlook, can tackle, catch, and run the football, you can kick ass? 

CHFF: Strip club + root canal = Tebow

Thou Shall Not Doubt: Tebow delivers another win
www.coldhardfootballfacts.com

Watching Tim Tebow play quarterback is like getting a root canal at a strip club. Excruciatingly painful yet wildly entertaining at the same time. For the fifth time in the last six weeks, the quarterback - incarnate has led the Denver Broncos from temptation and delivered them from defeat…Most importantly, for the fourth time in as many wins, Tebow did not commit a single turnover…Progress, albeit slow, is still a welcome sight, especially when it provides another exciting win and a lethal blow to a division rival.

Stats are dumb. Scoreboard!!!!

So Did Tebow Play Well?
fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com

Not according to ESPN’s Total QBR, a relatively new rating system that assigned Tim Tebow a low score of 29.7 in Denver’s overtime victory against San Diego on Sunday.

Remember how ESPN had to frantically explain why their new-fangled secret metric to end all QB metrics except they're the Worldwide Leader and you don't just dive into stats with little practice and lots of fanfare gave Tim Tebow a higher Total QBR in his first start than it did Aaron Rodgers? Well, now they have to spend columns trying to explain why Tebow's Total QBR ranks 31st overall. More of this fun to come, until ESPN hopefully abandons Total QBR someday...

Kyle Orton’s Chicago-to-Denver-to-KC adventure in flowchart form

How did Kyle Orton end up in Kansas City?
www.lucidchart.com

Chiefs’ Bernard Pollard injures Tom Brady ⇒ Matt Cassel replaces Tom Brady ⇒NE Patriots finish 11-5

via IAOFM reader @Jessican_DC and KSK

Broncos will get 5th-rounder for Lloyd

Lloyd’s 30th catch upgrades Broncos draft pick
blogs.denverpost.com

The former Broncos receiver caught his 30th pass of the season for the St. Louis Rams today, officially upgrading the pick the Broncos will receive in next year’s draft to a 5th rounder.

Sharpe to Tebow: That wasn’t the question I asked you - whether or not you were blessed.

Video: Tim Tebow talks to CBS Sports about season
eye-on-football.blogs.cbssports.com

Sharpe: Do you believe this organization is 100 percent behind you?
Tebow: I believed that I am very blessed to play for this organization.
Sharpe: That wasn’t the question I asked you—whether or not you were blessed. I asked do you believe John Fox and John Elway 100 percent believe Tim Tebow is the guy that’s going to get them back to winning championships?

Nate Jackson: Broncos are different with Tebow

Nate Jackson: With Tim Tebow, Broncos defying NFL wisdom
www.denverpost.com

John Elway is the Denver Broncos. If anyone will put his heart and his mind into the task at hand — winning football games — John can be trusted to do it. His reputation is on the line. When he said last week he wasn’t quite sure if Tim was the guy yet, he meant it with the objectivity of a man who is trying to do the job he has been hired to do. There is no conspiracy here. Behind closed doors, there are football men who are running a professional football team who are trying to win games. That’s it…But let’s not expect men who have spent their adult lives playing and coaching the game of professional football to so quickly turn their backs on the cornerstones of their trade…The Broncos defense and special teams are playing beautifully. It’s hard to tell exactly why, but it seems as if they are playing more passionately, more cohesively, more like a team.