Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Lombardi: Broncos create their own luck; yesterday should establish Tebow as 2012 starter

Broncos’ luck is residue of Tebow’s design; more on Week 14
www.nfl.com

A few weeks ago, I was talking with a high-level NFL executive who told me, based on talking directly with the Broncos, that the team’s original plan was to play Tebow a few weeks for the fans, and then start with the rebuilding process. Tebow was former coach Josh McDaniels’ pick and the Broncos, according to this executive, wanted to move on…Each week, Tebow has done more in the passing game to prove that he can lead a team to victory with more than just his feet. And Sunday’s performance had to seal his fate as the Broncos quarterback for 2012 and on.

I also found it interesting that Lombardi is the lone voice stating that Chicago did the right thing in softening their defense late yesterday:

The last thing the Bears wanted to have happen was what happened to the Jets, when Tebow broke containment, and ran untouched to the end zone as the defenders were covering their own man, not watching Tebow.

I'd agree with Lombardi as far as the game-tying drive goes, but not the prior one where the Bears held a 10-point advantage.

‘Tebowing’ reportedly recognized as word by scammish website

'Tebowing' becomes officially recognized as a word
content.usatoday.com

It appears “Tebowing” is here to stay. The Global Language Monitor website says it acknowledges that the word Tebowing—the act of taking a knee in prayer during an athletic contest—is now part of the English language. In today’s online world, that’s practically the equivalent of gaining acceptance to Webster’s Dictionary.

I can't actually find this on the GLM website, but who cares? Let's go with it - Tebowing, now a real word! (h/t LBS)

Update 3:23pm ET - As it turns out, this is in fact a bunch of hogwash.

Barnwell: Tebow is turning the corner as an NFL passer

Passing Around the Blame in Dallas
www.grantland.com

It’s also worth noting that, for whatever weaknesses he has as a passer, Tebow is playing with arguably the worst group of receivers in football…In fact, Tebow’s begun to turn the corner from gimmick quarterback to something resembling a legitimate NFL passer…Tebow is getting better at improvising when plays break down as he develops a rapport with his receivers, and as those bonds get stronger, he should be even more improved when he gets out of the pocket…As bad as his receivers are, secondaries can’t cover them for eight or nine seconds while also worrying about the possibility of a Tebow scramble…Tebow deserves a ton of credit for the drives he pulled off after those two Barber mistakes, but as a team, Denver was handed two miracles that had nothing to do with Tebow whatsoever.

Tebow’s biggest doubter trucks himself

Merril Hoge - Mike and Mike in the Morning
espn.go.com

“My analyst’s eyes have been clouded.”

“I’ve been wrong on a lot of levels with him.  I’ve lost the ability…the opportunity…to shed some light on what an amazing story on..how he’s worked persevered…all those things that you try to teach young people.”

“I’m become now a huge fan in watching the Broncos play and Tim Tebow play.”

I thought Hoge was going to get emotional early in this interview.  He's clearly switched sides on this "Tebow thing."

'ppreciate it, Merril.  Seriously, though, listen to the first part of this interview when Hoge talks about his own life.  I enjoyed it, no matter his opinion of Tebow.

PK: Bowlen wanted Broncos/Pats flexed to SNF, Kraft did not

Stars align on key sequence as Broncos get sixth straight win
sportsillustrated.cnn.com

Denver had played its way into prime time, and Denver owner Pat Bowlen, a member of the NFL’s Broadcast Committee, agreed. He wanted the game in prime time…CBS, on the other hand, wanted to keep the game because of the Tebow factor and made its case to keep the game…I can tell you this: The NFL would have moved Denver-New England to prime time if Jacksonville beat San Diego last Monday…An afternoon game in Mountain Time means the Patriots would get back to New England at about 2 a.m. If the game had been moved, their charter would return at about 6 a.m. Monday. With a Saturday afternoon game looming the following weekend, obviously the Patriots’ preference would have been to play in the afternoon. I’m told two things reliably: Yes, Kraft did tell the league he wanted the game kept in the afternoon. No, Kraft did not strongarm the league in any way about it.

Personally, I'll appreciate the extra few hours of sleep. But Broncos/Pats is clearly the most interesting matchup of the week, and the football-watching nation deserves to see it.

Tebow farther beyond comprehension than the stars

Run by Tebow, Broncos gets harder to explain
sports.yahoo.com

But I also believe in Tim Tebow because there is no scientific explanation for what is happening to the Denver Broncos. There is no other plausible way to make sense of these games and the amazing, miraculous way with which they win week after week…But as to how Tim Tebow made this latest comeback happen from nothing? It would be easier to define the Northern Lights (a collision of charged particles and atoms) or St. Elmo’s Fire (air particles that are ionized)...Players will use words like “resilience” and “character” and “toughness” to assess both their quarterback and themselves but none of it makes much logical sense. Nothing explains 50 minutes of dreadful football transforming into brilliance at the snap of a finger. Or perhaps a clap of thunder.

Comey: Broncos likely to face playoff gauntlet

10 Things We Learned: Thrilling Week 14 Edition
www.coldhardfootballfacts.com

If Denver makes the playoffs, it will probably be as the No. 4 seed. New England will probably be No. 1 or No. 2, with Baltimore or Pittsburgh the other home-field team and the other at No. 5. So, the road reads like this: host BAL/PIT, at BAL/PIT/NE, at BAL/PIT/NE, then vs. Green Bay in the Super Bowl. All four teams will be at least 12-4, and the Packers will probably be unbeaten. All four teams have Super Bowl history, experience aplenty, great coaches, great players. And then there are the Broncos, owners of the worst defense in the NFL a year ago by any measure, a team that started the season with Kyle Orton at QB and were the only sure non-winner in the AFC West, a team that was 1-4 and thinking about the Suck For Luck sweepstakes just two months ago.

But, you know something's bound to happen, don't you? Even I do...

Get ‘em while they’re hot: Tebowing Christmas cards

For Unto You Is Born This Day In The City Of Denver A Savior, Which Is Tim Tebow (Expedited Shipping Available)
deadspin.com

Some Coloradan soul has gone to the trouble of creating a limited run of 1,000 of these bad boys so get them while they’re hot (Five for $15). Once they’re gone, they’re gone! Unless…no that’s not for a few more months still.

I'm holding out for a Tebow tree topper...

Mort: Broncos less likely to use first-rounder on QB

Broncos may avoid 1st-round QB
espn.go.com

If Tim Tebow continues to show improvement and leads the Broncos to the playoffs, the franchise is likely to commit to him as its starting quarterback in 2012 and not automatically use a first-round draft pick on another quarterback, according to team sources. Any commitment to Tebow as a starter does not mean the Broncos will ignore the quarterback position in the offseason because Denver only has Tebow and rookie Adam Weber under contract beyond this season. If Denver commits to Tebow as a starter, the Broncos will “draft the best player available” regardless of position, a source said, whereas the organization and executive vice president of football operations John Elway had expected to use a first-round pick on a quarterback in April’s draft.

A lesson on how to apply selection bias

LOVIE: WE KNOW WHAT'S AT STAKE
www.csnchicago.com

This will be difficult. Whether because of altitude or whatever, the Broncos have the NFL’s best record at home (218-84) since 1975. They already have lost to Oakland, San Diego and Detroit at home this year.

The Broncos do indeed have the best home record since 1975.  Wait, 1975? 

Often in our quest to build a gigantic sample size, we end up creating a worse problem--we ignore the obvious, like new stadium construction, regime and player changes, and you know, recent five and ten year trends, which would match current rosters.

But it's one hell of a statistic.  Even the wine-and-cheese crowd that currently inhabits SAF can get behind it.