Leading Off: Comebacks Are All in the Believing
Eli Manning would not be king of a saved Giants season had Jason Pierre-Paul not blocked a field goal attempt in the final second that would have sent the Cowboys to overtime, and Tim Tebow would not be doing another victory/prayer lap had Matt Prater not kicked a 59-yarder to get the Broncos to overtime. But then, maybe those things happened precisely because of Manning and Tebow. Comebacks, you see, are all in the believing. This is what the Broncos and the Giants each have: a quarterback they totally, unfailingly, devotedly believe in. It’s the magic quality that the best ones have, the thing you can’t discover in a scouting combine or measure with statistics. Manning and Tebow might have nothing else in common other than their position, but they’ve got that.
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' becomes officially recognized as a word
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.
Passing Around the Blame in Dallas
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.
Merril Hoge - Mike and Mike in the Morning
“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.
Stars align on key sequence as Broncos get sixth straight win
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.
Run by Tebow, Broncos gets harder to explain
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.
10 Things We Learned: Thrilling Week 14 Edition
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...
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...
Broncos may avoid 1st-round QB
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.