Tag Archives: Denver Broncos

What did we learn from The Pats Vs. The Tebows?

19 Dec

I think we learned that what everyone says is right and despite the fact that Bill Belichick has no Superbowl wins to his name after getting busted for cheating, he still is an excellent coach.

You could say that we learned that the Patriots are a better team and while I believe that is true, it’s not because player by player they are better than the Broncos.

Tebow looked about the same although did not have his brilliant finish.  If you watched the game, you’d be surprised that he did end up completing 50% of his passes for nearly 200 yards and rushed for another 100 yards and two touchdowns.  Most of what I saw were passes coming up short or sailing over the head of receivers as he tends to do until the last 9 minutes of the game.

We learned that the Broncos have a very good defense that put lots of pressure on Brady, but eventually wilted in the face of the continual pressure to stop that offense.

The Broncos need a healthy McGahee to win.  They held their own when he was in the game and healthy.  He limped off and the offense lost a significant step.

We learned that field goals never, ever, ever will beat this Patriots team.  The Chargers are very familiar with that fact.

We learned that despite the current “Gronk” love fest going on, there’s another stellar tight end in New England by the name of Aaron Hernandez.  Yeah, they have two who may both end up in the Pro Bowl.

Overall, the Patriots have amazing receivers.  How many bullet passes did Brady’s receivers (including tight ends) perfectly snatch out of the air?  There were several passes where I expected incompletions that resulted in first downs because of great hands.  Tebow would benefit from a few more quality receiving threats.

The Patriots learned from previous games it seems and decided to keep it simple versus Tebow early and then throw the playbook at him in the second half so he didn’t have time to adjust.  We may see more teams going that way in coming weeks.  Don’t show your defensive wrinkles until the second half and limit Tebow’s ability to adjust.

We learned a lot and very little at the same time.  For me, the biggest thing I took away from the game was the importance of a great leader and how One man believing they can overcome all odds doesn’t trump 53 men believing they can overcome all odds.  Tebow can have all the faith in the world in his ability and his team’s ability to win, but it doesn’t compare to Belichick instilling that belief into his entire team.

The Patriots believe that they will win.  Every single player on that team seems committed to victory and it was obvious that they relished the task of ending the Broncos recent run.  Did their complete trust in their coach, their team, their quarterback, and their system come from winning or do they win because of that trust?  It’s irrelevant now because they have it.  They do the little things on every play that helps them win.

I saw the Patriots fight for extra yards on every play and yet never risk losing the football.  They commit to winning.  Belichick seems to collect only the players that are going to buy into his plan and work toward the team goal in a kind of solidarity that you just don’t see anywhere else around the league.  I personally don’t like the Patriots, but you have to respect the team that he’s assembled and coaches every Sunday.

Perhaps Coach John Fox will mold these Broncos into that kind of winning program.  It certainly can’t hurt having Tebow on the roster since he already has that perfect determination within him, but there are some definite gaps in that philosophy on this Denver team.  That stout defense eventually lost heart it appeared and just couldn’t come up with the stops when they needed them.

The turnovers.  The Broncos made mistakes when the pressure was on and gave the Patriots offense and Brady extra chances to score.  Never a good thing.

And Tebow is young.  He still has a lot to learn.  If you’re a believer (in Tebow that is), the game didn’t change your belief.  You still see the escapability, the scramble with his eyes always downfield (a skill Vick didn’t develop until he got to Philly), and the relentless desire to make the play work (kind of hurt him on that last drive).  If you’re a Tebow critic, I’m sure the game made you believe he still can’t play in this league since you probably ignore his 193 yards passing and two rushing touchdowns.

Tebow is young.  He needs more work and a lot more polish to his game.  He is, however, playing his team out of any draft position for a quarterback next season that could challenge him so John Elway and John Fox should get ready for an offseason of teaching Tebow everything he can possibly learn about being a quarterback in the NFL.  He has the head.  He has the athletic ability.  He has the desire.  He’s proven he’s teachable.  Can they teach him?

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After this Sunday, will the Anti-Tebow Crowd Give In?

15 Dec

The short answer is no.  The Anti-Tebow crowd first said he couldn’t do it and “he wasn’t ready”.  A few wins in and it was, “it won’t last long.”  Then after beating the Bears and their great defense (thanks to a Marion Barber fumble), it was “in spite of Tebow”, they’re winning.

It’s hard to argue with the naysayers, because they’re right to a degree.  Anyone watching Tebow play quarterback would have to say he wasn’t ready.  He’s playing into the position, but every game you can find plenty of passes that just don’t look like they belong in an NFL game.

Of course, it won’t last long.  At least this winning streak won’t last long.  If you said the 2007 New England Patriots winning streak wouldn’t last long, you were right.  In less than a year, they lost a game.  Sad for them it was in the Super Bowl, but they did lose.  Eventually Tebow and the Broncos will lose and Tebow will be the reason for a loss.

Are they winning now “in spite of” Tim Tebow?  That’s a bit more difficult for me to agree with though there’s no doubt the great defense and running game the Broncos present have just as much to do with this string of victories.  Tebow, with the help of Coach John Fox are playing the game to win every single quarter of every game, but that doesn’t mean that their approach is the same in every quarter.

Why can’t Tebow duplicate his incredible 4th Quarter stats throughout the rest of the game?  Why does he put balls in the turf in the 1st Quarter and hit his receivers in stride in the 4th?  Why, if he’s this prolific in the 4th, doesn’t Fox open up the offense earlier?  Why are they winning if they’re aren’t taking all the national analysts’ advice?

Coach Fox and Tebow are winning because they are risk adverse and their defense and running game allows them to play that way.  In the first three quarters, if Tebow sees an open man, but isn’t 100% confident in the play, he shorts the ball.  He isn’t playing with the confidence in his ability to read defenses and deliver the pass that a five-year veteran with a couple trips to the Pro Bowl would. The defense and the running game keep it close.  In the 4th, when Denver needs points and the time for avoiding risk is over, the Broncos and Tebow open it up.  Look at Oakland.  Don’t you think the Raiders would rather have the Risk Adverse Jason Campbell back with his 6 TDs, 4 INTs and a 4-2 record over Carson Palmer and his 9 TDs, 13 INTs and 3-4 record?

I believe Tebow is a confident man throughout the game, but that confidence also comes with an understanding of his limitations currently.  He’s a young QB with less than a season of in-game experience.  Perhaps he’s reading the defenses for three quarters and finally feels he has a total grasp of what they’re doing in the 4th.  Perhaps he simply is the NFL’s answer to Big Shot Rob.  Robert Horry had a decent career if you eliminate the last few minutes of crucial playoff games.  If you include them, he’s legendary.  He simply performs better when the game is on the line.  It appears Tebow suffers from the same affliction.  He gets better when his team really needs him.  So is it just the 4th Quarter, or can Tebow perform well outside of the final minutes?

Take a look at the Broncos win over the Vikings.  Tebow passed for over 200 yards and actually had his best quarter in the 3rd.  His team was down and at risk of falling far behind.  Time to perform and time to err on the side of Reward rather than Risk.  He went 3 for 4, with 79 yards passing, and 2 touchdowns.  Those are amazing numbers, especially for a guy many say can’t play the position.

This game Sunday is one circled on my calendar for the last month, because when Tebow’s Broncos started this streak I compared them to the Patriots.  These two teams are direct opposites, but yet are functioning with similar philosophies.  The Patriots can’t run the ball.  They play attrocious defense.  They have one of the most dangerous passing games in the league.  The Broncos are a dominate running team.  They play stifling defense.  They have a questionable passing game throughout most of the game.  Both teams play to their strengths and focus and avoid risk for most of the game.  The Broncos keep it slow and low scoring if possible so they don’t have to rely on their offense and the Patriots try to blow out the other team so they don’t have to rely on their defense.

Pitting these two together is a dream come true for a football fan.  No matter what side of the Tebow argument you fall on, you have to wonder which strength prevails in this contest.  You also have to ponder, if the Broncos can limit the Patriots offense or if Tebow can lift the Broncos offense to keep pace with New England, who do you trust in crunch time?  You can never pick against Brady.  He’s near flawless in late game situations.  Of course, Tebow comes alive in those moments too and he’s got a running game that can keep the ball away from Brady.

No matter the outcome of the game on Sunday, the Anti-Tebow crowd is still going to predict failure and they’ll be right.  Of course, there’s nothing in Tebow’s personality that seems to say that he’ll accept losing and won’t bounce back.  If the Patriots get the win Sunday, my guess is they’ll see Tebow and his Broncos again in the playoffs.  And perhaps by then, he and Coach Fox will be leaning a little more on the Reward side of thing rather than Risk, but I doubt it.  Go with what got you here.  Avoid risk until the situation demands you grab the reward.