The Royal Heffernans

Quite possibly the best family ever

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holy Tebow!

I know it's overkill at this point, but the Denver Tebows winning ways just continue to boggle the mind. Since taking over QB duties full-time in week 7, the Broncos have gone 7-1. Seems like Tebow may actually be a viable NFL quarterback! Before signing on though, let's take a look at each of those games.

Week 7 @ Miami
WIN: 18 - 15
Playing one of the worst teams in the NFL this year, Tebow leads two 4th quarter touchdown drives to take the game into overtime, where the Broncos win on a 52-yard Matt Prater field goal.

Week 8 Detroit
LOSS: 45 - 10

Week 9 @ Oakland
WIN: 38 - 24
Denver gets Oakland in Carson Palmer's first start after joining the Raiders in week 7.

Week 10 @ Kansas City
WIN: 17 - 10
The Chiefs lose starting quarterback Matt Cassell for the season midway through the game.

Week 11 New York Jets
WIN: 17 - 10
Big win at home against a Jets team that was playing on a shortened week after getting plastered on Sunday night by the Patriots.

Week 12 @ San Diego
WIN: 16 - 13
Matt Prater with a game-tying 4th quarter field goal, then the game winner with 29 seconds left in overtime after San Diego had missed a 53-yard attempt earlier in OT. This would be San Diego's sixth straight loss.

Week 13 @ Minnesota
WIN: 35 - 32
Another 4th quarter comeback and game-winning field goal from Matt Prater as the Broncos knock-off a Minnesota team playing without Adrian Peterson.

Week 14 Chicago
WIN: 13 - 10
Another 4th quarter comeback. Another game-tying Matt Prater field goal (this one from 59-yards). Another game-winner from Prater from 51-yards. The Bears were led by Caleb Hanie and without Matt Forte. Also, Marion Barber inexplicably RAN OUT OF BOUNDS after picking up a first down with Chicago leading, Denver out of timeouts, and under two minutes left to play allowing time for Prater's game-tying field goal.

Here's my take - winning is hard to do in the NFL no matter who you are and who you're playing. So I give Tebow kudos for the Bronco's current run. But I have two big caveats:

  1. Matt Prater is the real hero here with multiple game-tying and game-winning field goals from 50+ yards. During their current run, Prater has accounted for 54 of Denver's 164 points. And, aside from the explosions against Oakland and Minnesota which accounted for 73 of those 164 points, Denver has failed to score more than 18 points in any game since Tebow took over.
  2. Tebow has been helped by one of the weakest scheduling runs I can ever recall, facing either horrible teams or ones just recently suffering massive injuries to their best players. Just look at this list:
    1. @ Miami, who were 0-5 coming in
    2. Crushed by a competent Detroit
    3. @ Oakland, who had just lost their starting QB
    4. @ KC, who lost their starting QB during the game
    5. NYJ - decent win, but an infamously bad offensive team
    6. @ San Diego, who had lost 5 straight coming in
    7. @ Minnesota, who had just lost Adrian Peterson
    8. @ Chicago, helmed by Caleb Hanie and without Matt Forte
This week Tebow will face a decent team for the first time since the Lions in week 8 when they host the Patriots. I expect a bad loss. But then Denver gets the hapless Bills and another run at Tyler Palko-led (yes, THE Tyler Palko) Kansas City.

Again, winning in the NFL is hard. And lots of teams are beat up at this point in the season so that's hardly an excuse. So while Denver probably wouldn't be on this tear if, say, I was their quarterback, Tebow has certainly been given the reigns at a fortuitous moment in time. It's a fun story to follow and debate, even if the games themselves couldn't be less boring to watch until the last 5 minutes.


Teddy said...

Your review conveniently glosses over a couple facts:

1) Watching Denver play, Tebow just looks AWFUL! Last week, he had 3 completions in the 1Q, none in the 2Q or 3Q. No points either. Then, with about 5 minutes to go, the Bears gave up and Tebow got his stats. This is the same in every game. HE LOOKS TERRIBLE - not at all like an NFL QB.

2) Denver's DEF is playing lights out. Along with Prater, they are the reason Denver is winning.

ian said...

Ted -
Don't get me wrong - I wasn't trying to make Tebow look better. I didn't mention those two items because that's what every other article I've seen on the matter has mentioned. So I just focused on the nearly miraculous scheduling run that Tebow has benefited from, plus all the injuries.

Another item that frequently goes unlooked when discussing Tebow's success is how the new CBA rules have helped. With the new CBA, players are allowed less practice time and cannot hit in practice. This is a huge advantage when a team suddenly starts running the option and defenses can't properly practice (or don't want to waste the time) against it.

Long story, short - I think Tebow is terrible. What I think is really funny is that this streak might - might - be giving Denver hope that they can actually win long-term with him at QB. Which is just laughable. It's only a matter of time before the scheduling kinks resolve themselves and/or Tebow breaks an arm scrambling and the universe rights itself.

Kevin said...

I think it completely amazing how bad Tebow is for quarters 1-3, and then, inexplicably, how good he is in quarter 4. I don't understand what he is doing, or what opposing defenses stop doing, that allows for this sudden change. The thing is, it seems to happen in every game!

In the end, I love watching Tebow win, because it makes so many people angry (i.e., Ted). He's a short-term solution and Ian's right, it's only a matter of time until he gets hurt or dead, but until then, I'm on the Tebow wagon!

Teddy said...

Tebow himself doesn't make me angry. I couldn't care less about him and Denver.

What I can't stand is the constant discussion in the media. WHO THE F CARES??? I listen to a lot of radio in my commutes, and I just want Tebow to go away so they stop talking about him. The story is boring and tired. Just let it go. Did you hear that an OVERWHELMING majority of people think Tebow is the #1 story in the NFL this season? Really? Aren't the Packers 13-0 going for perfection with the greatest year by a QB ever?

Tebow is a media creation. He wouldn't even be starting if he wasn't hyped by the media, whipping his fans into a frenzy. The Tebow phenomenon needs to move out of the sports world and into People magazine or the National Enquirer. It' just not a sports story.