|How to be 0-6 without really trying: look shocked when Tebow runs a QB draw. (Getty Images)|
Posted by Ryan Wilson
This goes a long way in explaining a) why the Dolphins are 0-6, and b) why they seemed like the only people surprised when Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow ran the Tebow Sneak on the game-tying two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter (Hint: you don't have plays named after you unless you have previously done something to make them famous. In Tebow's case, he ran some variation of the quarterback draw approximately two billion times in college.): On the game's most important play, Miami was in the wrong defense.
In case you missed it, the video evidence:
Denver Quarterback Tim Tebow capped off a miraculous 4th quarter comeback by sending the game to overtime, with this 2 point conversion in the final seconds of regulation against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
After the loss -- one that saw the Broncos score 15 points in the final minutes -- Dolphins defensive end Kendall Langford admitted that "everyone in the stadium knew he was going to run it." Everyone, it seems, except head coach Tony Sparano and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. On that fateful, game-tying play, Miami had five defensive backs, three linemen and three linebackers on the field, apparently under the impression that Tebow, who had amassed a whopping 24 passing yards midway through the third quarter, was going to throw the ball.
The Palm Beach Post's Brian Biggane notes that "Run-stoppers Langford, nose tackle Paul Soliai and defensive end Randy Starks typically are on the field in Miami's goal-line defense. But all three were on the sideline in the scheme defensive coordinator Mike Nolan used against the Denver formation that employed four wide receivers."
Defensive lineman Tony McDaniel, who played nose tackle on the play, was more succinct: "We had the wrong personnel on the field, to be honest. They spread us out and ran it up the middle."
He then echoed teammate Langford. "I always knew (Tebow) was going to try to run the ball when they got in the red zone. He just found a way, made a play and they got a win."
And just in case it wasn't clear, Langford reiterated the point one last time.
"We weren't in a goal-line package," he said. "Everybody at home watching knew what the call was. That was obvious."
Obvious to everyone but Nolan. Which brings us to this: what happened? Nolan got the 49ers head coaching gig in 2005 after coordinating up the Ravens' defense. He lasted three years in San Francisco and spent a season with the Broncos before landing in Miami.
The Sun-Sentinel's David Hyde points to a string of "wait, what did he just do?" decisions by Nolan in 2011:
1. Karlos Dansby wasn't on the field for Cleveland's game-winning touchdown drive.
2. Cameron Wake was asked to cover Santonio Holmes, which resulted in a touchdown.
3. The aforementioned two-point Tebow conversion
If you're looking for a silver lining, this is the best we can do: there's only 600 minutes left in the Dolphins' season.
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