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Blog Entry

Tracking Tebow, Week 16: Defenses are catching on

Posted on: December 27, 2011 10:45 am
Edited on: December 27, 2011 10:47 am
 
We're Tracking Tebow … because it's impossible not to watch. 

By Ryan Wilson

First, the good news: the Broncos control their destiny. At this point in the season, that's all you can ask. Despite dropping their second game in a row in convincing fashion, Denver remains atop the AFC West, and if they beat the Chiefs Sunday, they're division champs, which will earn them the right to face either the Steelers or Ravens in the first round of the playoffs.

For now, though, the Broncos have to fix an offense that has developed a reputation this season with Tim Tebow as its starter of long stretches of ineptitude highlighted by improbable late-game comebacks (one that included a six-game winning streak). Two weeks ago, Denver was 8-5 and coming off an overtime win against the Bears. Now, after getting thoroughly outplayed by the Patriots and the Bills, the questions have returned. Namely: can Tebow be an NFL quarterback and the related: have teams figured out how to stop him and the college offense the Broncos now feature?

Too early to say on the former, but almost certainly yes on the latter.

A week after New England worked to contain Tebow in the pocket and forced him to win the game with his arm, Buffalo perfected the game plan. The Bills usually rushed four, dropped seven into coverage, made sure Tebow didn't break the pocket for long runs, and made him squeeze throws into tight windows, often with disastrous results.

Coming into the game, Tebow had three interceptions. By the time it was over, Tebow had thrown four more, two of the pick-six variety, and he looked flustered all afternoon.

"I think [defensive coordinator Georgge] Edwards did a great job as far as giving us different keys based on what personnel they had in the game and what type of plays they were gonna run," said Bills cornerback Drayton Florence, via the Buffalo News. "When they got in a regular set [two receivers, two backs], it was more traditional runs. When they got in two tight ends, it was more of the option game. So I think our defensive ends did a great job of being aware of that and knowing how they were going to attack us. …

"They just tell Tebow to go out there and run around and make something happen," Florence said. "Early in the game they were running the ball because they didn't have to throw it. He's just using his athletic ability, sort of like Michael Vick was doing early in his career. Just give him one side of the field to read. If it's not there, make something happen and scramble."

Linebacker Kelvin Sheppard added: "We were able to say ... when we're man to man, one of the backers lock the running back and the other one spies the quarterback. mean, it worked to perfection today. They were flushing him, and myself or Nick would go and wrap and contain. It was just a good day all-around."

So now the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments begin in earnest. Which Tebow will show up in Week 17, and God willing, the playoffs? No idea.

But don't mistake the Bills' game plan for Tebow reverting to the form that had him embarrassed by the Lions back in October. He continues to improve, even if incrementally. The problem: as defenses become more comfortable recognizing and attacking the Broncos' option scheme, Denver will need to find ways to adapt. And that will mean using Tebow in more conventional ways. Can they (he) do it? Well, we'll find out, won't we.


                                                   Play by Play



(Note: Below are the plays -- both running and passing -- involving Tebow. You can view the entire play-by-play breakdown here)




                                                        Quotes



"First and foremost, I want to thank my lord and savior, Jesus Christ. Isn't it great that no matter what, win or lose, we have a chance to celebrate my lord and savior's birth tomorrow. That's pretty cool. It's something I'm very excited about, celebrating Christmas. It's going to be a lot of fun." - Tebow's opening remarks during his post-game press conference.

"We knew if we could make (Tebow) one dimensional by stopping the run, there was no way we were going to allow him to come out and throw the ball and beat us with his arm." - Bills safety George Wilson

"“We knew [facing Kyle Orton] was a possibility. So, here it is. We have to go out there and play well. It was best for the team, bottom line. We made that decision knowing this was a possibility. Now we have to do it.” - Broncos executive VP John Elway last Saturday


                                                   Audio-Visual



Moving pictures evidence that the Bills confused Tebow all day.


Broncos QB Tim Tebow throws four interceptions in a 40-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Frame-by-frame breakdown of Tebow's first interception. (In case it's not clear, you'll have to click on the individual images to get the larger view.)

Tebow's first interception of the game came late in the third quarter with the Broncos trailing 23-14. The Bills showed a single high safety (frame 1) pre-snap. After the snap, they dropped seven in coverage and rushed four. It was a five-receiver route. At the top of Tebow's drop, the three deep receivers were all covered (frame 2). Tebow rolled right to avoid the rush and with no running lanes due to good containment (frame 3), he forced a pass 25 yards downfield into triple-coverage (frame 4).


                                                   Eye on Tebow



Buffalo Bills' Chris Kelsay (90) and Arthur Moats (52) sack Denver Broncos' Tim Tebow (15) during the first quarter of an NFL football game in Orchard Park, N.Y., Saturday, Dec. 24, 2011. (AP Photo/David Duprey)

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Comments

Since: Dec 28, 2011
Posted on: December 28, 2011 3:33 pm
 

Tracking Tebow, Week 16: Defenses are catching on

Thank God! (Pun intended). If I wanted to watch college style football offense on Sundays I would tivo Saturdays and play on Sundays! i would like to take this opportunity to thank God er I mean the defensive coordinators for stopping this nonsense. Thank you!



Since: Jul 2, 2009
Posted on: December 28, 2011 3:25 pm
 

Tracking Tebow, Week 16: Defenses are catching on

Weeks ago it was pointed out that the NFL is a copy cat league, If a team has success against your QB doing something you can expect every team in the league to view the film and your QB and OC have to make the adjustment, it also helps if your QB can accurately throw the football so adjustments can be made.  Everyone who thinks that Tebow is overated and not a NFL QB can thank Bill Belicheck and the Patroits for providing everyone with the blueprint on how to defend Tebow.


The Buffalo Bills used the exact game plan that the Patroits used to  dominate the Broncos offense.  I wondered how long it would take before the Broncos Defese got worn down from being on the field for 40+ min each game.  San Diego will beat down the Broncos this week and maybe T.T. can use the off season to learn how to accurately throw a football.  Nick I know this hurts your heart but its for the best....and there is always next year.     



Since: Nov 2, 2007
Posted on: December 28, 2011 2:47 pm
 

Tracking Tebow, Week 16: Defenses are catching on

Tebow has plenty of weapons.  He just hasn't learned to be efficient.  Thomas, Decker & Royal are all good receivers with the ability to make plays.  TE Daniel Fells is pretty good as well.  Timmy boy needs to learn to step up in the pocket instead of running backwards all of the time.  He also needs to start checking down to his backs when nothing is open down field.  He is a young QB that takes too long to make decisions and consistently holds the ball too long looking for a big play downfield.  He must learn patience.  He must realize that every pass play doesn't have to be a wild scramble for a 50 yard TD.  I call this Rothlisberger syndrome.

The three biggest things that have changed for Denver the past two games are:
1) McGahee not being 100%-They are a power running team when he is healthy.  The team lacks depth after McGahee.
2) Von Miller's hand injury. He is not the same player, especially rushing the passer with one hand.
3) Brian Dawkins neck injury.  The depth at safety is weak.  There have been several blown assignments and missed tackles by the safeties the past 3 games.

Bottom line is Tebow like any young QB is far more likely to have success with a great running game and a stingy defense.  That was the formula during the winning streak.  Ask Joe Flacco, Mark Sanchez, and Matty Ice how important those things are.  These guys are all supposed franchise QB's yet their won/loss records have been dictated primarily by things out of their control.



Since: Jan 6, 2010
Posted on: December 28, 2011 2:35 pm
 

Tracking Tebow, Week 16: Defenses are catching on

Tim Tebow needs a baseball pitching coach to teach him how to throw the ball. His mechanics are terrible. Granted, the Broncos don't have much on offense; neither a line nor receivers, so to ask him to carry the team is ridiculous at this point. Opposing defenses play eight in the box to stuff the run and that's the game.



Since: Nov 13, 2011
Posted on: December 28, 2011 1:37 pm
 

Tracking Tebow, Week 16: Defenses are catching on

Attack of the Pedant, but I'm sorry. They don't control their destiny. If it was destiny, it would be beyond their control no matter where they land. They don't control their fate either, for the same reason.

I now submit myself for my beating by people who hate comments like this one. 



Since: Dec 27, 2011
Posted on: December 28, 2011 1:22 pm
 

Tracking Tebow, Week 16: Defenses are catching on

I feel Tim Tebow is going to be a great quarterback in the NFL.  If the coaches will put him in a produtive environment to succeed!  Build a pass protect frontline just as they have that run protection front.  When he runs he runs well and when he passes he passes up to standard the pass protection allows.  In a few years all Tim's critics will be eating even more crow than they already are.  He needs to be on a team that he feels excepted and not having to be underminded, by head coaches and upper management  That does not realize the diamond in the huddle they have aquired.



Since: Mar 23, 2007
Posted on: December 28, 2011 1:04 pm
 

Tracking Tebow, Week 16: Defenses are catching on

Tebow HAS NO WEAPONS ON OFFENSE! Willis Mcgahee has been done for 3 years, his receivers could be the 3 worst receivers in the history of the NFL. How exactly is Tebow supposed to win? But i guess the Broncos would be better with Tyler Palko, Kyle Orton, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder, Dan Orlovsky, Tavaris Jackson, Chad Henne, Rex Grossman, Caleb Hanie, Kevin Kolb or John Skelton?  THESE ARE STARTERS IN THE NFL.



Since: Sep 23, 2008
Posted on: December 28, 2011 1:03 pm
 

Tracking Tebow, Week 16: Defenses are catching on

Orton was expected to overcome those things for two seasons . 



Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: December 28, 2011 11:08 am
 

Tracking Tebow, Week 16: Defenses are catching on

Zander360 writes: "Is it Defenses catching up or the Broncos Defense lying down?  These guys gave up 49 points to New England and 40 points to the Buffalo Bills.  I don't see how Tebow would be able to overcome a defense who suddenly can't stop anyone."


Guess you didn't watch the game on Christmas Eve.  Tebow threw 4 interceptions total, with two being back to back pick-6s in an 18 second time span.  The Buffalo Bills also ran back a punt.  That accounts for 21 of the 40 points, and the other two interceptions as well as typical Tebow 3 and out drives accounted for the Bills having great field position the entire game.  You Tebowner fanatics just will find any excuse possible to not blame Tebow for the losses, but when the Broncos win, Tebow is the only reason why.  What is it with you guys obsession with this Tebow guy anyway???   



Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: December 28, 2011 11:08 am
 

Tracking Tebow, Week 16: Defenses are catching on

Zander360 writes: "Is it Defenses catching up or the Broncos Defense lying down?  These guys gave up 49 points to New England and 40 points to the Buffalo Bills.  I don't see how Tebow would be able to overcome a defense who suddenly can't stop anyone."


Guess you didn't watch the game on Christmas Eve.  Tebow threw 4 interceptions total, with two being back to back pick-6s in an 18 second time span.  The Buffalo Bills also ran back a punt.  That accounts for 21 of the 40 points, and the other two interceptions as well as typical Tebow 3 and out drives accounted for the Bills having great field position the entire game.  You Tebowner fanatics just will find any excuse possible to not blame Tebow for the losses, but when the Broncos win, Tebow is the only reason why.  What is it with you guys obsession with this Tebow guy anyway???   


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