Tag:Denver Broncos
Posted on: December 9, 2011 12:40 pm
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Pick-Six Podcast: Week 14 NFL preview

By Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

The Steelers handled the Browns on Thursday night, but it was a bizarre game -- on today's podcast we break down Ben Roethlisberger's injury, how he managed to keep playing, whether the Steelers should be concerned, and if James Harrison is going to get fined and/or suspended.

Then we take a spin around the NFL action scheduled for Sunday, wondering if Oakland is a sleeper to take down Green Bay (no, really!), if Chris Johnson can keep running against the Saints, whether the Falcons are playoff-worthy, if Tim Tebow can take down the Bears, if Jim Schwartz can wrangle the Lions and whether we'd rather have Tony Romo or Eli Manning for the rest of their careers.

Did we mention that you should subscribe to the podcast via iTunes?

If you can't listen to the podcast below, download it here. And if you'd like to keep working while listening in your browser, pop that puppy out in a new tab here.



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Posted on: December 8, 2011 3:41 pm
 

NFL players not thrilled about losing to Tebow

By Will Brinson

In case you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks/months, Tim Tebow took over as starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos and has them squarely in the hunt for a playoff bid.

He's been criticized for not being a "normal quarterback" and received a ton of attention from fans and media alike and now the Broncos quarterback is starting to generate some backlash from other NFL players, some of whom have already lost to him.

"He's obviously doing great things because he's winning football games, and at the end of the day, that's what we're judged on: wins and losses," Vikings defensive end Jared Allen said on the NFL Network Wednesday night. "But still, it just sucks to lose to a guy who's not a throwing quarterback."

The comments aren't just limited to those Tebow has beaten, either. Up this week is Chicago, featuring a defense that is the last bastion of hope for the Bears chances of making the playoffs. And the members of Chicago's defense don't like the idea of becoming Tebow's next victim.

"No, I will be frickin' pissed," Briggs said when asked if he'd be embarrassed if Tebow beat them Sunday. "[Tebow] is one heck of an football player and we're going to have to stop that crap."

Briggs also added, via Gregg Rosenthal of Pro Football Talk, that "[Tebow is] not Michael Vick" and that "Cam Newton is a better athlete, faster."


Nothing that Allen or Briggs said is necessarily disrespectful or malicious, but it's certainly not the same sort of words you might hear from them if they lost to Aaron Rodgers.

Oh, wait, both teams have lost to Rodgers, with Green Bay mauling the Vikings 45-7 less than a month ago.

"All I know is he crushed us tonight," Allen said at the time.

Look, Tebow isn't Rodgers, and when Allen pointed out Wednesday that Tebow isn't even a Pro Bowler, he's right. But Tebow keeps on winning, and and that's hard to argue against.

If he pulls it off this weekend, don't be surprised to hear similar comments out of Chicago.

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Posted on: December 7, 2011 6:26 pm
 

Is Tim Tebow the Denver Broncos' MVP?

Tebow shouldn't be an NFL MVP candidate but he's certainly in the running for team MVP, right? (US PRESSWIRE/AP)

By Ryan Wilson

If Philip Rivers has been one of the league's most disappointing quarterbacks on one of the league's most disappointing teams, Tim Tebow has been just the opposite. What he's done has taken everybody by surprise, including head coach John Fox and Broncos executive VP John Elway.

Yes, Tebow has benefitted from an improved Denver defense, and more importantly, a revamped offensive game plan that predates the forward pass but spotlights Tebow's strengths: running the option (with an emphasis on "running").

Tebow's had so much success in such a short period of time that in two months the conversation has gone from "Might as well let him play, the Broncos are 1-4" to "Holy crap, Denver's 6-1 with Tebow under center!" to "Should Tebow get MVP consideration?"

The MVP talk might sound like the ramblings of a mad man, but it's gained traction in the media. We even brought it up on Monday's Pick-6 Podcast and discussed it again during Wednesday's expert live chat.

And while most folks (us included) don't think Tebow is MVP material, he's certainly worth of team MVP consideration, right? Along with our CBSSports.com colleague Will Brinson, we came up with a short list of Broncos players in the running for the award (in random order):

* Tim Tebow. The Broncos are 6-1 with him. His numbers are forgettable, although he does play better in the fourth quarter than he does in the first three, and his passing has improved marginally in recent weeks. Still, he ranks as one of the league's worst quarterbacks in terms of total value and value per play (as measured by Football Outsiders). But...

His intangibles make up for his physical shortcomings. Namely: the ability to inspire his teammates. Yes, this sounds like some hacky, new-age nonsense, and if we were talking about anyone other than Tebow that's exactly what it would be. But like a lot of things, Tebow's the exception.

* Willis McGahee. The Bills' 2003 first-round pick saw his career stall with the Ravens from 2007-10. In 11 games with the Broncos this season, McGahee is averaging 4.9 yards per attempt and is on pace for 1,200 yards (it would be the first time he eclipsed 1,000 yards in three years). An effective running game sets up everything else the Broncos want to do offensively and McGahee is a big part of that.

* Elvis Dumervil, Von Miller. Going by the raw numbers, the Broncos' defense is mediocre. They're also opportunistic (sorta like Tebow), which has been a big part of their success.

* Eric Decker. On paper, Demaryius Thomas should more valuable, but Decker is Tebow's favorite target as evidenced by his eight touchdown grabs. That's hard to overlook. Also worth noting: his 39 receptions are 21 more than the nearest receiver.

We could even add John Fox's name to the list. There aren't many coaches who would run a high school offense to fit their personnel. Of course, Fox didn't have much choice; the Broncos were dreadful the first five weeks of the season with Kyle Orton. And the Lions embarrassed Tebow when he tried to run a conventional offense. In evoluationary terms, Fox would have three choices: adapt, migrate or die. He adapted. And now the Broncos appear headed for the playoffs. Which explains why we're even entertaining thoughts of Tim Tebow, NFL MVP.

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Posted on: December 7, 2011 2:28 pm
 

Keep an Eye on: Week 14's finer points

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit



Broncos vs. Bears
Perhaps after this Sunday’s game, Tim Tebow can help Bears right tackle Lance Louis pray for quicker feet. After seemingly stabilizing Chicago’s nightmarish right tackle situation over the past month, Louis, a converted guard, completely fell apart in the loss to Kansas City. He was culpable for most of Kansas City’s seven sacks and also had a holding penalty just outside his own goal-line. It was a performance that would have made even Winston Justice circa 2007 cringe.


It’s not like the Chiefs did anything complex against Louis, either. They didn’t stunt defenders near him or feign blitzes in his gaps. They simply lined players up mano-a-mano and won (Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson and even lowly Tyson Jackson all got through; by the fourth quarter, Romeo Crennel was putting players on waiting list for reps at left defensive end/outside linebacker).

Things won’t get much easier for Louis this week. His Bears travel to Mile High, where they’ll meet rookie Von Miller, the AFC’s answer to Clay Matthews (assuming Miller returns from the thumb injury that sidelined him against Minnesota). Miller, in fact, has an even better burst than Matthews.

If Miller is unavailable, the matchup in the trenches will be more even but still tilted in Denver’s favor. The Broncos have gotten great play out of their defensive line in recent weeks, particularly inside with active tackles Broderick Bunkley, Marcus Thomas and, on passing downs, Ryan McBean. These three cause congestion that allows the speed of Miller, D.J. Williams, Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers to flourish.

Even with adequate pass-rushing resources, the Broncos are willing to manufacture pressure through design. They blitz Brian Dawkins a few times each game and, on some occasions, have surprised offenses by bringing Miller from the inside. At times, execution and assignment identification have been problematic for the Bears O-line. The Broncos will be eager to exploit that.

Packers vs. Raiders
The Raiders traded a bounty for Carson Palmer so that they could get away from the elementary, run-only offensive gameplans they used early in the year with Jason Campbell. Aside from a putrid outing at Miami last week, where Palmer played jittery in the pocket because of a justified lack of trust in his protection, the ex-Bengal has been much better than his numbers suggest.

That said, the Raiders need to return to a ground-only approach when they travel to Green Bay this Sunday. Their only chance to win the game is to shorten it. For the last two weeks, we’ve focused on how a quality four-man pass-rush in front of good, aggressive coverage could give a defense a chance to stop Aaron Rodgers.

Well, the last two weeks, Rodgers & Co. have had no trouble against the Lions and Giants, owners of arguably the two best four-man pass-rushes in football. It’s wishful to think that the Raiders’ front line, which is remarkably powerful but deprived of genuine edge speed, can dictate the action this Sunday.

It might be wishful to think the same thing about Oakland’s offensive line. That unit, even with frequently used sixth blocker Stephon Heyer, was unable to move Miami’s three-man front last Sunday. But ground-in-pound is Oakland’s best bet against the Pack. And last week was likely an aberration. The Raiders are athletic on the left side up front with tackle Jared Veldheer capable of exploding at the second level and guard Stefan Wisniewski possessing intriguing short-area mobility.

And they have a workhorse in Michael Bush. He was methodical and effective three weeks ago against the stingy Vikings, rushing for 109 yards on 30 carries. The week before, he toted the rock 30 times for 157 yards at San Diego.

The Packers front line is hard to move; B.J. Raji is a beast, and Ryan Pickett and backup Howard Green have nose tackle size at the end positions. But if you CAN move them, you’ll also move the clock. That, along with great special teams (which the Raiders have) might – MIGHT – be enough to sorta maybe kinda have some form of an outside shot at possibly coming close to beating the seemingly unbeatable Packers offense.

Ravens vs. Colts
For many fans, filling out the offensive line section of the Pro Bowl ballot can be challenging. Often it involves just clicking on whatever linemen hail from the best teams. If the running back is good, his offensive linemen must be good as well (so the thinking goes).

This is the kind of misguided logic that sends underachievers like Bryant McKinnie to Hawaii. (McKinnie made the Pro Bowl in 2009, even though he was benched at times down the stretch.)

McKinnie’s first season as a Raven has actually been much better than his last several seasons as a Viking. At 6’7”, 350-something pounds (give or take), the 10th-year veteran would not seem to be a great fit for Baltimore’s movement-oriented zone-blocking scheme. However, as it turns out, the zone-blocking scheme capitalizes on McKinnie’s natural size and also masks his timidity.

McKinnie’s built like a monster but plays like a milquetoast. He’s never exerted the explosive power or vicious hand-punch of an elite lineman. That’s been detrimental to his run-blocking. But in a system that has him move before making contact in the run game, McKinnie can get away with playing soft because his momentum, working with his sheer size, generates natural power. It’s physics.

Don’t vote McKinnie to this season’s Pro Bowl, though. DO, however, vote his teammate, Marshal Yanda. The 27-year-old right guard has drastically elevated his already-impressive game since signing a five-year, $32 million contract in July. In fact, lately, Yanda has been the best guard in all of football. He has great footwork and the rare ability to land multiple well-angled blocks on a single play.

As this week goes, he’s perfectly suited to dominate against a fast but undersized defense like Indy’s.

So who will win? Check our NFL expert picks for all Week 14 games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: December 6, 2011 5:09 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 2:25 am
 

Eye on Football NFL Awards: Week 13

Posted by Will Brinson



Every week, our NFL experts will hand out the Eye on Football hardware to the best of the best from the NFL week that was.

Week 13 NFL Awards
Expert Offense Defense STeams Coach
Freeman  Cam Matthews Tolbert Coughlin
Judge  Tebow Harrison   Brown  Kubiak
Prisco Rodgers  Houston  Brown  Kubiak
Brinson  Cam Harrison  Brown  Kubiak
Katzowitz  Rice  Smith  Brown Munchak
Wilson  Cam Harrison  Brown  Carroll
Week 13 is a wrap and that means awards time!

Props to rookie quarterback Cam Newton for his first-ever division win, his first-ever NFL winning streak and now, his first-ever Eye on Offense Award!

On defense, we had a tie between Clay Matthews and James Harrison. Since Harrison's picture scares me more (my defacto tiebreaker these days), he got the nod for our Eye on Defense Award. Sorry, Clay.

Antonio Brown, who returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown as the Steelers whipped the Bengals, nearly swept the Eye on Special Teams Award.

And Gary Kubiak provided the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with its first start at quarterback by an alumni in the NFL ... and got the win with rookie T.J. Yates. That's worth something, right?

Leave your votes in the comments below or scream angrily at us on Twitter @EyeOnNFL.

Eye on Offense Award
Mike Freeman Clark Judge
Cam Newton Cam Newton, QB, Panthers
Newton scored his 13th rushing touchdown this season. He ran for three alone against Tampa Bay on Sunday but did you see how he jumped over the Bucs defense on one of them? It was like a Michael Jordan dunk. It was crazy.

Tim TebowTim Tebow, QB, Broncos
People said he can't throw, so he puts up a passer rating of 149.3. They said the Broncos couldn't win with him, but they're 6-1. Maybe it's time to start looking for what's right with the guy instead of what's wrong ... and what's right is that he has Denver in first in the AFC West.
Pete Prisco Will Brinson
Tony Romo Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
He completed 28 of 46 passes for 369 yards and four touchdowns against the Giants. He also drove the Packers to the game-winning field goal in the final minute. Give him this award every week.
Cam NewtonCam Newton, QB, Panthers
Newton set an NFL record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback on Sunday with his 13th on the season. Three of those came Sunday as Newton had arguably his best game as a pro, also throwing for another score. It was his first win in the division.
Josh Katzowitz Ryan Wilson
Ray RiceRay Rice, RB, Ravens
Remember how we criticized the Ravens for not giving Rice enough touches (and somehow John Harbaugh defending the strategy)? Yeah, this is what happens when Rice gets plenty of opportunities – 204 yards on 29 carries and a TD. Hopefully, Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron have learned their lessons.
Cam Newton Cam Newton, QB, Panthers
Not only is Newton the rookie of the year, you could make a good case that he's a top-10 NFL quarterback. Against the Buccaneers, he was 12 of 21 for 201 yards and a touchdown, but he also scored three more times on the ground. Oh, and he hauled in a 27-yard pass, too. This ain't your Jimmy Clausen Carolina Panthers.
Eye on Defense Award
Freeman Judge
Clay MatthewsClay Matthews, LB, Packers
The Packers defense isn't great and it can be had but every week it seems Matthews makes some sort of huge play. He did it again against New York with a pick-six. No, the Packers defense has holes but Matthews continues to make offenses pay.
James Harrison James Harrison, LB, Steelers
He had a team-high three sacks in the Steelers' 35-7 shredding of Cincinnati, keeping Pittsburgh on track with Baltimore in the AFC North. The Steelers' defense was supposed to wear down as the season went on. Instead, it's getting better,  allowing 16 points in its last two starts.
Prisco Brinson
Justin HoustonJustin Houston, LB, Chiefs
This rookie from Georgia had three sacks and spent the day in the Bears backfield. Houston gives the Chiefs another option on the other side from Tamba Hali. Three, zero, zero and three sacks, respectively, in four games.
Clay MatthewsClay Matthews, LB, Packers
For as much as junk as the Packers defense takes for giving up a ton of points, it's important to remember they've got a pile of playmakers -- Matthews proved that with a pick six of Eli Manning that ended up being the difference in the Packers shootout win over the Giants.
Katzowitz Wilson
Aldon Smith Aldon Smith, LB, 49ers
Aside from the fact Smith recorded two sacks against the Rams, his celebration after his final sack was awesome. Instead of dancing like a maniac, he sprinted to the sideline, tried not to touch anybody and just sat on the bench. It was awesome, sort of like Smith’s performance.
James Harrison James Harrison, LB, Steelers
Harrison missed four games in the middle of the season with an eye injury but since returning to the lineup in Week 9 he has six sacks, three coming against a Bengals offensive line that had done a good job of protecting Andy Dalton all season.
Eye on Special Teams Award
Freeman Judge
Mike TolbertMike Tolbert, RB, Chargers
The play he made on kickoff coverage wasn't the kind of play you will see on highlights across the country but it was damn impressive. Tolbert completely annihilated a kick return by the Jaguars. I mean, it was a textbook, single-handed destruction. And remember: Tolbert is one of the key cogs on offense and he still sacrifices his body like that.
Antonio Brown Antonio Brown, WR/KR, Steelers
H His 60-yard punt return for a touchdown finished off Cincinnati in a game that was supposed to be closer than it was. One reason it wasn't: Antonio Brown. The guy's been a productive receiver all year, but he pushed the Steelers to their third straight win and seventh in eight games with a nifty punt return. Hey, the more you can do ...
Prisco Brinson
Antonio BrownAntonio Brown, WR/KR, Steelers
He has emerged as a big-time receiver this season, but he's still a good return man. He had a 60-yard punt return for a touchdown to make it 28-7 at the half against the Bengals.
Antonio BrownAntonio Brown, WR/KR, Steelers
Brown's one of the more underrated all-around performers  in the NFL. A big sleeper coming into his second season, the Pittsburgh wideout's begun blowing up as of late and doing it all over the field -- Sunday he took a punt 60 yards to the house to finish off the Bengals by halftime.
Katzowitz Wilson
Antonio Brown Antonio Brown, WR/KR, Steelers
Aside from his 45-yard catch that helped set up the Steelers first score, Brown also finished off Cincinnati late in the first half. After the Bengals scored to get some momentum and cut the lead to two touchdowns, Brown took a Kevin Huber punt and returned it 60 yards for the score to give Pittsburgh a 28-7 lead. And that was basically ballgame.
Antonio Brown Antonio Brown, WR/KR, Steelers
Pittsburgh hasn't been known for their coverage or return teams for some time but young players are changing that. Brown is not only an emerging talent at wideout, he's a dangerous return man, too. His 60-yard punt return against the Bengals capped a 28-point second quarter for the Steelers.
Eye on Coaching Award
Freeman Judge
Bill BelichickTom Coughlin, HC, Giants
I know, unusual choice, but seeing the Giants against the Packers after they were debacled the previous week, was interesting to see. Coughlin had his team ready and I don't think there's going to be a Giants collapse. For once.

Gary Kubiak Gary Kubiak, HC, Texans
He wins without his top defensive player. He wins without his top offensive player. He wins without his starting QB. Now he wins with a rookie third-string QB, beating Atlanta behind T.J. Yates. Kubiak was supposed to be fighting for his job. Instead, he's jockeying for playoff position.
Prisco Brinson
Gary KubiakGary Kubiak, HC, Texans
Kubiak, after losing both Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart to injury, beat the Falcons, who are a good team with rookie T.J. Yates making his first start. That's impressive. 
Gary KubiakGary Kubiak, HC, Texans
The meltdown is supposed to happen, because this is the Texans we're talking about. But no matter who goes down for Kubiak's team, he keeps the ship righted and Houston steered towards the franchise's first playoff berth. A win over would-be contender Atlanta was especially impressive.
Katzowitz Wilson
Jim Schwartz Mike Munchak, HC, Titans
Tennessee went to Buffalo and beat the fading Bills, and if you wanted to know why, you could point to Chris Johnson’s 23-carry, 153-yard, two-touchdown performance. But considering Johnson has had about two strong games this year and yet, the Titans are 7-5 and in the AFC wild card race, Munchak deserves plenty of credit.
Hue Jackson Pete Carroll, HC, Seahawks
Beating the Eagles in Week 13 doesn't carry quite the cachet as doing it earlier in the season but the Seahawks are one of the league's most improved teams over the last month. They steamrolled Philly last Thursday and if the 49ers hadn't run away with NFC West, Seattle might be in the running for another 7-9 division title.



Posted on: December 6, 2011 2:04 pm
 

Tim Tebow triggered $472K playing-time bonus

By Will Brinson

Tim Tebow's played well as a starter for the Broncos (or, if you prefer: Tim Tebow has won games as a starter for the Broncos), but it appears "just playing" was enough to make his wallet a lot bit fatter.

According to The Denver Post, Tebow's now crossed the threshold to trigger a playing-time bonus that pays him an extra $472,500 on his rookie contract.

As we noted yesterday in pro-rating Tebow's stats, he's nearly at eight full games, what with his seven starts, half of another game and some plays in the "Tebow package." That puts him well over the 45 percent needed to unlock the bonus.

If you want to get really technical about it, Tebow's now at 46.9 percent of Denver's snaps, per Mike Klis of The Post.

Whatever it is, though, Denver probably doesn't care. Half a million bucks is a ton of cash, of course, but the resurgence Tebow's given the Broncos with his play (they're 6-1 since he took over, obviously) outweighs the bonus they'll pay him at the end of the season.

And that doesn't count merchandise sales and all the other things that come with going from 1-4 to a potential No. 4 seed in the NFL playoffs.

Maybe he should ask for more.

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Posted on: December 6, 2011 9:58 am
 

Tracking Tebow, Week 13: The Tebolution continues

We're Tracking Tebow … because it's impossible not to watch. 

By Ryan Wilson

When it comes to Tim Tebow, there's really not much left to say. As head coach John Fox pointed after the latest Broncos come-from-behind win, this time against the Vikings, "The guy knows how to win."

Two months ago, such remarks wouldn't have been much different from all the other post-victory-glow cliches we're usually beaten about the head with. But now, with Tebow 6-1 as Denver's starter, and the Broncos atop the AFC West, Fox speaks the truth. There is no logical explanation for the team's sudden turnaround let alone Tebow's success but after witnessing miracle after miracle most of us now take it on faith that some way, some how, the Broncos are going to win and Tebow will do his part. Ironic, we know.

Unlike previous weeks, Tebow matriculated the ball down the field with his arm, not his legs. He had just four rushes for 13 yards, something you might expect from a prototypical NFL quarterback, not a guy whose legend was built on his ability to tuck and run. Not against the Vikings, who seemed intent on keeping Tebow in the pocket and forcing him to put the ball in the air.


He did just that 15 times, completing 10 throws for 202 yards. Adjusted for conventional NFL QBs, that works out to about a 500-yard passing day. Tebow also threw two touchdowns and it was his fifth straight game without an interception.

We can chuckle all we want about Tim Tebow, glorified H-back, but the Chiefs and Bears would love to have him right now. Nothing he does on the football field is pretty but there's no denying that he's efficient. No one -- not even Tom Brady, former 199th pick who cries when he's reminded of his draft-day free fall -- gets more out of their abilities. Because, realistically, Tebow should be a blocking back. He should be playing on the coverage and return units. He should be on the roster bubble every preseason. And yet here he is, doing what he's done since high school: winning.

He's converted an entire country of doubters, and more importantly, he's convinced John Fox and John Elway. Now, with a month left in the regular season there's no reason to think that the Broncos won't win their division. That, folks, is the Power of Tebow (and the benefits of having an easy schedule relative to the Raiders).


                                                   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



"I know that everyone wants to know, but our future is right now. When you look at where we are, the future is the Chicago Bears. We've got three out of four at home, and we're coming off five out of six wins, so we're excited to come home. - Broncos president John Elway, on his weekly radio show, answering a question about whether Tebow's performance means he's the team's long-term quarterback.

“Walking out of the tunnel yesterday (in Minnesota), somebody had farted. We’re walking down, this is right before the game starts, and [head coach John Fox] is like, ‘Man, somebody’s nervous.” - Broncos punter Dustin Colquitt offering an example of why Fox is a players' coach and always knows exactly what to say.

"There were a lot of questions on the outside (about Tebow). Sometimes it gets built up like they were on the inside, but the one thing I will say is the guy wins. He does it with his feet, he does it with his arm. He's young, he's just going to get better." - Head coach John Fox

"I've definitely seen that a couple times from No. 15. When I hear all those ESPN commentators say, 'He can't do this,' I laugh. After the game, I whispered in his ear, 'Let 'em keep hating. Keep 'em hating on you.'" - Vikings wide receiver and Tebow's former teammate at Florida, Percy Harvin


                                                   Audio-Visual




Tebow used to struggle with deep throws, even the wide open ones. That was a non-issue against the Vikings.


At this point, nothing surprises us with Tebow. He does it so often everybody expects it. Put differently: we're believers now!


Yes, Tebow is a beneficiary of a good defense, but he also plays better as the game progresses. 


                                                   Eye on Tebow




Tim Tebow at terminal velocity rips the helmets off unsuspecting opponents. 

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RSS Feed.
Posted on: December 5, 2011 3:56 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 1:01 pm
 

Prorating Tim Tebow's statistics + Experts Chat

Is Tim Tebow really an MVP candidate? But, no, seriously, is he? Join us Wednesday at 1:00 pm ET to discuss it with our experts, and check out Tebow's prorated stats below.



Posted by Will Brinson

On our most recent podcast, my colleague Ryan Wilson attempted to convince me that the Tim Tebow haters had disappeared. And while even the most rabit anti-Tebites* have agreed he's doing something special, there are still plenty of people who won't believe.

Whatever, I addressed that in Sorting the Sunday Pile. Instead, I thought it might be kind of interesting to take Tebow's 2011 season, now approximately eight games long, prorate it across a full NFL season, and see where he stands.

A couple caveats apply first. One, when I started doing this, I had in mind that Tebow's season might line up with David Garrard's 2007 season, but Tebow's already out-rushed Garrard. And two, prorating stats is obviously not precise, because performances vary and no single player is going to produce the exact same statline over the course a second set of eight games that they produced over the first.

But still, Tebow's work -- 75 of 158 passing for 1,054 yards, 10 touchdowns, one interception and 468 rushing yards -- since taking over basically encompasses a half season. Double it and we get some theoretical production if he started. That would give Tebow more than 2,000 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and 900 rushing yards.

Those are decent -- and more importantly, odd -- numbers for a quarterback, so I figured I'd plug those landmarks into Pro-Football-Reference.com and see all the different quarterbacks that accomplished the feat. I was pretty surprised when this came back:

Player Year Cmp
Att Yds Cmp % TD INT RSH YDS
Randall Cunningham 1990 271
465 3,466 58.3 %
30 13 942
Michael Vick
2006 204
388 2,474 52.6 %
20 13 1,039
Tim Tebow
2011+ 150
316 2,108 47.5 %
20 2 932

Worth noting: Vick went 7-9 with the Falcons that year, while Cunningham went 10-6 with the Eagles. Both guys started all 16 games -- Tebow only has seven starts across his current statistical season. (Oh, and as Wilson points out, Cunningham is now an ordained minister. Coincidence? I think not.)

Tebow's theoretical season, it turns out, puts him in some pretty stout company when it comes to mobile quarterbacks. Obviously he's not on pace to throw up some sort of "Tom Brady 2007" season, and his completion percentage clearly needs work. And maybe if he's improving it, his rushing yards will decline.

The lesson isn't that he's as good as Randall Cunningham or even Michael Vick circa 2006. The lesson is just that Tebow's compiling stats and playing quarterback in a manner that's effective enough to put him in the same category as some talented quarterbacks if he was so do it over the course of a full season.

+ Prorated
*H/T: Kramer, natch

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com