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Tag:Miami Dolphins
Posted on: October 26, 2011 2:47 pm
 

Fasano: Suck for Luck 'sick,' Gator Day 'awful'

Posted by Will Brinson

It's pretty obvious that the Dolphins, one of two winless teams remaining in the NFL, have some issues (I mean, duh, they were just forced to sign J.P. Losman.) And based on some comments from Miami tight end Anthony Fasano, some of the issues are affecting the mindset of the team.

Fasano, in an interview with WFAN in New York, ripped Dolphins fans who are rooting for the team to lose and nab Andrew Luck, calling them "sick."

"It’s sick actually," Fasano said, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. "I can’t even fathom those thoughts of those people that conjure up that stuff. They have never played sports and pretty much aren’t really our loyal fans. I can’t really put any weight into that and I know the players don’t listen to it. It’s a shame, but people are going to talk and we just have to block that out."

Fasano's right -- real fans don't root for a team to lose just in the hopes of getting a particular player in the draft. The upside of a terrible season might be a good pick, but hoping the team fails to produce week after week isn't being a fan.

Of course, the organization isn't doing much to help out the players either. Look no further than the recent halftime celebration of the Florida Gators BCS title team, a team that featured none other than Tim Tebow at quarterback -- Fasano wasn't thrilled about that either, calling it "awful" and "a smack in the face."

"Yeah it was awful," Fasano said about Gator Day. "Showing up at the stadium and seeing all the Gator stuff and the Tebow stuff. It was disheartening, but as players we kind of put ourselves in that position because the Dolphins are in the business of winning football games and making money. We haven’t been winning football games, but it’s still a smack in the face and it’s unfortunate we couldn’t rain on their parade and get the win."

If you believe in karma, it's hard to fathom that a team utilizing its opponent to make more money and a fanbase rooting for that team to lose could end up getting a franchise quarterback in the draft.

Or, if you don't believe in karma, how about just imagining whether or not a guy like Andrew Luck would want to play in Miami? Luck's already called the "Suck for Luck" campaigns "stupid" so there's no guarantee he'll be happy playing for a fanbase that's rooted for the team to lose or an organization that might not be looking out for the players' best interests.

But if the Dolphins as a whole are as happy as Fasano, it's hard to imagine they'll find a way to compete enough to not end up with a decent shot at landing him anyway.

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Posted on: October 25, 2011 6:43 pm
 

Podcast: Questioning Polian, Ripping the Ravens

Posted by Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

The Jaguars-Ravens Monday night game was so awesome that we decided to bust out the old podcast machine and get to talking about whether or not the Ravens are contenders and if Jack Del Rio can save his job.

Then Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk joins the show to discuss whether or not Bill Polian should be on the hot seat in Indy and where the Lions stand after their second-straight loss.

Finally, we break down Terrell Owens tryout and wonder whether Stephen Ross is trying to "pull a Major League" with the Dolphins.

Just hit the play button below to listen (and 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: October 25, 2011 3:45 pm
Edited on: October 25, 2011 4:13 pm
 

Dolphins sign former Bills 1st-rounder JP Losman

He's back! The Dolphins ink JP Losman. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Words we never thought we'd write: JP Losman is back in the NFL. The Miami Dolphins rescued Losman from football obscurity and, depending on your perspective, put him in a less enviable situation. Losman will be the No. 2 quarterback behind Matt Moore, who injured his ribs in Sunday's loss to the Broncos but is expected to play against the Giants this week, according to the Palm Beach Post's Ben Volin.

To make room on the roster for Losman, the Dolphins placed Sage Rosenfels on the Reserve/Non-Football Illness list. FoxSports.com's Alex Marvez writes that Rosenfels recently became sick with the same illness that landed him in the hospital in August. 

“I am thankful for the opportunity the Dolphins gave me to come here and play,” Rosenfels said in a statement through agent Rick Smith that was given to FOXSports.com. “I was looking forward to contributing to the team when I signed.

“When I first joined the Dolphins, all tests showed that I was healthy and ready to go. But after practicing for a few weeks, especially in the heat, some new indications made it obvious that I need to rest and allow my body to regain all requisite strength. I want to thank the Dolphins for their understanding and wish them the best of luck the rest of the season.”

Rosenfels was signed nearly three weeks ago after starter Chad Henne was lost for the season with a shoulder injury. Before settling on Rosenfels, Miami also put Kellen Clemens, Losman, Jim Sorgi, and Charlie Frye through the paces. Apparently, Losman impressed them enough to bring him back.

The former Tulane star was the Bills' 2004 first-round pick. After five years in Buffalo, where Losman started 33 games, threw for 6,211 yards, 33 touchdowns and 24 interceptions, he landed in Oakland in 2009 and was in Seattle for parts of 2010. He also played for the UFL's Las Vegas Locomotives in 2009, where he had 1,193 passing yards, nine touchdowns and two picks.

And now, Losman's an injury away from playing again in the NFL, although he'd be a much bigger help to the Dolphins if he was a defensive coordinator.

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Posted on: October 25, 2011 11:03 am
Edited on: November 1, 2011 2:39 pm
 

Dolphins were in wrong defense on Tebow score

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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RSS Feed.
Posted on: October 24, 2011 1:45 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 2:40 pm
 

Tracking Tebow, Week 7: You can't stop destiny



Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Power of Tebow compels you, indeed. Tim Tebow made his first start of the 2011 season and for 55 minutes he was not just the worst quarterback on the field, but one of the worst players. That's saying something because Denver and Miami had one win between them.

And then something happened. He found inspiration from his teammates, divine intervention from above, or maybe he just realized he was playing the winless Dolphins, the same organization that saw fit to honor Tebow at halftime for his college accomplishments that took place 350 miles to the north.

Whatever the reason, Tebow led two scoring drives late in the fourth quarter to tie the game, the Broncos won it in overtime on a field goal, and at least for a week, he quieted the doubters that insist he's not an NFL quarterback. 


If not for the bumbling antics of a Miami team that is now 0-6, you could make the case that Tebow would have proven his critics right. Instead, he made a few timely throws, tied the game on a patented Tebow Sneak (somehow the Dolphins weren't aware that Tebow likes to run that play), and is 1-0 as Denver's starter this season.

Whatever your thoughts on Tebow's NFL prospects, one thing is certain: he's unconventional. Whether he can win that way over the long haul remains to be seen, but as Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin loves to say: Style points don't matter. 

Something else to keep in mind going forward: against a Dolphins defense that allowed Tom Brady to throw for 500 yards in Week 1, Tebow had 24 passing yards after three quarters. Twenty-four. He was also sacked seven times, mostly because he struggled to get the ball out on time, instead trying to make plays, time and again, with his legs.

But, hey, if we're willing to be patient with Colt McCoy, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder and, hell, Kevin Kolb, we should extend the same courtesy to Tebow. Even if he doesn't fit our vision of what constitutes an NFL quarterback. Ultimately, his performance will determine his fate. Unless, of course, the Broncos keep winning. Then he can play like he did against the Dolphins.


                                                   Play by Play



Week 7: Miami Dolphins
Situation Down/Distance Result
Comment
1st quarter     (Note: you can see the entire play-by-play log here. Passing plays are noted in red.)
 1st series 1-10-DEN15 (12:44) W.McGahee right tackle to DEN 18 for 3 yards (Y.Bell).  
  2-7-DEN18 (12:11) (Shotgun) T.Tebow pass incomplete short left to D.Thomas (K.Dansby). Looks left, hesitates, allowing a pass-rusher to get in his face, throws off balance and was almost intercepted. 
  3-7-DEN18 (12:06) (Shotgun) T.Tebow left guard to DEN 23 for 5 yards (Y.Bell; K.Dansby). Patented Tebow option. This time he fakes the handoff runs up the middle. He'll keep doing it until teams prove they can stop him.
  4-2-DEN23 PUNT  
 2nd series 1-10-DEN23 (9:56) (Shotgun) W.McGahee left tackle to DEN 31 for 8 yards (Y.Bell).  
  2-2-DEN31 (9:21) (Shotgun) W.McGahee right tackle to DEN 37 for 6 yards (T.McDaniel; K.Dansby).
 
  1-10-DEN37 (8:43) (Shotgun) T.Tebow scrambles left guard ran ob at 50 for 13 yards (K.Dansby). Another option, Tebow keeps it, arm fakes, and ... scrambles up the middle before beating two Dolphins defenders around the corner for a first down.
  1-10-50 (8:14) W.McGahee left guard to DEN 49 for -1 yards (K.Dansby; P.Soliai).

 
  2-11-DEN49 (7:36) (Shotgun) T.Tebow scrambles left end to 50 for 1 yard (K.Dansby). Yet another option, sprint left, Tebow briefly looks downfield before getting hit behind the line of scrimmage and turning it into a 1-yard gain.
  3-10-50 (6:52) (Shotgun) T.Tebow pass short middle to E.Royal to MIA 43 for 7 yards (K.Burnett). Penalty on DEN-R.Clady, Illegal Formation, declined.
Completes an easy throw in the middle of the field short of the sticks. Penalty negates it. 
  4-3-MIA43  PUNT  
 3rd series 1-10-MIA41 (4:57) W.McGahee up the middle to MIA 38 for 3 yards (K.Dansby).  
  2-7-MIA38 (4:25) C.Clark reported in as eligible. W.McGahee right tackle to MIA 26 for 12 yards (C.Wake).  
  1-10-MIA26 (3:44) W.McGahee right tackle to MIA 28 for -2 yards (P.Soliai).  
  2-12-MIA28 (3:06) (Shotgun) T.Tebow pass short middle to K.Moreno to MIA 27 for 1 yard (K.Dansby). This looks familiar. Tebow pirouettes in the pocket before throwing a screen pass to his right. It's similar to the play Moreno scored on against the Chargers two weeks ago. Not this time.
  3-11-MIA27 (2:19) (Shotgun) T.Tebow sacked at MIA 31 for -4 yards (J.Odrick). Gets good protection, holds the ball too long, spins to his right, tries to scramble and takes the sack.
  4-15-MIA31 MISSED FG  
2nd quarter       
4th series 1-10-DEN20 (14:14) W.McGahee right tackle to DEN 24 for 4 yards (K.Dansby; P.Soliai).  
  2-6-DEN24 (13:35) T.Tebow pass short left to S.Larsen to DEN 40 for 16 yards (J.Wilson). Play-action from under center, Tebow's first read isn't there, rolls left and finds Larsen. Nice play.
  1-10-DEN40 (12:54) W.McGahee left guard to MIA 48 for 12 yards (W.Allen).  
  1-10-MIA48 (12:18) K.Moreno left tackle to MIA 35 for 13 yards (T.Culver).  
  1-10-MIA35 (11:51) C.Clark reported in as eligible. K.Moreno right tackle to MIA 29 for 6 yards (K.Burnett).  
  2-4-MIA29 (11:16) C.Clark reported in as eligible. W.McGahee right end to MIA 26 for 3 yards (Y.Bell).  
  3-1-MIA26 (10:39) W.McGahee right guard to MIA 26 for no gain (T.McDaniel).  
  4-1-MIA26 MISSED FG
 
5th series      
  1-10-DEN10  (6:55) W.McGahee left tackle to DEN 10 for no gain (W.Allen).  
  2-10-DEN10 (6:17) T.Tebow pass incomplete deep left to E.Royal [R.Starks]. Play-action from under center, plenty of protection, holds the ball too long before just missing Royal down the left side. Not a bad throw but needs to get rid of the ball quicker.
  3-10-DEN10 (6:09) (Shotgun) T.Tebow pass incomplete short middle to D.Thomas. PENALTY on MIA-Y.Bell, Roughing the Passer, 15 yards, enforced at DEN 10 - No Play. Gets rid of ball quicker, but Bell hits his arm, disrupting the throw.
  1-10-DEN25 (6:03) W.McGahee left tackle to DEN 33 for 8 yards (T.Culver). FUMBLES (T.Culver), RECOVERED by MIA-Y.Bell at DEN 40.  
6th series      
  1-10-DEN25 (2:41) T.Tebow pass incomplete short left to K.Moreno. PENALTY on DEN-Z.Beadles, Ineligible Downfield Kick, 5 yards, enforced at DEN 25 - No Play. Oh my. Play action, Tebow rolls left and the touch pass on a 10-yard throw to Moreno is overthrown by, oh, five yards. 
  1-15-DEN20  (2:35) (Shotgun) W.McGahee left guard to DEN 25 for 5 yards (R.Starks).  
  2-10-DEN25  (2:00) T.Tebow pass short left to E.Decker to DEN 25 for no gain (S.Smith). PENALTY on DEN-O.Franklin, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at DEN 25 - No Play. Holds the ball too long before finding Decker underneath.
  2-20-DEN15 (1:52) T.Tebow right guard to DEN 36 for 21 yards (K.Dansby). You can hate Tebow for his arm, but his legs are what make him so dangerous. He should've been sacked at the 2-yard-line. Instead he gets 21 yards on 2nd and 20.
  1-10-DEN36 (:59) T.Tebow sacked at DEN 28 for -8 yards (Y.Bell). And this is where his legs get him in trouble. He holds the ball because he's unsure of his arm, but knows he can run. Except this time the tackler wraps him up for a sack.
  2-18-DEN28 (:17) (Shotgun) T.Tebow right tackle to DEN 32 for 4 yards (J.Taylor). Broken record: he holds the ball too long before scrambling for a short gain.
  3-14-DEN32 (:41) (Shotgun) T.Tebow sacked at DEN 26 for -6 yards (K.Langford). FUMBLES (K.Langford), recovered by DEN-M.Willis at DEN 26. Holds ball too long, relies on legs, this time he fumbles. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
3rd quarter      
7th series      
  1-10-DEN20 (15:00) (Shotgun) T.Tebow pass incomplete deep left to D.Thomas. The worst throw of the afternoon. Throws deep and misses his WR wide left by 15 yards.
  2-10-DEN20 (14:53) W.McGahee up the middle to DEN 25 for 5 yards (K.Dansby).  
  3-5-DEN25 (14:16) (Shotgun) T.Tebow sacked at DEN 21 for -4 yards (C.Wake). 3-step drop, ball doesn't come out, he looks to run ... and is sacked. Again.
  4-9-DEN21 PUNT  
8th series      
  1-10-DEN3 (11:55) W.McGahee left tackle to DEN 14 for 11 yards (S.Smith). PENALTY on DEN-W.McGahee, Face Mask (15 Yards), 5 yards, enforced at DEN 10.  
  1-8-DEN5 (11:15) W.McGahee right end to DEN 6 for 1 yard (S.Smith).   
  2-7-DEN6 (10:52) W.McGahee left tackle to DEN 8 for 2 yards (K.Misi; K.Dansby). DEN-W.McGahee was injured during the play. His return is Probable.  
  3-5-DEN8 (10:13) (Shotgun) T.Tebow up the middle to DEN 12 for 4 yards (J.Odrick). The ol' Tebow Draw from his Florida days comes up just short of the first down. We're shocked defenses seemed surprised when he runs it.
  4-1-DEN12 PUNT  
9th series      
  1-10-DEN20 (7:30) (Shotgun) T.Tebow pass incomplete deep left to D.Thomas. We have a new leader in the "Worst Pass of the Day" clubhouse. Tebow gives a shoulder fake on a short throw and then goes deep. The ball lands 10 yards out of bounds.
  2-10-DEN20 (7:24) K.Moreno up the middle to DEN 22 for 2 yards (P.Soliai).  
  3-8-DEN22 (6:41) (Shotgun) T.Tebow pass incomplete deep left to E.Decker. Play-action, Tebow has a WR wide open down the middle of the field and he overthrows him. 
  4-8-DEN22  PUNT  
4th quarter      
10th series      
  1-10-DEN20 (14:54) C.Clark reported in as eligible. K.Moreno up the middle to DEN 26 for 6 yards (Y.Bell).  
  2-4-DEN26 (14:24) (Shotgun) L.Ball left guard to DEN 31 for 5 yards (K.Langford; T.McDaniel).  
  1-10-DEN31 (13:45) (Shotgun) T.Tebow pass incomplete deep left to D.Rosario [J.Odrick]. Holds the ball too long before throwing to the left. Ball ends up well out of bounds and nowhere near his intended target. 
  2-10-DEN31 (13:38) (Shotgun) K.Moreno up the middle to DEN 30 for -1 yards (W.Allen).  
  3-11-DEN30 (12:56) (Shotgun) T.Tebow pass incomplete deep right to E.Royal [C.Wake]. Under heavy pressure, gets rid of the ball earlier than he wants but the throw is just underthrown. A nice play given the circumstances. 
  4-11-DEN30  PUNT  
 11th series      
  1-10-DEN20 (7:34) (Shotgun) T.Tebow pass incomplete short left to D.Thomas. Hits Thomas in the chest on what would have been a short gaing, Thomas drops it. 
  2-10-DEN20 (7:28) T.Tebow pass short middle to E.Decker to DEN 36 for 16 yards (S.Smith). Gets ball out on time to WR on a shallow crossing route.  
  1-10-DEN36 (7:03) (Shotgun) T.Tebow pass incomplete deep left to D.Fells. Holds ball to long, launches it well into the benches along the sideline. Tebow is at his best when he gets the ball out quickly.
  2-10-DEN36 (6:56) (Shotgun) T.Tebow pass incomplete short middle to D.Fells. Holds ball too long, rolls left, throws across his body to the right and the ball never has a chance of finding the intended receiver.
  3-10-DEN36 (6:48) (Shotgun) T.Tebow sacked at DEN 31 for -5 yards (C.Wake). Tell us if you've heard this: holds the ball too long, tries to make a play with his legs and is sacked.
  4-15-DEN31  PUNT  
 12th series      
  1-10-DEN20 (5:23) (Shotgun) T.Tebow pass short right to D.Thomas pushed ob at DEN 35 for 15 yards (S.Smith). Gets ball out on time, easy throw, easy catch.
  1-10-DEN35 (5:06) (No Huddle, Shotgun) T.Tebow pass short middle to K.Moreno to DEN 44 for 9 yards (K.Burnett). Same as above. Funny how that works.
  2-1-DEN44 (4:43) (No Huddle, Shotgun) T.Tebow pass incomplete deep left to D.Thomas (C.Wake). Holds the ball FOREVER, finally launches the ball downfield and takes a hard, low hit.
  3-1-DEN44 (4:35) (No Huddle, Shotgun) L.Ball right tackle to DEN 46 for 2 yards (J.Odrick).  
  1-10-DEN46  (4:07) (No Huddle, Shotgun) T.Tebow pass deep middle to M.Willis to MIA 12 for 42 yards (T.Culver). Steps up in the pocket and hits his WR in stride. Nice play.
  1-10-MIA12 (3:26) (No Huddle, Shotgun) T.Tebow sacked at MIA 18 for -6 yards (J.Taylor). Defender meets Tebow at the top of his 5-step drop. Didn't have a chance.
  2-16-MIA18 (3:04) (No Huddle, Shotgun) T.Tebow scrambles right end to MIA 5 for 13 yards (K.Dansby). Live by the Tebow, die by the Tebow. Holds the ball in the pocket before scrambling.
  3-3-MIA5 (2:52) (Shotgun) T.Tebow pass short right to D.Thomas for 5 yards, TOUCHDOWN. MIA 15 DEN 7 Same as above except this time Tebow dances out of trouble, rolls right and finds Thomas, who makes a great catch.
13th series DEN recovers onside kick     
  1-10-DEN44 (2:41) (Shotgun) T.Tebow pass short left to D.Thomas to MIA 49 for 7 yards (S.Smith).  Quick drop, rolls left, finds WR near sideline.
  2-3-MIA49 (2:18) (No Huddle, Shotgun) K.Moreno right guard to MIA 47 for 2 yards (K.Burnett).  
  3-1-MIA47 (2:00) (Shotgun) T.Tebow right tackle to MIA 43 for 4 yards (Y.Bell). Patented Tebow sneak.
  1-10-MIA43 (1:40) (No Huddle, Shotgun) T.Tebow pass incomplete short right to D.Thomas. Again, holds the ball too long, tries to buy time with his legs before launching the ball out of bounds.
  2-10-MIA43 (1:32) (Shotgun) T.Tebow pass short left to E.Royal to MIA 36 for 7 yards (S.Smith). Doesn't get ball out on time but finds WR in middle of field on touch pass.
  3-3-MIA36 (1:07) (No Huddle, Shotgun) T.Tebow pass short right to E.Decker ran ob at MIA 31 for 5 yards (S.Smith). Ball is out at the top of this 3-step drop. Much more accurate passer when throws on time.
  1-10-MIA31 (1:02) (Shotgun) T.Tebow pass incomplete short right to M.Willis. A tad late with the throw but it should've been caught.
  2-10-MIA31 (:56) (Shotgun) T.Tebow pass deep middle to D.Fells to MIA 3 for 28 yards (K.Burnett). The Replay Assistant challenged the pass completion ruling, and the play was Upheld. Throws down the middle of the field, clearing the underneath linebacker and just in front of the defensive back. Good throw, fantastic catch. Most importantly: clutch.
  1-3-MIA3 (:29) (Shotgun) T.Tebow pass incomplete short right to D.Thomas. Never had a chance. Thrown out of bounds.
  2-3-MIA3 (:25) T.Tebow pass short right to D.Fells for 3 yards, TOUCHDOWN. And there it is -- the 2nd-most popular call in the Tebow playbook, after the Tebow Sneak: the screen pass. Easy throw, easy TD. Nice execution.
    (Pass formation) TWO-POINT CONVERSION ATTEMPT. T.Tebow rushes right tackle. ATTEMPT SUCCEEDS. MIA 15 DEN 15 Huh. It's almost as if the Dolphins a) had never seen the Tebow Sneak and b) didn't think he might run it here.
Overtime      
14th series      
  1-10-DEN45 (13:25) (Shotgun) L.Ball left guard to 50 for 5 yards (K.Burnett).  
  2-5-50 (12:59) (No Huddle, Shotgun) K.Moreno up the middle to 50 for no gain (K.Dansby).  
  3-5-50 (12:35) (No Huddle, Shotgun) T.Tebow sacked at DEN 47 for -3 yards (R.Starks).  Never had a chance. Pocket collapsed at the top of his dropback.
  4-8-DEN47 PUNT   
15th series      
  1-10-MIA36 (9:30) L.Ball right tackle to MIA 35 for 1 yard (K.Misi).  
  2-9-MIA35 (8:53) L.Ball left guard to MIA 34 for 1 yard (P.Soliai).  
  3-8-MIA34 (8:13) L.Ball right end to MIA 34 for no gain (C.Wake).  
  4-8-MIA34 (7:29) (Field Goal formation) M.Prater 52 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-L.Paxton, Holder-B.Colquitt.  
       
    FINAL: DEN 18 MIA 15  



                                                        Quotes



“We sat together on the sideline, talked and prayed. I just saw it in his face, his want-to.” - Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas on Tebow

“That’s what Tebow does, he creates. He kept fighting. He’s one of those guys that win games. Finds ways to win games, make plays. It wasn’t pretty. Should’ve been a win for us. But it wasn’t.” - Dolphins DE Jason Taylor

“Everyone in the whole stadium knew he was [running] the ball (on the 2-point conversion). We just didn’t make the play.” - Dolphins LB Karlos Dansby

"He doesn't quit. There's nothing corny about it." - Broncos RT Orlando Franklin

"I try not to pay attention to [the crowd cheering for me], but you do hear it. Kupe (right guard Chris Kuper) said something to me about the crowd in the huddle before our first drive. I told the guys, 'Hey guys, I appreciate the crowd support, but I'm here for you guys. I want you guys to believe in me.'" - Tebow


                                                   Audio-Visual



Here's the game-winner:


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.

And here's the game recap:


Tim Tebow rallied the Broncos for two touchdowns in the final 2:44 of the fourth quarter to force overtime, and help lead to an 18-15 victory Sunday over the stunned Miami Dolphins. CBS Sports' Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots have the recap.


                                                   Action Shots



(click images to enlarge)



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Posted on: October 24, 2011 10:03 am
 

Dolphins not looking to fire Sparano yet

SparanoPosted by Josh Katzowitz

At some point, you have to feel sorry for Dolphins coach Tony Sparano. His team is 0-6, and though some of that is his fault, Miami has lost in some mind-boggling ways.

Then, on Sunday, after Tim Tebow led the Broncos to 18 unanswered points in an overtime win -- even if it was a mirage -- owner Stephen Ross was spotted chatting up former University of Florida coach Urban Meyer (currently unemployed as a football coach) on the sideline. Considering Ross completely emasculated Sparano in the offseason by publicly going after Jim Harbaugh, I joked that obviously Ross was offering Sparano’s job to Meyer, effective immediately.

And really, it wouldn’t have been surprising if Ross had fired Sparano after Sunday’s effort. Alas, according to the Miami Herald, Sparano will continue coaching the Dolphins for now. Ross boarded a flight to Seattle, so the newspaper speculates he could change his mind after reflection, but that appears unlikely at this moment, especially since he probably wouldn’t fire anybody from thousands of miles away.

But going after Meyer? Was that really a joke, or could Ross actually be considering that?

From the Herald:
Never mind that the time Ross and Meyer spent on the sideline was completely coincidental. The owner intended to go into the Dolphins locker room to celebrate with his team when he left his suite. But by the time he got to the field level, the Broncos had made the score 15-7 and were lining up for an onside kick.

So the owner went to the sideline where Meyer “happened” to be standing. And the two got to talking. And Meyer, an impressive guy, seemingly impressed Ross.

That’s where it stops for the moment. It really can go no further. Meyer isn’t anyone’s midseason or interim hire. The Dolphins still believe if, and when, Meyer returns to coaching it will be on the college level.

None of that, though, should comfort Sparano. He is not long for this job, and it’s not all his fault. But that doesn’t change the near-certainty that a change is coming and Sparano will be the one left behind.

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Posted on: October 24, 2011 2:00 am
Edited on: October 24, 2011 2:31 am
 

Sorting the Sunday Pile: Week 7

Posted by Will Brinson


Sorting the Sunday Pile takes all of Sunday's NFL action and figures out the most important storylines for you to digest. Send your complaints, questions and comments to Will Brinson on Twitter. Make sure and listen to our Week 7 podcast review below as well and feel free to subscribe via iTunes.


1. He's Just a Winner
For the second time in three weeks, we lead the Pile with a story about Tim Tebow, thanks to Denver's 18-15 win in Miami on Sunday. And for the second time in three weeks, we lead the Pile with a story that was going to involve the phrase "Tim Tebow is a bad quarterback." And for the second time in three weeks I fully expect to be thrashed in the comments for not giving Tebow enough credit because he's a "winner."

This is fair, because Tebow did win. But it's unfair because Tebow looked unlike anything resembling an NFL quarterback for the majority of the game. Ask anyone who watched the game and they'll agree with you. My colleagues Pete Prisco ("looked lost," "isn't close to being a good quarterback") and Josh Katzowitz ("a mirage," "terrible," "horrendous," "no idea what he was doing") threw down lines on Tebow that belong on the back of the straight-to-DVD cover for the latest Adam Sandler movie.

To sum up everything about this game, let's watch the two-point conversion when Denver tied the game at 15. Before you click play, though, I want you to imagine you're a Dolphins defender and you know the Broncos only need two yards.


OK, presuming you played along, that video got McFly'd, because it never happened. Since, you know, anyone with a modicum of football sense saw the quarterback draw from Tebow coming on the play and snuffed it out. Somehow, the Dolphins failed to do this.

There's plenty of blame to go around, of course. Everyone on Miami's defensive coaching staff should be embarrassed for not knowing that was coming. And everyone on the Dolphins defense should be embarrassed for not recognizing what was happening, regardless of the playcall. Tony Sparano should be embarrassed after he went for a two-point conversion at the beginning of the fourth quarter with the Dolphins up 12-0; an extra point would have rendered this entire discussion moot.

In case you don't believe me, just look at the rollercoaster that is the win probability for the Broncos over the course of Sunday's game, courtesy of AdvancedNFLStats.com:



I realize that knocking on Tebow after he led a comeback on the road (well, kind of) in the face of adversity makes me a jerk, especially when that adversity includes a) a coach who might not want him to succeed, b) no real help at the other offensive skill positions and c) lacking the appropriate skills to play quarterback in the NFL.

But you know what he does have? The best attitude in the NFL.

"It's a good stadium," a smiling Tebow said after the game. "I enjoy playing here. Sometimes you have to find a way and keep believing and keep fighting."

That's classic Tebow, even if he had no business winning the game. I like what I heard on Twitter Sunday -- that Tebow is everything his critics say he is and yet, at the same time, everything his fans say he is -- because it's true. Tebow's a mechanically flawed, imperfect quarterback for the NFL, but he's fantastic young man who works his ass off and has such an improbably high level of faith in a higher power that he's automatically a lightning rod for discussion and/or controversy.

Look, I like Tebow and I don't necessarily enjoy taking the side of the argument where I have to dog the guy. I don't, I swear. But so very much about the Broncos victory in Miami was about the Dolphins inability to operate as a successful football team, and so very much of the Broncos victory was not about Denver's ability to dominate offensively.

But pick a side -- you have to, of course! -- and call me a jerk in the comments either way. Just remember that if you're the one screaming about how he's a winner you're on the same side as Skip Bayless and and LeBron James.

2. A Hue, Tiny Mistake
On the bright side, Tebow only cost the Broncos one first-round draft pick. Carson Palmer might, depending on how Oakland finishes the season, cost the Raiders two of them. Although if Palmer plays like he did on Sunday afternoon, it's pretty unlikely, since throwing three picks in one half isn't a great formula for making it to the AFC Championship.

Palmer did just that on Sunday, helping Kansas City blowout the Raiders 28-0 in Oakland. Oh yeah, it's awkward, and we'll get to that. But real quick, let me say I'm sorry, personally, to my colleague Matt Moore (not the guy who stinks for the Dolphins; and no, that never gets old) for consistently ripping the Chiefs over the past few weeks. They've now won three-straight games and next week they're playing the Chargers to determine who'll be in first place in the AFC West. Yes, the NFL is as insane as you think.

Back to the Raiders: for the most part, Hue Jackson's done a nice job with this team so far in 2011 but he's shown an ability to botch a decision or two. And he botched a big one on Sunday, waiting until 10 minutes left in the third quarter to bring in Palmer for Kyle Boller, who was the first quarterback in Raiders history to throw three picks in the first half of a single outing.

It's not that Hue should have yanked Boller more quickly, or that Hue should have left Boller in. It's just that he went into the game with no idea of how to handle the Palmer situation and by bringing in Palmer -- who obviously wasn't ready, because otherwise he would have started, right? -- for part of the second half, he not only offered up a pile of doubt for Raiders fans to judge Palmer on, but he put his would-be franchise quarterback out there for injury.

"Uncertainty at quarterback is not what led to interceptions or anything like that," Jackson said on Sunday, instead chalking up the lack of a clear-cut decision and the uncertainty at quarterback to "some gamesmanship."

Jackson was in a bad situation, because Darren McFadden was injured and Boller looked miserable, but if you're coaching this team and you're the guy who pulled the trigger on the Palmer trade, you need to have a plan locked in and stick with it regardless of how poorly things are going.

3. Elsewhere in the AFC West ...
For such a seemingly shoddy division, the AFC West is slinging some Week 7 storylines -- we've got Tebow, the Raiders controversy and the Chiefs getting back into the race. Oh yes, and the Chargers losing a "shoulda won" game against the Jets on Sunday, falling 27-21 in New York on a day that, instead of establishing the Chargers as one of the elite teams in the AFC, exposed them as having the same flaws they've always had.

"We can sit here and think of a bunch of reasons why," Philip Rivers said after the game. "The bottom line is that we came out playing really well. We just didn't finish off the game."

The Bolts came out white-hot -- on the fourth play from scrimmage, Donald Butler stripped Dustin Keller and took a "fumble" to the house to give San Diego an early lead. The Chargers caught a break on a Nick Mangold holding call that led to a Mark Sanchez interception and turned it into an Antonio Gates touchdown.

Gates return was the early key for San Diego, who appeared to solve their red-zone woes with the future Hall of Famer in the starting lineup.

But Brian Schottenheimer and Sanchez figured out that the Chargers had a bigger problem -- they don't have anyone that can matchup man-to-man with Plaxico Burress who, just a few months removed from being in prison, caught three touchdowns in the Jets win.

There's another problem for Norv's team, too, and it's Rivers playing poorly. I'm not sure whether or not the two-minute drill they ran at the end of the game was Turner's doing or Rivers' work, but it was one of the most mangled series of plays I've seen in a long, long time.

After holding the Jets to a field goal and a six-point lead, the Chargers started their final drive with 1:29 on the clock. They then proceeded to run five plays, move the ball a whopping 25 yards and burn 1:18 off the clock, meaning that in the most dire of circumstances, one of the most high-powered offenses in the NFL moved the ball a quarter of the field at a snail-like pace of 3.12 seconds per yard.

Can you imagine how hot Turner's seat would be if the Chargers had coughed up a couple of their September squeak-by victories?



4. Quite Unprobable
It's a shame that Emmitt Smith's no longer dropping knowledge bombs on television, because I'd love to hear what the Hall of Famer would say about rookie third-rounder DeMarco Murray breaking his single-game Cowboys record for rushing yards in a game after piling up 253 yards on 25 carries.

As I wrote in this space after Week 2, "the former Sooner is a highly-talented receiver out of the backfield, and has the potential to be a serious threat." That was based on what I'd seen from Murray in very limited action through the first two weeks and, clearly, it was an understatement.

The Cowboys still didn't fire on all cylinders, but it doesn't take a maximum effort to beat up on the Rams, even to the point of a 34-7 whipping. Murray won't run like that every week but, man, even if you take away his first-quarter, 91-yard touchdown run, Murray still averaged 6.75 yards per carry against St. Louis.

Having talent, though, is typical of the Cowboys. Using it to maximize their success on gameday's the bigger issue. But with Seattle, Buffalo, Washington, Miami and Arizona on the schedule over the next six weeks, it's hard not to want to double down on their chances of winning the NFC East.

5. Six Or One-Half Dozen
One of the reasons to love the Cowboys? The Redskins are in the middle of a freefall. And it's all on the Jekyll and Jekyll combo that Mike Shanahan is rolling out under center this year.

Honestly, what would it take for Shanahan to admit that he made a mistake coming into 2011 with Rex Grossman and John Beck as his starting quarterbacks? Because before the season started, it was an indefensibly ridiculous gamble, the kind that seemed just bat-poop crazy enough to work but obviously wouldn't anyway.

Yet after four weeks, the Redskins were 3-1, held sole possession of first place in the NFC East. Sure, the end of the world was nigh, but at least Shanny seemed smarter.

Now, after John Beck's performance -- 22/37 for 279 yards, a passing touchdown, a rushing touchdown and a pick -- on Sunday in a 33-20 loss in Charlotte, it's really impossible to imagine that they'll be a mathematical contender for much longer.

"I think overall John played very well first time out," Shanahan said Sunday.

Beck's numbers weren't that terrible, but he didn't look particularly adept at running Washington's offense and whether or not he's the answer for the Redskins shouldn't even be a question any more: he's not.

Adding to the problems for Washington is a report that running back Tim Hightower has a torn ACL (which would obviously put his season in jeopardy) and that receiver Santana Moss will miss 3-4 weeks with a broken hand. Oh yes, and Rex Grossman has pneumonia, so he's unlikely to be available any time soon.

Like I said on the podcast before Week 7, I'll pull a reverse Rex right now and guarantee that the Redskins finish in the basement of the NFC East. That's a better bet than them winning the division at this point.

6. Everyone Off This Bandwagon!
Those first five weeks were sweet for Lions fans, and as Mike Freeman wrote from Detroit on Sunday, it's not panic time yet, but it's getting close.

That's mainly because in Detroit's 23-16 loss to Atlanta on Sunday, their flaws as a team were really on display. With Jerome Harrison out for the season and Jahvid Best potentially sidelined for the year, this team has zero running game -- Maurice Morris led the way with nine carries for 50 yards.

They can't stop the run either; Detroit ranks 28th in the league in rushing yards allowed (129.4 yards per game) and Michael Turner carved them up on Sunday, ensuring that Matthew Stafford didn't get another shot at a comeback.

Getting a look Sunday might not be the biggest concern for Stafford either, because a bad result from the MRI he's reportedly undergoing Monday could spell for doom for what appeared to be a magical season. Stafford might be fine and then the passing game isn't a concern.

But if the Lions can't run the ball and they can't stop the run, they're going to struggle to win games against teams later in the year.

And all that swagger we've been talking about? Somehow it's backfiring. Last week it was Jim Schwartz' fiery tirade towards Jim Harbaugh; this week Lions defensive players were supposedly taunting Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan after he suffered an injury.

The Lions have enough talent to keep winning, and the future is bright in Detroit. And none of the things happening to them are, in an individual sense, devastating. But them all together and it's a quick recipe for the wheels coming off.

7. And Back on This One!
I was pretty sure the Texans would cover on Sunday. Win? Maybe. But it would be close. After all, Houston's been pretty putrid on offense since Andre Johnson injured his hamstring two weeks ago, managing just 39 points in losses to the Ravens and Raiders.

Needless to say, then, I wasn't prepared for the 41-7 smackdown that Arian Foster and company laid on the Titans. Foster piled up 234 total yards and three touchdowns, Matt Schaub missed on only five passes and the Texans defense stifled the Titans, holding them to 148 total yards on Sunday.

Chris Johnson, who said afterwards that his play is "not an issue," was, um, the biggest issue, rushing for just 18 yards on 10 carries.

"It's just a situation I got to continue to say I can't do nothing but keep working hard, running hard and doing what I can do for this team," Johnson said.

The problem is that Johnson's not running hard. Ask anyone who's watched him play this year and it's pretty apparent that he's not the same guy who deserved the big contract he held out for prior to this year. He's not showing any burst through the hole, he's got happy feet at the line and he looks like a running back who might be really fast but doesn't know how to run.

That's unfortunate for the Titans, obviously, but I'm not sure it would really matter in an AFC South race that's already wrapped up for all intents and purposes. The Texans showed on Sunday that despite their flaws, their still head and shoulders above the Jaguars, Titans and Colts. They might be second only to the 49ers when it comes to odds for making the playoffs, and with two matchups against the Jaguars, one against the Browns, one more against the Titans and a trip to Indy still on the docket, nine wins seems like a shoo-in.

Which means so is the division title; everyone else in the South is just that terrible this year.

8. Recent Super Bowl Rematches
I thought it was kind of interesting that we had a pair of matchups from the last three Super Bowls this year in Week 7, as the Colts and Saints squared off on Sunday night and the Steelers and Cardinals played during the day.

I also thought it was interesting that the teams who lost those Super Bowls are terrible -- the Colts remain winless and got absolutely whooped 62-7 by New Orleans Sunday night. I'm as guilty as anyone of discussing how important Peyton Manning is to Indy's chances, and I think they'd be a .500 team with him this year.

But they'd still be bad, because the dude doesn't play defense, and he certainly isn't responsible for Drew Brees throwing five touchdowns and only four incompletions in a single game.

As for Arizona/Pittsburgh, man does that Kevin Kolb trade look awesome or what? Kolb had a 73-yard touchdown, but it's poppycock to give him too much credit, since it was basically a five-yard drag route that LaRod Stephens-Howling turned into a long score.

I used this analogy in the podcast, but it's like the Cardinals are Netflix and Kolb is Qwikster, only the parent company doesn't have the option of hitting the reset button.


9. No Offense But ...
No offense. Like scoring and points and stuff -- there wasn't much of it during the early portion of the day games. Dolphins-Broncos, Redskins-Panthers, Browns-Seahawks; all were field-goal contests for at least the first half and, in some cases, longer.

There were plenty of scores (49, according to NFL Network's Red Zone, during the "day" games) but clearly offensive output was down from previous weeks. Brees blew up and Aaron Rodgers blew up and Ben Roethlisberger blew up, but those guys were the only quarterbacks to go over 300 yards on Sunday.

By contrast, four guys went over 400 yards in Week 1 (and 14 went over 300). Nine went over 300 yards in Week 2. 11 over 300 in Week 3. 10 in Week 4. Six quarterbacks crossed 300 yards in Week 5, and just six again in Week 6.

To me, this represents the point in the year where the defense finally caught up with the high-octane offenses in the NFL.

That doesn't mean the NFL's not a passing league any more, because it certainly is. Instead, a combination of the lockout, the reduced offseason workouts, the reduced in-season contact and rules designed to protect wide receivers and quarterbacks really set defenses back for the first few weeks of the 2011 season.

Lots of dudes could still break Dan Marino's record -- Aaron Rodgers is on pace 5,421 yards, Tom Brady's on pace for 5,768 yards -- but we've said that before only to see cold weather, injuries and improved defenses slow down incredible passing numbers.

It might just be happening again right now.

10. On Another Planet
When we see great athletes succeed, sometimes it's difficult to see just how dominant they are, because the game moves so slowly and looks so easy for them. This is often called "the zone."

Aaron Rodgers isn't just hanging out in this space -- at the beginning of the 2010 playoffs, he paid cash for about 30 acres of land in the zone and he's been living there ever since.

His level of play in his first three years running the Packers offense was incredibly impressive, but what he's doing in 2011 is absolutely phenomenal and, without being crass, watching him carve up defenses with precision is like football porn.

Rodgers has a combination of skills -- a lightning quick release, rapid movement through his reads, the ability to look off defenders, quick feet, to name a few -- that make him as deadly and precise a quarterback as we've seen in the NFL in a long time.

That's not a knock on Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, because Rodgers is different. And right now he's better -- it seems like every single drive he makes a throw that knocks your socks off and seems virtually impossible.

If Rodgers keeps up his current pace, he'll become the first player in NFL history to throw for more than 4,000 yards, complete more than 70 percent of his passes and throw less than 10 interceptions. (Drew Brees accomplished the first two in 2009 but threw 11 picks.)

There are things that could go wrong, of course, but if you look back at 2010, Rodgers didn't even really get hot until November and holy hell did he get hot.

Just remember that when you're deciding what to watch over these next few weeks.

Muffed Punts
Leftovers from Sunday's action ...
... Olindo Mare made three-straight field goals, each five yards longer than the last (35, 40, 45) because of two-straight Panthers offensive
... Brian Robison apologized for kicking T.J Lang in the groin and said it was an accident. The GIF below disagrees. Thankfully, Lang says his groin is fine. In case you care.
... Will Indy remember Sean Payton eating a hot dog the next time they play the Saints?
... The Broncos first third-down conversion on Sunday came with 4:22 remaining. In the third quarter.
... Calvin Johnson became the first wide receiver in Lions history with 10 or more touchdowns in three seasons on Sunday. That still doesn't mean Matt Millen should have drafted all those guys.
... Big ups to Tony Gonzalez for becoming the NFL's second all-time leader in receptions.
... Mike Wallace now has six-straight games with a reception of 40 yards or longer.
... The Packers are just the fourth team in NFL history to start the season 7-0 after winning a Super Bowl.
... Cam Newton extended his own streak -- only player in NFL history with seven or more rushing and passing touchdowns through seven games.
... Newton also tied Vince Young's record for rookie rushing touchdowns by a quarterback, with seven. Something tells me he breaks it.

Worth 1,000 Words



Jim Irsay Pop-Culture Referencing Tweet That's Sure to Drive Colts Fans Insane of the Week
"There's a lot of things,that can kill a man..a lot of ways 2 die...and some already dead,that walk besides me"

Ray LaMontagne probably couldn't have imagined the grizzly death that went down on Sunday night.

GIF O' THE WEEK
That the referee -- who quite clearly saw Brian Robison kick T.J. Lang in the man-region -- didn't throw Robison out for this is absolutely impressive. Even Roman Harper thinks this is cheap.



Hot Seat Tracker
It's totally worth noting that Todd Haley isn't on this list. Impressive move by him.
  • Jack Del Rio -- Some kid asked Rashean Mathis when JDR was getting fired. I texted my aunt in Jacksonville asking if it was one of her sons. She said it wasn't but that she was wondering the same thing.
  • Jim Caldwell -- Just because Indy's going to ride him out doesn't mean his job is safe.
  • Tony Sparano -- Adios, amigo.
  • Steve Spagnuolo -- The Rams are crushed by injuries but the bad losses are piling up. They need a good close to the season.
  • Ken Wisenhunt -- He's got the Cards practicing on their off day during their bye week. Might be feeling some pressure.
  • Norv Turner -- That two-minute drill against the Jets was a borderline fireable offense on its own.
  • Mike Shanahan -- What happens if the Redskins finish 4-12?
Chasing Andrew Luck
This is a heated race, folks. Certainly more interesting than the AFC South.

Colts (-500): Is point differential a tiebreaker? Because that would be good -- er, bad for the Colts.
Dolphins (-450): Their schedule is also quite bleak. At least their fans are happy?
Rams (-350): The NFC West schedule should keep them from landing the top pick, but it's not a guarantee.
Cardinals (-225): Wouldn't this be something after they traded for Kevin Kolb?
Jaguars/Vikings (-200): There sure are a lot of teams on this list who already invested heavily in quarterbacks.

MVP Watch
As I noted above, Rodgers is doing unholy things right now. There might be some sort of interesting, half-hearted argument at the end of the year, but if Rodgers keeps doing what he's done through seven weeks, he'll win in a landslide.
Posted on: October 23, 2011 4:44 pm
Edited on: October 23, 2011 8:49 pm
 

Tebow's success a mirage

T. Tebow had a great final five minutes of the game Sunday (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Broncos made a ridiculous comeback on the Dolphins, and Tim Tebow was front and center, throwing touchdown passes and running in a two-point conversion. After the Broncos 18-15 overtime win against the Dolphins, he kneeled on the sideline. He could have been saying thanks for the final result. Or he could have been praying for the future.

Because while the first was impressive, the second is cloudy. 

For the first 55 minutes of this game, Tebow was terrible. Then, for five minutes at the end of regulation, he was the All-American from the University of Florida, leading his team to victory.

Tebow was terrible before he was awesome on Sunday. The Miami crowd went from jeering the Florida native to cheering him and chanting his name.

But don’t you believe the hype. Tebow was horrendous for much of the day, and Denver’s win had more to do with how bad the Dolphins are* than the future of Tebow’s NFL career.

*Urban Meyer was in the house and spotted talking to Dolphins owner Stephen Ross. Do you think Ross offered him the job right there and then?

His first pass of the day should have been intercepted by Karlos Dansby. There were times when it appeared that he had no idea what he was doing. And it was clear John Fox didn’t trust him enough to run a fourth and 1 play (instead, Matt Prater missed his second field goal of the day).

Broncos fans applauded when the Broncos first announced that Kyle Orton would be replaced by Tebow as the starting quarterback, and today, their judgment has been vindicated. But it’s only temporary. At least Orton is a quarterback that looks like a professional athlete most of the time he plays. Tebow looks like a pro athlete as well. But not as a quarterback. Maybe as a tight end. Maybe as an H-back. Hell, maybe as a linebacker.

But not as a quarterback.

He overthrew a wide-open Eric Decker on a long pass that would have yielded a touchdown. He threw too high. For most of the day, he made Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore look like the best signal-caller on the field. By far.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Tebow had been sacked five times while completing four passes (he finished 13 of 27 for 161 yards and two touchdowns while rushing eight times for 65 yards). He led a nice drive late in the fourth quarter to get his team on the scoreboard, and he kept it up after Denver recovered an onside kick. But he was mostly making do with screen passes, short-yardage throws and scrambles.

The stats don’t look as bad as Tebow performed Sunday. But it was an anomaly, a fluke.

What does it mean for this Broncos season that is still a lost cause? Fox can’t go back to Orton now, but would he if Tebow continues to struggle? What about Brady Quinn -- who, like Orton, is in the final year of his contract?

Or maybe, just maybe, this is some elaborate conspiracy plan to secure the services of Andrew Luck. Sure, that’s a ridiculous notion and it backfired Sunday. But is it that much more ridiculous than implying that Tebow is a legitimate NFL starting quarterback? Even with today’s result, I’d say no.

After all, you shouldn’t see the mirage for the trees.



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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