Posted on: November 18, 2011 12:07 am
Edited on: November 18, 2011 12:11 am
Posted by Josh Katzowitz
With less than 6 minutes to play, Tim Tebow had 95 yards to salvation. Down by three points and playing in the comforts of home, Tebow, leader of men, could have been the hero for his team. And it’s actually what we’ve come to expect.
Coming from behind to beat the Dolphins. Knocking off the Carson Palmer-led Raiders. Hurling just eight passes last week in upsetting the Chiefs in Kansas City.
Of course, Tebow was going to lead the Broncos to the game-winning score, but there was no way he was actually going to do it. Right? Until that’s exactly what he did, leading a 12-play drive that ended with Tebow keeping the ball for himself to score the 20-yard touchdown.
It was crazy and heart-pumping and … just screwy. But it was also completely predictable.
“I trust him,” Broncos linebacker Von Miller said on the NFL Network afterward. “I trust him with everything. No matter how many interceptions he throws or how many touchdowns, I’m going to ride with him until the end.”
For the most part, Tebow had been his regular self -- barely an NFL quarterback. Not two-completion terrible, but bad nonetheless. Yet, the Broncos were within striking distance -- mostly because the Jets offense had been just as bad and because Broncos cornerback Andre Goodman intercepted Mark Sanchez and returned it for a touchdown to give Denver some much-needed points.
But there’s something about Tebow. I can’t put my finger on it. Obviously, none of his opponents can either. Never have we seen a quarterback who’s so clearly not an NFL quarterback continue to be successful as an NFL quarterback.
And as bad as this game was to watch, Tebow made it worth it in the final six minutes.
On the first snap of the drive, Tebow hit Eddie Royal on the goal line, and somehow the Broncos receiver barely escaped Jets safety Jim Leonhard in the end zone and ran for eight yards and out of safety danger. On the second snap, running the option, Tebow kept the ball, running 15 yards for the first down. Later, on third down and with the Broncos in a five-receiver split, Tebow kept it again and ran for the first down.
On the next play, he ran at Darrelle Revis, and Revis kind of side-stepped him, allowing Tebow to gain more yards. Tebow, once again, was playing eerily well with the game on the line. Once again, he had improved his game dramatically. Yes, some of his throws on that drive were grossly inaccurate -- he short-hopped at least one receiver -- but he also hit Dante Rosario for another first down at the Jets 29 yard line.
And then, redemption.
On third and four from the 20-yard line, he made the stadium explode when he recognized a blitz coming up the middle, scrambled around the left end of the line to avoid it, beat Eric Smith to the edge and then broke Smith’s tackle to score the game-winning touchdown.
You know, much was made this week about how Broncos coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy had installed a read-option offense that would increase Tebow’s potential success. Fox already had all but said that Tebow wouldn’t survive in a typical professional offense, so he would bring college ball back to Tebow.
For most of Thursday’s game, it still didn’t work. Occassionally, the Broncos showed flashes of how the option could be successful. But for the most part, Denver was shooting three-and-out blanks (although punter Dustin Colquitt had a pretty good night!). You could look at the game, and say, “See, a high school offense doesn’t work in the NFL.” And you’d be right.
But for some reason, it works for Tebow. And for some reason, Tebow works for the NFL. He wins games, and at this point, you have to stop using the caveat, “Well, he sucks.” Because at some point, that issue becomes moot, and the only thing that matters is this: Tebow is 4-1 as a starter, and the playoffs are still in sight.
“He’s the most mind-blowing, polarizing figure I’ve ever seen in football,” NFL analyst Mike Mayock said.
That’s as good a description and explanation as any.
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Posted on: November 15, 2010 7:46 pm
Posted by Josh Katzowitz
-With his concussion suffered early during the Sunday night game, the streak of consecutive games made with at least one catch ended for Steelers WR Hines Ward. It ends at 186, the third-best streak in NFL history.
-Ravens K Billy Cundiff blasted three touchbacks Sunday. That gives him 25 on the season (a 58.1 percent success rate on his kickoffs), the top mark in the NFL. He’s already destroyed the club record (15 by Matt Stovall in 2007).
-Cowboys WR Dez Bryant had three catches for 104 yards, the most he’s ever produced in his career. Since Jon Kitna replaced the injured Tony Romo at QB four games ago, Bryant has 23 catches for 328 yards and four touchdowns.
-Seahawks WR Mike Williams had 11 catches for a career-high 145 yards in Seattle’s win against the Cardinals. He did it with a broken finger suffered in practice four days earlier.
-Chiefs QB Matt Cassel threw for 469 yards, the second-highest single-game total in Kansas City history (Elvis Grbac had 504 yards in 2000). The Chiefs still lost.
-For the first time since 1941, two brothers are NFL punters at the same time. Kansas City’s Dustin Colquitt faced Denver’s Britton Colquitt on Sunday, and Dustin’s average (43.3 yards) beat Britton’s average (41.0). The Chiefs still lost.
-When Manny Pacquiao destroyed Antonio Margarito in a unanimous decision in Dallas on Saturday, it was his second win of the year at Cowboys Stadium (he beat Joshua Clottey there in March). The Cowboys, meanwhile, have only one win at home this season.
-Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski caught five passes for 72 yards and three touchdowns in helping beat the Steelers. Which was a marked improvement over last week when he dropped passes, muffed up a kickoff return and fumbled deep in Browns territory to help hand Cleveland the win.
-Of the 50 passes tossed by Atlanta’s Matt Ryan, more than half (27) were targeted for either Roddy White or Michael Jenkins.
-From 2007-09, Bengals RB Cedric Benson combined for only three fumbles. This season alone, he’s got three.
-For the first time this season, Jets RB Shonn Greene outgained LaDainian Tomlinson on the ground. Greene had 72 yards on 20 carries, while Tomlinson carried the ball 18 times for 57 yards.
-The Jets dominated the time of possession vs. Cleveland (47:08 to 27:36) but needed until the very end of overtime to squeak out the win.
-Since his big coming-out party in Week 2 (17 carries, nine catches, 232 total yards, three TDs), Lions rookie RB Jahvid Best hasn’t scored a TD and has gained more than 50 yards on the ground just one time. On Sunday, he had 17 carries for 35 yards.
-Even with four players throwing the ball Sunday (Chad Pennington, Chad Henne, Tyler Thigpen and Brandon Marshall) the final passing stats for Miami were pretty good. The four combined to complete 24 of 37 passes for 323 yards, two touchdowns, one INT and a passer rating of 99.3.
-This is a stat that will make Pete Prisco gnash his teeth. In the past two games, Jaguars QB David Garrard has completed 41 of 52 passes for 602 yards, six touchdowns and zero interceptions. Two weeks ago, his passer rating was 157.8. On Sunday, it was 134.1.
-Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe caught 13 passes for 186 yards and two scores. Much of that production, though, came in garbage time when the game was already lost.
-Mike Goodson became the first Panthers RB to rush for at least 100 yards this season. Not Jonathan Stewart, not DeAngelo Williams. Mike Goodson.
-Buccaneers RB LaGarrette Blount has only played in six games this season. In his past four, he’s rushed 65 times for 329 yards and three touchdowns.
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Tags: Billy Cundiff, Brandon Marshall, Britton Colquitt, Cedric Benson, Chad Henne, Chad Pennington, David Garrard, DeAngelo Willams, Dez Bryant, Dustin Colquitt, Dwayne Bowe, Elvis Grbac, Hines Ward, Jahvid Best, Jon Kitna, Jonathan Stewart, LaDainian Tomlinson, LeGarrette Blount, Matt Cassel, Matt Ryan, Matt Stovall, Michael Jenkins, Mike Goodson, Mike Williams, Rob Gronkowski, Roddy White, Shonn Greene, Tony Romo, Tyler Thigpen
Posted on: July 5, 2010 9:43 am
Edited on: July 5, 2010 10:29 am
Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit resume their debate, this time taking a look at the top five punters in the NFL.
Andy Benoit's top five
5. Mike Scifres, Chargers
4. Donnie Jones, Rams
3. Brian Moorman, Bills
2. Andy Lee, 49ers
1. Shane Lechler, Raiders
Josh, you may not have agreed with all of my top five safeties, cornerbacks and outside linebackers, but just know, I’ll be damned if I’m going to have anyone refute my top five punters list.
I’ll never forget Mike Scifres’ performance against the Colts in the 2008 wild card game: six punts attempted, six punts left inside the 20. And with a 52.7 average, no less. Just because of that game, Scifres will make my top five punters list for all eternity.
I wouldn’t recognize Donnie Jones if he walked up and kicked me in the shins, but I seem to notice his name near the top of the punting charts every time I check the stats (that’s right, I check punting stats …).
Brian Moorman is known for fake punts, which overshadows his actual punts. Those actually punts are among the best in the league – especially when considering Moorman’s kicking in the gales of Ralph Wilson Stadium. Andy Lee is a poor man’s Shane Lechler, which is a compliment, because Lechler is hands down the best punter of his generation.
Josh Katzowitz's top five
5. Dave Zastudil, Browns
4. Dustin Colquitt, Chiefs
3. Donnie Jones, Rams
2. Andy Lee, 49ers
1. Shane Lechler, Raiders
I was actually hoping there was some sort of clause where I could insert Ray Guy – a man who should be in the HOF – into my top five list. Which leads me to my favorite punting factoid ever. Former Falcons punter Chris Mohr, a 15-year veteran, is not even the best punter to ever emerge from tiny Thomson, Ga. (population 6,800). That, of course, would be Guy.
Anyway, if there’s anything the Raiders have done right, it’s to shore up their kicking game. Lechler and K Sebastian Janikowski are the top tandem in the league. There’s really not much use in arguing for or against Lechler. He’d probably be the unanimous pick of everyone who follows the league.
It’s hard to disagree with Lee as your No. 2. He’s been one of the most consistent punters in the last three years. He dropped 30 inside the 20-yard line last year, and it’s no fluke. In 2007, he recorded 42. I agree with Jones, and I was going to send him to your house to kick your shins. Except I don’t know what he looks like either. Colquitt also has been consistent during his five-year career, and last year, he recorded 41 punts inside the 20 with only six touchbacks. That’s outstanding. But you know what I love the most about this list? The more terrible the team, the better the punter. The combined 2009 record of my top five? A staggering 23-57. That’s only slightly worse than Andy’s 3-4 OLB list.
How good of a punter do you think your boy Manny Lawson would be?
Josh’s final word
At this point, I think it would be a robbery if Lawson wasn’t named the league’s MVP. Unanimously. Before the season began.
(Other positions: Safety | Cornerback | 3-4 Scheme Outside Linebacker )
--Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit
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