Tag:John Fox
Posted on: November 18, 2011 11:00 pm
Edited on: November 19, 2011 1:12 pm
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Fox regrets comments about Tebow

Turns out, Fox is Tebow's biggest fan. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

In the post-Tebowalyptic light of day, Broncos coach John Fox looks sorta silly for some comments that, not long ago, sounded perfectly reasonable given that his starting quarterback struggled to throw anything other than screen passes.

Earlier this week, NFL.com's Jeff Darlington quoted Fox as saying, "If we were trying to run a regular offense (with Tebow), he'd be screwed."

The thing is, Fox is telling the truth. We all saw the Lions game. The Broncos -- and Tebow -- were abused for 60 minutes, and it prompted an anonymous Detroit player to tell Yahoo.com's Michael Silver afterwards: “Can you believe No. 15 [Tebow]? Come on – that’s embarrassing. I mean, it’s a joke. We knew all week that if we brought any kind of defensive pressure, he couldn’t do anything. In the second half it got boring out there. We were like, ‘Come on – that’s your quarterback? Seriously?’”

You know how you make Tebow less boring? Quit passing the ball. Or, as Fox said, quit trying to run a regular offense.

On Friday, a day after the Broncos beat the Jets on some last-second Tebow heroics, Fox took the blame for his previous remarks.

"I screwed up," he said Monday, according to the Denver Post's Mike Klis. "What bothers me about that quote is I love the guy. All I was talking about was how this is a different way to run the ball. Everybody wants to put a name on it. All we're doing is tweaking the running game so we match up with what Tim does well. And I'm telling you, he's getting better as a passer. He is improving."

We mentioned it in the latest edition of the Tebow Tracker but style points don't matter. The Broncos, one of the league's worst teams a month ago, are suddenly is in the mix for the AFC West crown. Yeah, Denver is now running a high school offense, but they're also 5-5, and 4-1 with Tebow as their starter. If nothing else, give them credit for not trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

Fox knows he has a monster truck. And instead of drag-racing he's headed to the mega monster truck rally where he can compete ("It's this SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!). The other side of that argument? What John Harbaugh and Cam Cameron are doing with the Ravens offense.


""But that was one time where I lost sleep over it," Fox said. "I don't ever lose sleep over things like this, but I felt terrible about (my comments). We were 1-4 and now we're 5-5. Believe me, I'm Tim Tebow's biggest fan."

On Tuesday, Jets head coach Rex Ryan admitted that Tebow's style was, shall we say, unconventional. “Are there prettier passers than him? Yeah, absolutely. But again, [we] just [have to] try to find a way to beat him.”

That clearly didn't happen. Luckily, Rex's twin brother Rob, the Cowboys' defensive coordinator, has some thoughts on Tebow and the read-option.

“I don’t like it because it’s college football,” Ryan said Friday at Valley Ranch, via the Star-Telegram. “We’re getting a lot of two tight ends blocking for empty sets. Who would have ever thought that? This is the NFL. Those teams don’t win.”

When someone pointed out that Denver did just that when Tebow scored on a 20-yard run, Ryan responded, “Thanks for pointing that out. The guy made a hell of a play, though, didn’t he?

“Just a second. I’ll take a knee myself.”

We eagerly await Rob Ryan's next smiting.

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Posted on: November 18, 2011 5:00 pm
 

Tracking Tebow, Week 11: Now do you believe?

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

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has a saying: Style points don't matter. The Broncos should patent the phrase, or at the very least, make it a part of their 2011 marketing strategy: "The Denver Broncos: Where Style Points Don't Matter … but Winning Does."

Of course, Tim Tebow doesn't need much help selling this team to the locals -- and now the rest of the nation. Not after his latest comeback performance, one that included a "Yep, we're running and you can't stop us" game plan against Rex Ryan, the guy who literally wrote the book on defending the read-option.

Artist rendering of the Broncos' new helmet.
You know how announcers will sometimes say "(Typical NFL quarterback) has a clock in his head and he knows the ball has to be out of his hands after 2.5 seconds"? Tebow has no such clock (and no pocket awareness to speak of). Instead, his alarm sounds after 55 minutes of horrific football, signifying that now it matters, now it's time to play.

It happened in Tebow's first start of the season, Week 7 in Miami; he couldn't have looked worse through three quarters and two-thirds of another. And then, as if somebody flipped the switch on the electric football game, Tebow made plays with his arm and his feet (mostly his feet), and he had the ball in his hands for the decisive score.

Which was pretty much the script to the sequal we saw Thursday night against the Jets. Tebow drove the Broncos 95 yards with just over five minutes on the clock, and he scored on a 20-yard quarterback keeper that everybody knew was coming but no one could stop.

Like the Dolphins game, a solid Jets defensive effort was wasted on one ill-timed lapse that resulted in a Tebow score.

With 1:06 on the clock, the Jets leading 13-10, and the Broncos facing a 3rd and 4 from the New York 20, Tebow lined up in the shotgun. The Jets brought eight men to the line of scrimmage because there was no way Tebow would throw the ball. Too many things could go wrong. Plus, if the Jets stopped him, Denver could kick a field goal, tie the score, and take it to overtime.

Jets safety Eric Smith was on the line of scrimmage, lined up to the outside of the tight end on the right side of the formation (Tebow's left). His job was to keep Tebow from getting outside the pocket, instead forcing him into the middle of the field where, in theory, other Jets defenders would be waiting to make the tackle. Smith didn't do his job, he lost contain, Tebow beat him to the corner, and 20 yards later, that was that. Ball game.

The dotted lines are what should've happened -- Smith contains Tebow, forcing him inside. The solid lines are what actually happened: Smith took a horrible angle, Tebow scored (you can see a video of the play below).

“When you look at it, it’s a tough thing on him,” Jets head coach Ryan said during the post-game presser when asked about Smith’s angle. “I’ll just say this, it’s a tough assignment. There is no question. Quite honestly, I’ll take Eric Smith every day of the week. He’s a tremendous player. Could we have said, ‘Hey, [have] him be wider? Should the end be wider? Everybody be wider.’ Maybe you could’ve, but you have to give Tebow credit. He made the play. I will say this, Eric sold out. Eric laid it on the line for us and we came up a little empty. [He] made a diving stab at him, but he never quite got him on the ground. Again, when you look at it, I think it’s easy to obviously second-guess, but we need to start looking forward, instead of behind us.”

Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey had a different take.

"When I saw that all-out blitz, I was like, 'That is so stupid,' " he said. "They hadn't really done that all day. Once he broke the contain, that's a wrap."

Last week, Tebow was 2 for 8 and the Broncos ran the ball 55 times (mostly featuring the read-option), and beat the Chiefs. Thursday, by our unofficial count, the Broncos ran conventional running plays 15 times and went with some form of the option (both run and pass) 22 times. Tebow finished the evening 9 for 20 for 104 yards, and added 68 yards on the ground on eight carries.

Before The (New) Drive, the Jets defense held Tebow to 6 of 15 passing for 69 yards, and two carries for 11 more over 11 drives. Those 11 drives resulted in eight punts, a turnover on downs, a fumble and a field goal. And then the alarm sounded…


Lost amid all the post-game revelry and Tebowing is something we pointed out on Friday's Pick-6 Podcast (see podcast player above): the real MVP of the game was rookie linebacker Von Miller. He harassed Mark Sanchez from start to finish, and if not for the play of the Broncos' defense, Tebow never would've been in position score the winning touchdown.

But they did and he was. And now the Broncos are 5-5.

Denver has as legit shot to win the AFC West because it's a weak division, but also because through Tebow, all things are possible.

No, it ain't pretty, but style points don't matter, remember? 


                                                   Play by Play



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



Added bonus: a handy bar graph showing us what our eyes tell us every week. As pass attempts go down, QB rating -- and more importantly -- rushing attempts go up. And the Broncos win.



                                                        Quotes



“He did it. Tim Tebow did it. He shocked me, he probably shocked a lot of people, but he did it. We played them well through the whole game, until that last play. We played them well. Tim Tebow's legs took them to victory, ran them to victory." - Jets CB Darrelle Revis.

"Everybody looks at him from the outside. They don't see what he has on the inside. Yeah, he might not be the greatest passer. But give him a chance at the end? I've never seen anything like it." - Broncos CB Champ Bailey

"It's a lot easier to believe when you see results. That's the biggest (win) I've been a part of. At 1-4, it was very gloomy. Now, our confidence is huge." - Broncos CB Andre Goodman

Some props for Miller:

“As far as (Jets right tackle) Wayne Hunter was concerned, he was going up against an outstanding football player. Von Miller, I think, will be a Pro Bowl player this year. If not this year, he’ll be one next year. And that’s going to be tough on anybody. I thought Wayne, for the most part, did a nice job on him, but he did get Wayne a couple of times. There’s no question about that. [Miller’s] just an outstanding player and those things happen. It’s unfortunate, but Wayne might block him for 90 percent of the time, but the 10 percent that the guy got the better of Wayne are the ones that everybody is going to be focused on.” - Jets head coach Rex Ryan

Speaking of Miller…

"Tebow magic. I believe in it. I feel so happy that he's having the success that he's having. I'm glad he's able to shut up his critics. It seems like everybody wants to bash him. They don't take into account his will." - Broncos LB Von Miller


                                                   Audio-Visual



Here are the moving-pictures of that final, fateful Broncos drive:


Stop. Tebow Time.

John Elway, like everybody else on the planet, doesn't know what to make of Tebow:


Elway and Tebow: two styles, same result (layin' it on a bit thick, we know).

Tebow on brushing off his doubters (of which there are many, though their numbers are dwindling):


Tim Tebow led another fourth-quarter comeback drive ending with a 20-yard touchdown run in the final minute, to lift the Broncos over the Jets 17-13 on Thursday night. Tebow had a few choice words for his critics.

A despondent Rex Ryan talks after the Thursday night loss:


The Jets may need to win out to have a chance at the playoffs.


                                                   Eye on Tebow




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Posted on: November 18, 2011 12:07 am
Edited on: November 18, 2011 12:11 am
 

Stop me if you've heard this: terrible Tebow wins

T. Tebow scores the game-winning touchdown against New York (US Presswire).

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.”

T. Tebow is 4-1 this year as a starter (AP).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 17, 2011 4:39 pm
 

Report: Willis McGahee to play Thursday night

Posted by Will Brinson

Thursday night, a week's worth of smack-talk and questions about the read-option offense will culminate in a Jets-Broncos matchup (pregame it right here) that could set offense back 40 years.

Helping Denver's cause on Thursday is the fact that running back Willis McGahee, who left Week 10 in the first quarter with a hamstring injury, will reportedly play on Thursday.

That's according to Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network, who writes that "barring a setback in warm ups prior to kickoff" McGahee will be good to go.

McGahee was critical to the Broncos win over the Raiders in Week 9, rumbling for 163 yards and two touchdowns. Lance Ball carried the rock 32 times against the Chiefs in Week 10 after McGahee left the game, but wasn't nearly as effective. John Fox said recently that McGahee could have re-entered the game against the Raiders in an emergency.


And the Jets, whose coach wrote the book on stopping the read-option, represent a much more difficult challenge defensively than either Oakland or Kansas City.

McGahee was listed as questionable all week long, but John Fox said it was possible he could play. Provided McGahee can play and be effective, Denver's decision to keep him out for the rest of the matchup against the Raiders appears to have been the correct one.

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Posted on: November 15, 2011 11:40 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2011 11:52 pm
 

Fox on offense: 'We can't do that other crap'

Posted by Will Brinson



Whenever a new schematic fad comes into play in the NFL, we're generally encapsulated by it until it stops working. And if Tim Tebow's the guy running the new fad -- in this case the read-option offense Denver's installed over the past few weeks -- the scrutiny's really cranked up.

Well, John Fox's new Broncos will get a serious test when the Jets come into town (on a short week, with a Thursday game no less). Needless to say, we should expect some new wrinkles from Fox.

"Do whatever the hell it takes," Fox told NFL.com's Jeff Darlington this week.

Recapping Week 10

"I mean, what the hell? You don't get points for style in this league. Let me tell you something: My man is really good in this offense. You know what I mean?

"If we were trying to run a regular offense, he'd be screwed."

But not too many new wrinkles. Fox pointed out to Darlington (who spent time watching film with the Broncos coach; the whole article's definitely worth a read) that while Tebow knows the offense really well -- he's been running it since college, really -- everyone else on the Broncos roster is still learning it.

Make no mistake, though. The offense is certainly tailored to Tebow.

"After the loss to Detroit, we decided if Tim is going to be our guy, we can't do that other crap," Fox said. "We had to tweak it."


We saw new tweaks against Kansas City and we should expect to see new tweaks against the Jets as well. The real issue for Fox will be whether or not Rex Ryan, who should know how to stop the read-option offense, knows them as well.

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Posted on: November 15, 2011 4:47 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2011 5:21 pm
 

Eye on Football NFL Awards: Week 10

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 10 NFL Awards
Expert Offense Defense STeams Coach
Freeman   Fitz  Carter  Hester McCarthy
Judge   Fitz  Carter  Hester   Fox
Prisco  Romo  Carter  Hester  Whiz
Brinson  Romo  Carter Hauschka   Fox
Katzowitz  Romo Wimbley Hauschka   Fox
Wilson  Romo  Carter Hauschka Carroll
Another NFL week's in the books, and that means it's time to hand out the hardware.

Our Eye on Offense Award goes to Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, whose matchup against Larry Fitzgerald for the trophy was much closer than his beatdown of the Buffalo Bills.

Andre Carter was the near-unanimous selection for our Eye on Defense Award. That's what happens when you produce the best pass rush New England's seen since the Bush administration.

Steven Hauschka -- a fellow Wolfpacker! -- stole Devin Hester's award away from Devin Hester thanks to five field goals that propelled the Seahawks to a (somewhat?) shocking win over the Ravens, and is our Eye on Special Teams recipient.

And John Fox, who continues to befuddle AFC West opponents by properly utilizing Tim Tebow, ran away with our Eye on Coaching Award for Week 10.

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

Eye on Offense Award
Mike Freeman Clark Judge
Larry Fitzgerald Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals
On a crap team, with a crap quarterback, in a crap game, on a crappy throw, he makes one of the top catches of the week. Then again, week in and week out, that's what Fitzgerald does. He sometimes gets lost amid the talk of the best receivers in the NFL but he was the biggest reason the Cardinals beat Philly and I'd take Fitzgerald over any other WR.
Larry FitzgeraldLarry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals
He has 146 yards in catches, two touchdowns and sets up the winning score with a diving reception near the goal line ... and all from John Skelton. The Cards weren't supposed to win on the road. They weren't supposed to win with Skelton. And they certainly weren't supposed to beat the Eagles. They did, and Fitzgerald is why.
Pete Prisco Will Brinson
Tony Romo Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys
Romo completed 23-of-26 passes setting a Cowboys record for completion percentage, and threw three touchdowns in the Cowboys blowout of the Bills. Romo was poised in the pocket all day and never seemed to get unsettled.
Tony RomoTony Romo, QB, Cowboys
Romo had arguably the best game of his career against the Bills, throwing just three incompletions with three teeters, and the only reason his production wasn't better is that Dallas blew Buffalo out. Prediction: we'll be calling Romo a darkhorse MVP candidate by Week 14.
Josh Katzowitz Ryan Wilson
Tony RomoTony Romo, QB, Cowboys
He started the game 11/11 and finished by completing 88.5 percent of his passes (23/26) and throwing for 270 yards and three TDs. Forget about the loss of Miles Austin. With Dez Bryant beginning to show his talent and with the emergence of Laurent Robinson, Romo, at times, shows why he could be a top-five quarterback. That’s what he accomplished in destroying the Bills. 
Tony Romo Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys
According to Football Outsiders, Romo is a top-5 NFL quarterback. You wouldn't know it after watching him against the Jets and the Lions but you certainly would after his performance versus the Bills Sunday. He threw just three incompletions all day (that's three fewer than Tim Tebow ... while attempting 18 more passes) and had three TDs.
Eye on Defense Award
Freeman Judge
Andre CarterAndre Carter, DE, Patriots
The easiest choice to make for these awards. I watched Carter against a moderately talented offenisve line and he destroyed it with 4 1/2 sacks. I didn't think Carter had it in him. I didn't think the New England defense was capable of anything remotely like that. 
Andre Carter Andre Carter, DE, Patriots
The biggest problem with the league's last-ranked defense, people tell me, is that the Patriots can't rush the quarterback. Well, this just in: They just did, with Carter producing a career-high 4 1/2 sacks by himself. Rex Ryan wasn't outcoached. His players were outplayed, with Carter simply too much for the Jets' offensive line.
Prisco Brinson
Andre CarterJared Allen, DE, Vikings
Carter had 4 1/2 sacks against the Jets and could not be blocked. For a team that lacked a pass rusher for much of the season, they may have found one.
Andre CarterAndre Carter, DE, Patriots
The Patriots dynasty was dead (again). Until Andre Carter did to the Jets on offense what Tom Brady did to them on defense, exploding for 4 1/2 sacks and generating the first pass rush we've seen in New England in a while. If he keeps his motor running like this, watch out.
Katzowitz Wilson
Kamerion Wimbley Kamerion Wimbley, OLB, Raiders
On the day when Carson Palmer was celebrated for leading the Raiders to their first win under his stewardship, Oakland’s outside linebacker accumulated four sacks, three additional hits and seven pressures on Rivers. Not bad for a guy who had just two sacks on the season coming before.
Andre Carter Andre Carter, DE, Patriots
The Patriots' defense has alternated between punching bag and laughing stock all season. Against the Jets they were neither, harassing Mark Sanchez into mistakes all evening. Carter had 4.5 sacks, a personal and team best. 

Eye on Special Teams Award
Freeman Judge
Devin HesterDevin Hester, WR/KR, Bears
Thanks to Hester producing yet another return touchdown (this time an 82-yard run to the house), he was the second easiest choice this week. How about this? Stop kicking to him. STOP KICKING TO HIM. And put him in the Hall of Fame.
Devin Hester Devin Hester, WR/KR, Bears
One of these days someone will figure out that no one in NFL history has more punt returns for touchdowns than this guy, so maybe it's not a good idea to kick to him. Hester sets up one score with a 29-yard return, then produces a touchdown on an 82-yard runback. The numbers don't lie, people. This guy is the best there ever was.
Prisco Brinson
Devin HesterDevin Hester, WR/KR, Bears
He had a punt return for a touchdown, his 18th return for a score in his career. Why do people kick to him?

 

Steven HauschkaSteven  Hauschka, K, Seahawks
Doesn't Hauschka kind of look like he should be named "Steve" instead? Whatever, the N.C. State product kicked like his name was Morten on Sunday, banging home five field goals and generating the majority of the scoring for the Seahwaks in an upset only one person saw coming.
Katzowitz Wilson
Steven Hauschka Steven Hauschka, K, Seahawks
In Seattle’s upset of the Ravens, Hauschka matched the franchise record by kicking five field goals (22, 38, 39, 35 and 30 yards). They weren’t long attempts, and they weren’t game-winners. But without his capability, Seattle doesn’t provide the week’s most surprising result.
Steven Hauschka Steven Hauschka, K, Seahawks
The former Raven was an integral part of the Seahawks' "death by 1,000 field goals" gameplan. He was 5 for 5 and accounted for all but seven of Seattle's points in their win over Baltimore, the league's most inconsistent team.
Eye on Coaching Award
Freeman Judge
Mike McCarthyMike McCarthy, HC, Packers
Monday night against Minnesota was the perfect time for a letdown game and the Packers respond by wrecking the Vikings. I know. Division rival. But it isn't easy playing those type of games when their lead in the division is so large and the opponent is no good.

John Fox John Fox, HC, Broncos
Not only did he beat Kansas City in Kansas City, he won by completing two passes all afternoon. Of course, it always helps when you run for 244 yards, but Fox's Broncos did it with their top two backs missing most of the afternoon. Fox is smart to tailor is offense to his quarterback's talents, and that tinkering has the Broncos a game out of first in the AFC West.
Prisco Brinson
Ken WhisenhuntKen Whisenhunt, HC, Cardinals
Playing with backup quarterback John Skelton on the road against a supposed good team in the Eagles, Whisenhunt got his team to pull off an upset as a 14-point underdog. That's impressive.
John FoxJohn Fox, HC, Broncos
Fox is a run-first/play-defense type of guy, so you have to think he rather enjoyed beating the Chiefs when his offense only completed two passes all day. Mock the read-option at your own risk: what Fox and his staff are doing with Tim Tebow is the very definition of great coaching.
Katzowitz Wilson
John Fox John Fox, HC, Broncos
You can call the offense he’s helped install a college-style offense. You can call it outrageous to current NFL sensibilities. But you also have to call it a winning formula so far. Fox isn’t known for his offensive capabilities – he came up on the defensive side of the ball – but with offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, this read-option style of play has Denver at 3-1 when Tim Tebow starts at quarterback.
Pete Carroll Pete Carroll, HC, Seahawks
Jim Harbaugh deserves some credit too, because Carroll hoped the Ravens would get away from Ray Rice and the run game and that's exactly what happened. It's not every day you're out-schemed by Carroll. We can only hope that during this post-game handshake Caroll reminded John to say hello to his brother Jim for him.

Posted on: November 15, 2011 9:30 am
Edited on: November 15, 2011 9:32 am
 

Tracking Tebow, Week 10: Just win, Timmy

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

Posted by Ryan Wilson

We'll sometimes joke about a particularly appalling quarterback performance setting offenses back a 100 years (it usually happens anytime Rex Grossman plays). But the Broncos' Sunday gameplan for Tim Tebow, the glorified running back who occasionally is asked to throw the ball, was right out of Fred Flinstone's high school playbook.

Of Denver's 64 offensive snaps, Tebow threw the ball eight times. He completed two passes, and ended the day with 69 passing yards. A week after Denver unveiled the read-option against a flummoxed Raiders defense, they followed the same strategy against the Chiefs. The difference: Kansas City didn't seem surprised that Tebow would, you know, run the ball. In fact, defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel prepared his players well for it; the read-option didn't yield much in the running game. It was the conventional hand-off-to-the-running-backs play-calling that caused Kansas City all sorts of problems.

Recapping Week 10

Not counting Tebow's nine rushes for 43 yards, Denver averaged 4.3 yards per carry with Willis McGahee and Knowshon Moreno early (they left with injuries in the first half) and Lance Ball late. And this includes the final two series of the game -- all Ball runs -- as the Broncos ran out the clock.

As for the historical significance of what happened Sunday, consider this (via ESPN): the Broncos had never won a game with two or fewer completions, and no NFL team in the last quarter-century had accomplished that other than in a Week 5 2009 win for the Browns, when Derek Anderson went 2 of 17 against the somehow-more-hapless Bills.

In that game, Cleveland ran the ball 50 times and squeaked out a 6-3 victory. For an idea of just how bad it was, Captain Checkdown Trent Edwards was the most prolific passer on the day, going 16 of 31 for 152 yards.

The Broncos, meanwhile, are 4-5 and just one game back of the division-leading Raiders. The question going forward, of course, is can Denver win with the "run, run, then run some more" game plans.


Against the Chiefs, Tebow's passing opportunities were limited. He didn't attempt a throw in the first half, maxed out with five attempts in the second quarter, added two more in the third and was 1 for 1 with a 56-yard touchdown pass in the final quarter. His misses weren't nearly as off the mark as they have been in recent weeks. Two early deep throws should've been caught, another was woefully underthrown, and his running back dropped a short pass in the second half. Tebow's worst throw of the afternoon was on 3rd and 4, when the ball traveled approximately 2.5 yards in the air before short-hopping his intended target. In that sense, Tebow improved, though probably not nearly enough to be considered anything other than a fullback with a pretty good arm.

But, hey, style points don't matter. And Tebow is 3-1. It's hard to believe, yes, but it's the truth. Welcome to the AFC West, everybody!


                                                   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



"After a while, you come to the realization that Ernie Els' golf swing is different than Lee Trevino's, but it's what they're comfortable with, they both work, and they both win.'' - Broncos head coach John Fox

"I thought they had a terrific plan, and it just took us too long to figure out how to get the run stopped, whoever was running it, whether it was the quarterback or the backs or the receivers," - Chiefs coach Todd Haley (By the way: this is why Haley will probably be looking for work in January)

"If you don't have to throw it as much, I guess you're probably winning, but eight times? Never heard of that." - Broncos CB Champ Bailey on Tebow's 2-for-8 afternoon. When asked the last time he played in a game in which his team passed the ball eight times, Bailey said "never."

“This is very frustrating because you’re in a good position. Leading up into the game, you’ve got a good scheme against a guy like Tebow. There’s no one to blame. It’s just us as a unit. We didn’t pull it through. … They just outexecuted us. That’s all that happened. Can’t say they wanted it more. I mean, I don’t know what happened, man.” - Chiefs CB Javier Arenas

"At this rate, I would say yes. Now, who knows? But he's running the offense well, and he's not turning it over.'' - Fox responding to SI's Peter King on if Tebow as the starter for the rest of the season.


                                                   Audio-Visual



Here are the moving-pictures recap of the Broncos' win over the Chiefs:


Tim Tebow hit Eric Decker on a 56-yard touchdown pass, one of his only two completions in the game, helping the Denver Broncos to a 17-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. CBS Sports' Bill Macatee and Steve Tasker have the recap.

Here's a rare glimpse of the Broncos' aerial assault. Rarer still, a Tebow completion:


Because you can't stop him, you can only hope to contain him.


                                                   Eye on Tebow



Tebow (15) gets past Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Glenn Dorsey (72) to score a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

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Posted on: November 14, 2011 7:55 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2011 9:00 pm
 

Moreno's season ends, McGahee could play vs. Jets

Moreno's done in 2011 but McGahee could play Thursday night.. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Broncos improved to 3-1 under quarterback Tim Tebow Sunday, defeating the Chiefs, 17-10. The story of the game? Tebow attempted just eight passes, completed two and Denver ran the ball 55 times. It redefined "conservative NFL game plan," and if nothing else, proved that the Broncos can compete against lesser opponents without having to put the ball in the air.

Thursday, Denver hosts the New York Jets and we'll have a better idea of just how well the read-option fares against a legit NFL defense. But they'll have to do without their full complement of running backs (Tebow included, obviously). Starter Willis McGahee and backup Knowshon Moreno were lost in the first half Sunday after combining for eight carries and 69 yards. McGahee left with a hamstring injury but is expected to practice Tuesday, and if all goes well, play against the Jets.

Moreno, meanwhile, suffered a torn ACL and his season is over, head coach John Fox announced Monday.

"I feel for him because he battled. He had that hamstring early in the season and battled back from that, and was getting back into the groove," Fox said, via the Denver Post. "He was having a really, really good day. It's unfortunate. But he's tough-minded, and will battle back from this."

The team filled Moreno's roster spot by signing Jeremiah Johnson off the practice squad.

"The upside with Jeremiah is he's been with us. He knows the nomenclature, he knows the teammates," Fox said.

It's the latest setback for Moreno, who was Denver's 12th-overall pick in 2009 (the Broncos also selected Robert Ayers at No. 18), Josh McDaniels' first year as the team's head coach. Moreno rushed for 947 yards (3.8 YPC) as a rookie and scored seven touchdowns. He played in 13 games in 2010, and rushed for 779 yards (4.3 YPC) and five TDs. He had just 179 rushing yards in seven games this season, though he was averaging 4.8 yards per carry.

In addition to McGahee, the team will lean on Lance Ball, who had 30 carries for 96 yards against the Chiefs. And, of course, Tebow.


Tim Tebow hit Eric Decker on a 56-yard touchdown pass, one of his only two completions in the game, helping the Denver Broncos to a 17-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. CBS Sports' Bill Macatee and Steve Tasker have the recap.

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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