Tag:Oakland Raiders
Posted on: November 11, 2011 12:03 am
Edited on: November 13, 2011 11:17 am

Old Carson shows up, looks great in Raiders win

Palmer was the best quarterback on the field Thursday night. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It's been 23 days since Carson Palmer hoisted himself off his couch to resume his football career. After nine months off, the first six quarters of Palmer's comeback were highlighted by indecisiveness, incompletions, sacks and interceptions (six of them to be exact). And then against the Chargers, it clicked.

Palmer missed on his first two throws then proceeded to connect on 13 consecutive passes, including two touchdowns to rookie Denarius Moore and completions of 41, 46, 33 and 55 yards. It was as if Palmer hopped in a time machine, set course for 2005, and that guy suited up for the Raiders Thursday night against the Chargers in a game Oakland would win 24-17.

Maybe Hue Jackson really does know what he's doing.

San Diego, meanwhile, continues to flounder, although their fourth straight loss had nothing to do with quarterback Philip Rivers. One of the league's best passers, Rivers admits that he hasn't played well this season. The 14 interceptions through eight weeks are a testament to that.

Against the Raiders, it was injuries along the offensive line that doomed San Diego's chances. Left tackle Marcus McNeill went down midway through the first quarter, which prompted NFL Network color analyst Mike Mayock to predict a long evening for McNeill's replacement, Brandyn Dombrowski --and by extension, Rivers.

"All day long Dombrowski is going to have trouble if he doesn't get some help. And at halftime they gotta get that kid some help," Mayock said.

Raiders linebacker Kamerion Wimbley had three first-half sacks, all coming against Dombrowski who did little to slow him up.

Despite all that, Rivers had the Chargers in position to tie the game late. Trailing 24-17 with just over three minutes to go and the ball on the Raiders' 42-yard line, Rivers threw a ball into the end zone looking for Vincent Jackson. Except Jackson appeared to lose the ball in the air. Safety Matt Giordano (who was replacing the injured Michael Huff) had no such trouble and came up with the interception.

Two plays later, the Chargers had a chance to get the ball back. Facing third and 11, Carson From the Past calmly stood tall in the pocket, before stepping up and finding tight end Kevin Boss over the middle … for a 24-yard gain.

San Diego got the ball back for one more series, with 1:04 on the clock. Rivers drove them to midfield and then, as if scripted, Wimbley sacked him on the penultimate play and Tommy Kelly sealed the Chargers' fate with another sack a snap later.

The six sacks are a season high for Oakland, who now sit atop the AFC West at 5-4. The Chargers, losers of four straight, fall to 4-5.

It's not an exaggeration to say that Palmer put on a clinic. And while his story of redemption makes for a swell After School Special about never giving up, the best offensive player for the Raiders Thursday was running back Michael Bush.

Oakland was without Darren McFadden for the second straight game and all Bush did was rush for 157 yards and haul in another 85 yards receiving. He softened up the Chargers' defense, made the Raiders' play-action passing game effective, and perhaps most important, kept Rivers off the field. (By the way, Bush's 242 yards from scrimmage is a new team record, surpassing Bo Jackson's mark of 235, set in 1987 against the Seahawks.)

After the game, Bush sounded thankful for the opportunity.

"You know, today, I think a lot of people doubted me. Darren's hurt -- he is a big part of our offense, and I miss him just like everybody else misses him -- but today the o-line did a great job, Carson did a great job, and coach called some great plays and we got a win," Bush said.

When NFL Network's Alex Flanagan asked Bush what he proved to his doubters, he said, "That's what they get. I laugh at them. I work hard just like every back in the league and I come out here and try to have fun."

We're only midway through the season but this game is a vindication of sorts for Jackson, who staked his reputation -- and the Raiders' future -- on Palmer. It took three games but Palmer looks legit and Jackson looks like a genius. How long it lasts remains to be seen, but for now Jackson has silenced his critics.

A month ago Palmer, in his words, was "hitting up Norv (Turner) for tickets to a game -- I was going to take my son." Now he's the quarteraback of the first-place Raiders.

Cris, Phil, and Warren go into overtime to complete their set of predictions for Week Ten. Watch a web-exclusive from SHOWTIME's Inside the NFL.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: November 10, 2011 9:12 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2011 9:21 pm

McNeill, Ford injured in Raiders-Chargers game

San Diego and Oakland both lose key players early Thursday night. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Watching live, it looked like a routine running play. But with 7:39 to go in the first quarter, Chargers left tackle Marcus McNeill, pulling to block for running back Ryan Matthews, was met head on by Raiders linebacker Aaron Curry.

McNeill, listed at 6-7, 336 pounds, is five inches taller and 81 pounds heavier than Curry. But it was Curry who had the leverage on the play. He appeared to hit McNeill under his chin, and the Chargers tackle fell backwards hitting his head on the turf. He left the field on a cart.

According to NFL Network sideline reporter Alex Flanagan, the Chargers are calling the injury a neck stinger and his return is doubtful (Update: it's official -- McNeill won't return). Brandyn Dombrowski will replace McNeill.

NFL Network color analyst Mike Mayock pointed out that the loss of McNeill means that Oakland pass rushers Lamarr Houston and Jarvis Moss, because of their speed, could create matchup problems for San Diego's tackles.

The Raiders have injury issues of their own; Darren McFadden didn't play for the second consecutive game and wide receiver and returner Jacoby Ford limped off the field with a left ankle injury with 4:51 left in the first quarter. He went down after hauling in a slightly underthrown 41-yard pass from Carson Palmer. If Palmer had hit Ford in stride, it would've been an easy touchdown. Ford also headed for the locker room on a cart.

You can follow the game live here.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: November 10, 2011 6:20 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2011 11:39 pm

Jason Campbell will be ready if Raiders need him

Campell is targeting a December return, almost certainly in a backup role. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

We've mentioned it before, but Jason Campbell must've been a despot in a previous life. Because no way a good and decent person would be subjected to the things Campbell has been subjected to since he was drafted by the Washington Redskins in 2005.

Whether it was sitting behind washed-up veterans Mark Brunell or Todd Collins, or the too-many-to-count offensive coordinators he's had in his seven seasons or, just when it appears everything is falling into place, the injuries that derailed any progress he might've made, Jason Campbell can't catch a break.

The latest injustice came in Week 6, after he suffered a broken collarbone. Raiders head coach Hue Jackson, eager to keep Oakland's momentum going, mortgaged future draft picks for a chance at landing a truly franchise quarterback.

The problem: Carson Palmer had been sitting comfortably on his couch for nine months, and the last time he resembled a franchise anything was 2006 with the Bengals, when he completed 62 percent of his passes (7.8 YPA), and threw 28 touchdowns against 13 interceptions. That was a year after he blew out his ACL (or more accurately: had it blown out for him), and two years before an elbow injury sapped his arm strength.

Campbell, Palmer and the Raiders

But Jackson sent a first- and second-round pick to Cincinnati for Palmer, and in six quarters he's thrown six interceptions, and the Raiders are 0-2. Not exactly how Jackson envisioned it.

That's where Campbell could come in. The team didn't place him on injured reserve, and he's targeting a December return, ostensibly as Palmer's backup.

"I don't rule out anything," Campbell said, according to NFL Network's Jason La Canfora. "I think the main thing is just focusing on getting my injury healthy, spending as much time and most of my effort into that. And I go to all the meetings, and all of that. I stay on it mentally. I can't do it physically at this point, and I know the free-agent market is coming in the offseason, and I feel very confident in that, too.

"I feel like I have proved myself as quarterback, and I feel like I've helped turn it around here in Oakland and got it going to the right direction, and we won and I helped us win here, and you never know what's going to happen, as far as playing this season. But I feel very confident in doing my part if things don't work out that way."

Campbell's a free agent after the season and there's virtually no chance the Raiders re-sign him. Owner Al Davis, who died in October, was Campbell's biggest fan but Jackson is without question a Palmer guy. The two know each from Palmer's days at USC, and Jackson was the Bengals' wide receiver coach while Palmer was there.

But here's the thing: before the collarbone injury Campbell was having his best season as an NFL quarterback. And Palmer has looked, well, like a guy who just got off his couch after taking nearly a year off.

According to Football Outsiders' quarterback efficiency metrics, this season Cambell ranked fourth in value-per-play behind Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Tony Romo. Palmer, meanwhile, ranks just ahead of Kyle Boller and behind the one and only Charlie Whitehurst.

It's still early in Palmer's return, and he's going to get better. Plus, Jackson has everything invested in the move; he won't reinstall Campbell as the starter when he's healthy no matter how much Palmer might be struggling. Which means, in all likelihood, that Campbell will be playing elsewhere in 2012.

Cris, Phil, and Warren go into overtime to complete their set of predictions for Week Ten. Watch a web-exclusive from SHOWTIME's Inside the NFL.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: November 9, 2011 4:10 pm

Darren McFadden out for Raiders Thursday night

Posted by Will Brinson

Darren McFadden hasn't played for the Raiders in several weeks. And it was originally thought he missed last Sunday's loss to Denver in order to ensure his availability for Thursday night's game in San Diego.

However, McFadden has been ruled out for the game, according to Paul Guiterez of CSN Bay Area who says the team's "confirmed the star running back will not be active for Thursday night's game."

This seems like the logical conclusion because, as our Raiders Rapid Reporter Eric Gilmore notes, McFadden won't get a single practice snap before the Chargers game if he was to play.

Losing McFadden against a division rival would, quite obviously, be a tremendous blow for Oakland. But running the ball wasn't the problem for Oakland last Sunday (Michael Bush rolled for 96 yards on 19 carries).

Oakland's issue was stopping the run. And it might be easier for the Raiders since they won't have to deal with the unexpected aspect of stopping the read option featuring Tim Tebow, but if the defense plays as well as it did against Denver, Oakland won't stand a chance against San Diego.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: November 8, 2011 10:02 am
Edited on: November 9, 2011 1:21 am

Coach Killers, Week 9: The curse of Carson Palmer

Coach Killers is your weekly look around the league at those performances, decisions and "Wait, what did he just do?!" moments that put the guy in charge squarely on the ol' hot seat. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Oakland defense (added bonus: dumb penalties!)

We can forgive Carson Palmer for looking rusty. He spent the previous nine months kicking it in his La-Z-Boy, probably figuring that there was no way Bengals owner Mike Brown would trade him. Plus, it's not Palmer's fault that Raiders head coach Hue Jackson gave up a first- and (likely) second-round pick for him, and then inserted him into an actual game after a week of practice. The results were equal parts slapstick and dramedy.

But there's no excuse for Oakland's defense, which seemed completely unprepared for the possibility that Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow might actually run the ball. Because, really, there isn't any evidence that Tebow is quick to take off, especially if it means he doesn't have to flutter a medicine ball in the vicinity of would-be targets.

Tebow, who had two more rushes than completions, finished the afternoon with 118 yards on the ground on 10 carries, including runs of 32 and 28 yards, the last of which set up a Willis McGahee "this game is officially a blowout" touchdown late in the fourth quarter. McGahee, by the way, rushed for 163 yards and two scores and Oakland was helpless to stop it.

"I'm shocked," defensive tackle Tommy Kelly said, according to the Oakland Tribune. "Ain't no way I thought that team could put 38 points on us with that quarterback. This hurt more than Buffalo. … And I thought we were past this (expletive)."

"You have to do your job," defensive tackle Richard Seymour added. "The things that happened out there today ... it's Football 101."

As long as the Raiders are going back to basics, maybe they should review what are and aren't penalties. They were flagged 15 times for 130 yards Sunday, including two of the "wait, that didn't just happen" penalties on fourth down late in the first half.

With 22 seconds before halftime and the Broncos facing a 52-yard field goal, rookie Taiwan Jones jumped offsides. Undeterred, Jones was flagged on the next play for roughing the kicker. Broncos first down. Denver kicker Matt Prater would end up missing a subsequent kick three plays later, but Jones' two miscues encapsulated the Raiders' day nicely.

"I think we're not a very intelligent football team right now," head coach Hue Jackson said. "We're not playing very intelligently when it comes to penalties. Some of them are uncalled for.

"We're going to continue to address it. I don't want anyone to think we haven't. We emphasize it, and we're not going to stop. It might be Game 16 when we get it fixed, I don't know."

Nothing to worry about, people: Jackson will get it fixed, even if it takes all year.

New England secondary

Unless Bill Belichick gets ahold of some magic beans New England could have a permanent home on Coach Killers. Which is ironic since Belichick is solely responsible for the team's current personnel plight.

Yes, we know: Leigh Bodden wasn't happy with his role and Darius Butler and Brandon Meriweather were high-round disappointments. But would the Patriots be a better team with them on the field than, say, Sergio Brown, Phillip Adams or Antwaun Molden? Well, they couldn't be much worse. 

Reviewing Week 9

Belichick knows better than anybody that his defense is in shambles. He tried to pressure Eli Manning Sunday and it blew up in his face. The Giants picked up the blitz and Manning carved up the secondary (just like Ben Roethlisberger did the week before). It's easy to just blame it all on inexperience but the Patriots traded for Albert Haynesworth in the offseason to shore up the run D and as an antidote for any deficiencies in the defensive backfield. Haynesworth was last seen on the field Sunday with 9:10 left on the clock in the third quarter.

(We're midway through the season and it's not too early to suggest that Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco -- the Pats' two "big" acquisitions -- have been among the NFL's biggest busts in 2011.)

Tom Brady took some heat Monday for not displaying his usual super-human awesomeness. He looked rattled at times but he also led New England on a go-ahead touchdown drive with 1:27 on the clock. That was more than enough time for Manning, who hooked up with tight end Jake Ballard twice on the final drive: once for a 28-yard gain on 3rd and 10, and again for a one-yard touchdown pass with 19 seconds left. Ballard, by the way, wears No. 85, which belonged to David Tyree, Giants folk hero and unassuming Patriots nemesis.

John Beck, QB, Washington

Washington's inability to regularly score points isn't because of Beck. Don't misunderstand: he's not good, but no matter what Norman Einstein says, neither is Rex Grossman. The problem starts with Mike Shanahan, who traded for Donovan McNabb last season and dumped him in favor of Beck and Grossman this season. No one's surprised that the Skins are 3-5 and as our collegue Will Brinson pointed out Monday, there's the very real possibility that Washington could lose out.

It sounds like an overreaction, but this is the same crew that was shut out last week in Buffalo, and needed a 59-yard field goal against the 49ers Sunday to get on the board after nearly seven quarters of goose eggs.

“Right now you take a look at the offense and it’s tough to take. It’s tough to take for me,” Shanahan said. “But I understand how this thing works. We’ve got a lot of young guys with talent, and we’re not all collective on the same page right now. . . . Everybody wants wins. . . . Everybody wants the answer. I wish I had the answer, but that’s as close as I can get.”

Interesting. You know who's coordinating the offense that Shanahan has so much trouble taking? His son, Kyle.

Beck, meanwhile, struggled to do the things even average NFL quarterback can manage: throwing accurately, connecting on the occasional deep ball and he was at his best on short throws and screen passes (Hmm, we've read that scouting report before somewhere…).

More demoralizing details via the Washington Post's Mike Jones:

"For the game, Beck went 30 for 47 for 254 yards, a touchdown and an interception. None of his passes traveled longer than 16 yards. And a 17-yard gain came when Helu caught a batted ball and scampered up the field before he was run out of bounds.

"The offense generated only 303 yards and did not get closer to the end zone than the San Francisco 37 until Beck completed his nine-yard touchdown pass to Gaffney with 1:10 left. Beck then hit Leonard Hankerson on the two-point conversion to give his team its 11 points."

When Tebowing goes very, very wrong. (US PRESSWIRE)

Perhaps the saddest part of all this is that even if the Redskins lose out, they still won't be in position to get Andrew Luck because there's now way the Colts are winning three games.

Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego

Rivers might not admit it publicly, but something's wrong with the guy. Whether it's a sore arm, a bum shoulder, a goiter -- something has to be bothering him. Because you don't go from one of the NFL's most prolific, accurate passers, to Kurt Warner when he was with the Giants unless there are underlying issues.

“I appreciate everyone trying to come up with a theory and a reason that I'm hurt," Rivers said Sunday. “I’m not hurt. I’ve thrown a handful of picks that I normally don’t throw and I’ll probably throw some more throughout my career. There won’t always be a reason why.”

So Rivers is fine according to … well, Rivers and that's about it. Even team owner Dean Spanos admitted after the Chargers' latest loss that his franchise quarterback is having an "off year." “Sometimes you just have [one]” Spanos told NBC's Alex Flanagan. “That is what Philip Rivers is having so far.”

By the way, "a handful of picks" is one thing. Rivers has 14 interceptions through eight games. The most he's ever thrown in a 16-game season is 15.

He added three more against the Packers, all of the groan-inducing variety. Sometimes balls are tipped, or receivers run the wrong route. Neither was the case Sunday. Rivers' first interception went off a Packers' defender before Charlie Peprah hauled it in and ran through approximately 27 arm-tackles (everybody but Rivers attempted to bring him down at least twice) on his way to the end zone. The second pick was worse: Tramon Williams jumped a route near the sidelines and could've done the electric slide into the end zone there was so much distance between him and the nearest defender. The final interception was on San Diego's last drive, one that could've tied the score after a furious second-half comeback. Instead, Rivers underthrew his receiver by a good 10 yards and Peprah was there again to make the play.

Sure, Phil, everything's fine. If you say so.

Colt McCoy, QB, Cleveland

Like Beck above, McCoy doesn't deserve all the blame. But after a surprising rookie season in 2010, when he outplayed everyone's expectations, he's regressed in 2011. A lof of that has to do with the Browns' West Coast scheme, and that there aren't any playmakers to speak of.

Josh Cribbs is a dynamic returner but he's not a No. 1 wide receiver. Perhaps Greg Little can grow into that role, but he's not there yet. And there's Peyton Hillis, of course, the basket case who has gone from fan favorite to public pariah all because he wants a new contract.

We mentioned last week that the Browns are so married to their offensive philosophy that even the blind know what's coming (we're only half-kidding). Via the NFL Network's Mike Lombardi:

"Writing about the Browns offense leads me to a game I play every week at NFL Films. I sit in my office in Mt Laurel, N.J., put the Browns offense on my screen and call a friend who was a coach in the league, but is now in between successes. I tell my friend the personnel group, the formation, where the ball is located on the field and what hash mark and describe the motion -- if there is any -- and ask him to tell me the exact play that will be run," Lombardi writes.

A former coach can predict the Browns' offensive play call 95 percent of the time. (Getty Images)

"He is correct about 95 percent of the time. No lie. The Browns are so integrated into the West Coast system that their predictability is becoming legendary around the league."

This, along with the shortage of big-play threats, explains why McCoy ends up on the turf after most plays. If a former coach hearing the pre-snap formations knows what's coming, what do you think opposing defensive coordinators will have planned?

McCoy was blitzed often Sunday in Houston, sacked four times and hit eight more times after he threw the ball. The Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot points out that McCoy's been hit 52 times after the throw -- fifth most in the NFL. Which led left tackle Joe Thomas to marvel at his quarterback's resilience.

"He's a super-tough kid," Thomas said. "Not many guys in the league would be able to take a hit like he did on that long pass [a fourth-quarter sideline throw to Greg Little] and be able to come back, but he's a guy that wants to be out there competing. He plays big and that's all you can ask for."

That and some playmakers. (In related news: Hillis has already been ruled out for next week. We were shocked, too.) Which reminds us...

After watching Julio Jones go off on the Colts, anybody else think that the Browns should've just drafted him instead of taking all those picks from the Falcons? We're guessing McCoy does.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: November 8, 2011 9:30 am
Edited on: November 8, 2011 9:37 am

Tracking Tebow, Week 9: the run-option lives!

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

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Tim Tebow is 2-1 as a starter this season. After watching his performance against the Lions last week it's, well, a miracle. But faith is a big part of Tebow's life. So when absolutely no one -- including his coach -- believed he was anything more than a glorified fullback, Tebow came out against the Raiders … and looked a lot like a fullback.

The former Heisman winner rushed for 118 yards on 12 carries. He also had two legitimate "Hey, look at me I'm an NFL QB!" touchdown throws, but finished just 10 of 21 for 124 yards. It was more than enough against the Raiders, an outfit that committed a season's worth of stupid penalties in an afternoon, and seemed genuinely perplexed to learn that Tebow was a threat to run.

Tebow > Tebow meme

Whatever, it's a win, which have been hard to come by in Denver the last two seasons. Never mind that there are still serious questions about Tebow's long-term viability. On Sunday, he outplayed the Raiders' savior, Carson Palmer, who still looks like a guy fresh out off a nine-month break from football.

For all the criticism heaped on head coach John Fox in recent weeks, give the man credit for tailoring the Broncos' offense around Tebow's strengths. In watching every one of Tebow's snaps this season (preseason too!) a couple things quickly stand out: He struggles to throw accurately on the run (the irony isn't lost on us), and he's at his best on screen passes and short throws. (Yes, we realize this is a scouting report you might expect to read on a junior high school player.)

Against the Raiders the game plan was pretty simple: run Willis McGahee a lot, draw up some designed runs for Tebow (specifically: the Broncos' new-fangled, pro-style run-option scheme to go along with the old standards: Tebow draws and sneaks), give him some easy short throws, and take the occasional shot down the field. Denver didn't abandon the plan, even though they trailed by 10 points in the third quarter. Instead, they continued to lean on the running game and that, dumb Raiders' penalties, and a huge Eddie Royal touchdown return resulted in a blowout.

There's no question that Tebow played much better this week than last, and a lot of that had to do with what the coaches asked him to do (or more accurately: what they didn't ask him to do).

Can he keep it going?

Our eyes and brain tell us no … but this is the AFC West where mediocrity is rampant and every team is a playoff contender. The Broncos head to Kansas City next and the Chiefs are fresh off quite possibly the most embarrassing loss of the season, a 31-3 thumping at the hands of the previously 0-7 Dolphins.

So, yeah, anything can happen.

                                                   Play by Play

(Note: You can view the play-by-play breakdown spreadsheet here)


"It's a tribute to our coaches. We've definitely made adjustments. We've been in the process of adjusting for the last three weeks. It's a different style, but it can be effective." - Broncos head coach John Fox

"I think it was college." - Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer on the last time he saw a read-option running attack, referring to Tebow and the Broncos' rushing attack which racked up 281 yards on the ground.

"Honestly, I put that pressure on myself more than anybody else. To try to improve and ultimately get a victory no matter how it looks. That was a special one." - Tim Tebow

"I'm shocked. Ain't no way I thought that team could put 38 points on us with that quarterback. This hurt more than Buffalo." - Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly


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

Willis McGahee ran for 163 yards and Tim Tebow threw two touchdown passes to lead the Denver Broncos to a 38-24 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. CBS Sports' Greg Gumble and Dan Dierdorf have the recap.

Two week ago Tebowing was cute (Tim was for it!), then it was sad ... and now it's cute again:

We've fully prepared ourselves for the inevitable "How the Run-Option Saved My Career" Tebow autobiography.

                                                   Eye on Tebow

Tebow limbers up for some run-option magic (Getty Images)

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: November 7, 2011 2:53 pm

Elway: Quinn was ready if Tebow struggled Sunday

Posted by Will Brinson

The AFC West, thanks to Denver upsetting Oakland 38-24 on Sunday, is a hot mess right now. And in what has to be the weirdest turn of events, Tim Tebow's led the Broncos within one game of first place in their division.

But he's still not on firm footing in terms of remaining the starting quarterback -- though he's guaranteed to start this week! -- and John Elway told Denver's 102.3 The Ticket on Monday that John Fox was prepared to bring in Brady Quinn if Tebow struggled against the Raiders Sunday.

"I think that John was patient with it and wanted to see how things were going," Elway said, via the Denver Post. "If we’d have seen what happened the last couple of weeks, we might have seen a change."

Elway also noted that he'd like to see Tebow's completion percentage, currently hovering below 50 percent, improve.

Week 9 Review

That's not surprising, because it's tough to win football games when you're only hitting on 46.4 percent of your passes. What is surprising is how quickly Fox and Elway were willing to bail on the Tebow experiment and roll with Quinn.

Tebow looked terrible against Detroit last week and was only good for a few minutes against the Dolphins in Week 7. But had they really given him a fair shake, after 10 quarters of football, a trade of his best wide receiver and no clear-cut game plan designed to utilize his strengths?

Because it sure doesn't seem that way. When Denver focused on running the ball and actually installed a offensive package designed around the guy under center, the result was much more palatable.

None of that's to say that Tebow is set up to make a run at a division title, or even that he'll be an above-average quarterback this year. He probably won't.

But how are we going to find out about his ability to adapt and improve if Denver doesn't even give him a fair shake? Speaking of fair shakes, they probably should have traded Kyle Orton if they weren't even going to make him the backup.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: November 7, 2011 11:57 am
Edited on: November 9, 2011 10:06 pm

Pick-6 Podcast: NFL Week 9 review

Posted by Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

Week 9's action is just about wrapped up and after an exciting Sunday's worth of action we fired up the podcast machine to break down everything that happened.

Is Joe Flacco making the leap? Is Eli Manning elite? Are the Patriots finished? Is Philip Rivers a choker? Why are teams allowed to sidestep concussions in game? Which SEC rookie had the bigger week -- Patrick Peterson or Julio Jones? Did the Browns lose their draft-day trade with the Falcons?

What the hell is Mike Shanahan thinking, in general? Are the Chiefs worthy of being tied for their division lead? Is Tim Tebow improving?

All those questions -- plus much, much more -- in this week's podcast review.

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.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com