|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)
"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.
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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