Broncos team report: Tebow train hits final stop
Cold, Hard Football Facts for Jan 15, 2012
The Denver Broncos season came to an end Saturday night with a deafening thud as they were handed a good ole fashioned ass whoppin' from Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, 45-10. On a frigid night at Gillette stadium, the Broncos were embarrassed in the post-season like it was the 80's again. The Patriots will move on to the AFC Championship game next week after winning their first playoff game in four years, but the Broncos are left to face an off-season with more questions than answers surrounding the future of their team and his Tebowness.
Here are 5 Things we Learned:
1. Hell hath no fury like a 3 time Super Bowl champion quarterback and head coach scorned. Tebowmania officially reached ri-gawd-damn-diculous status in the week leading up to this game after the Mile High Miracle. The coverage was nauseating at times, even for the die-hard Orange Crush fans, as Tebow and very rarely his teammates were shoved down our throats on every channel but Sprout. Bill Belichick's defensive genius status and Brady's playoff legacy were coming into question, and both would surely take a giant hit with a loss at home to the make-a-wish Broncos. While all the satellite trucks were parked outside Dove Valley and Tebow was getting more coverage than the latest Kardashian drama, Belichick and Brady were preparing to diabolically dismantle Tim Tebow and the Broncos defense, which is exactly what they did.
Brady tied an NFL playoff record with 6 touchdown passes (5 before halftime), letting the world know he hasn't turned as soft as the lining in his Ugg boots as some suggested. Belichick's defense played it's best game of the year, holding Tebow to a 34.6% completion rate with 3.5 Yards Per Attempt and a passer rating of 52.7(only 84.9 less than Brady's). Tebow was also sacked five times and lost a fumble on his first possession that the Broncos never recovered from. Although they were still taking shots down field in the 4th quarter with a 5 touchdown lead, it felt like Belichick's Patriots could have hung 70 on the Broncos if they would have kept the throttle down.
2. Denver's defense looked a lot like the CHFF's tailgate party...shredded and stinky. Two pulled pork butts smoked Arthur Bryant's style and a crock of chili that provided enough gas to inflate a Zeppelin, along with copious amounts of whiskey to combat the frigid temperatures, were the order of the day in "The Razor's" parking lot. Once the game started, Denver's defense got picked apart and licked clean by Brady and his many weapons. The Patriots rolled up 509 yards of offense and 31 first downs, and even more remarkable is that out of their 64 offensive plays, they only faced third down six times....the last of which was a Tom Brady punt. The Broncos sorely missed Brian Dawkins' presence in the secondary, as a combination of soon to be unemployed safeties blew coverages, missed tackles, and played on their heels all night.
Despite the reputation they earned for keeping games close for Tebow throughout the second half of the season, the Broncos were not a good defensive team in 2011. They allowed 40+ points five times including Saturday, had the worst defensive passer rating (93.12) of any playoff team by far, and generated only 18 turnovers in 16 regular season games; only Pitt, Indy, and New Orleans had fewer. Let us not forget that the Broncos were hands down the worst defensive team in 2010; and the reality is they need to remained focus on improving that side of the ball this offseason regardless of what happens with their quarterback.
3. Aaron Hernandez is now the mayor of Denver and Rob Gronkowski is his Secretary of Spike. In two games against the Broncos this season, New England's titillating tight ends combined for 27 receptions for 382 yards and 5 TD's. By comparison, Denver's top two tight ends, Daniel Fells & Dante Rosario had just 26 receptions for 373 yards and 3 TD's the entire regular season. The Broncos, like the rest of the league, don't have a fast enough linebacker or big enough safety to cover either Hernandez or Gronk, let alone both at the same time.
4. Von Miller's only contribution to the game was a cheap-shot personal foul that left a black eye on an an otherwise stellar rookie season. Denver's young defensive cornerstone hit Dan Connolly in the back, away from the play as Tom Brady's 3rd down punt was rolling to a stop late in the 4th quarter. A melee ensued as Connolly retaliated and Matt Light came to his aid. The frustration of getting whupped got the best of Miller, who had zero tackles, zero assists, and zero sacks between the whistles, and it's clearly not the way he or the Broncos would like to be represented. As a whole, the Patriots' offensive line dominated Denver's front seven and completely neutralized the pass rush, which is the only kryptonite Brady has ever known. Brady and Gronk will get all the press and deservedly so, but every New England offensive lineman should get game balls for their stellar performance.
5. Tim Tebow may or may not become a consistently effective NFL quarterback, but it's obvious that he and his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who was Jewish, don't roll on the Shabbas. Tiger Woods came out earlier this week and said he'd be thrilled to have Tebow as a partner on the golf course in a future pro-am, but gauging his two Saturday performances this season, Tim may have more luck being bowling partners with Walter Sobchak. In Week 16 the Broncos traveled to Buffalo for a Saturday game on Christmas Eve and Tebow turned in one of his worst career performances, accounting for 4 turnovers in a game the Broncos had to have. Saturday's playoff loss wasn't all on Tebow's shoulders, his receivers dropped passes and he was constantly under pressure by the time he got to the top of his drop, but a key turnover and inability to stay out of obvious passing situations doomed the Broncos' offense. Tebow's stat line from the two Saturday games is ugly: 22-55 (40%) for 321 Yards, 1 TD, 3 INT's for a passer rating of 43.1, while rushing 15 times for 47 yards (3.1 YPC) with 1 TD and 2 lost fumbles. Despite his extraordinary success on Saturdays at the University of Florida, Tebow and Saturday have yet to break bread in harmony in the NFL.
We wrote before the season began that if everything went right, the Broncos could be a .500 football team. We thought that would mean 8-8 and a step back towards respectability, not 9-9 with a two playoff games to show for it. The Broncos were exposed against the Patriots and other elite NFL teams this season, but took a giant leap forward in John Elway & John Fox's first year. Tebow will have to improve greatly this offseason, but should benefit from the confidence of knowing he's the man going into training camp, as well as taking all the reps with the first-teamers during the OTA's. They need to add a playmaker to compliment Tebow & Thomas on offense (Percy Harvin?), and should stick to their 'best player available" strategy during the draft to bolster the defense, as there are holes at all three levels. It was a season that returned excitment and relevance to the Mile High City, and one that every member of Broncos Country should be proud of.
Read more: Aaron Hernandez, Bill Belichick, Brian Dawkins, Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos, John Elway, John Fox, New England Patriots, NFL, Percy Harvin, Rob Gronkowski, Tim Tebow, Tom Brady, Von Miller
Forearm Shiver: the CHFF Blog
- Hockey Announcer Gone Wild: You Want To Party (Maybe) With This Guy
- Best Pass Defense Ever: Ronde Barber And The 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Reese Witherspoon Arrest Video: Hot, Bothered And Handcuffed
- Sam Adams In A Can, Just In Time For Summer Drinking Season
- Live From Radio City: Reporter Punks NFL Draft Fans
- The 5.0 Club: Best Rushing Teams in NFL History
- Sieves: The Worst Run Defenses In NFL History
- Monsters of the Midway: We Need The Chicago Bears More Than Ever
- Boston, Sports, Patriotism And Terror
- The 100 Stingiest Defenses In Football History
- NFL Crown Rule: Will It Dethrone Rushing King Adrian Peterson?
- Year Of The Offensive Tackle: Not Always The 'Safe' Draft Bet
- Draft Habits: NFL Teams Covet LBs, Duped By False Temptress WRs
- Big Tease: 2012 New England Patriots And NFL's History Of Offensive Failures
- Epic Fail: The Wide Receiver Draft Class Of 2012
Must See Videos