Broncos 4-1 since he took over as starting quarterback
OK, this is the National Football League (NFL), and you would think that professional players and coaches should be able to stop football plays that are mainly run at the high school and college level, right?
Well, the Denver Broncos are 4-1 (won-lost) since Tim Tebow took over at quarterback running the option system, which he ran with the University of Florida Gators.
The option is basically giving Tebow three different choices/reads after taking the snap – keep the ball and run himself; pitch it to his running back, or throw it down field.
Tebow ran this system very well at Florida, winning the Heisman Trophy and a national championship. The Broncos are now taking his skill set and running the option at the pro level, and have had success in four of his five starts.
This system is rarely used in the NFL, because most teams have too much money invested in their starting quarterback. If you have him running the option, he will be hit and open to more injuries.
Two weeks ago, the Raiders hit Tebow 17 times. He won’t last the season taking that many hits. Secondly, the quarterback needs to be very athletic, fast, make split-second decisions under pressure and execute. If there is a breakdown, you can be guaranteed Tebow is going to take a big shot.
So far he has been able to escape the real big hit, and having the lead makes this system useful. But, if Denver falls behind, they will have to rely more on the pass, which is really not the strength of this system.
Finally, it has worked for four weeks, and this is similar to the "Wildcat" frenzy of a couple of years ago that took coaches three or four weeks to figure out. Now it’s hardly used.
The Freak predicts that, in the next couple of weeks, teams will blow this option play up and Tebow will then have to use his arm to win games, which will be problematic for the Broncos.
Stat of the week
Tebow only completed two passes last week in Kansas City. Yes, that’s correct – two passes and worse yet, they won. Denver ran the ball 55 times.
Pet peeve of the week
How does a coach go for it on fourth down on his own 29-yard line in overtime?
If you are any kind of coach who has faith in your defence you punt the ball. Coach Smith’s stupid decision most likely cost Atlanta a playoff spot. People will be pointing fingers because of this decision.
Coach Parcells quote of the week
"So maybe we don’t have Taylor and maybe Simms isn’t 100 per cent. But there’s a way to put us in a position to win that game tomorrow. It’s my job to find it."
The sure thing
Tampa looked terrible last week at home to the Texans, and head on the road to face the Packers. The undefeated season talk is starting to come up in Green Bay, which can be a curse. The Bucs won’t be a curse, but become Packer road kill on their way to 10-0.
"The Freak predicts that, in the next couple of weeks, teams will blow this option play up and Tebow will then have to use his arm to win games, which will be problematic for the Broncos." John Turner
Washington started 3-1, is now 3-6 and you don’t need to do the math to see they are going in the wrong direction. The Cowboys, on the other hand, are playing well ever since DeMarco Murray took over at running back for the injured Felix Jones. This could have been a marquee game, but the teams are going in opposite directions. Take the "Boys” on the road.
The Chiefs have lost two in a row to bad teams – Dolphins and Broncos. They head to New England with backup Tyler Palko, who sounds more like a dentist than a starting quarterback. No Charles, no Moeaki, no Cassel and no chance of beating the Pats.
Don’t mortgage the house picks
Let’s face it, the Ravens are a bad road team losing to the Titans, Jags and ’Hawks. They love the home cooking and face a young Cincy team, which is right there in the AFC North race. The Ravens will be hungry to redeem themselves, and will send the Bengals to their second straight divisional loss.
The Bears have looked very impressive the last two weeks and host the Chargers, who have looked terrible. Chicago’s defence is creating many turnovers and quarterback Phillip Rivers has been giving too many early Christmas presents with all his interceptions.
Chicago will beat up the soft Chargers, and Rivers is still in a giving mood to the delight of the Bears.
Detroit has struggled the last month, but needs to take care of business against the Panthers and not look ahead to the Thanksgiving Day game with the Packers. Don’t mistake Cam Newton for a turkey as he is the real deal. But he won’t outscore Matt Stafford in this one. Lions get a much-needed win before Thursday’s big game.
The Freak can smell a hangover game for the Falcons after losing a heart-breaker to the Saints in overtime.
Tennessee is not flashy, but plays sound football and is usually in the game come the fourth quarter.
Obviously, Coach Smith has no confidence in his defence, which has running back Chris Johnson licking his chops for a big breakout game.
The Titans are still in the hunt in the AFC South, and this upset win on the road will help them stay on pace with the Texans.
Last week: 3-for-7 (42.8 per cent).
Season: 48-for-72 (66.6 per cent).
John Turner is a Summerside schoolteacher. His column appears every Saturday during the NFL season. Feel free to e-mail questions and comments to the firstname.lastname@example.org.