The Oakland Raiders are set to announce Denver Broncos’ defensive coordinator Dennis Allen as their next head coach. According to league sources the Raiders and Allen spent much of Tuesday discussing contract details.
From the moment new general manager, Reggie McKenzie, took over he vowed to put his mark on the team and make it his own. Shortly after his hiring, McKenzie fired Hue Jackson who went 8-8 in his first season and finished in a tie for first place in the division.
Fans may not recognize the name of Dennis Allen, but he comes highly respected around the league. The St Louis Rams’ head coaching job was said to be his, had Jeff Fisher not accepted the position. In only one season in Denver, Allen improved the defense dramatically. The Broncos increased their sack totals from 23 in 2010, to 41 in 2011. Oakland struggled on defense this year allowing franchise highs in touchdown passes allowed, yards per carry, yards passing and total yards.
The struggles on the defensive side for the Raiders made it more imperative that they addressed the defense. Dennis Allen will be the first head coach coming from a defensive background since 1969, when Al Davis hired John Madden.
The Broncos were bracing to lose both coordinators this offseason, as offensive coordinator Mike McCoy was rumored to be a head coaching candidate for a few job openings as well. At this point, it appears McCoy will still be part of the Broncos’ staff next year. Denver will have to look for their seventh defensive coordinator in the last seven seasons.
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Through the first five weeks of the NFL season, Denver Bronco fans had been calling for Tim Tebow to be named the starting quarterback. After two starts this season, and three last season, it is clear that he is not the answer. Tebow was a terrific collegiate player, however, that does not necessarily translate into success in the NFL.
Tebow fans rejoiced last week, as he led his team back from a 15 point deficit with less than three minutes remaining in the game. The overtime victory came against a win-less Miami Dolphins team that seems to be leading the “Suck For (Andrew) Luck” sweepstakes. Tebow looked terrible for the first 55 minutes of the game, missing wide open receivers all over the field. In the last five minutes, Miami for all intensive purposes, packed it in and let the Broncos march down the field. Miami was not even aligned in the right defense on the two-point conversion to tie the game. The victory over Miami gave both Bronco fans and Tebow fans hope that he very well may be exactly what the Broncos need.
Tebowmania came crashing back down to earth today as the Detroit Lions completely dismantled the Denver Broncos in Denver. Tebow completed 18-39 passes for 172 yards (It needs to be noted that the majority of the yards came in the fourth quarter when Detroit called off the dogs and put their back-up defense in the game). One of Tebow’s knocks coming out of college, was that he holds on to the ball too long. Once again he proved the detractors right, as he was sacked seven times. His windup takes too long to complete giving the defenders an opportunity to strip the ball. Against Detroit, Tebow fumbled the ball three times, one fumble that was returned for a touchdown by Detroit.
This is not what you want out of your starting quarterback. Tim Tebow may be a nice guy and a fun guy to root for, but he is not a starting quarterback in this league. The front office in Denver knows this, look for Tebow to get one or two more starts this year before turning to Brady Quinn to finish up the season.
If you are a Tebow fan, do you still think he can be successful in the NFL?
Power Ranking Week 8
1. Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rogers has been thrashing defenses all year long, putting up video game numbers. Their defense remains the big question mark.
2. New England Patriots: Tom Brady has cooled off a little from his record breaking start but the AFC will still go through New England this year.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers: After getting blown out in week 1 against the Ravens, the Steelers have answered the question of “Are they too old”.
4. San Francisco 49ers: Jim Harbaugh has come in and made the San Francisco 49ers one of the more disciplined teams in the league. If Alex Smith can can become the quarterback the 49ers thought he could be when drafting him, look out.
5. New Orleans Saints: It is tough to beat any team in the NFL 62-7. They might just do it again (St Louis Rams this week)
6. Buffalo Bills: One of the bigger surprises this year in the NFL. They come off a bye, we will see if they can keep the momentum going.
7. Baltimore Ravens: Ray Rice getting 8 carries against the Jaguars, defense calling out the head coach, losing to a terrible team on Monday Night Football. The Ravens went from a top 3 teams in the league to a lot of questions that need to be answered.
8. Detroit Lions: Two straight losses after starting the season 5-0. Mathew Stafford and Jahved Best both may miss playing time with injuries.
9. New York Jets: Big home win against the Chargers. Plaxico Burress with 3 TD catches. If he has shaken the rust off, this could be the surge the Jets have been waiting for.
10. Atlanta Falcons: With Julio Jones out with an injury the Falcons rediscovered they have Michael Turner. The Falcons need to be a run first offense in order to be successful.
11. San Diego Chargers: Year in and year out the most disappointing teams in the NFL. Phillip Rivers has more interceptions this year than touchdown passes.
12. Houston Texans: With the Colts out of it, this was the year for Houston to take advantage and win the division. Andre Johnson should be making his return soon. Look for the Texans to make a late season surge.
13. Chicago Bears: The Bears won’t be able to advance deep in the playoffs as long as Jay Cutler is laying on his back. They must shore up the offensive line and find a WR that will step up.
14. New York Giants: The Giants find themselves in first place even with all the season ending injuries on their defense. As the season wears on, will they be able to keep pace?
15. Dallas Cowboys: St Louis was unable to stop DeMarco Murray last week. He may have passed Felix Jones on the depth chart. If the running game can be a consistent threat, that will take the pressure off of Tony Romo.
16. Cincinnati Bengals: They are a young team but showing a lot of promise. The Andy Dalton to AJ Green connection may make people forget about Palmer to Ocho Cinco.
17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Josh Freeman has been unable to repeat what he did last year. Losing Ernest Graham for the year will be a big blow to a team already struggling.
18. Oakland Raiders: The Carson Palmer era did not get off to a good start. He has a bye week to prepare for the Denver Broncos. McFadden’s ankle injury remains a concern.
19. Philadelphia Eagles: Probably the biggest disappointment in the NFL this year. “Dream Teams” do not start the season 2-4.
20. Washington Redskins: John Beck at QB, injuries to the running back position, poor defense. This season could turn into a long one for the Redskins after starting the season with so much promise.
21. Tennessee Titans: They took a chance on Randy Moss last year. Will they take a chance on Terrell Owens this year?
22. Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs started the season 0-3. They are now 3-3. Big Monday Night Football game against the Chargers. If the Chiefs win they can put a lot of pressure on San Diego.
23. Carolina Panthers: Their record is only 2-5 but after going 1-15 last year Panthers fans have to be happy. Cam Newton has proven he can not only play in the NFL but can make a lot of plays most QBs cannot.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars: Big upset win last week against the Ravens. Is their defense as good as it looked, or were the Ravens just that bad last week?
25. Cleveland Browns: The Madden Curse strikes again as RB Peyton Hillis has been nowhere close to his 2010 form.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Tavaris Jackson looked bad this year. Charlie Whitehurst looked worse against the lowly Browns.
27. Minnesota Vikings: Christan Ponder looked good against the Packers and showed why he took the starting job over Donovan McNabb.
28. Arizona Cardinals: Do you think the Cardinals would like to reevaluate signing Kevin Kolb?
29. Denver Broncos: Can Tim Tebow play well for more than 5 minutes? We will find out this week as they host the Detroit Lions.
30. St Louis Rams: No offense, no defense, no wins.
31. Indianapolis Colts: Can a player be voted as Most Valuable Player if he never plays in a game? Peyton Manning is proving just how important he is to the Colts offense.
32. Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins may end up getting Andrew Luck, but it won’t be Tony Sparano coaching him. Sparano has listed his house for sale in Miami and rumors say Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden may be interested in coaching the Dolphins next year.
What do you think of the rankings? What teams are too high or too low? Let us know your thoughts. Don’t forget to visit www.biginthegame.com for all of your ticket needs. Promo code: WordPress
This past weekend the NFL saw several quarterbacks making their 2011 debuts, season ending injuries, and come from behind wins. The season is nearing the midway point and it is becoming clear who the teams are that will make a push for a Super Bowl championship. The “Suck For Andrew Luck” sweepstakes are also narrowing down do a few remaining teams. Below is a breakdown of some of the games this past week:
San Diego Chargers VS New York Jets
In the Rex Ryan vs Norv Tuner cage match, Rex came out victorious. Slighted by being a home underdog, the Jets felt they needed to send a message to the league by proving they were among the NFL elite. The Jets defense kept Chargers QB, Phillip Rivers, guessing all day. The Chargers were held to under 100 yards rushing as a team and Phillip Rivers threw only one touchdown pass and two crucial interceptions. On San Diego’s last drive on a 4th and 3, Rivers threw the ball out of bounds not even giving the WR the opportunity to catch the ball and continue the drive. Jets wide receiver, Plaxico Burress, had his best game as a Jet. Burress hauled in four catches, 3 of which were caught for touchdowns. San Diego still sits atop a weak AFC West and should be able to recover from the road loss. Final score: Jets 27 Chargers 21
Denver Broncos VS Miami Dolphins
It should be rephrased to the, Denver Tebows vs Miami Dolphins. All attention on this game, between two teams combined for one win, was on Denver Bronco Tim Tebow. Through three and a half quarters Tebow looked lost. He was missing wide open receivers, got sacked seven times, and made the Dolphins defense look like the Baltimore Ravens defense. In typical Tim Tebow fashion, when the game was on the line he stepped up and started making plays. Down by 15 points with three minutes to play Tebow marched the Broncos down the field and the comeback was on. The Broncos became the first team since the NFL/AFL merger (1970), to come from 15+ points behind with less than three minutes remaining to win the game. The jury is still out on Tim Tebow, as he must show he can play well for an entire game , especially against a good defense. Final score: Broncos 18 Dolphins 15
Seattle Seahawks VS Cleveland Browns
Just kidding, nothing to talk about a game to which featured 3 field goals, no touchdowns and a ton of mistakes. This game can be summed up by one picture from the Green Bay Packers vs Minnesota Vikings game:
Kansas City Chiefs VS Oakland Raiders
Midweek, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that newly acquired quarterback, Carson Palmer would not start. It was unknown whether Tyrell Prior or Kyle Boller would get the start. It was Boller who started the game however, his game did not last long. After throwing three interceptions in the first half, Carson Palmer got his first action as an Oakland Raider. It was apparent that Palmer was not ready for NFL action, as he did not fair much better than Boller. Palmer threw three interceptions of his own. Kansas City forced six total turnovers while shutting out the Raiders for their third straight win. Oakland has a bye week this week. That should give Oakland enough time to properly prepare Palmer for the rest of the season. Final score: Chiefs 28 Raiders 0
Other News and Notes
The Washington Redskins fear they have lost running back, Tim Hightower, for the rest of the year with a torn ACL. Christian Ponder made his first NFL start against the Green Bay Packers. Ponder looked good throwing for 219 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. Dallas Cowboys running back, DeMarco Murray, got the start replacing injured running Felix Jones. Murray made the most of his opportunity, setting a new Cowboy rushing record of 253 yards and added one touchdown. The Indianapolis Colts, St Louis Rams, and Miami Dolphins all remain winless and thus alive in the Andre Luck Sweepstakes.
What team or player were you impressed with this past weekend? If you are a fan of a team in the Luck Sweepstakes, do you want your team to start tanking games? Let us know what you think. As always don’t forget www.biginthegame.com for all your ticket needs. Use promo code: WordPress for a special discount.
The Denver Broncos take on the Miami Dolphins this week in what would normally be a match up of no interest around the country. This game however, may be the most compelling game of the NFL weekend. There are no match ups this week between two teams with a winning record, so the spotlight will be on the Broncos and Dolphins. Miami has struggled selling tickets all year long. Tickets have been selling for pennies on the dollar on the secondary market. They too are taking advantage of Tebow coming to down. Tim Tebow played college football at the University of Florida. This week will be a homecoming of sorts for him, which is the first key for Tebow. The Dolphins are also celebrating the University of Florida’s 2006 National Championship.
Many people forget that this is not Tim Tebow’s first NFL start. He started the last three games in 2010 season with mixed results. Tebow’s first start of 2011 will come in front of 50,000 Tebow fanatics. The pressure will be far less on the road in Miami, than it would be in Denver. He should be more comfortable, won’t have to deal with crowd noise, and is not facing a stellar defense.
The Denver Broncos must get off to an fast start. If they fall behind and need to rely on Tim Tebow’s passing game they will be in trouble. Tebow is a play-maker and although he led the University of Florida to many come from behind wins, that will not work in the NFL. If the threat of Tebow running the ball exists, the Dolphins will be forced to keep a LB as a spy freeing up a man down the field. The Broncos traded Wide Receiver, Brandon Lloyd last week but look for Demaryius Thomas to play after missing the first part of the season due to injury.
Establish the running game. If the Broncos can pound the ball up the middle it will take much of the pressure of Tebow to make a big play off of him. The Broncos’ running game has struggled this year. Knowshon Moreno has not produced after being a first round selection. Willis McGahee has been the stronger running back this year and for the rest of the season he will have to carry the team on his back if they have any plans to win more than 3 games.
Gameplan for Tebow’s strengths. Reports out of Denver say that, Denver Broncos Head Coach. John Fox will not change the gameplan now that Tebow is the starter. How much of it is trying to throw opponents off is yet to be seen. Tim Tebow and Kyle Orton are two very different quarterbacks. Tim Tebow is still not comfortable taking snaps from under center. Look for Fox to call more shotgun plays than usual while mixing in more screens and slants. Tebow has struggled with his accuracy, anything Fox can do to make it easier to get the ball in his receivers hands will be the key.
Tim Tebow could not ask for a better opportunity to make his 2011 debut. All eyes will be on him this week and it is up to him to produce. The Broncos will more than likely have a top 8 pick this year and if Tebow does not show signs of being a elite QB, look for the Broncos to draft one in the 2012 NFL Draft.
How do you think Tim Tebow will do this week? Are you rooting for him to succeed or fail? As always don’t forget www.biginthegame.com for your ticket needs. Use promo code: WordPress for a special discount.