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.