Denver Broncos Run Away with Win at Arrowhead

Quarterback Tim Tebow runs the ball into the end zone against the Kansas City Chiefs (John Leyba, The Denver Post)

The Denver Broncos (4-5) took care of business by knocking off the Kansas City Chiefs (4-5) at Arrowhead stadium with a final score of 17-10. The game was full of run plays and punts, which seemed to fall right into the game plan of the Denver Broncos. The Broncos ran the ball an NFL season-high 55 times and only made 8 pass attempts. However, their success in the run game led to their 4th victory of the season and a spot right in the middle of a wild AFC West divisional race.

Tim Tebow threw the ball only 8 times, completing merely 2 of those pass attempts, despite a few catchable balls that were dropped by his receivers. Tebow also added 43 rushing yards and 1 touchdown, which came in the 1st quarter. For the majority of the game, Tebow was handing the ball off to Willis McGahee, Knowshown Moreno, Lance Ball and Spencer Larson.

McGahee and Moreno were both injured in the 1st half of the game and did not return.

Tim Tebow fights off linebacker Derrick Johnson at Arrowhead Stadium (John Leyba, The Denver Post)

However, the Broncos didn’t stumble in their absence as they continued to run the ball effectively with 244 total rushing yards. In spite of the criticism of Tebow’s passing ability, he was able to show up big in the 4th quarter and complete the biggest pass of the game. Tebow’s perfect 56-yard throw to Eric Decker for a touchdown virtually sealed the win.

Matt Cassel found the ground more times than he found receivers, being knocked all over the place by the relentless Broncos defense. He was sacked 4 times and knocked on the ground another 12. Rookie linebacker Von Miller was all over Cassel for the entire game, making contact with the 7-year pro a number of times. Cassel only completed 13 passes for 93 yards and a touchdown, which wasn’t enough to beat a thriving Broncos team.

After a 1-4 start with Kyle Orton, the Broncos now find themselves in the middle of the pack in the AFC West and a 3-1 record with Tim Tebow as the starter. They are currently tied with Kansas City and San Diego, all with a 4-5 record, and are only one game back from the 5-4 Oakland Raiders, who beat the Chargers on Thursday night to take the outright lead in the division. The Broncos have a very short week as they travel back to Denver to play the New York Jets on Thursday night @ 6:20 PM Mountain Time.

 

Fun Fact: Tim Tebow has thrown for a TD pass in all 7 of his NFL starts.

BenFletcherSports

 

 

 

 

* All stats taken from http://www.espn.go.com

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Team Effort Gives Denver Broncos Big Win in Oakland

Tebow threw for 2 touchdowns against the Oakland Raiders on Nov. 6 (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos outscored the Oakland Raiders 31-7 in the second half and pulled off an impressive win at the Oakland Coliseum with a final score of 38-24. The Broncos had players from all elements of the team contribute to pull off their third win of the season (3-5), and second with Tebow starting at quarterback.

Cornerback Chris Harris of the Denver Broncos had an impressive game with a team high 11 tackles and an interception. On the next play after Harris’ interception, Tebow handed the ball off to Willis McGahee who carried for a 60-yard touchdown run, evening the score at 24 going into the 4th quarter. Champ Bailey had 2 interceptions (49th and 50th of his career), each impeding a driving Oakland team led by quarterback Carson Palmer. Palmer, playing only his 2nd game with the Raiders after being traded by the Bengals a couple of weeks ago, threw for 332 yards, 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.

The Broncos pulled away in the 4th quarter when Eddie Royal returned a punt

Eddie Royal returns a punt for 85 yards to give the Broncos a 4th quarter lead over the Raiders on Nov. 6 (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

85 yards to put Denver up 31-24, finishing the play by ‘Tebowing’ in the end zone in front of an unruly Oakland crowd in the teeth of the notorious Black Hole.  The Denver defense held Oakland to a punt, which gave the Broncos offense the opportunity to seal the win. McGahee ran for his second touchdown of the game, a virtually untouched 24-yard run, and put the Broncos up 38-24.

Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow seemed to quiet the doubters once again for now. Although his completion percentage was poor (48%), he did show flashes of greatness and played his most complete NFL game thus far. Tebow only threw for 124 yards but ran for another 117. He threw for 2 touchdowns, no interceptions and had a quarterback rating of 98.1. Tebow spent much of the game on the ground but managed to only get sacked one time, which was a big improvement from the last two games where he was sacked 13 times during that stretch.

With losses today by Oakland, Kansas City, and San Diego, the Broncos now find themselves in a tight divisional race. They will travel to Kansas City next week to face the Chiefs at Arrowhead stadium. With a win in Kansas City, the Broncos would find themselves tied for 2nd in the AFC West since the Chargers and Raiders go head-to-head Thursday night.

Top Denver Broncos performers:

Tim Tebow – 241 total yards, 2 TD
Willis McGahee – 20 rushes, 163 yards, 2 TD
Chris Harris – 11 tackles, 1 INT
Champ Bailey – 2 INT

BenFletcherSports

* All stats taken from http://www.espn.go.com

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NFL Quarterbacks: Most Impressive, Most Surprising and Most Disappointing

MOST IMPRESSIVE

1. Aaron Rodgers –

Without a doubt the most impressive quarterback this season has been Aaron Rodgers. The Green Bay Packers and Rodgers have started off right where they left off last season. Rodgers is currently the most dominant quarterback in the league according to statistics, and most importantly, wins. The Packers are the only undefeated team left in the NFL and much of their success is due to Aaron Rodger’s impressive play. Rodgers’ quarterback rating is 125.7, 20 points over any other quarterback in the league. Rodgers has also been remarkably good at his turnover to touchdown ratio, throwing three interceptions through seven games, while adding 22 total touchdowns (2 rushing). If he continues this play he may be looking at a repeat of last year’s ending.

2. Drew Brees –

(Photo taken from: http://www.onlyaguy.com)

Although both Tom Brady and Eli Manning have a slightly higher quarterback rating, I put Brees in the number 2 spot because of his accuracy. He along with Rodgers are the only two quarterbacks who are completing over 70% of their passes. Brees has also thrown for the most yards of any quarterback this season, averaging 343 yards/game. Brees is looking more and more like the quarterback who led his team to their first Super Bowl win two years ago.

 

3. Tom Brady –

(Photo taken from: http://www.itsonmytv.com)

It seems like Brady has been at the top of this list for years, and rightfully so. Brady is having just an average season for his career, but that still puts him at the number 3 spot on my ‘Most Impressive’ list. Brady has the second best quarterback rating behind Rodgers and is third in the league in both passing yards/game and completion percentage (both behind Rodgers and Brees). Brady continues to lead his team into what looks like will be another playoff run. Will this be the year Brady wins his 4th Super Bowl?

 

 

MOST SURPRISING

1. Cam Newton –

This one was a no-brainer. Although I could put several players onto the “Most Surprising” list, only two stick out to me. Newton is obviously the most surprising quarterback in the NFL this season. He has the height of a Peyton Manning and the weight of a linebacker. His style of play and size are said to be a new breed of quarterbacks. He dazzled the league by throwing for over 400 yards in his first two games as a pro. Cam has thrown for 11 touchdowns and ran for 7 more in eight games. He is by far the most surprising quarterback and one of the biggest stories in the NFL this season.

2. Andy Dalton –

(Photo taken by: Brett Mock)

The success and flashy play of rookie Cam Newton has certainly overshadowed the other talented rookie quarterback this year. Dalton has taken the reigns of the Cincinnati Bengals and has led the team to a 5-2 record so far this season, something Cam hasn’t been able to do. Dalton is completing nearly 63% of his passes, has thrown for 9 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions. Although his numbers aren’t astonishing, he has possessed the composure of a 5th year pro in how he’s led his team. Look for Dalton to become an elite quarterback in the near future.

MOST DISAPPOINTING

1. Michael Vick –

(Photo taken by: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America)

The pre-season was filled with stories about the so-called ‘Dream Team’ in Philadelphia led by Vick. However, other than a dominating win over the Cowboys, this season has been a complete disappointment. Vick has only thrown for 11 touchdowns and has totaled 16 turnovers in only seven games. Although he’s been known for throwing picks and getting stripped of the ball in the pocket, he’s also been known for running the ball into the end zone. The most surprising stat in possibly all of football this season is that Vick has yet to record a rushing touchdown.

2. Kevin Kolb –

(Photo taken from: http://www.bloguin.com)

The 6-year, $65 million contract that sent Kolb to Arizona this summer was thrilling for Cardinals fans. However, seven games into the season and a 1-6 record are now making that contract look dreadful. What’s even worse are Kolb’s numbers through seven games. Kolb has completed less than 57% of his passes, ranked 27th among active quarterbacks this season. Kolb has only thrown for 8 touchdowns and has matched that with 8 interceptions. Arizona fans can only hope that his season in Philadelphia wasn’t a fluke, but his current numbers are not reassuring.

BenFletcherSports

*All Stats taken from: http://espn.go.com/nfl/statistics

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Denver Broncos vs. Detroit Lions: Game Preview

Tebow diving inside the 5 in the Broncos' amazing comeback win (Oct. 23, http://www.jimrome.com)

The Broncos are coming off a huge win last week against the Miami Dolphins. Tim Tebow struggled for the majority of the game but made the throws and plays in the final 5 minutes to give the Broncos their 2nd win of the season. The unbelievable comeback went into the record books as the biggest comeback win (taking into account the amount of points down and the time left on the clock) in NFL history.

The Denver Broncos will host the Detroit Lions at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sunday at 2:05 pm MT. Although the team is coming off a high from last week’s win, they will be without starting running back Willis McGahee (hand) who is averaging 4.5 yards per carry this season. Also, defensive end Elvis Dumervil is questionable, leaving doubts about the Broncos’ ability to effectively pass rush Detroit’s quarterback, whoever that may be.

If Matthew Stafford (questionable – ankle) doesn’t suit up on Sunday, the Broncos will

You can be sure that Detroit's defensive end Ndamukong Suh will be ready for Tebow on Sunday. Watch for him as he'll be trying to get to the quarterback all day.

have a much better chance of pulling out the win. Stafford has had a great season thus far, throwing 16 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. If he plays, Denver’s defense will have to focus on pass rushing and shutting down top receiver Calvin Johnson, otherwise known as ‘Megatron’.

On the other side of the ball the Broncos need to see a more consistent game from Tim Tebow. Although Tebow ended last week’s game with decent stats, he didn’t move the offense until the final two drives. Look for Tebow to have a quicker start against Detroit and play better overall. Knowshon Moreno will be starting at the running back position with McGahee out. If he can get into the open field, look for him to have a big game.

Game prediction if Stafford is out: Broncos 24, Lions 23
Stafford in: Broncos 24, Lions 34

 

BenFletcherSports

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Colorado Rapids beat Columbus Crew

With all the hype and media attention Tim Tebow has been receiving lately, it’s easy for Colorado sports fans to forget about the thriving Avalanche or the booming Rapids. Although fans may be most eager to see Tim Tebow take the field this Sunday, they must be reminded that Colorado has another ‘football’ team which took the field Thursday night. The Colorado Rapids have advanced past the first round of the MLS playoffs and I think it’s safe to say that this day should belong solely to that of the Rapids players, coaching staff and fans.

Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Wednesday, Oct. 26th (Nick Thomas/MLSsoccer.com)

On a brisk night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado, the Colorado Rapids beat the Columbus Crew in the opening playoff game with a score of 1-0. After a snowstorm swept through Denver on Wednesday and dumped up to a foot of snow, cleaning crews at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park were working hard to clear the field in preparation for the game on Thursday between the Rapids and Crew.

Omar Cummings handles the ball against a Columbus Crew defender (Photo taken by Nathan Armes/Getty Images North America)

The Rapids came out of the gates firing away; totaling 9 shots in the first half. The last of those came from Jamaican star Omar Cummings, who found the back of the net in the 45th minute, seconds before halftime. The single goal was all Colorado needed as they held off a rallying Columbus team who had a few chances to even the score. The best of those chances came in the 54th minute when Columbus’ Andres Mendoza struck a bullet from the top of the box and hit it off the crossbar. However, in the end the Rapids were able to defeat the Crew in the wildcard matchup and seal their first playoff win of 2011.

Next Game:
Colorado Rapids vs. Sporting Kansas City > Conference Semi-Finals > Sunday @ 7:30PM ET

BenFletcherSports

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Denver Broncos: NFL Week 8 Team Analysis

Willis McGahee, Eric Decker and Von Miller resurrect the Mile High Salute in 2011 (Photos courtesy Reuters, Getty, Denver Broncos)

Defense:
The Broncos have been battling a number of issues and problems this season that McDaniel’s left behind. The biggest problem that needed to be addressed during the off-season was the defense. As we all know, The Broncos selected linebacker Von Miller out of Texas A&M for the 2nd overall pick. Von has so far lived up to the hype he created by leading all rookies in

Linebacker Von Miller getting a sack on Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers (Photo taken by Joe Amon, The Denver Post)

sacks (6) and is tied for 6th overall for sacks in the NFL. He has made an immediate impact on the defensive side of the ball. Look for him to become a primary leader (possibly like a much nicer Ray Lewis) on this team in the next 2-3 years. Although the defense is better than last year they are still very average. They are 19th in the league against the pass allowing 247 passing yards per game, and 18th against the run, allowing 118 yards per game. Although not great, it is a decent improvement if you remember last year’s stats. If the Broncos can maintain these numbers throughout the season it will be a big accomplishment. Having a consistently healthy D.J. Williams, Elvis Dumervil, Champ Bailey, and Brian Dawkins will go a long way. Going from one of the worst defenses in the league to average is a good thing. We can only hope they will continue to improve and stay mostly injury-free.

Offense:
Although the defense was the thing that needed to be addressed the most, the biggest controversy that has been one of the top storylines in the league this year has undoubtedly been the quarterback situation. Kyle’s performance was very disappointing, completing

Kyle Orton delivering a pass (Photo taken by Doug Pensinger of Getty Images)

less than 59% of his passes and totaling 9 turnovers in 4 ½ games. In his defense, he did have one of the most beloved players right behind him ready to take his place, along with a crowd more or less chanting for Kyle to be benched. A lot of players would collapse under such pressure like he did, but the quarterback position in the NFL doesn’t have any room for mentally weak players. Denver fans all know that Kyle doesn’t play well under pressure and this is just another example of that. To read my thoughts on Tebow you can click on It’s Tebow Time, Finally! or Tim Tebow: Not Leaving Anytime Soon.

Eric Decker and Willis McGahee have to be the most impressive offensive players on the Broncos team this season thus far. Willis has already had three 100+ yard games and is averaging 4.5 rushing yards a carry. Not too bad for the 9th year running back out of Miami. Much of his success is attributed to the offensive line. Orlando Franklin has looked pretty solid for a rookie and his role recently became much more important since he’s now blocking the blind side of a left-handed quarterback in Tim Tebow. Decker has also been impressive, but the entrance of Tebow has already hampered his performance. He averaged 5 catches, 67.5 yards, and 1 touchdown per game during his first four games with Kyle Orton at quarterback. However, the last two games he’s only totaled 4 catches for 17 yards. There’s no doubt he is currently the #1 receiver on the team with Brandon Lloyd now in St. Louis, but with Tebow at quarterback it is hard to trust that Decker will be putting up the numbers we saw at the beginning of the season. Look for a lot more running, quarterback scrambling, and use of the tight ends. You may not see a lot of consistent play from Denver’s wide receivers for the rest of the season.

Ben Fletcher

Sports writer

Stats taken from ESPN > http://www.espn.com

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Tim Tebow Leads Broncos to Inconceivable Win

Tim Tebow led the Broncos to two touchdown drives and a two point conversion in the final five minutes to even the score at 15 and send the game into overtime. Matt Prater’s 52-yard field goal in overtime gave the Broncos their second victory of the season and the Dolphins sixth straight loss and ninth in a row leading back to last season.

During the first 55 minutes of the game we got to see everything Tebow’s critics have been talking about. Overthrown balls, missed targets, misread blitzes, holding onto the ball for too long or not long enough, you name it. Just when it looked like Tebow would make his critics swollen with pride and end the game in a shutout loss and dreadful stats, Tebow silenced his detractors. It wasn’t until the Broncos’ final two drives of the game where we got to see the spectacular play Tim Tebow can bring as the starting quarterback of the Denver Broncos.

Matt Moore led the Dolphins to a 15-0 lead with a little more than five minutes to go in the game. The Broncos started what appeared to be their final drive of the game on their own 20 yard-line with 5:23 to go in the 4th quarter. The previous 11 drives ended in eight punts, two missed field goals and one fumble. Just when it looked like it would be another drive full of misread plays, bad throws and conservative play calling, Tebow started to do something he hadn’t done all day. He began making plays, completing passes and moving the ball when it really mattered.

The Broncos scored on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Tim Tebow to Demaryius Thomas with 2:44 to go. Then the magic really started with a recovered onside kick by Broncos’ Virgil Green. Tebow drove the team down the field once again and threw for a second touchdown with 17 seconds to go in regulation by rolling left and passing back to his right to tight end Daniel Fells on a screenplay. Fells took the ball into the end zone for a 3-yard score that closed the gap to 13-15. The Broncos needed a 2-point conversion to tie the game and got it easily when Tebow ran up the right side and into the end zone virtually untouched.

After a punt by each team in overtime, Matt Moore was stripped of the ball by D.J. Williams and the Broncos recovered on Miami’s 36 yard-line. The Broncos executed three straight run plays for a measly three yards before Matt Prater hit a 52-yard field goal, who missed field goal attempts of 49 and 43 yards earlier in the game. His missed field goals were at once forgotten as the team stormed on the field following his game winning field goal, sealing an 18-15 overtime win for the Broncos in week 7.

For the majority of the game Tebow played dreadful, completing only 4 of 14 passes for 40 yards in the first 3 ½ quarters. However, in the final few minutes Tebow was 9 of 13 for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns. It was as if a switch flipped on in the final minutes of the game to give Tebow and the Broncos the plays to pick up an inconceivable win. In the end Tebow found a way to win and that’s the only thing that matters today.

Ben Fletcher – Sportswriter

Stats taken from ESPN > http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=311023015

Photo taken by John Leyba of The Denver Post

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