But then, with 5 minutes left to go, it was Tebow Time.
Tebow scored 15 points in the final 5 minutes of the game to send it to overtime where a DJ Williams sack/fumble led to a game winning field goal from Matt Prater. It was a game unlike any other. Broncos Country went from being completely hopeless to completely overjoyed. That's Tim Tebow for ya. Lot's to break down so let's get into the Studs and Duds.
Yes, Tim Tebow is a stud. Was he perfect? Hell no. Not by a long shot, but at the end of the day, he led the team to a 4th quarter comeback victory. A win is a win no matter how ugly it was.
Now, I will get into some reasons later as to why I think the first 3.5 quarters of this game were not all Tim's fault, but he does deserve some of the blame for the lack of offensive production for the majority of the game. He missed some throws he needs to make (Deep to Decker, Dump Down to Knowshon, Deep out to Fells) and he didn't see some open receivers. With that being said, he was absolutely unstoppable in the 4th quarter. He was making plays with his arm as well as his legs. He hit great throws to Decker, Demaryius, Willis, and Fells. He brought the team back and gave all us fans a heart attack in the process.
Tim clearly has plenty of work on, but on this Sunday, he did enough to pull out the W.
It was great to see the Wolverine in action tonight. He played great and Dennis Allen is quickly learning how to utilize his players. Dawkins finished the game with 5 tackles, 2 sacks and 2 TFL. He also hit the QB 3 times. Dawk was flying all over the place. His 2 sacks were excellent. The Dolphins didn't challenge him through the air so he was able to make an impact vs the run. It was great to see the veteran out there making plays and helping us get the W.
DJ has taken a lot of flack from many people here at MHR for being an under achiever. For one afternoon, he made the kind of impact we all knew he could make. DJ finished the game with 5 tackles, but most importantly, made the play of the game in overtime when he blitzed Matt Moore and cause a sack/fumble. DJ really came threw for the D in the clutch. Aside from his sack/fumble, he made other nice plays on the day. Let's hope that he can build off the momentum and continue to play at a high level.
As I mentioned earlier, Dennis Allen is really starting to connect with his players and is beginning to understand how to utilize them. I've been impressed with his blitz play calling since the pre season and he is only getting better. He is starting to get excellent at utilizing Brian Dawkins, DJ Williams, Jonathan Wilhite and others on blitzes. It's great to finally have a defensive coordinator who learns and adapts to his players strengths. He will undoubtedly be a head coaching candidate at some point. Maybe even ours.
McGahee ran very well for the Broncos until he fractured his hand. He had 18 times for 76 yards. When the OL wasn't getting knocked back and clogging the running lanes, McGahee showed exactly what he is capable of. He is a patient runner who finds the holes and isn't tackled easy. On the season, he has carried the ball 103 times for 460 yards and 1 TD. Hopefully, he doesn't miss too much time with the fractured hand, but the chances of him missing time are pretty high.
Broderick Bunkley and Ryan McBean
Bunkley and McBean made for a heck of a pair against the Dolphins. Bunkley finished the game with 4 tackles and 1 TFL while McBean finished with 6 tackles and 2 TFL. I was particularly impressed with McBean who made a couple of great jumps off the ball to get to the ball carrier. Bunkley, on the other hand, made the hit of the day when he burst up the middle and popped Dolphins RB Daniel Thomas for a loss. Both McBean and Bunkley are in the last year of their contracts. If they keep it up, they could both be in for extensions.
Notch another sack to his belt. Von miller got yet another sack against the Dolphins. 6 sacks on the year for the rookie. If he keeps this pace up, he will have 16 sacks at the end of the year. In addition to his sack, he also totaled 5 tackles and 2 TFL. After a rough outing against the Chargers, Miller rebounded nicely against the Dolphins.
The undrafted rookie corner earned himself some future playing time after his performance tonight. On a night where the other DB's were getting beat, Harris showed up and made some big pass deflections late in the game. The kid has been impressive and with a big question mark on who is the #3 CB, Harris could quickly rise up the depth chart with more outings like the one he had against the Dolphins.
9 total punts for 435 yards for a 48 yards per punt average. Someone give this guy some ice, he's going to need it in the morning. What a machine.
I forgot about Fells in the original posting. Whoops. How could I forget about that beautiful outstretched diving catch he made? I don't know, but he definitely deserves to be up here. What a grab. Not to mention his touchdown on the TE screen. Good job Daniel. You're forgiving for fumbling at the goal line of the Green Bay game.
Up until the final 5 minutes of the game, I was going to give Mike McCoy "Super Dud" status. The game plan that McCoy had for Tim Tebow was absolutely horrific. Most of Denver's drives were 2 runs then a pass. It felt like a Kyle Orton game plan and it's unreasonable to expect Tebow to do well in an Orton style of game plan. As Tim showed late in the game, he can excel in a spread formation where there are crossing patterns, multiple options, screens, etc. You cannot expect Tebow to sit in the pocket with 2 WR and a TE going out on pass patterns and expect good results. Especially if he only gets on opportunity to throw, primarily on 3rd downs. Tim is a streaky player. When he is cold, he is ice cold and when he is hot, he is scorching hot. You need to work him into the game. That is why Tebow excels in the no huddle offense. He is capable of getting into a rhythm and building off each throw. McCoy needs to realize this and start calling better plays or Tim is going to fail.
Tebow was sacked 7 times by the Dolphins. If Orton was the starter, it might have been 70. Luckily for the Broncos, Tebow was starter and was able to scramble away from a ton of sacks. On the ones he couldn't get away from, the blame fell pretty squarely on the OL. Orlando Franklin in particular was bad in pass protection getting beat by Cameron Wake twice. I don't know why Fox didn't order for a TE to help Franklin with Wake, but it was a rough day for the OL after having a couple of solid weeks.
Matt is a great kicker so I'm going to assume today was an anomaly, but he picked a terrible day to play terrible. Prater missed 2 early field goals that he usually makes. One was from less then 40 and the other was more then 40. I'm not sure what happened, but let's hope it doesn't happened again. The entire complexity of this game would have been different if Matt had made his first two field goals. I give him credit for nailing the game winner. We wouldn't have won without him, but he has one job as a kicker and he went 1 for 3 on Sunday.
3rd Down Percentage
This kind of goes under Mike McCoy as well as Tim Tebow, but the 3rd down percentage was putrid against the Dolphins. Denver completed just 4 of 16 of it's 3rd downs. That number has to get better and it will. This was Tebow's first start of the year and first start in this offense. This will be a stat to keep track of going forward. Great teams complete 3rd downs. Average teams don't.
He did have one small stretch where he was playing pretty well, but he disappeared for the majority of the game. Even after Willis McGahee fractured his hand, it was Lance Ball who was making more of an impact then Moreno. At this point in his career, that is un-acceptable. for a runner like Ball to be making more of an impact then him.
This was just not Wilhite's day. He led the team in tackles with 11 but that's mostly because he kept getting beat in coverage. Wilhite got an opportunity to move above Cassius Vaughn and he failed this week. At one point, Matt Moore picked on him for an entire drive. If Matt Moore can pick on Wilhite, imagine what Matt Stafford will do.
Decision to Bench Rahim Moore
I understand the decision to bench Cassius Vaughn for Jonathan Wilhite, but I don't understand the decision to bench Rahim Moore for Quinton Carter. Rahim Moore has played pretty well for a rookie. I don't remember too many big mistakes that he made. On the other hand, I seem to remember Carter getting beat deep in the Green Bay game. Carter played fine against the Dolphins, but I don't yet understand why they pulled the plug on Moore.
In addition to horrific play calling by Mike McCoy, dropped passes were a problem for Tebow and the Broncos offense. Eddie Royal let a pass go right through his hands in the 1st half. Demayrius Thomas had a similar problem. Even Matt Willis let one go out of his hands in the 4th quarter. Hopefully the passing games starts to do better, but Denver will need more out of it's WR corps.
That's all I have for you.It has been a long, exciting, yet roller coaster of a day. Tim Tebow gave me several heart attacks watching him play today. Yet in the end, what is the final result? A victory for the Broncos as they head home to face the Lions. It wasn't pretty by any stretch but a win is a win and it's a feeling I could get used to. Until next time, MHR.