The Denver Broncos are absolutely remarkable. The play has been remarkable. The finishes are epic. It’s all so incredibly impressive and stunning.
And none of the above is a reference to Tim Tebow.
Coach John Fox has turned the Broncos' defense totally around. Denver is suddenly a legit playoff contender. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love Tebow. I campaigned for him to start in Denver. I am wowed by Tebow defying logic and football sense.
He looks like a third grader for three quarters and has the Midas touch late in games. Tebow’s magic late in games is special and, frankly, unprecedented, based upon his lack of success during the games as a whole. But make no mistake. The reason he is in position for these classic moments is the play of the Denver defense. As a result, Fox has emerged as a legit candidate for Coach of the Year.
Fox inherited a mess, a Denver team that Josh McDaniels ran into the ground with foolish and haphazard personnel decisions. McDaniels foolishly shooed off defensive coordinator Mike Nolan after the 2009 season. The Broncos' defense was an embarrassment last year. Plus, in addition to the lack of players, McDaniels solely picked guys to play in the 3-4 defense. Fox and new defensive coordinator Dennis Allen strictly run an aggressive 4-3.
Especially in a year in which offseason programs were truncated because of the work stoppage, I never thought the Broncos would turn it around on defense this quickly.
Since Tebow became the starter, the Broncos are 5-1. In those five victories, the Denver defense has played excellent ball.
On Sunday, Elvis Dumervil pressured Philip Rivers constantly and sacked him twice. Dumervil’s emergence is noteworthy. He has been dealing with a plethora of nagging injuries all year long. Dumervil’s entire season last year was stunted by a pectoral injury. And he was an outside linebacker in the 3-4 under McDaniels. He’s healthy now and thriving at end, a position he excelled at in college at Louisville.
And then there’s Von Miller.
Broncos general manager Brian Xanders explained to me after the draft that with all due respect to Marcell Dareus or anyone else, drafting Miller was a no-brainer. The pass rush was anemic last season. Miller is an absolute beast. He has surpassed Aldon Smith or anyone else for the No. 1 spot on my ballot for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Miller spooked the heck out of Mark Sanchez two weeks ago. He rattled Rivers on Sunday. Fox and Allen deserve a ton of credit for coaching up this rookie. Miller has a whopping 10.5 sacks this year, to go along with three forced fumbles. He’s beyond Rookie of the Year. We are talking about a candidate for first team All-Pro.
The venerable Champ Bailey might not be playing at his Hall of Fame level, but he remains a great player. Brian Dawkins isn’t the safety he was in Philadelphia, but there’s plenty of gas left in the tank.
And with the way Tebow plays quarterback, with his highly inaccurate ways before the end-of-the-game genius, this defense has a slim margin for error. Yet it responds to every challenge with physically dominant play. And just like the quarterback who thrives during “Tebow Time,” the Broncos' defense has been incredibly clutch late in games, too.
You know who really appreciates the effort of the Denver defense? That would be one Mr. Tim Tebow.
Tebow joined us on the SiriusXM Blitz on Monday and told us: “We have great players and leaders like Champ Bailey and Brian Dawkins. We care a lot about each other. We are not going to be the first to flinch.”
Tebow deserves a lot of credit for giving this team, including the defense, confidence and believability.
The Broncos defy logic. They shouldn’t be winning these games if you watch Tebow for four quarters. Tebow, who acknowledged he must improve his footwork and throwing the ball, looks horrible for 3-1/2 quarters before he takes over.
The Tebow haters are flabbergasted. I swear I thought Merril Hoge was going to literally explode on live TV the other day. The naysayers are frustrated. They can’t figure how Tebow, Willis McGahee and this option, college attack are 5-1 since Tebow took over.
Here’s a suggestion. Look at the defense.
via Adam Schein - Foxsports.com
This was posted as a fanpost, since the article was too big and I didn't want to eat up the fanshot section.