Tag: Minnesota Vikings
Tim Tebow has been brilliant in the fourth quarters. To be more precise, he’s been on top of his game during the last 3-5 minutes of a game. That strong finish has allowed him to guide the Broncos to a 6-1 record ever since he came in to replace Kyle Orton. But this time, against the Minnesota Vikings, he had a great second half and he was able to bring the Broncos from behind and set up Matt Prater’s 23-yard field goal as the game expired. So even for his detractors, and those who don’t believe in making the Tebowian movement, you got to give the guy some credit: he turned around the Denver Broncos season and even managed to tie the Oakland Raiders for the first place in the AFC West.
It seems as if was only a matter of time before Tim Tebow catch the drift and figure out how to become an efficient quarterback in the NFL. Many critics and sports commentators had said that the Heisman Trophy winner wasn’t going to adjust to the play stile of the pros, and that just like many other quarterbacks who succeeded in the NCAA Football scene, he was going to struggle and not make the cut once he played with the big boys on Sundays. Now again, it seems that after 7 consecutive starts, Tim Tebow is really picking up on his game, and he could easily be responsible for turning the Denver Broncos season around after a disastrous start under Kyle Orton.
Lets not forget that for the better part of this season, the Denver Broncos seemed to be falling down a black hole. They really had nothing going on for them. It’s not just a matter of blaming Orton, truth is that deep inside the core of the team, things weren’t running smooth and that became evident since week 1. Other then a mediocre win at home against the Cincinnati Tigers, the Broncos found themselves in a 1-4 rout before BYE week and that was enough to get the panic alarms off at Denver’s locker room. John Fox opted to bring forth Tebow and take advantage of the extra week of rest to work out a very limited and yet efficient playbook that relied heavily on the running option. Tebow and the offensive line have been able to extend the playbook and even adjust the game a bit so that Tebow can perform much more like an NFL quarterback and not depend so much on his rushing abilities.
And that’s exactly what he did against the Minnesota Vikings. Tebow threw for a career high 202 yards in 10 of 15 passing for, 2 third quarter touchdowns with no interceptions and a career best 149.3 passer rating. This is the Broncos fifth straight win. Perhaps it’s just not the numbers or the records. It is eveident that despite Christian Ponder’s efforts as a young quarterback at the helm of the Vikings, at 52-10 for the season Minnesota is not a solid rival. But it really makes no difference, Tebow is figuring it out, getting it right. If he manages to consolidate his performance as a top-notch passer and an agile and athletic rusher, he might actually have a real chance of making a name for himself in the NFL.
Tim Tebow has many critics, perhaps he has as many critics as he has fervent supporters, but despite this been his first season as a starter, many sports writers have been reluctant to cut him some slack. Whether you like his playing style or not, whether you like his stubborn optimism and his persistant inclination to run the option and struggle through the first three quarters just to put on one heck of a 4th quarter, at the end it all comes to this: it might not be pretty, it might not be elegantly pulled off, but the guy knows how to win. And at the end, it is that characteristic that is ultimately guiding the Denver Broncos into the playoffs.
As of press time the Denver Broncos are a -1½ point underdog on the NFL betting lines. Perhaps the handicappers are giving a little too much attention to the fact that the Vikings are in a delicate position and that they ought to win at home no matter what. The Minnesota Vikings are out of the playoffs race, that’s for sure. But that doesn’t mean that 2-9 Vikings don’t owe its fans a win at home. Sure, the Vikings are likely to play without Adrian Peterson for a second straight game. Peterson was sidelined last week with an sprained ankle and it seems unlikely that Leslie Frazier is going to risk one of his most valuable assets in a game that would only make a miserable season a little more tolerable.
The horizon looks a bit bleak for the Vikings who are going to face the motivated and revived Denver Broncos without their four-time All-Pro, who is seventh in the NFL with 872 rushing yards and enters Week 13 tied for the league lead with 11 rushing touchdowns. Tebow and his squad could really make a game out of this one. For the main part Tim Tebow is getting most of the credit for the 5-1 record including 4 straight wins his team has linked together since he was promoted as a starter, after Kyle Orton proved not to be reliable. But some credit, and perhaps a lot of it should go to the Broncos defense and the flexibility they’ve shown to run the option.
With Tebow at the helm the Broncos have been outstanding in the fourth quarter, but then again, they are far from perfect in the first three quarters of a game. Consider for a moment there that the Broncos have scored 11 times in the 4th quarter or in overtime since Tebow stepped, and only 10 scoring drives in the first three quarters. What’s even more important here is that Broncos defense has certainly lived up to the expectations and are have managed to allow 13 points or less in their four previous matches. The same fluctuation goes for Tebow and his passers rating. In the first half alone, Tebow is among the less efficient passers in the league. At 64.9 his passer rating is fourth worst in the league among the 37 quarterbacks that have completed 50 first half attempts. On the other hand, when it comes to the decisive fourth quarter Tebow’s rating goes up to 107.8, only surpassed by Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.
The Packers remain as the only undefeated team in the league after successfully crushing the weakening Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field for a 7-45 win. This is the biggest winning margin the Packers have put over a rival this season and for the first so far into the tournament the defense was actually an important part of the team’s success. The Pack’s defense had to prove itself after been seriously criticized by the media last week. They almost blew a big lead in the fourth quarter against the San Diego Chargers on their previous game. At the end they held onto a 45-38 win, but it got a bit ugly.
Last week the sports media went on hard about the Green Bay Packers defense. On the one said they had nothing but praises for the Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense, but they also recognized that despite the perfect record, the defense had many flaws. Suddenly the Packers defense was under fire. Last week, before they faced the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football the Packers defense were ranked 31st in pass defense (299.6 yards per game), 30th in total defense (399.6) and 17th in points per game allowed (22.4). Rumor had it that had it not been for the great moment Rodgers was experiencing the Packers would certainly be far away from a perfect season.
And that’s what got the Packers defense started and all rattled up against the Vikings. They needed to prove that it wasn’t just about the Packers offense, that the defense could actually get their act together and dominate a team like the 2-7 Vikings. Green Bay’s defense came into the game giving up nearly 300 yards passing per game, second-most in the NFL. But it was all going to change on this game. The Packers defense managed to hold down rookie quarterback Christian Ponder to 16 of 34 passing for 190 yards with no touchdown passes and forced an interception. As a matter of fact, the defense held Ponder to a low 52.3 passers rating. They also kept the Vikings star Adrian Peterson from producing more then 51 yards and a touchdown.
The Vikings on the other hand tried its best to slow down Rodgers. They managed to sack him three times and hit him hard every time he took off running. But that still didn’t keep Rodgers from completing 23 of 30 passes for 250 yards and 4 touchdown passes without a single interception. As a matter of fact, including the playoffs, the Packers have won 15 straight games dating back to last season’s 31-27 loss at New England on Dec. 19, 2010. This is actually the longest winning streak in team history.
The Packers will now try to keep on their perfect season when they host the 4-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday November 20th. The Buccaneers are currently third in the NFC South, and have now lost three consecutive games. The Minnesota Vikings on the other hand will try to win it’s third game of the season when they receive the 5-4 Oakland Raiders who currently lead the AFC West.
Even when a team is facing a 1-5 season and is starting a rookie against the Super Bowl defending champions, a team like the Vikings could come out and surprise you. They didn’t win, they didn’t manage to defeat Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, but considering the circumstances, taking a 33-27 defeat at Minneapolis is not that bad of a performance for what this guys had us used to.
Aaron Rodgers keeps on proving that he might be the finest active quarterback in the NFL. Truth be said, the Packers were expected to win this game with ease. It was evident that the Minnesota Vikings were not at their best and with a 1-6 record for the season, the 7-0 flawless Packers would be able to reel the win in with ease. The team was not holding strong and to make things worst for the Vikings, Aaron Rodgers would go head to head against a rookie. This would be Christian Ponder’s first start ever with the Vikings. And for many, it was quite a surprise that the youngster was able to put on such a good game against the strongest team in the nation.
Last week the Vikings finally had enough. The squad was being routed by the Chicago Bears and Donovan McNabb didn’t really have anything new to turn the game around. Leslie Frazer, the Vikings head coach, new that something had to be done. McNabb tthrew for 177 yards and completed 19 of 24 passes, but he was sacked five times and although he didn’t get picked, he didn’t make a touchdown pass for the better part of the game. That’s when Frazer decided to bench McNabb and bring in Christian Ponder. Considering that neither of the two QB’s were doing much it was up to the Vikings star Adrian Peterson to put on the effort. But there was really not much to do.
But this time, despite been 1-6 for the season and playing a young quarterback who was opening his first game as a starter, the Vikings actually looked like a team that deserved some respect. Ponder went for 13 of 32 passing for 219 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also got his act together and ran for 31 yards in four drives. For a moment there, when Ponder completed a touchdown pass to Michael Jenkins with 7:49 to go in the fourth quarter, it seemed as if he would have just enough time to pull on a comeback. The ball was in the Vikings hands and they wre only six points under in the score. But a couple of misplaced passes and bad calls from the offensive eventually ended the comeback.
It all really came down to the third quarter. Ponder had kept the Vikings ahead for the first two quarters, but suddenly his performance was dropping and he was picked twice by Charles Woodson, who had him figured out. As a matter of fact, Woodson was almost picked him again a couple more times, but we got to give the rookie some credit, he kept the Vikings in the winning range for start to finish.
The Green Bay Packers relied heavily on their all-star quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who finished the game with 24 of 30 passing for 335 yards and 3 touchdown passes. Pretty much everything else came from the special teams. Mason Crosby had four field goals for the Packers, including a franchise record 58-yarder.