Tag: nfl playoffs
At 9-3 for the season, the Denver Broncos have proved that their call earlier this year to let go off Tim Tebow and bring back a veteran and experienced quarterback such as Peyton Manning to lead the pack. Sure there were many concerns regarding the 5 neck surgeries that Manning had undergone, and let’s not forget that he was out for an entire season before he made his change from the Indianapolis Colts to play with the Denver Broncos. And yet, not only can you teach an old dog some new tricks, as a matter of fact, an experienced quarterback and amazing leader as Manning can make miracles for a team’s morale. At 9-3 for the season and with a 7-game win streak, the Denver Broncos have now secured their spot for the NFL playoffs.
The Broncos signed Manning at a bargain price. Why, because the team letting him go was unsure if he could deliver. Curiously enough, Peyton Manning now has 29 touchdown passes this season, passing Jake Plummer and John Elway for the most scoring throws in a single season. And he still has four more games to go this season. The offensive prowess of the Broncos is just mind blowing. Truth is that Manning makes it all look too easy. The 36-year-old quarterback completed 27 of 38 passes for 242 yards, completing three touchdown passes and 1 interception. He brilliantly lead the Broncos to a 30-plus point win for the sixth time over their seven-game win streak. Certainly a huge improvement over what we say last season. Sure enough, Tim Tebow was algo able to win the AFC West Title last year, but he did it with an 8-8 record and played close-to-the-vest, low-scoring games.
But it was more than just Manning making the headlines. Mitch Unrein, the second year defensive lineman from Wyoming had a big role in this win. Unrein caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Manning for a 7-0 lead midway into the first quarter. He followed that up with a big hit on Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman that forced a bad throw that ended up in Von Miller’s hads who sprinted for the endzone and gave the Broncos a 10-28 lead late in the third quarter.
Josh Freeman, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, finished the game with 18 of 39 passing for 242 yards with 2 touchdown passes and one interception. “The hype these guys get, it’s well deserved,” Freeman said in the postgame press conference about the defeat. “They get after it. The front four, they do a good job of timing their blitzes. The Denver defense played a great game today.” Oh they certainly did. Let it there be no doubt about that one.
Manning on the other hand didn’t want to celebrate too much. He know he had a good game, but he’s trying to stay focused on the bigger picture. “What I liked about the second touchdown was that Demaryius was seeing the same thing I was seeing,” Manning said to a reporter after the game. “We had another route on. We changed it at the line. We were thinking along the same lines. I like to see the communication, the growth.”
Alex Smith was playing his first postseason game against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, a team that had just finished one of the most proficient regular seasons ever breaking records for most yardage in a single season, and having Drew Brees brake Dan Marino’s 27-year-old record for most passing yards in a season. Truth be said, there were very high expectations for the Saints. They had a brilliant team that relied heavily on the most efficient offense we had seen in over a decade, but the San Francisco 49ers proved once again that perseverance is everything and managed to close a thrilling 32-36 last minute game with a win.
It was an epic battle. For a moment there, it seemed as if the Saints were going to be able to pull of a comeback when Drew Brees completed a 66-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham with only 1:37 left on the game. It looked as if the Saints were going to get it together and recover from a 17-point deficit to keep on their winning run. That was until Alex Smith simply put an end to it all when, with only 9-seconds left of on the game, he connected a 14-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis to leave the Saints stunned in the field.
At the end, the Saints have no one but themselves to blame for missing out on the Conference Finals. The Saints gave up five turnovers and the San Francisco 49ers just didn’t let that one slide. They practically capitalized on the Saints every mistake, and at the end, Jim Harbaugh’s squad proved that even in the modern, wide-open NFL, a team with a solid game plan and a bullet proof defense can overpower one of the league’s most fluid offenses.
The 49ers won their first playoffs match in 9 years, and now will have to face the New York Giants, who are coming off an impressive win over the most-favorite Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. It might be still a bit early to take a wild guess on how this game is going to evolve, but it seems that with Eli Manning and the Giants getting a powerful boost to the squad stamina, they are going to be a really though team to beat.
According to Stats LLC, Smith made the San Francisco 49ers the first team in NFL history to score two lead-changing touchdowns in the final 3 minutes to win a playoff game. For all we care, he was really the secret ingredient to make this one of the most thrilling and intense games we’ve witnessed in the last few years.
The Saints were coming into San Francisco with the motivation that an almost perfect season had given them. They were confident about their offense, and their star quarterback performance, but at the end, Brees just couldn’t deliver. The Saints starting quarterback had managed to link consecutive 600-yard games, but on Saturday’s afternoon he only completed 40 of 63 passes for 462 yards and four touchdowns and was sacked three times. And that’s when it all went down.
Records are made to be broken. The New Orleans Saints seem to be making that they personal motto for this season. They are looking as strong and as confident as one could wish and with this unprecedented run, they are looking more determined and focused than the 2009 squad that won the first ever Super Bowl for the franchise. And the best ingredients of that recipe for success are still here. It all comes down to Drew Brees and his extraordinary game and to Sean Peyton, a head coach that has managed to go all out and take risks in order to make every win, a very significant and boosting one.
New Orleans broke the postseason mark for total yards with 626, beating the record set 49 years ago. Brees lead an almost flawless offensive throwing for 466 yards, including two 40+ yards completions, in 33 of 43 passing, for three touchdowns and no interceptions. Just to get the record straight, that’s the most yards ever in a regulation time playoffs match.
The Saints offense, as it has usually been the case this season, chipped in plenty not only to pull a 28-45 win at the Superdome, but to prove that it was not a lucky shot that this offense set an NFL record for yards from scrimmage this season (7,474). And again, just to put this into perspective, consider that the Saints outgained the Detroit Lions on the ground 167 yards to 32.
Matthew Stafford threw for 380 yards and three TDs for the Lions. It would had been a good game for him, had he not also thrown 2 interceptions. But despite holding on tight during the first two quarters of the game, the New Orleans Saints simply blew the Lions defense apart in the second half.
Some out there have criticized the Saints coach, Sean Peyton, for taking too much risks and not knowing when to slow things down and rest his starters. Some of his detractors have insinuated that with this tendency, he is just looking at the smaller picture, rather than focusing on winning another title. On the press conference after the game, Peyton even took the time to say this: “We just focus on winning. We’re not focused on yards and records and I’m serious when I say that.”
The Lions put on a decent figth. All-Pro receiver Calvin Johnson had 12 receptions for 211 yards and two touchdowns to take the best of the Lions highlight reel. This is quite a good mark considering that this is his playoff debut with Detroit. But despite his efforts it was too little and too late to hold off the Saints who not only were brilliant in attack. As a matter of fact, the Saints’ defense ended the game in tthe fourth quarter with two decisive interceptions by Jabari Greer.
Now the Saints will travel to San Francisco to face the 13-3 49ers in the second round matchup. As of press time the Saints are a -3 ½ point favorite on the spread for this game. The 49ers will take on the field at 4:30pm ET on Saturday January 14th.
Last week, Tim Tebow was going to face the Pittsburgh Steelers on the Wild Card round after dropping his last three games of the regular season as the Denver Broncos starting quarterback. Still, his brilliant mid-season performance, filled with miracle-like fourth quarter comebacks had made a strong enough case to get them into winning their division. On the brink of what many considered to be the end of their postseason run, John Elway, the Broncos CEO, went on a limp and told Tebow to pull the trigger, hoping that his quarterback might just need a little more motivation to get his passing game straight.
And pull the trigger he did. Not only did he manage to get his passing game straight, he was also able to pull of one heck of an upset against the 8-point favorite on the NFL betting spread, Pittsburgh Steelers, at the Mile High stadium, for a 29-23 win in the AFC Wild Card round. And he did it with one heck of a play. Tim Tebow connected a brilliant 80-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas in the first play of overtime to shock the Steelers and send them packing.
It was one heck of a play. It only took the Denver Broncos 11 seconds to set up the winning pass. Once he got his momentum, Thomas was unstoppable. First took catch the ball coming from the Broncos’ 38, stiff-armed Ike Taylor and then outraced backup safety Ryan Mundy to the end zone. And just like that, the Denver Broncos put the quickest ending to an NFL overtime.
It was a mixed game for Tebow. He had been brilliant in the first half, including a swift 20-point run in the second quarter, but he had done nothing in the second half, and suddenly it seemed as if the Steelers would take the best of him in overtime. But then again, it was as if a completely different Tebow came out of the for the overtime to just send that missile down the middle of the field. He ran to the Steelers end-zone and did his tebownian thing before making the victory lap. The fans at the Mile High Stadium were going crazy.
Tim Tebow finished the night with season high 316 yards via 10 of 21 passing for 2 touchdowns and no interceptions. The injured Ben Roethlisberger finished the night with22 of 40 passing for 289 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The bottom line is that the Pittsburgh Steelers needed much more than what Big Ben’s injured ankle would let him do, and at the end, that made all of the difference. Don’t get me wrong here, the Steelers put on one heck of a fight. Ben Roethlisberger leaded a rallying injury-depleted Pittsburgh from a two-touchdown halftime deficit with 10 points in the final 10 minutes, but that 11-second play in overtime made all the difference.
The Denver Broncos are now heading to New England for a second-round game against the top-seeded Patriots on Saturday night. It’s a little hard to say if Tebow will be able to pull of something like this on Tom Brady and the Pats. Last time they met the Patriots crushed the Broncos 41-23 just four weeks ago. As of press time the Pats are a -13 ½ point favorite on the spread. Let’s just see if Tebow and the Broncos can pull off another overwhelming upset.