Denver Broncos

Free agency is always fun, especially the fantasy implications that come with it. If you don’t realize that it has fantasy implications, let me refresh your memory.

Last year, here is what we saw:

  • Stephen Jackson signed with the Atlanta Falcons (fantasy bust)
  • Mike Wallace signed with the Miami Dolphins. (solid fantasy year)
  • Danny Amendola signed with the New England Patriots (fantasy bust)
  • Wes Welker signed with the Denver Broncos (fantasy stud)
  • Martellus Bennett signed with the Chicago Bears (fantasy sleeper)
  • Reggie Bush signed with the Detroit Lions (fantasy sleeper)
  • Rashard Mendenhall signed with the Arizona Cardinals (bust)
  • Percy Harvin signed with the Seattle Seahawks (injuries made him a total bust)

See what I mean? Clearly, free agency impacts our fantasy squads. That was last year, though. So let’s take a look at just some of the many moves thus far for 2014, as many teams wasted no time signing big names.

Knownshon Moreno

(Denver Broncos -> Miami Dolphins)

From Super Bowl contender to a locker room full of bullies, Moreno is joining the tandem of Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas in South Beach. This is not promising for Moreno’s fantasy value. With Peyton Manning, he finished fifth last year in total yards and topped it off with 13 touchdowns. Now, he goes to a Dolphins team with two other running backs that will get significant playing time, limiting his rush attempts. However, this could give Montee Ball a boost in Denver and make him a sleeper in 2014.

Maurice Jones-Drew

(Jacksonville Jaguars -> Oakland Raiders)

Jones-Drew will join Darren McFadden, an all-time fantasy bust, in the Raiders backfield. It looks nice on paper, but Jones-Drew is not the same running back he once was. In Oakland, he will likely enter the season as the starter and be solid. He won’t be the Jones-Drew we used to know, but he should improve over his past two years.

Emmanuel Sanders

(Pittsburgh Steelers -> Denver Broncos)

It doesn’t get much better than catching balls from Peyton Manning. Sanders’ fantasy value is definitely up, and I expect a big year out of him. He will replace Eric Decker, who left for the New York Jets.

Eric Decker

(Denver Broncos -> New York Jets)

Decker is now the number one option for the Jets, and he is going to have a solid fantasy year. However, his value is definitely down from last year. Simply put, Decker just left Peyton Manning for Geno Smith and Michael Vick.

Ben Tate

(Houston Texans -> Cleveland Browns)

Tate’s value has skyrocketed. I am a fan of what Tate did in Houston when he got his carries, averaging 4.7 yards per touch over his career. He will be the starting running back, and I am boldly predicting he’ll finish as a top-12 fantasy back.

Hakeem Nicks

(New York Giants -> Indianapolis Colts)

Nicks signed a one-year deal, meaning he will have to prove he can still be a stud wide receiver after a disappointing year last year. Nicks, who failed to score a touchdown last season, is going to be playing with Andrew Luck and I expect his fantasy value will increase as a result.

Steve Smith

(Carolina Panthers -> Baltimore Ravens)

It is going to be weird not seeing him in a Panthers uniform, but Smith should step into a starting role with the Ravens and do what he does. Count on Smith, and don’t be afraid to draft him.

Darren Sproles

(New Orleans Saints -> Philadelphia Eagles)

The combination of Chip Kelly and Darren Sproles is a fantasy football dream. I expect Sproles to explode this year. I suspect Chip Kelly to use him in a variety of ways and gain a ton of yards with some scores here and there.

LeGarrette Blount

(New England Patriots -> Pittsburgh Steelers)

This is the perfect type of running back for the Steelers. A guy that can ground and pound the football, Blount is going to be a factor on the Steelers. Blount will be a goal-line back at the least, and he will be among the league leaders in touchdowns.

Golden Tate

(Seattle Seahawks -> Detroit Lions)

This definitely helps Tate because the Lions aren’t afraid to throw the ball, and Calvin Johnson will take away a lot of the coverage. If Matthew Stafford looks to his left, Tate should be open. His stock is up.

James Jones

(Green Bay Packers -> Oakland Raiders)

Jones is in a similar situation to Decker, except worse. Not only does he not have Aaron Rodgers anymore, he is going to the Raiders who haven’t had a successful passing season in a long time. His stock is down.

It has been over a week since the NFL’s free agency period began and most of the damage has already been done. Did your team fall into our list of winners or losers?


Winners:


Denver Broncos:


Clearly the 43-8 obliteration at the hands of Seattle in the Super Bowl didn’t sit well with the Broncos, as they added hybrid defensive end DeMarcus Ware, cornerback Aqib Talib and safety 
T.J. Ward on the defensive side of the ball.


The Broncos lost wide receiver Eric Decker but were able to replace him with former Steeler Emmanuel Sanders.


New England Patriots


The Patriots always seem to add the right players to fit their scheme and this free agency period was no different.


New England lost cornerback Aqib Talib to Denver but made a big splash by adding cornerback Darrelle Revis. The Patriots also added cornerback Brandon Browner from Seattle, but Browner will miss four games due to a suspension.


The Patriots were also able to resign wide receiver Julian Edelman. Edelman was a big part of New England’s success in 2013 with six touchdowns and 1,056 receiving yards.


Chicago Bears


The Bears defense was atrocious last season - they lacked a pass rush, giving opposing quarterbacks plenty of time to light them up through the air.


Chicago did lose defensive end Julius Peppers but it replaced him with Lamarr Houston and Willie Young, two solid pickups.


The Bears also added former Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings, defensive back Danny McCray and wide receiver Domenik Hixon.


Losers:


Carolina Panthers


The Panthers had a rough free agency as they lost wide receivers Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell and Hixon.


On the defensive side of the ball, Carolina also lost cornerback Captain Munnerlyn and safety Mike Mitchell.


Kansas City Chiefs


After a successful regular season, the Kansas City Chiefs lost a lot of momentum during the offseason. Free agency was not kind to Andy Reid and Co.


Kansas City lost offensive tackle Brandon Albert, offensive guard Geoff Schwartz, wide receiver Dexter McCluster, and defensive end Tyson Jackson.


Dallas Cowboys


The Cowboys lost their all-time sack leader DeMarcus Ware to the Denver Broncos. Losing Ware 
is a huge blow to the Cowboys chemistry as Ware was an important member of the defense. The Cowboys also lost defensive back Danny McCray to the Chicago Bears.


They did add backup quarterback Brandon Weeden and defensive tackle Henry Melton but losing Ware puts the Cowboys among the free agency losers. 

The Seattle Seahawks are Super Bowl Champions for the first time in their 38 years of existence.

The Seahawks defense suffocated the Denver Broncos number one scoring offense from the very start of the game leading to a 43-8 blowout.

“This is an amazing team,” Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said. “Took us four years to get to this point but they never have taken a step sideways. These guys would not take anything but winning this ballgame."

The Broncos played a horrendous game which started with a safety on the first offensive play of the game. The Broncos offense wasn’t able to recover. Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning threw two interceptions and fumbled once. Wide Receiver Demaryius Thomas also had a fumble.

Seattle took advantage of those four Denver turnovers. The Seahawks scored 21 points off turnovers. Seven of those 21 points were off of a Michael Smith interception return which helped Smith win Super Bowl MVP honors.

After a disastrous first half, down 22-0, the Broncos had an opportunity to stage a comeback but Seattle’s Percy Harvin returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown to extend the Seahawks lead to 29-0.

The Broncos’ offense finally scored at the end of the third quarter to close the gap to 36-8 but that would be the last time Denver would find the endzone.  

When the game ended, Carroll was showered with Gatorade, blue and green confetti streamed down and the Seahawks hoisted the Lombardi trophy as NFL Champions for the first time ever.

“We’ve been relentless all season. Having that mentality of having a championship day every day,” Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson said. “At the end of the day, you want to play your best football and that is what we did today.”

Super Bowl XLVIII: Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks

Metlife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.

TV: FOX

Time: 5:25 p.m. CST

Spread: Denver (-3)


This year’s Super Bowl features the number one scoring and yards defense as well as the top-ranked offense in scoring and yards.

This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object; the offensive juggernaut Denver Broncos meet the stingy Seattle Seahawks defense in a Super Bowl matchup for the ages.

The Broncos make their first appearance in the Super Bowl since 1998 while the Seahawks make their second appearance, first since 2006.

This is only the second time in the past two decades that the top seeded teams in the AFC and NFC will meet in the super bowl.

The Seahawks will rely on their star-studded secondary to keep Peyton Manning in check. While Manning and the Broncos will try to exploit any possible mistakes made by the Seattle defense.

This game will be won by the team that can use their style to their advantage. Will the Seattle defense contain the Broncos high-scoring offense or will the Broncos offense be too much for the Seattle to handle?

 

Matchups


Quarterback

Advantage: Denver

Peyton Manning has had one of the best seasons any NFL quarterback in the history of the game. During the regular season, Manning threw for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns, both NFL single-season records. Manning is a four-time MVP, a Super Bowl MVP and two super bowl appearances. While Seattle’s Russell Wilson has had success during his two years in the NFL, Manning’s experience gives the Broncos the advantage.


Running Backs
Advantage: Seattle
Known for his “Beast Mode” nickname, Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch rushed for over 1,200 yards and scored 12 touchdowns this year. Complimented by Robert Turbine, Lynch and the Seahawks have an advantage over Denver’s Knowshon Moreno, Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman.


Wide Receivers
Advantage: Denver
Denver has a trio of receivers - Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, and Wes Welker that have scored 35 touchdowns and have accumulated over 3,400 receiving yards. Throw in tight end Julius Thomas, who had 12 touchdowns during the season, and the Broncos’ receivers clearly outshine Seattle.


Defensive Line
Advantage: Seattle
Seattle’s line has a slight advantage over Denver. Seattle has not lost any defensive lineman while Denver lost defensive end Derek Wolfe and defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson.


Linebackers
Advantage: Denver
Denver lost Von Miller for the season in December; Miller was one of the Broncos’ best linebackers. The Broncos still have linebackers Danny Trevathan and Wesley Woodyard. While Seattle has three solid linebackers - Bruce Irvin, Malcolm Smith and Bobby Wagner - Denver has a slightly better linebacker corps.


Secondary
Advantage: Seattle
Known as the Legion of Boom, Seattle’s secondary is the best in the NFL. Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas anchor the secondary. Sherman and Thomas account for 13 of Seattle’s 28 interceptions. Kam Chancellor and Byron Maxwell are Seattle’s other secondary starters. Seattle’s starting secondary accounted for 204 tackles and four forced fumbles.


Prediction
Seattle 26
 Denver 24

Denver defeats Patriots 26-16; Advance to Super Bowl XLVIII

Late in the third quarter, down 20-3 to the Denver Broncos, the New England Patriots had a decision to make-- go for it on a fourth and two at the Denver 30 or kick a 47-yard field goal down.

The Patriots rolled the dice and came up empty as Denver sent a well-timed blitz and sacked Tom Brady.

Whether New England wants to admit it or not, the game had been long decided before that moment. Peyton Manning and the Denver offense carved through the Patriots defense which lead to a 26-16 Broncos victory.

Manning outshined rival quarterback Tom Brady throwing for 400 yards and two touchdowns. Manning played a well-crafted game, completing an AFC championship game record tying 32 passes.

“It's very rewarding when you put a lot of hard work into the offseason and the regular season,” Manning said. “It pays dividends with a huge win.”

Meanwhile, New England was held in check for most of the game. It took the Patriots over 50 minutes to find the end zone by the time they scored it was already too late.

New England was able to score 13 points in the final ten minutes but fell short when they were unable to punch in a two-point conversion to make it a one possession game.

With the win, Denver will make their first super bowl appearance since 1998. For Manning, it will be his third appearance in the super bowl, his first with the Broncos.

“We kept our nose to the grindstone, kept persevering,” Manning said. “It’s gratifying to get this win today.”

Denver will matchup against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII at Metlife Stadium on February 2, 2014.

 

Late turnovers sink 49ers; Seahawks advance to Super Bowl XLVII with 23-17 win

49ers quarterback Collin Kaepernick launched a pass in to the end zone intended for Michael Crabtree, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman tipped the pass and it landed in the hands of linebacker Malcolm Smith.

The interception sealed a 23-17 victory for Seattle and a trip to the super bowl.

“I’m the best corner in the game,” exclaimed Sherman in a post-game interview with FOX’s Erin Andrews. In another interview, Sherman said that he “knew it would come down to (the defense) in the back end to win this thing.”

The game was a classic heavyweight fight, each team delivering and taking shots. The 49ers were first to strike with a strip-fumble on the first play of the game.

Kaepernick was key to the 49ers offense, he lead the 49ers with 130 rushing yards. But the Seahawks were able to take advantage of Kaepernick’s mistakes, he turned the ball over three times in the second half.

For the Seattle offense, momentum swung their way when Marshawn Lynch scored on a 40 yard run. Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson managed the game with 215 yards passing and one touchdown.

The NFC championship game was defined by the defensive play by both teams. The 49ers made two fourth down stops and forced a turnover. But it was the Seattle that landed the last punch with three forced turnovers in the second half.

“This is as sweet as it gets,” Sherman said.

“This is really special,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll added, “It would really be a mistake to not remember the connection and the relationship between this football team and the 12th Man and these fans. It's unbelievable."

Seattle will meet the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII at Metlife Stadium on February 2, 2014.

Tony Romo might have played the best football game ever by a Dallas Cowboys quarterback for 58 minutes on Sunday afternoon against the Denver Broncos. On his first 35 throws, Romo completed 25 passes for 506 yards, passing Don Meredith for the team’s single-game record. He also tossed five touchdowns and racked up a bazillion fantasy points in those 58 minutes.

Unfortunately for Romo and the Cowboys, an NFL game is 60 minutes, and this team always finds a way to stumble at the end. 

With the score knotted at 48 and the Cowboys facing a 2nd-and-16 from their own 14-yard line, Romo did what people always expect him to do in clutch situations: He threw an interception.

It’s never a good idea to give Peyton Manning, one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, a short field. But the Cowboys did just that, and a Matt Prater field goal as time expired gave the Broncos a 51-48 victory and the Cowboys their second straight loss.

The throw by Romo was not the best decision, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time. But what’s new?

In last season’s finale against the Washington Redskins, Romo threw a late interception, setting up the Redskins to win the game and head to the playoffs. In Week 2 of this season, Romo diminished his solid game with his fourth quarter performance against the Kansas City Chiefs. And who can forget about the fumbled snap against the Seattle Seahawks back in 2007? 

Romo is a very talented quarterback, and statistically, he is excellent. But this is what Romo does. This has been the story for Romo his whole career. He can never perform in pressure situations, and when it comes to clutch time, he falters. 

While Cowboys fans are tired of seeing Romo make costly mistakes with the game on the line, the blame should not be all on Romo; the defense was also terrible. 

After all, Dallas’ defense did give up a whopping 51 points Sunday. Moreover, DeMarco Murray and the rushing attack were nonexistent.

While Romo is falling on his own sword for the loss, it’s the entire Cowboys team that is stuck in a rut, finding creative ways to lose.

The Cowboys are 2-3 for the third straight season, a record that hasn’t taken them to the playoffs since the Jerry Jones era. 

Despite all that occurred Sunday for the Cowboys, they still stand at the top of the National Football Conference East, tied with the Philadelphia Eagles. There are 11 games to be played, and when seven or eight wins could win them a division this year, there is still plenty of time to get better and forget about that one mistake Romo made.

Most fans were sitting in their homes Sunday afternoon, trying to forget the embarrassing shellacking Texas suffered the previous night against BYU, when it was announced Manny Diaz had been relieved of his duties as defensive coordinator. 

Then entered Greg Robinson, a veteran coach with 36 years of experience with seasons ranging from Super Bowl wins to barely any wins. Robinson takes over Diaz’s duties after Texas suffered its worst season defensively in 2012 and gave up the most yards in school history 
against BYU.

“I think Greg has a track record that’s as good as anybody in this country,” head coach Mack Brown said. “The guy has won Super Bowls as a defensive coordinator, won Rose Bowls as a defensive coordinator. He’s a veteran. He’s a seasoned veteran. He’s confident. Kids gravitate to him. He just makes kids play better.”

Robinson started his coaching career as an assistant at the University of the Pacific in 1975. After stints at Cal State Fullerton, NC State and UCLA, Robinson moved onto the NFL where he became a defensive line coach for the New York Jets. In 1994, the veteran took his first job as a defensive coordinator.

In that first year as a defensive playcaller, the Jets went 6-10 and gave up an average of 18.4 points per game.

He bounced back from that disappointing season, winning two Super Bowl rings with the Denver Broncos. Robinson in 1997 and 1998. They only lost six games those two years, including a 14-2 record in 1998, which remains a franchise record.

After a two-year stretch with Kansas City, Robinson moved to Texas and became the new defensive coordinator for the Longhorns.

Texas fans remember Robinson’s lone season in Austin for the Rose Bowl the team won with his defense. Robinson finished the season Top 25 nationally in scoring defense, rushing defense and total defense. His unit gave up only 3.2 yards per carry.

“Greg’s a true veteran,” Brown said. “He makes great adjustments. When he was here before we tackled very well. We chased the ball. We were very sound fundamentally. He’s a guy kids love to play for.”

One of Robinson’s biggest features is halftime adjustment, which Texas has lacked these past two seasons. During their 2004 season, the Longhorns outscored their opponents 105-3 in the second half.

After Texas, however, Robinson’s impressive statistics started to dwindle. As the head coach for Syracuse, he went 10-37 through four seasons, the worst for the Orangemen.

As the defensive coordinator for Michigan, Robinson once again struggled. In his first season, the defense finished 82nd in the nation while in his second season his squad ranked last in the conference in total passing, scoring defense and total defense.

Mack Brown tried his best to excuse Robinson’s past troubles.

“They [Michigan] had really bad players and a bad team,” Brown said. “He came in and I think they made him change the defense to something he didn’t believe in. I’m going to let him get back to what he knows.”

The Longhorns have given Robinson a second chance. In July, he returned to Texas to be a football analyst for the team. He worked out of his Los Angeles home to review film, collect data and help the team make adjustments when needed.

Now he’s back to his old coaching ways. When asked if he’ll turn things around for this team, Mack Brown said it simply.

“I think so,” Brown said. “Or I wouldn’t have brought him back.”

Dolphins running back Reggie Bush made a splash against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, tallying two touchdowns.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

With two weeks of NFL games in the books, fantasy football frenzy has once again taken over. To ease the stress of creating a powerhouse starting lineup this week, here are a few players to embrace and a few others to avoid:

Start:

1) Reggie Bush, RB, Miami Dolphins
Wow, Bush played a great game against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, rushing for 172 yards and two touchdowns. The question now is whether or not Bush can do it again this week against the Jets and Rex Ryan’s defense. There’s reason to believe he can and he will. The Jets surrendered a total of 194 yards to C.J. Spiller in Week 1, a player with speed and elusiveness similar to Bush’s. With a rookie quarterback under center for the Dolphins, expect Bush to get the ball early and often.

2) Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos
Despite the Broncos’ lackluster performance as a team Monday against the Falcons, Thomas had a solid outing, catching eight balls for 78 yards and one touchdown. Over the span of two games, Thomas has almost 200 yards receiving and is clearly Peyton Manning’s primary target. Although cornerback Johnathan Joseph will challenge him this week when the Broncos face the Texans, Thomas will get plenty of passes thrown his way and should be able to put up big numbers.

3) Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
Stafford has been a disappointment up to this point in the season, managing only two touchdowns while tossing four interceptions. In his defense, he faced an improved Rams defense in Week 1 and arguably the best defense in the NFL in San Francisco this past week. Expect Stafford to break out of his early-season slump and throw for several scores against the Tennessee Titans, who allowed three passing touchdowns from Philip Rivers in Week 2.

Sit:

1) Michael Turner, RB,  Atlanta Falcons
Turner’s start to the season had been anything but ideal even before he was pulled over for speeding and drunken driving Tuesday. Turner has managed a measly 74 yards rushing and a touchdown in the Falcons’ two victories, numbers that will make any fantasy owner cringe. Unfortunately for Turner, things are unlikely to improve this week when he faces the San Diego Chargers, who lead the NFL in rush defense.

2) Jackie Battle, RB,  San Diego Chargers
Many fantasy owners will be tempted to jump on the Jackie Battle bandwagon following his 69-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Titans on Sunday. However, Battle appears to be fool’s gold and should not be viewed as a reliable fantasy threat. With a healthy Ryan Mathews set to return this week, expect Battle’s workload to diminish significantly outside of a few goal line plays, making him a risky player.

3) Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis Rams
Bradford torched the Redskins this past Sunday, passing for 310 yards and three touchdowns. Despite this, do not expect Bradford to put up similar numbers Sunday against a tough, physical Chicago Bears defense. Given the Bears’ ability to pressure opposing quarterbacks and the Rams’ instability along the offensive line, Bradford could struggle.

 Printed on Thursday, September 20, 2012 as: Starting Bush a no-brainer

Tebowmania reaching nauseating levels

Tim Tebow has been one of the NFL's most polarizing athletes. The Bronco's quarterback has helped his team win seven of its last nine games, but has yet to display the traditional, necessary skill set to be an elite signal caller.
Tim Tebow has been one of the NFL's most polarizing athletes. The Bronco's quarterback has helped his team win seven of its last nine games, but has yet to display the traditional, necessary skill set to be an elite signal caller.

Miami quarterback Matt Moore has led the Dolphins to wins in five of their last seven games, throwing 11 touchdowns and only two interceptions during that span.

Last year’s Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton hasn’t had as much luck racking up victories for the 5-9 Panthers but has scored 30 touchdowns and is on pace to amass nearly 5,000 total yards this season.

Texas native Andy Dalton, a rookie quarterback like Newton, has helped Cincinnati double its win total from last year as the 8-6 Bengals have a chance to reach the postseason for just the third time since 1990.

But thanks to Tim Tebow, nobody cares about that. Not nearly as much as they care about the God-fearing former Florida star who Linda Cohn called the “Mile High Messiah” on SportsCenter Saturday night.

The next day, Tebow and the Denver Broncos fell to the New England Patriots, 41-23. Denver built a 16-7 lead early in the second quarter, a shocking development considering how slowly Tebow usually started games. But Tom Brady – a three-time Super Bowl champ who somehow took a back seat to Tebow last week – and the Patriots reeled off 27 unanswered points en route to beating the Broncos.

How fans, TV analysts, writers, and sports radio talk show hosts will react in the coming days remains to be seen. But one thing is certain – they will be talking about Tim Tebow, just like they have since the season began. There are the apologists and cynics, supporters and doubters, lovers and haters. And because of the polarizing figure Tebow has become, there isn’t much gray area for people to roam. You have to pick a side.

It’s not Tebow’s fault. It’s those that cover him – those that declare “Tebowing” an actual word, those that air “’Twas the Night Before Tebow” songs the night before he plays, and those that provide fuel to the Tebow fire that has engulfed the NFL.

Tebow’s and the Broncos’ story is a remarkable one but one that has been framed in the wrong way, that is, every twist and turn has been framed in terms of Tebow. Denver’s most recent contest should be seen as another dominating performance by Brady, Belicheck, and the Patriots that saw Tebow deliver a promising performance. Nonetheless, Tebow is sure to get the lion’s share of attention.

The Broncos’ most recent victory could have been perceived as one of the year’s most entertaining games and improbable comebacks. Denver could not have triumphed without all three of its units coming through down the stretch – believe it or not, multiple players were responsible for the victory.

That seemed like the obvious way to look at the game, considering the fact that Bears tailback Marion Barber lost a fumble in overtime, a scenario made possible by Matt Prater’s 59-yard field goal in the final seconds of regulation. Prater’s 51-yard boot sealed the Broncos’ 13-10 win in overtime. But you didn’t hear nearly as much about the clutch kicker as you did about his quarterback.

Instead, the mainstream sports media has put Tebow on a pedestal he’ll fall off of eventually. He certainly stumbled Sunday. The second-year signal-caller threw for close to 200 yards, ran for nearly another 100, and scored twice against a mediocre New England defense. But he lost 53 yards on four sacks and a fumble that led to a Tom Brady touchdown run that would provide the Patriots with all the points they would need.

Tebow is an average quarterback with below-average passing skills and above-average mobility. His uncanny ability to make plays when it matters most is undeniable and he doesn’t turn the ball over often. His teammates clearly feed off his unyielding will to win and play better because they’re around him.

But Tebow is by no means an elite NFL quarterback and far from one that can lead a team to the Super Bowl. He hasn’t even completed half of his passes this season. Calling Tebow “a winner” would not be entirely accurate because it does a disservice to the Broncos’ much-improved defense and Prater, one of the league’s best kickers. One should correct themselves and characterize Denver’s team “a winner” before making that mistake.

And don’t call me a Tebow hater. I’m a Tebow realist.