The second best moment of the day for Tim Tebow: Tim, if you’re still waiting for that perfect someone, we’ve found her. Unfortunately, she’s willing to commit a sin for you, so that makes her the devil…
Best Rex Grossman impersonation: John Beck’s first drive as the new, franchise-saving (?) quarterback in Washington consisted of two check-down completions for 16 yards, followed by two incompletions, a false start, and then a fumble after a sack that turned the ball over in Washington territory. There’s a lot of football and a lot of sucking left in this season, but if we held the draft tomorrow the Redskins–one of the most QB-needy teams in the league–would pick 18th.
Beck later settled down and had a decent game, completing 22 of his 37 pass attempts for 279 yards with a touchdown and an interception in Washington’s 33-20 loss. But overall he gave Washington fans about exactly what they could expect from a quarterback who’s made his first start since 2007. He’s only a marginal improvement over Grossman for an offense that’s been saddled with two mediocre arms.
Toss in Tim Hightower’s knee injury today that looked pretty bad, and it’s difficult to get excited about anything the Redskins are doing offensively, especially when Roy Helu and Ryan Torain combined for minus-six yards on three carries. Washington had 92 rushing yards against a Carolina defense that’s the second-worst unit in the league at defending the run, and was giving up 140.3 yards per game prior to this week.
The worst game in the history of the world: Or at least it was until about the five-minute mark of the fourth quarter. If Tim Tebow wasn’t playing against Miami and making his first start of 2011, there would have been no reason whatsoever to put yourself through the pain of watching Denver’s game against Miami, which is the most obvious statement you’ll read all day.
Sometimes the most obvious statements, though, are the most difficult to acknowledge, and that’s the case with many fans in Denver and their perception of Tebow. He’s your starting quarterback now partly because John Elway and the Broncos’ brass have to see if he’s more than just a college running back, but he’s mostly there to placate and please. Broncos fans now have their savior, and for the next week they won’t let us forget that by the grace of God Tebow somehow willed a five-yard screen pass into the hands of tight end Daniel Fells, and then tied the game with a successful two-point conversion on a draw that the entire continent saw coming.
The Broncos understandably and predictably wanted to ease in their new quarterback, but maybe it’d be a good idea to see if the man they’re paying to throw a football with some degree of accuracy can actually accomplish that fundamental task. Midway through the third quarter Tebow had just seven passing attempts, only three of which were successful, and 119 of Tebow’s 260 yards came in the fourth quarter. That tentative play-calling left Tebow exposed in the pocket with no fear of a down field threat, which contributed to seven sacks. If you’re going to display confidence in him during crunch time and if the intention is to see what Jesus can do over this 11-game trial run, why not take a little leap of faith the rest of the game, especially against one of the league’s few remaining winless teams?
Going a little further with the pain of this afternoon’s games, three of them didn’t have an offensive touchdown until the closing minutes of the third quarter, and one barn-burner didn’t have a touchdown at all (Cleveland/Seattle). Riveting stuff.
Worst opening quarter adjustment: In the first quarter against Atlanta the Lions had -1 yards of offense, so at that point in the game I still had more offensive yards while sitting bare-footed in the living room of the GLS world headquarters (Gagnon’s condo) than Matthew Stafford and company. The absence of Jahvid Best didn’t take long to become painful, and in the opening quarter his replacement, Maurice Morris, had just eight yards on three carries.
That situation improved by the end of Detroit’s loss to Atlanta, with Morris and Keiland Williams combining for a respectable 94 yards against a rushing defense that’s one of eight units in the league giving up less than 100 yards per game. Still, running only 18 times between two runners is no way to soften up a secondary and keep Stafford upright, and eventually that mission was highly unsuccessful.
Best attempt to make a team with a cuddly nickname look scary: Raiders fans are supposed to be brutish, petrifying people. Their team logo is a dude with an eye patch and menacing swords crossing in the background. Anything less than crazy would be a dramatic disappointment.
Dolphins on the other hand are highly intelligent and pleasant creatures. They make cute squeaky noises, and Hollywood produces heart-warming family movies about determined little dolphin fish who learn to swim despite not having a tail. So something had to be done to toughen up the Miami Dolphin image. We’re just not sure if the clown theme was the right decision…
Loudest request for a paycheck: Matt Forte is silently screaming, and dying inside. Perhaps that last part was a complete fabrication for dramatic effect, but Forte is definitely making his case for a sizable paycheck sometime in the very near future, and he knows that if the Bears aren’t going to sign that paycheck, someone else will.
An odd thing happens when Forte is actually given the ball: he runs with it, and he runs very far. In Chicago’s first three games Forte had only 35 carries, and he averaged a very weak 3.4 yards per carry. At some point after Week 3 an anvil fell on Mike Martz’s head, and since then Forte’s had 89 attempts. In the first half of today’s game in London he rushed for 108 yards, becoming the first running back since 2004 to rush for over 1,000 yards in just seven games.