Superman returns: grading Tebow’s 2nd start

Once again, I graded Tebow’s pass attempts in order to dis-spell the rumor that he is a one-trick pony. The statistics do not lie. Tim Tebow proved once again that he can make NFL throws. The critics will still knock his mechanics or cry that the Raiders and Texans are not quality opponents, but if one looks at the body of evidence young Mr. Tebow is showing that he does belong in the NFL. It is too early to anoint him the Holy One, but we can call him Superman again for pulling out a win with a less-than-stellar offense and a playbook that is still rather bland.

1. 1st and 10 at DEN 40 Tebow pass short left to K.Moreno to HST 38 for 22 yards (B.Cushing; T.Nolan). Nice opening pass play to test the weak Houston pass defense.

2. 1st and 10 at HOU 38 (Shotgun) Tebow pass short right to J.Gaffney to HST 17 for 21 yards (K.Jackson). FUMBLES (K.Jackson), recovered by DEN-R.Harris at HST 11. R.Harris to HST 11 for no gain (T.Nolan). Nice pass, bad ball handling by Gaffney. Houston’s defense is man-handling Denver already.

3. 1st and 10 at HOU 11 Tebow pass short right intended for B.Lloyd INTERCEPTED by J.Allen at HST 0. Touchback. Bad throw, but the first non-bubble screen toss. Denver’s OC needs to be fired. Worst throw of the game from Tebow.

4. 3rd and 7 at DEN 44 (Shotgun) Tebow pass short left to J.Gaffney to HST 45 for 11 yards (B.Pollard). Nice throw out of the shotgun.
[1st and 10 at HOU 45 (Shotgun) Tebow scrambles up the middle to HST 44 for 1 yard (B.Cushing; A.Smith).] Remember this play later in the game.

5. 3rd and 15 at 50 (Shotgun) Tebow pass short right to E.Royal to HST 41 for 9 yards (J.Allen). Nice pitch and catch.

6. 1st and 10 at DEN 22 Tebow pass deep right to B.Lloyd to DEN 41 for 19 yards (G.Quin). This was all Tebow. Great throw. This is what Tebow looks like when not tossing bubble screens.

7. 2nd and 10 at DEN 41 (Shotgun) Tebow pass incomplete short right to E.Royal [A.Smith]. Meh. Tired of screen passes already.
[3rd and 10 at DEN 41 (Shotgun) Tebow scrambles up the middle to DEN 42 for 1 yard (T.Jamison).]
1st QTR summary: Not much to see here other than screen passes, a piss-poor offensive line, and bad run support.

Tebow – C/ATT 5/7, 82 YDS, 11.7 AVG, 0 TD, 1 INT, 70.8 RAT, 2 CAR, 2 YDS, 1 Rush AVG

——————————————-

8. 1st and 10 at DEN 33 Tebow pass incomplete deep left to B.Lloyd. Smart throwaway against the onrush.

9. 3rd and 6 at DEN 37 (Shotgun) Tebow pass short left to E.Royal to 50 for 13 yards (G.Quin). This is about as good as one can run a screen.
[1st and 10 at 50 L.Ball FUMBLES (Aborted) at 50, and recovers at 50. L.Ball to HST 49 for 1 yard (B.Cushing; A.Okoye). Bobbled snap by Tebow and hasty handoff to Ball.]

10. 2nd and 9 at HOU 49 (Shotgun) Tebow pass short left to C.Buckhalter to HST 44 for 5 yards (J.Allen). Good rollout, good delivery on the run.

11. 3rd and 4 at HOU 44 (Shotgun) Tebow pass incomplete short right to E.Royal. So-so results in the face of a heavy blitz.

12. 3rd and 6 at DEN 13 (Shotgun) Tebow pass incomplete short left to J.Gaffney (J.Allen). DEN-J. Gaffney was injured during the play. Bad call by Tebow–left Gaffney out to dry. (Later in the game, Gaffney appears to forgive his QB for the set-up.)

2nd QTR summary: Not much to see here. Production dipped as the offense went to sleep and started bobbling the ball.

Tebow C/ATT 7/12, 100 YDS, 8.3 AVG, 0 TD, 1 INT, 50.7 RAT, 2 CAR, 2 YDS, 1 Rush

———–
13. 1st and 10 at DEN 35 Tebow pass deep middle to J.Gaffney to HST 15 for 50 yards (T.Nolan). Wow! That deep ball to Gaffney was awesome! It appears that Gaffney is alright after some halftime recovery.

14. 1st and 10 at DEN 20 Tebow pass deep left to B.Lloyd to DEN 38 for 18 yards (B.Pollard). Very nice drill to Lloyd while taking a shot in the back. This is what you do against a blitz–stand tall and fire away!

15. 1st and 10 at DEN 38 Tebow pass deep left to B.Lloyd to HST 21 for 41 yards (J.Allen). Holy cow! Jump ball to Lloyd. Poorly thrown with a long wind-up, but still caught at its highest point by Lloyd. Should be marked down, but one cannot argue with the result.

16. 1st and 10 at HOU 11 (Shotgun) Tebow pass incomplete short left to B.Lloyd. Overshoots Lloyd. Good call to throw it away, I guess.

17. 3rd and 8 at HOU 9 (Shotgun) Tebow pass incomplete short right to E. Royal. Right decision to throw to Eddie Royal, but overthrown. Bad.

18. 1st and 10 at DEN 26 (Shotgun) Tebow pass short right to L.Ball to DEN 39 for 13 yards (G.Quin). Yay. Another screen pass. Meh.

19. 1st and 10 at DEN 39 Tebow pass incomplete short left to B.Lloyd. Threw it away carelessly with pressure in his face. Almost intercepted.

3rd QTR summary: Tebow adds 122 yards in this quarter alone and shows off his long-bomb arm while trusting the receivers to make the jump ball catches. He shows that he can do well when standing tall in the pocket, but he also falters as a rookie does against an all-out blitz.

Tebow 11/19 C/ATT, 222 YDS, 11.7 AVG, 0 TD, 1 INT, 77.1 RAT, 2 CAR, 2 YDS, 1 Rush

——-
20. 2nd and 9 at HOU 49 Tebow pass incomplete deep left to J.Gaffney. Short-hopped. Bad throw. Gaffney was wide open.

21. 3rd and 9 at HOU 49 (Shotgun) Tebow pass deep right to B.Lloyd to HST 31 for 18 yards (B.Pollard). On the money! 18-yard gain after side-stepping and firing a bullet.
[2nd and 3 at HOU 24 (Shotgun) Tebow right guard to HST 19 for 5 yards (T.Jamison).] Classic Tebow run up the gut.
[1st and 10 at HOU 19 Tebow FUMBLES (Aborted) at HST 19, and recovers at HST 20. Tebow to HST 20 for no gain (M.Anderson).] And here is why the Broncos are 3-11.
[2nd and 11 at HOU 20 (Shotgun) Tebow sacked at HST 23 for -3 yards (T.Jamison).] Can we get someone to block that guy?

22. 3rd and 14 at HOU 23 (Shotgun) Tebow pass short left to C.Buckhalter for 23 yards, TOUCHDOWN. Good screen after a nice fake. Touchdown!

23. 1st and 10 at DEN 46 Tebow pass incomplete short left to J. Gaffney. Incomplete as Timmy as getting chased.

24. 3rd and 10 at DEN 24 (Shotgun) Tebow pass short right to C.Buckhalter to DEN 46 for 22 yards (G.Quin). Nice 22-yd gain by Buckhalter. Soft 2-deep coverage, Tebow drills it to the check-down receiver coming out of the backfield.

25. 1st and 10 at DEN 46 Tebow pass incomplete short left to J.Gaffney. Mis-fire at Gaffney. Announcer puts this on the receiver, Jabar Gaffney.

26. 2nd and 10 at DEN 46 Tebow pass short left to B.Lloyd to HST 39 for 15 yards (Z.Diles; J.Allen). Tebow off his back foot to Lloyd while evading the rush. Nice Tebow-esque play. McShay, Kiper, and Cowherd will hate this play, but it did gain 15 yards.

27. 1st and 10 at HOU 39 Tebow pass short left to J.Gaffney to HST 31 for 8 yards (G.Quin). Hit Gaffney in stride and the former Gator makes a one-handed catch.
[1st and 10 at HOU 27 (Shotgun) Tebow scrambles left end pushed ob at HST 16 for 11 yards (B.Pollard).] Tebow is learning when to shuffle out of bounds and when to take a defender head-on.
1st and 10 at HOU 16 (Shotgun) Tebow up the middle to HST 10 for 6 yards (B.Pollard). Nice 1st down run, out of bounds to freeze the clock.

28. 2nd and 4 at HOU 10 (Shotgun) Tebow pass incomplete short left to E.Royal. Throws out of bounds as receivers are covered.
3rd and 4 at HOU 10 (Shotgun) Tebow pass incomplete short left to E.Royal. PENALTY on HST-G.Quin, Defensive Pass Interference, 9 yards, enforced at HST 10 – No Play. Bad throw against the blitz, but negated by penalty.

29. 1st and 6 at HOU 6 (Shotgun) Tebow pass incomplete short left to E.Royal. Pass to Royal too high. It appears that the OC has given Tebow a license to kill as long as the play is open.
[2nd and 6 at HOU 6 (Shotgun) Tebow left end for 6 yards, TOUCHDOWN. Obvious QB draw after run-fake to the right. Touchdown Tebow!]

4th QTR summary: The Broncos have serious issues in the Red Zone. Tebow makes the best of the bad RZ play-calling by running it himself. Classic case of Tebow willing the team to win despite a bad playbook, bad offensive line, and limited receivers.

Tebow 16/29 C/ATT, 308 YDS, 10.6 AVG, 1 TD, 1 INT, 89.4 RAT, 10 CAR, 27 YDS, 2.7 AVG, 1 TD, Long 11 YDS Long

Overall game summary: Nice come-from-behind victory. Tim Tebow was not perfect, but he willed the team to a win. The screen plays are here to stay and Tebow executes them well, but his deep-ball outside the Red Zone is very good. In the Red Zone, these receivers really need a running game for support. Timmy did well in the pocket or under shotgun, but he showed that he can win games if you let him be himself. He still needs to work on play action fakes. Haters will point out that he could not elude linebackers like Brian Cushing, but only Jamison succeeded in sacking Tebow despite a very heavy rush and blitz all day long.

Grading out the Champion:
The following passes get an A: 1 (22-yard gain on screen play), 2 (21-yarder to Gaffney), 4 (11-yarder to Gaffney), 5 (9-yarder to Royal), 6 (19-yarder to Lloyd, not a screen pass!), 9 (13-yard screen to Royal), 10 (Wow, 5-yard rollout toss to Buckhalter!), 13 (best pass of the game, 5- yards to Gaffney), 14 (2nd best pass of the game…standing tall against the blitz for 18 to Lloyd), 21 (Zing! 18 yard rocket to Lloyd after side-stepping the rush), 23 (Touchdown after a nice fake), 24 (22 yard bullet to outlet receiver coming out of the backfield to Buckhalter…good reads by Tebow, good scamper by Buckhalter), 26 (the experts will grade this a D, but one cannot argue with the result, 15 yards to Lloyd), 27 (hits Gaffney in stride for 8 yards)

The following passes get a B: 15 (best highlight reel pass, but it was a jump ball for 41 yards that Lloyd bailed out Tebow on), 18 (13-yard screen to Ball)

The following passes get a C: 7 (incomplete screen pass), 8 (throw-away), 11 (meh…blitzed), 16 (throw-away), 17 (throw-away), 25 (incomplete deep pass where the receiver shadowed too deep), 28 (throw-away), 29 (throw-away)

The following passes get a D: 3 (INT in the endzone), 12 (Way to set up your receiver to get injured…Gaffney recovers during halftime), 19 (careless throw-away to Lloyd could have been intercepted), 20 (missed wide open Gaffney)

4*14 + 3*2 + 2*8+ 1*4 = 2.72 GPA. Slightly lower than my GPA from the last game, but this time he wins the game! Rookie mistakes? Yes. Professional quality passes? Definitely. Can we call him Superman? I think so. Go Gators! Go Tebow!

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