Patrick Daugherty

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Timely Tim

Friday, November 18, 2011

The most amazing thing about Tim Tebow?

For a man who stirs so much debate, he sure knows how to leave you speechless. Not jaw on the ground “that was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen" speechless, but “I’ve watched this quarterback play five games and still don’t have any idea what to think” speechless.  

Tebow’s game-winning drive on Thursday — 95 yards of unadultered chaos — was baffling in the truest sense of the word considering what transpired in the game’s first 55 minutes.

As helpfully chronicled by Gregg Rosenthal, Denver’s first 10 drives produced exactly two first downs, eight three-and-outs and three points. Five of those 10 drives started in Jets territory. That’s unspeakably bad offensive football. You'd feel guilty if you did it to your brother on Madden.

So why Tebow was able to so thoroughly turn the tables once everything was on the line truly defies explanation. It could’ve been that the Jets were simply worn out on defense, or perhaps they were caught off guard by the Broncos finally running some real option plays.

Illogical, bewildering or both, however, the drive sealed yet another sturdy fantasy effort for Tebow, who churned out 68 yards and a touchdown on the ground (on only eight attempts) while tacking on 104 yards in the air.

The numbers were achieved in the ugliest possible fashion — Tebow put on a masterclass in how to make your receivers dive for the ball — but were achieved nonetheless, giving “Two Completion Tim” his fifth consecutive above-average fantasy performance (even his disastrous game against the Lions turned out to be an alright fantasy outing).

Whether or not he can keep it up remains anybody’s guess. He’s completed just 11 passes the past two weeks — the same amount a supremely maligned Mark Sanchez completed in a row at one point last evening — and only been in position to pull off so many miracles thanks to off-the-charts defensive play from his teammates.    

Until we see his Waterloo, however, don’t be the one who gets burned by not riding the wave.

Although it may have seemed like it, Tim Tebow was not the only player to take the field last evening.

One of the game’s most important moments came in the first quarter, where the Jets lost Shonn Greene for the night with a ribs injury. It was a huge blow for a team that knows it can no longer rely on Mark Sanchez, but not the disaster it could have been.

With LaDainian Tomlinson inactive with a knee injury, the Jets’ running burden fell to Joe McKnight. Although he hardly lit the sky ablaze, he was able to tally 121 yards from scrimmage, averaging 5.5 yards per touch. As the esteemed Chris Wesseling points out, Greene has reached 121 yards from scrimmage just once in his 39-game career. It’s quite possible McKnight has finally earned himself a bigger role in the Jets offense.

On the opposite end of the spectrum was Denver’s Eric Decker, who was held without a catch despite being targeted five times. He was thrown a number of wobblers, but simply didn’t corral many catchable balls. Decker is clearly the Broncos receiver to own, but that’s not saying much for a player in an offense that doesn’t throw. He’s a dicey WR3 going forward.    

Reportedly barely able to walk, Michael Vick (ribs) won’t be active this weekend barring an unexpected breakthrough in practice this afternoon. … According to NFL Network's Jason LaCanfora, "it's not looking great" for A.J. Green (knee) to suit up against the Ravens on Sunday. It’s time to start making other plans. … Bills coach Chan Gailey is "optimistic" Stevie Johnson (shoulder) will play against the Dolphins. What he does in practice today will be key. … Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) "definitely" plans to return in Week 12. That’s all good and well, but it means the Giants will be stuck with D.J. Ware behind Brandon Jacobs for one more week. Even if Bradshaw follows through on his guarantee, he’ll be a re-injury risk down the stretch. … Frank Gore (knee) returned to limited practice Thursday, and remains on track for a limited role against the Cardinals. … Jeremy Maclin (shoulder) missed his second straight practice, and is an extreme long-shot to suit up against the Giants. … Beanie Wells (knee) returned to limited practice. He will play this weekend. … Julio Jones (hamstring) missed his second straight practice, and will be lucky to even be a game-time decision against the Titans.

Jets left guard Matt Slauson has now rushed for 50 percent as many touchdowns as Shonn Greene.

In games in which Kevin Faulk has been active this season, BenJarvus Green-Ellis is averaging 6.5 carries for 8.5 yards. In games in which Faulk has not been active, Green-Ellis is averaging 14.7 carries for 63.3 yards.

Now up to four touchdown passes on the season, Sam Bradford trails Tim Tebow by only three. He remains tied with Donovan McNabb, Chad Henne, Matt Moore and John Skelton, however.

Even after rushing for a season-high 130 yards last Sunday, Chris Johnson has still gone for 178 fewer yards than DeMarco Murray.

Mark Sanchez has as many rushing touchdowns as Tim Tebow.

Jed Collins and John Kuhn have both rushed for as many scores as Jonathan Stewart.

Steven Jackson is averaging 116.4 yards rushing in five games since the Rams came off their Week 5 bye.    

Big game: Ravens 21, Bengals 20
Early in last Sunday’s game against the Steelers, I was all prepared to tweet something to the effect of “Lol at the people who thought the Bengals actually had a chance in this game.” As it turned out, the joke was on me. Cincinnati didn’t win, but showed true mettle in a game in which in lost its No. 1 receiver and was going up against a quarterback as hot as any in the league. The effort didn’t convince me the Bengals could beat Baltimore, but it certainly convinced me they’ll hang tough.

Big game II: Falcons 28, Titans 14
The Titans have become rather hard to peg of late, but they’re not that hard to peg. Last week’s whitewash of the Panthers becomes a distant memory as the Falcons ground-and-pound their way past a brutal loss at the hands of the Saints.

Upset of the week: Chargers 34, Bears 18
The ever baffling Chargers stay on their game as the Bears struggle to score without special teams magic and defensive touchdowns.

The I really don’t have a clue but will pretend I do game: Rams 22, Seahawks 17
Seattle can’t sustain its Week 10 mojo on the road, as the Rams ride a hot Steven Jackson and — gasp — Sam Bradford’s first multiple score effort of the season to their third win.

Patrick Daugherty is a football and baseball writer for He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Patrick Daugherty

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