Tebowmania is officially over, as the Patriots smacked the Broncos around on Saturday night in the Divisional round of the playoffs. Here are some quick-hit reactions from this 45-10 beat-down.
– This probably sounds a tad obnoxious after the fact but the outcome of this game wasn’t really a surprise, right? As soon as the Patriots built a double-digit lead everyone knew it would be hard for the Broncos and their 1960s style offense to keep pace. The only shot Denver had at beating New England was if its defense played out of its mind, which is no different from the previous nine games since Tim Tebow took over at quarterback. Last week was an aberration. The Broncos caught Ike Taylor on a bad day and Tebow just happened to play out of his mind for three and a half quarters, as opposed to his customary one. It was obvious coming in that if the Broncos didn’t turn Tom Brady into the reincarnate of Scott Zolak they would probably lose. Finally, the weight of carrying this team every week was just too much for the Denver defense.
– Speaking of which, how appropriate that Denver stopped playing defense as soon as Josh McDaniels reemerged.
– When Tom Brady and the Patriots play like they did Saturday night it almost makes you wonder if they’re trying to prove a point. Three minutes into the second half Brady had tied Steve Young and Daryle Lamonica with a playoff-record six touchdown passes, while Rob Gronkowski had tied the record for receiving scores (three) in a postseason game. The passing touchdowns, total yards (509), and points were all franchise playoff records and the Pats are now averaging 37.3 points per game over their last nine contests. The Ravens have already proven that they can beat the Patriots on the road in the postseason but even their defense will have a tough time next week if Baltimore advances to the AFC Championship Game.
– In no way was this loss solely on Tim Tebow and anyone who says as much is absurd. The defense stunk, his receivers didn’t do him any favors with drops and the running game was non-existent. But it’s painfully obvious that John Fox and Mike McCoy didn’t have enough trust in Tebow to get away from their ball-control ways, even down 35-7 at halftime and after the big passing performance Tebow had a week ago. And who could blame Fox or McCoy? Three minutes into the second half Brady had twice as many touchdowns as Tebow had completions. Tebow’s competition percentage of 34.6-percent was the lowest on 20-plus attempts in a playoff game in 14 years. I’m sorry, he’s a nice kid with but he’s so extremely limited as a passer. His limitations don’t fall at the feet of Fox and McCoy, which is why John Elway has a massive decision to make this offseason in whether or not Tebow is the future at quarterback for the Broncos.
– I thought the Tom Brady punt on third down was an arrogant move by the Patriots. One of the broadcasters thought that it was the “right” decision because it was third-and-10 and the Pats didn’t want Brady to get hurt, which is about the dumbest thing I’ve heard. If the Patriots didn’t want Brady to get hurt, why didn’t they just pull him? Or have him hand the ball off? There was roughly only three minutes remaining and the Patriots were up 45-10 – the game was over. There was no need to have Brady punt the ball on third down and basically say, “Here you go Denver, we’re so good and we’re up by so many points that we don’t even need all four of our downs. You can have the last one, poor little buggers.” Had it been customary for the Patriots to punt the ball with Tom freaking Brady when they were blowing somebody out, then I would have gotten the decision. But this wasn’t normal and while it wasn’t right of Von Miller to take a cheap shot at a New England player during the play, I don’t blame Denver for being pissed.