Special Commentary by PalmerSucks
January 16, 2012
Teboner: n. A state of excitement, bordering on sexual, caused by the play of Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. Example: Good thing Skip�s lap is covered by his desktop; his Teboner would be quite embarrassing.
Ah, you sweet suckers, you na�ve ones, you football �experts� like Lady Gaga, who crowed that Tim Tebow�s win last week was proof of greatness � and not the mirage it really was. A few people actually got it, guys who actually played the game like Hugh Douglas who warned �you have to understand what you�re really seeing� when judging Tebow�s results against the Stillers.
Take a knee and do the Tebow � then open your eyes and see the light! Yes, reality returned � as expected � on a cold New England night. Gone was the Stillers� gift man-coverage with no back safety, back was good ol� basic cover two. The Tebow that faced the Stillers � and saw only one man to beat wherever he looked, allowing him low-risk throws � now hesitated again to �pull the trigger.�
The result was a Tebow-like 9-for-26, 136-yard stinker � praise the Lord and pass the deodorant!
See Tim run in circles, cue those �Three Stooges� sound effects � whoop whoop! whoop! See that wounded duck flutter � whoop! whoop! whoop! At one point Tebow uncorked a perfect 40-yard pass � too bad his receiver was only 30 yards downfield.
Not that Denver�s defense helped, rolled as it was by Brady and his receivers. But it just goes to show: what�s the difference between a 14-0 and a 6-0 lead?
Did you get that stat again, Mr. LeBeau? That�s 9 completions for 136, not 10 completions for 316. OK, then.
By the end of the game, Tebow worship had turned to Phil Simms talking about a Stillers defense that had �gambled and done some things out of character� and his broadcast partner volunteering that Hampton and Keisel had had to leave the game early. C�mon guys, where�s the spirit? Show us that Tebow pose again, Coach, Shannon, Dan and Boomer!
Now back to last week�
The best description of Tebow�s unlikely win over the Stillers was delivered by ESPN�s Doug Stewart, in reply to Skip Bayless (at the time sporting a throbbing Teboner): �fool�s gold.� As I already detailed, this was a once-in-ten-blue-moons kind of show, an outcome as likely as you hitting the Lotto tomorrow. The dumb public put this 10-for-21 passing day in the same category as any of Montana�s greatest games. The irrational exuberance spilled over into the mainstream media � that genius Sean Hannity took seriously the suggestion that Tebow�s 31.6 YPA meant divine intervention, because after all, Tebow�s favorite bible verse is John 3:16. Are we really all this dumb?
�Fool�s gold� it was � examine the performance under a microscope, and you�ll learn the truth. I�ve normally enjoyed Bayless�s Tebow shtick, but his over-the-top proclamation that the true greatness of Tebow was shown here became simply unbearable. This wasn�t a performance for the ages � it was a 46-percent completion day. There was no legendary 11-play winning drive � it was one short throw turned into 80-yards with one huge blown coverage. Bayless had the nerve to crow that Roethlisberger had no pressure on him (what game was he watching?) � when, as I pointed out in the last commentary, Tebow was the caterpillar allowed to turn butterfly in his warm, soft, cozy cocoon. Note to Skip: when the blood flows back up to your brain, compare how many times Ben got sacked vs. how many times Tebow did.
I expected the Stillers to play man � what shocked me was how very few times they dropped a post safety. On the game�s last play � and this blows my mind -- the deepest guy is Ike Taylor, when it should have been Ryan Mundy. I can understand the Stillers playing this way at the game�s beginning, figuring as they would that Tebow wouldn�t be able to hit his receivers. But once he did, and showed he could � here they should have made the adjustment. Instead, the Stillers continued to play with no safety back � as if they were in denial that Tebow was completing rather than turfing his passes. It wasn�t really Tebow who beat the Stillers � it was a combination of their own arrogance and stupidity.
Bottom line: the Stillers disrespected Tebow to the point of scheming him that way. The Patriots may have been laughing in the film room, but they showed him some respect on the field. The difference was there for all to see.
Who knows � maybe it is time for LeBeau to hit the trail, as some have suggested. Once, Dick�s zone-blitz crossed up even the best; I remember a game years ago vs. Miami where Dan Marino slammed down the ball in confused frustration. Now? Even Tebow can beat the system.
And oh the irony: at first it seemed drawing Tebow was the easiest road to the divisional round. Looking back, it�d have been better to draw Cincinnati or Houston � simply because the defense would have played �normal� football, and not the dumb, arrogant and freakish way they did. By not dropping a safety � again, the same thing that cost them the game against Flacco � the Stillers changed themselves from the number-one defense into a cover-zero shadow of their usual selves. Once again, the defense that always kept everything in front of them broke down at the worst possible time.
�Dance with the girl who brung you there,� says an old hillbilly proverb. The Stillers would be wise to listen.
PALMER�S PLAYOFFS UPDATE: New Orleans, my NFC Super Bowl Pick, bit the dust in one of the best playoff games I�ve seen in a long time. There�s a trend I�ve noticed this post-season though, one I�ll address in a future commentary. New England showed it, as did both New Orleans and San Francisco. The Stillers would be wise to remember it come draft day. Again, more on this in the future...
As much as I hate the Patriots, I can�t stand the thought of a team featuring Joke Flacco getting to the Bowl � it goes against every idea of what I think football should be. Never have I seen a team win so many games with a quarterback who contributes so little. �Ravens� Ball� is the term they use in Baltimore to explain how you can be up 17-3 when your QB is 4-for-12 for 80 yards. For the sake of all that�s holy, I hope New England shuts down Rice, puts up a few TDs, and makes Joke earn his paycheck for a change.
Flacco scolded the media before the game, saying basically that �win or lose, you guys will say I had little or nothing to do with the outcome.� Aw c�mon, Joke! I know they gave you credit for leading that epic two-yard drive off the gift punt muff! You da man!
Anyway, stay tuned Sunday as the Ravens play another game of �hide the quarterback.� It should be a real thriller.