The NFL is having trouble trying to figure out what to do with Tim Tebow. I have no such consternation. If you’re over the age of 25, you have enough experience to stand back and look at the NFL. How does a quarterback win consistently in the NFL? Quarterbacks win in the NFL by throwing the ball accurately – consistently. It is that simple. When you go back and think about some of the great running quarterbacks of all time, who was successful? Randall Cunningham, Steve Young and Roger Staubach are just a few quarterbacks that come to mind who made a name for themselves by running. They became champions (with the exception of Randall Cunningham) when they stayed in the pocket and delivered the ball accurately. Right now, Tim Tebow reminds me of Doug Flutie. Doug Flutie was able to generate the same type of excitement. He had a lot of these fourth-quarter comebacks with emotional victories. Yet Flutie was never able to lead his team to the Super Bowl or even deep into the playoffs.
Let me say a few words about Atlanta’s fourth down and inches call in overtime. Brian of Advanced NFL Stats explains that Mike Smith went with the odds. I believe that Brian Burke’s stats are correct, but I’m not sure he’s looking at the right situation. He’s looking at all fourth down calls with a yard or less to go. I would say that going for it in the first quarter is a lot different than going for it in the fourth quarter or even in overtime. The other thing that Brian did not factor into the equation is the formation that the Atlanta Falcons used. Atlanta used a goal line formation. If I’m not mistaken, there were no wide receivers on the field. I think this changes the calculus. The New Orleans Saints are basically playing 100% run. The Atlanta Falcons are showing 100% run also. The Atlanta Falcons gave away the only advantage they really had, which was to make the New Orleans Saints hedge their bets. Anyway, I thought it was an awful call.
Tony Romo was accurate and on-time last Sunday
Cincinnati Bengals versus Baltimore Ravens – if Joe Flacco plays well, Baltimore will win. Unfortunately, Joe Flacco has not been dependable this year. Ray Lewis is out (most probably). The Baltimore Ravens are struggling. The Cincinnati Bengals are playing solid defense. I’m givimg a slight edge to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Jacksonville Jaguars versus Cleveland Browns – Blaine Gabbert has not been all that good. As a matter fact, he might be the worst quarterback in the league. He has a quarterback rating of 63.5, which is worse than Rex Grossman, Curtis Painter or Tim Tebow. He has only six touchdowns and five interceptions. He has a completion percentage of 47.9. Yuck. The Jacksonville Jaguars got rid of David Garrard for this? Cleveland’s Colt McCoy is clearly playing better than Blaine Gabbert. Cleveland should win this one.
Carolina Panthers versus Detroit Lions – Cam Newton has not been playing as well over the last two weeks as he did earlier in the year. For the Carolina Panthers to win this game he has to play well. Detroit has their backs up against the wall. They simply haven’t been playing well. By the way is Matthew Stafford playing? I’m leaning towards the Lions since they’re playing at home.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus Green Bay Packers – Green Bay.
Buffalo Bills versus Miami Dolphins – Ryan Fitzpatrick has to play better if the Bills are going to win. The Miami Dolphins have been playing much more competitively over the last two weeks. Reggie Bush is running the ball hard and strong. I think that this is going to be a little bit closer than people believe. I look for the Buffalo Bills to edge out a victory.
Oakland Raiders versus Minnesota Vikings – Carson Palmer is starting to play much better. It looks like Darren McFadden is still out. Michael Bush is a good running back, yes, but he is not Darren McFadden. I look for Carson Palmer to make enough plays to eke out a victory.
Dallas Cowboys versus Washington Redskins – I could give you a lot of convoluted analysis, but the bottom line is that the Washington Redskins are simply not playing good football. They have been playing terribly for the last four weeks. The Dallas Cowboys will go as far as Tony Romo will take them. Tony Romo must continue playing error-free football. Hopefully, Miles Austin will be back in the lineup this week. The Redskins desperately need a quarterback and a running back. I believe the Cowboys will win but they will not win big unless Rex Grossman is in a generous mood and turns the ball over. (more…)