While Tim Tebow has supplied sports media with plenty of late-game heroics to gush over, the fact of the matter remains that Denver’s defense has peaked at the perfect time for a playoff run, making big plays and holding opponents to low totals for the majority of the games that Tebow has started. Sunday’s game against Minnesota is the perfect example: a timely interception by Andre Goodman put the ball deep in Vikings territory. Tasked with marching his team a cool 10 yards, Tebow got another fourth quarter win, but in no way did he hit a walk-off home run. As the media tries to set him up as the face of the NFL, let’s remain rational about his ascent. He makes plays, but to lay Denver’s success solely at the feet of Tim Tebow is insulting to their defense.
But if Tim Tebow does, in fact, have what it takes to be an NFL mainstay, look for comparisons to Cam Newton to run rampant throughout football circles. Entering the league a year apart, the two feature similar games based as much on rushing as passing. Like Tebow, Cam had a noteworthy Sunday, rushing for three touchdowns in Sunday’s victory over Tampa Bay, setting the NFL record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 13. As dangerous as a goal-line battering ram as in open space, all three of Cam’s touchdowns were one-yard bursts through the line of scrimmage. And his 60% completion rate on the season suggests that his arm is much more polished than people thought it would be coming out of college. While it’s incredibly premature to anoint the two as the NFL’s answer to Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, the similarities in their games are too hard to ignore.
Elsewhere, the New York Giants gave undefeated Green Bay their toughest game of the season, pushing the Pack to a walk-off Mason Crosby win. Green Bay looked as resilient as we’ve seen all year and the defending champions escaped with a win. In game that easily could have gone the Giants way, Aaron Rogers and company look as dominant as any regular-season team since the 2007 Patriots. Sitting with a 12-0 record, the same questions that circled those ’07 Patriots are sure to be swimming through the heads of the Packers brain trust: do they pursue perfection, or use the waning weeks of the season to rest their star players? Their ultimate goal is, obviously, to win another championship. Given their dominant look, the only thing that could derail that goal would be injuries. If Green Bay is smart, they’ll play things a bit conservative to better their chances at a repeat.
— The bottom appears to be dropping out for the Chicago Bears, evident with their 10-3 loss to Kansas City. Ever since Jay Cutler went down with an injury, things haven’t looked good for Chi-City and with Matt Forte’s knee injury, things only appear to get worse. The Bears jerked him around all season with no new contract and now that he’s hurt, it appears all the leverage is in the organization’s favor now. It’s still a business at the end of the day, folks.
— The entire NFC East lost. However, the aforementioned Green Bay victory, coupled with Dallas’ incredibly bizarre loss to Arizona, sets up for a very important matchup between the Cowboys and Giants next Sunday night.
— San Francisco clinched the division with a 26-0 shutout over the Rams. In other news, the sky is blue.
— Pittsburgh put the Bengals in their place in what was built a very, very important AFC North showdown. They may not look pretty all the time, but the Steelers come postseason time is always a difficult out. Could someone be peaking at the right time?
— It’s looking like the Titans and Texans are going to come down to the very last week of the season. And Chris Johnson obviously reads TSS. After sleep walking through the majority season, CJ appears to be well on his way to 1,000 yards with his second straight 100 yard game.
— The Colts fell to 0-12 in a (much) closer than expected 31-24 loss to rival (of years past) New England. Here’s the thing with the Patriots. The offense is as potent as anyone in the league and Tom Brady could very well go down as a top five QB ever. But how reliable will that defense be come playoff time?
— Robert Meacham shook the Lions D silly as the Saints went on to win 31-17 for their fourth straight win.
— Don’t look now, but Miami’s won four out of five and either Reggie Bush is smashing Kim Kardashian again or the Miami sun has rejuvenated his career. The former Heisman winner tallied 100 yards on 22 carries as the Dolphins handed Oakland a critical 34-14 loss.
— No, seriously though, did Jason Garrett really ice his own kicker?