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Sports Then and Now



Week 8 NFL Storylines 0

Posted on October 31, 2012 by Andy Larmand

Matt Ryan’s three 1st half touchdowns helped the Falcons improve to 7-0 with a Week 8 victory over the Eagles.

It was a week for offenses to shine in Week 8 as five NFL teams picked up wins by 20 or more points and a total of five teams put up 30 or more points.

The 49ers, Broncos, Patriots, Dolphins and Bucs all won by 20 or more and those teams with the exception of the 49ers all put up 30 or more points. The Falcons also put up 30 against the Eagles en route to their seventh win of the year while staying undefeated.

Atlanta became the sixth NFL team to start a season 7-0 and score at least 23 points in each of those games. They also improved to 15-0 when Matt Ryan throws three or more touchdown passes in a game. Philly had been 13-0 following bye weeks under head coach, Andy Reid.

The Saints couldn’t win their third straight and fell to 2-5, but Drew Brees threw a touchdown pass in his 50th straight game to extend his own record. New Orleans fell to Denver 34-14 on Sunday night. Peyton Manning and the Broncos improved to 4-3 and it was the first time that they have won back-to-back games this year.

Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, didn’t let the time change or long flight to London affect him as he also threw a touchdown pass again and this marks 40 straight games for him – still 10 behind Brees for the all-time record. More notable for the Patriots, they gained 473 yards of total offense against the Rams, marking the 17th straight game that they have recorded more than 350. This broke the all-time record set by those Rams in 1999-00.

The Patriots’ offensive explosion left plenty of storylines and it was hard to just pick a few. The 45-7 win for New England was the largest of the weekend and in two games in London since 2009, the Pats have outscored their opponents 80-14 (beat Tampa 35-7 in 2009).

Four different Pats scored touchdowns and both Rob Gronkowski and Brandon Lloyd caught two apiece. It was the 50th time that Brady has had a game with three or more touchdown passes, which is good for fourth all-time. Wes Welker recorded at least one reception in his 102nd straight game. Believe it or not, the Rams scored the first seven points of the game before New England rifled off 45 unanswered.

The last two times Bill Belichick and Jeff Fisher have met, Belichick has outscored him 104-7. Also, Rams receiver, Chris Givens, caught a 50-yard touchdown pass from Sam Bradford and now has a 50+ yard reception in five straight games. Bradford was also sacked at least once in his 24th straight game.

Read the rest of this entry →

NFL: The Storylines From Week Five 0

Posted on October 10, 2012 by Andy Larmand

Drew Brees celebrates with teammate, Devery Henderson after he threw a record-breaking touchdown pass on Sunday. Bress now has a TD pass in 48 straight games – breaking the record set by Johnny Unitas.

As always, it was another exciting week in the NFL with records being broken, upsets being recorded and Tim Tebow leading the Jets to a win. Well, two out of three ain’t bad.

Nevertheless, it was still another very exciting week in football that made us fans all grateful that we get to watch the game every week – and that the replacement referees are gone for good.

Now’s the part when I reminisce about both the good and the bad that the games had to offer.

First and foremost, Saints quarterback, Drew Brees threw a touchdown pass in his 48th straight game – a new NFL record. The previous record was 47 held by Johnny Unitas. The record-breaking pass was one of four for him on the night and came in the 1st quarter to Devery Henderson from 40 yards out. More importantly, the Saints picked up their first win of the season, 31-24 over the Chargers.

Five teams did not allow a touchdown in their Week 5 games. It’s not surprising that three of them were the Ravens49ers and Bears. It is surprising, however, that the other two were the Rams and the Chiefs. The Chiefs were the only team to not allow a touchdown and lose the game. The Ravens beat them, without scoring a touchdown, 9-6.

Two teams – the Bears and the 49ers won by more than 38 points. The 49ers beat the Bills 45-3 and the Bears crushed the Jaguars 41-3.

The Cardinals suffered their first loss of the year, falling to the Rams 17-3 on Thursday night.

San Francisco set a franchise record with 621 yards of total offense in their win against Buffalo. It was also the most yards that the Bills have ever given up. Alex Smith threw for 303 yards and three TD’s. The Bills also became the first team to allow 550+ yards of offense in consecutive weeks since 1950.

The Bears recorded an interception return in their third straight game for the first time in their history. Charles Tillman returned a Blaine Gabbert pick 36 yards in the 2nd quarter to make the score 13-3 Bears.

The Patriots scored 3+ rushing touchdowns in consecutive games for the first time since 1978. Touchdowns were scored by Shane VereenStevan Ridley and Tom Brady. Brady also threw a touchdown pass in his 38th straight game – remaining ten behind Brees for the all-time record.

Green Bay blew an 18-point halftime lead to the Colts and lost the game 30-27. Andrew Luck threw two touchdowns and Reggie Wayne had 212 yards receiving as the Pack blew their largest halftime lead since 1957.

In case you were wondering, the Browns are still winless. They fell to 0-6 after blowing a 14-0 lead against the Super Bowl Champion Giants. Dating back to last season, Cleveland has now lost 11 straight which is tied for the longest losing streak in its franchise history. On the bright side, rookie running back, Trent Richardson, recorded  a rushing touchdown in his fourth straight game.

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Tim Tebow Leads Broncos to Another Inspiring Comeback 5

Posted on December 12, 2011 by Kyle Green

Tim Tebow led another fourth quarter comeback to put the Denver Broncos in first place in the AFC West.

Tim Tebow again took all the plaudits as the Denver Broncos took control of the AFC West with a 13-10 overtime victory over the Chicago Bears.

The Broncos had been shut out for almost 58 minutes by the Bears and were down two scores as the two-minute warning approached. But Tebow somehow inspired Denver to come back from 10-0 down before they won it in overtime. Those following the NFL betting online will have been astonished.

Matt Prater kicked a 59-yard field goal with three seconds left in regulation to tie the scores up at 10-10 and then converted from 51 yards in overtime to win it.

The victory leaves the Broncos with an 8-5 record and left cornerback Champ Bailey to say of Tebow: “He comes through at crunch time every week. Every single week it’s like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me’.” Read the rest of this entry →

Michael Vick or Tim Tebow: Who Would You Want At QB? 17

Posted on November 13, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Which quarterback would you rather have?

Of the two left-handed, running quarterbacks in the NFL, which would you rather have: Michael Vick or Tim Tebow?

At first that question probably seems a bit silly. After all, Vick has a decade of NFL experience while Tebow has started just seven games as a pro and the number of NFL “experts” who believe he will never be a quality pro quarterback could fill a stadium.

However, given that Tebow suddenly has the Denver Broncos in contention in the AFC West while Vick and the Eagles are the biggest disappointment in the NFC the question has at least some validity.

What is ironic about Vick is that for most of his career he had the reputation as the unconventional quarterback who didn’t put up great numbers, but did what was needed to win games.

During his six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, Vick was 38-28-1 as a starting quarterback while leading the team to a pair of trips to the playoff and one appearance in the NFC Championship Game. He did that while never posting a season quarterback rating higher than 81.6 (75.7 for the six seasons) and completing only 53.8% of his passes.

Since becoming the starter for the Philadelphia Eagles, Vick’s numbers have suddenly become comparable to the elite quarterbacks in the league. He has completed 62% of his passes over the last two years with a quarterback rating of 94. However, after winning eight of 11 starts in 2010, Vick is now just 3-6 as a starter so far in 2011 despite having a team that everyone thought had the talent capable of contending for a Super Bowl berth. Read the rest of this entry →

Tim Tebow is the Greatest Quarterback in the History of the NFL! 150

Posted on October 23, 2011 by Dean Hybl

In his first start of the season Tim Tebow led the Denver Broncos to victory over the Miami Dolphins.

Okay, perhaps that headline is a bit premature given that Tim Tebow just made his first start of the 2011 season and fourth of his career, but since so many NFL “experts” have been lining up since before he had even played an NFL game to predict that he would be a bust, it almost seems appropriate after his fourth quarter performance in Denver’s overtime victory in Miami to proclaim him as an all-time great.

The reality is that we don’t yet know whether Tim Tebow will be a great NFL quarterback, but it is up to Tebow and the Denver Broncos to find out and not former players or others who are quick to judge without giving him a chance.

Denver Head Coach Mike Fox is giving Tebow a chance and after looking like a young quarterback making only his fourth NFL start early on, Tebow did what he has done best throughout his career, he made the big plays when needed down the stretch to lead his team to victory.

Critics of the second year quarterback will be quick to point to the first half where he passed for only 24 years and Denver was held scoreless, but it should be noted that kicker Matt Prater missed a pair of makeable field goals (40 and 43 yards) that would have matched the first half point total for the Dolphins and ultimately may have kept Denver from needing overtime to win the game.

For some reason, many former players that are now earning their living analyzing the game have been unwilling to give Tim Tebow time to develop as an NFL quarterback. I find it ironic considering that many of them needed time themselves before they enjoyed NFL success.

One of the most vocal critics of Tebow has been former Pittsburgh and Chicago running back Merril Hoge. He has regularly said that Tebow will never be an NFL star and in the preseason was even quoted as saying that it would be “embarrassing to think that the Broncos with Tebow could win.”

Given how his career began, Hoge should be really glad that Chuck Noll didn’t come to similar conclusions about him without giving him a chance to show his stuff. Read the rest of this entry →

Give Tim Tebow Some Time 5

Posted on August 07, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Though he is only in his second NFL training camp, some are already trying to rush to judgment about whether Tim Tebow can become a successful NFL quarterback.

One of the dangers in today’s era of instant communication and immediate gratification is that we want everything to happen right now. We don’t want to wait for a piece of information, an answer or for success. It is in this instant world that Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow is helplessly trapped.

After a record setting and highly successful college career at the University of Florida, most NFL experts said that Tebow could eventually develop into a capable NFL quarterback, but it would take time and patience.

Those are two words that don’t often fit into today’s sports world. With players receiving sizable salaries from the minute they enter the league, owners, coaches and fans don’t usually have patience to allow a player to mature and grow, especially at the quarterback position.

It didn’t use to be that way. In fact, the most recent example of what can happen when a team gives a young quarterback time to mature and develop was personified last February when Aaron Rodgers led the Green Bay Packers to victory in Super Bowl XLV.

Originally selected with the 24th pick in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Packers, Rodgers threw only 59 passes in his first three seasons while sitting on the sidelines watching future Hall of Famer Brett Favre.

When he took over in 2008, Rodgers was ready to be a star and in three seasons as a starter has completed 64% of his passes for more than 12,000 yard, 86 touchdowns and 31 interceptions.

In just his third season as a starter, but sixth season in the Green Bay system, Rodgers and the Packers won their first championship in 15 years.

There was a time in NFL history when stories like Rodgers’ were common.

Ken Stabler joined the Oakland Raiders as a second round selection in 1968 after playing for legendary coach Bear Bryant at the University of Alabama.

After spending his first two seasons on the taxi squad, Stabler joined the active roster in 1970 and from 1970-72 saw limited action while George Blanda and Daryle Lamonica saw most of the action at quarterback for the Raiders. Read the rest of this entry →

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