NFL notes: Week 13

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Tim Tebow is a hell of a competitor — it’s hard not to root for the guy. His will to win is second to none and he shows great mental toughness as he keeps his cool while the entire sports community breaks down his every ineptitude. And no, I’m not helping that situation in any way. I also give him credit for uplifting a team that seemed hopeless and putting them on track to contend for a division title. With that said, I still don’t think he’ll be considered a quality NFL starting quarterback when his career is done.

I’ve heard the “he just wins” argument, but people aren’t putting his wins into perspective. Look at the teams he beat and the state those teams were in when they played — it’s not impressive. He’s also had the benefit of a Broncos defense holding opponents to 15 or less points in four of his five wins. There is not a big enough sample to say that Tebow’s early success in the win column is grounds for saying he’ll be a good NFL quarterback. I’m not discounting those wins, I’m just waiting for the Broncos to play more teams that can score before making any adjustments to my opinion. The Lions are the only team the Broncos played that have a good offense and they beat the Broncos 45-10. I expect a similar outcome when the Patriots play the Broncos and Tebow is forced to pass when the defense expects it.

 

Moving back to campus on Sunday disrupted my weekly 10-hour football coma, but I make up for that with an abundance of thoughts on the Saints game and an overall charming demeanor. The Saints are clearly the second-best team in the NFL right now, and they’re also the only team I could see upsetting the Packers in the playoffs. Drew Brees is probably one of the most underappreciated future hall-of-famers in the history of the NFL. Often overshadowed by Brady, Manning and now Rodgers, Brees would get the respect he deserves if he takes out the Packers and wins a second Super Bowl.

Jimmy Graham is the type of talent that could rewrite history books. He is an agile monster with the ability to reach up with an unfair wingspan and effortlessly snatch the ball out of the air. Jon Gruden pointed out that teams will start drafting cover linebackers and safeties to combat the surge of young, talented tight ends. I agree with this, but what I really think will change on draft day is when tight ends are drafted. In recent years, one, maybe two tight ends have gone in the first round. I’d expect that number to climb significantly in the next 10 years.

People give the Packers’ defense a lot of respect despite the fact that they give up a lot of points. This is fair because teams are passing the ball more against them when they fall behind, but the same consideration is not given to the Saints’ defense. When I watch the Saints, they’re always flying to the ball and rarely pass up an opportunity for a big hit. Their defense as a whole makes big plays.

As for the Giants, they need to scrap the run or find a better running back. Brandon Jacobs needs a five-yard alley before he picks up enough steam to run with any authority. They need to become a one-dimensional passing team if they expect to sneak into the playoffs. Keep an eye on Da’Rel Scott. He ran a 4.34 40-yard dash and is a built guy. He returns kicks now and shows a lot of burst and the ability to break arm tackles. He was in on a 3rd and 1 and got a direct snap, showing that the coaching staff wanted the ball in his hands on a big play, but fumbled the ball lunging for first down yardage. Knowing the troll that is Tom Coughlin, the young running back won’t be heard from again until training camp next season.