It’s been awhile since we last caught up with Denver Broncos blogger Kim Constantinesco, of Predominantly Orange, so we thought this would be as good a week as any as the Broncos prepare for this weekend’s playoff game against the New England Patriots.
Constantinesco has been covering the Broncos closely all season and is credentialed to cover the game at New England, so we appreciate her taking the time to offer her insight on Tim Tebow and this magical Mile High run.
BH: There are so many storylines heading into this weekend’s game, it’s tough to know where to start. But why not start with the man of the hour, Tim Tebow. Some of us saw this coming, but did you or anyone in Denver expect this kind of run out of the Broncos when Tebow took over under center?
KC: Tim who? Kidding. I think many people believed that the Broncos would win some games with Tebow under center, but no one predicted that he would string six in a row together in the fashion that he did, nor get the Broncos past the first round of the playoffs. I mean, to go 4-0 in overtime is extremely special.
Tebow is improving from week to week, and during that time span between his third consecutive loss to end the regular season and prior to the Pittsburgh game, he walked around with a little bit of an edge to him. It was good to see the chip on his shoulder. It gave him some confidence to ‘pull the trigger’ as John Elway put it. That’s why he had the best performance of his career on Sunday.
That’s the great thing about sports. It gives us the chance to watch somebody surpass expectations and achieve things we never thought possible, and Tebow has certainly surpassed expectations.
How have the Broncos been able to make this run? We know about their defense, sending three players to the Pro Bowl. But that offense doesn’t have a single Pro Bowler. And with Eric Decker going down early last week, and Willis McGahee putting the ball on the ground in key situations, Tebow’s options have been limited. But even with a mediocre roster and questionable throwing mechanics, Tebow and this spread-option offense is working for the Broncos.
You’re right, the defense has been keeping the team in games, but it’s been the offense coming up with big plays at key moments to win it for them.
I think it’s hard for teams to prepare for the type of offense that the Broncos run. Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy would watch a college game and try to find formations that could fit into the Broncos playbook. Then, he would add new wrinkles. They’ve bounced between college and pro-style plays to take advantage of Tebow’s mobility. In turn, that takes pressure off of Willis McGahee. That’s why he’s had a big year. It’s hard to scheme for the run-pass threat that Tebow is.
Then there are the intangibles – the competitiveness, the toughness, the ability to block out everything else to make big plays as the clock winds down. Tebow’s ability to excel in those areas have carried over to his teammates.
It may not be a pretty offense, but every win has been beautiful.
This weekend, it’s a different story. The Broncos hung with the Patriots until the second half in the previous meeting, but this one’s in the postseason and in New England. What does Denver have to do to keep their season alive against the Patriots?
Had the Broncos not turned the ball over three times in the last meeting, we would have seen a much closer score, and possibly even a Broncos win. This game is without a doubt tough, but the Broncos can win it.
The Patriots have such a deadly offense that it’s best to keep them off the field. The Broncos need to get their run game going to move the chains, and eat some clock. Converting in the red zone is essential, and it must be seven points.
The Broncos also need to score points on defense and special teams. The Broncos can’t keep pace with the Pats offensively, but they can do things to take the ball out of Tom Brady’s hands.
Your boy Josh McDaniels is back on the sideline for this one, only it’s with New England. Is he a factor in this one at all in your eyes? Or is this just one more juicy storyline ESPN is adding to the “Tebow vs. Brady” showdown?
The media is certainly playing this one up. It’s the sexy story. McDaniels heads back to New England to face his two 1st round draft picks in 2010 (Tebow and Demaryius Thomas)? It doesn’t get juicer, does it?
Yes, McDaniels is familiar with a large part of the Broncos roster, but the playbook has changed a lot. He will be able to give information on players and coaches tendencies, but that’s about it.
McD can’t know that much about Tebow. He put him on the bench in Denver, not knowing how to play him.
(Editor’s note: Couldn’t agree with you more!)
Anything else you’d like to add about the big game?
I’ll be covering the game live from the press box in Foxborough, so check out Predominantly Orange as move forward!