Deeper Minings: A Closer Look at Broncos-Vikings


The statline doesn't show it, but Tim Tebow was awful against the Vikings.

Tim Tebow has put up some horrendous statlines over the course of the defense-driven winning streak the Broncos have been on. He has looked dreadful for most of those games. The critics have watched his play and criticized him harshly. The Tebow cheerleaders have ignored it and pointed to the scoreboard at the end of each game. On Sunday, against Minnesota, he finally put up a statline that made the critics turn and admit Tebow had a good game. The tape tells a different story. Against Minnesota, Tebow completed over half of his passes. He threw for 200 yards. But at no point during that game did he resemble a starting NFL quarterback.

In the first half the Broncos could not move the ball. The Vikings stopped the run and Tebow could do little to help his team. He hit (and missed) a few short screen passes but his downfield efforts were errant. In the second Willis McGahee came out and led the team down the field. McGahee wound up with 111 yards and a touchdown on the day. Tebow connected a few passes in the second half but they were largely the gifts of a Minnesota secondary that looked like it was shaving points. Tebow threw two touchdowns, a short toss to Demaryius Thomas on a busted coverage and a screen pass in which Thomas ran circles around six Vikings.

Tebow did make one good throw on the day, a 42-yard downfield pass to Thomas actually had some zing on it. It set up McGahee’s bruising 24-yard scamper for a touchdown. But if you play free fantasy football, can you count one good pass per game? Can you afford to start someone shoes fantasy points largely come as the result of flukish plays and dumb luck. That luck runs out eventually and if you are playing the odds, you won’t have Tebow on your team. If you play salary cap fantasy football, you shouldn’t even have Tebow on your radar. Remember, this was Tebow’s best game according to his doubters and he was truly awful.

Tebow’s counterpart on the Vikings looked much better. Christian Ponder made some poor decisions but he made more impressive throws in the first quarter than Tebow has in the past month. Now, You shouldn’t rush out and add to Ponder to your weekly fantasy football team. Going forward into 2013, Ponder looks like he will prove to be viable number two quarterback in fantasy football.

Toby Gerhart had  a surprisingly good day against the Denver defense, rusing for 77 yards, but the best performance of the game was by far that of Percy Harvin. The speedy wideout caught 8 balls for 156 yards and two touchdowns against a Denver defense that has been playing very well lately. Harvin is an automatic starter in all formats for the rest of the 2012 season.

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