Let this sink in, the Denver Broncos (8-7, 5-3 on the road) lost to the Buffalo Bills (6-9, 5-3 at home) 40-14 in what was Tim Tebow’s worst game as a National Football League quarterback. And while this changes nothing for either teams, as the Broncos still control their fate and the Bills will not be going to the post season once again, it shows that is why they play the games on Sundays, or in this case, on Saturdays. For a defense that has not shown up for a while, this game Buffalo surely did show up, becoming the first team ever (college or pro), to intercept the second year pro more than twice in a game. They did it four times, two for pick six.
Some will say that this game was where one team had nothing to lose and the other one had nothing to gain. That could be true, but for one like me that has watched the Bills play for a while now, it felt more like this game was about where one team had it going and the other one began to feel that the hype about their QB is just that, hype. For myself, who has been watching football for over three decades, who played this game at a pretty high level, the one thing that that everyone has avoided, or at least not highlighted, is talking about that Denver was doing well when their defense was having a good game. In the last two games the D has had an average performance and the team has lost.
On the other side, the Bills’ defense had a great game, scoring 2 of the four TDs, while a third came off a punt return, and applying the type of pressure needed to win a game. In other words, while many have forgotten this, defenses do win games. None the less, just like FanSided’s blog, Buffalo Low Down, says: if you claim you saw this coming you are a total liar. I do not know about others, but I can say I didn’t see it coming at all, even questioning that the Vegas line of just three points was too small in my small preview. While over at Predominantly Orange the theme is: the late season losses are nothing new for the team and its fan base in the mile high city. You should check out both blogs to see what they thought of the games, while I am going to deal with the two QBs in the match up.
Both of these quarterbacks are victims of the one thing that most anyone that plays sport will encounter at one point or another: pressure. Especially in a game like football, where the quarterback is the face of the franchise for the most part, there has to be even more pressure at that position. For Ryan Fitzpatrick, the correlation of signing his new hefty contract and not winning went from a whisper after the first few games to a loud yell in the last couple of weeks. And while the Bills did win this game by no means should much of the reason go on Fitzpatrick’s shoulders, cause he didn’t have much to do with it. Going 15 for 27, 196 yards and a 78.6 NFL Rating is not what anyone expects from the Bills QB after the start of the year. On the other side, Tim Tebow’s pressure had to have been building with each game he played. In the NFL, a league that values its teams more than its players, Tebow was becoming the story each week. Now, after two losses, again he is becoming the story, but for the opposite reasons.
The one off the field question I have in all of this: how is Skip Bayless going to spin this mess of a game? Cause not even the number one fan of Tim Tebow can say that this was not his fault, can he? As for me I can say this, while the Broncos lost thanks to their gunslinger, the Bills didn’t win because of theirs, and that means both teams go into the last game of the season both wondering about their man under center. I doubt that Santa Claus will bring them a new one, the question will be if the NFL Draft does.