The Other Guys in Denver

Justin Beiber. Kim Kardashian. Mark Zuckerburg. Tim Tebow.

What do all these people have in common? Believe it or not, it isn't nice teeth and a lot of money - although those are both good guesses. No - the common trait these people share is that, for better or worse, the media has fallen so head-over-heels in love with them that we have all spent the better part of this year unable to even hide in the bushes outside of Tom Brady's house walk down the street without getting them all crammed right down our collective throats. I know that the holidays are traditionally the time of year when we stuff our faces anyway, but I wasn't expecting all of this.

No more for me, thanks. I'm full.

I'm going out on a limb here, and I'm aware I may be isolating some of my millions upon millions of readers with what I'm about to say, but if I don't get it out there I simply won't be able to move on.

I don't care in the slightest about Tim Tebow.

I don't hate the guy. I don't love him, either. Honestly, he's about as relevant to my football-watching experience as Matt Hasselbeck or Sam Bradford. Granted, watching the Broncos pull out all these fourth quarter wins has been a lot of fun to watch, and I'd be crazy to say that the Broncos aren't a better team with Tebow under center. But in terms of this Tebow Fever that is sweeping the nation - I just don't have it. I don't read any Tebow-related articles. I don't think that the act of "Tebowing" is funny, creative, or original. I don't find Tebow's deep faith fascinating or inspirational or obnoxious or anything else it has been called as of late. I do like to look at his stats, but I attribute that more to my love of football than of what number 15 is doing over there in Denver. He's the quarterback for the Broncos, and to me, that's pretty much as far as it goes.

I totally get the hype, and if you count yourself as among those who find the Tim Tebow story mesmerizing, more power to you. And in Tebow's defense, it's not like he's out there looking for praise or recognition; he's just out there giving his all on every down, which is something I immensely respect. I will also happily acknowledge that he represents one of the more unique stories the National Football League has seen in a very long time, and he embodies a refreshing change of pace from the dog-killing, gun-toting, drunk driving, foot stomping degenerates that are all-too-often the face of the NFL. But for me, I personally am looking forward to when the dust settles on Tebowmania and analysts can get back to covering the team as a whole rather than just their quarterback. Because honestly, I really don't care all that much. Bill Belichick knows better than anyone, and the Colts are learning the hard way, that no one man is bigger than the team, and winning game takes solid play on both sides of the ball.

Which brings me to my point. Can we talk about Denver's defense for a second? More specifically, can we talk about Von Miller for a second? Is anyone else absolutely terrified of this man? I went back and watched some replay footage of Miller this week, and don't let the Run DMC glasses fool you: this guy is a beast. And that beast is going to be gunning for a certain quarterback that I care about infinitely more than Tim Tebow this Sunday.

Denver's recipe for success has been fairly straightforward: control the clock with a solid running game based out the Option Attack offense, rely on the defense to keep it close, and pull out something crazy in the 4th quarter to win either at the last minute or in overtime. And so far, it has been working well; Willis McGahee is having a strong comeback year, Tebow's ability as a runner was well-proven in college, and the run game is strong and consistent enough to lull secondaries into cheating up to the line of scrimmage and getting beat on pass plays. Plus, Denver is 4th in the league in sacks with 37 on the year and defines the term "opportunistic."

And of those 37 sacks, 19 of them have come from the pass rush duo of Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil - that's over half of the team total. Dumervil has been an animal in the league for 6 years now, and a player I was really hoping that New England would target via trade at the beginning of the year. That obviously didn't happen, and Dumervil is having yet another solid season. Add to that Von Miller, and you have VonDoom, an unstoppable Voltron-esque juggernaut that wants to do nothing but to crush their enemies, see them driven before them, and to hear the lamentation of their women.

And that's what I've been paying attention to this week. I'm very excited - and more than a little nervous - to see how New England is able to navigate around Denver's pass rush, and whether the likes of Nate Solder and Matt Light will be able to stop VonDoom from dropping Tommy B's record at Mile High to a pitiful 1-7. The Patriots offense is more than capable of taking massive Gronk all over Denver's secondary, but if Brady doesn't have time to throw, we could be looking at another close game where the Pats D needs to pull out a 4th quarter stop. And based on the last two weeks, I won't be overly confident if New England is up 20-14 with 58 seconds left to play and Tebow gets the ball back.

I honestly don't care if Tim Tebow throws for 600 yards on Sunday - why should he be any different than Dan Orlovsky or Vince Young? All I care about is clinching the AFC East and getting Tom Brady back to Foxoboro in one piece. I've had enough of the hype; this game can't get here fast enough so we can all just move on and I can once again have the option of ignoring the Tim Tebow Train as it rumbles unflinchingly forward.

I will say, though, that if the Patriots lose this weekend and the camera cuts to Tebow...um...Tebowing, I may have just to go outside my apartment and Miller - run after the first person I see and completely lay them out.

Here's hoping that the only time we see the Tebow on Sunday is when Tommy B takes a knee to close out the win.

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