Ian Henson has been writing for or against the Denver Broncos since 1998, his reverse course started in television and ended up in blogging. For the conscious part of 28 years he has been a fan. Finally arriving this month in Denver via New York City, the reaction has been similar to Napolean crossing the Alps or Washington crossing the Delaware. The Broncos have been undefeated and remain unbeaten with Ian in attendance at Mile High. Ian is currently creating an internet based television network and runs a marketing & social media company out of Denver. he lives in Cherry Hills with his wife Gabriela and dog Bailey. You can catch him on game day in his Pat Bowlen uniform. Henson was featured this past Sunday as a cover story in The Denver Post (http://www.denverpost.com/
1. We know the hot topic in the NFL is Tim Tebow. So, let’s get your original take on Tebow. Did you think before this year that he could be a successful quarterback in the NFL?
A lot of people tend to forget that Kyle Orton was demoted last season and Tim Tebow was the starter for the final three games. It really did not become apparent that Orton would be the starter until very close to the start of the season. At that point even players like Brandon Lloyd had stated that they had practiced all off-season planning on Tebow being the starter. This may explain Tebow’s early over throwing tendency, as Lloyd can catch nearly anything.
As far as Tebow being a successful quarterback in the NFL, the 2010 game against the Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders kind of stood out as major indicators that he would be at the very worst an above average quarterback in the NFL. That being said, even with the current win streak one season is not a clear litmus test on a quarterback. At this point though the sky does seem to be the limit.
2. Which player on the Broncos’ offense will have to have the better game for Denver to win on Sunday: Willis McGahee or Eric Decker?
Eric Decker has been a dead factor over the last few weeks; Willis McGahee having a good game would mean that the Broncos are winning time of possession and likely scoring more points. I think Demaryius Thomas will be someone that the Patriots defense will want to key on more so than Decker, but McGahee and Lance Ball can both pop a twenty yarder seemingly at will during some points of the game.
3. Von Miller has been the star of this Broncos’ defense. What about him has impressed you so far this year?
He is lightening fast, this is something one of my co-writers at Mile High Report points out at will, but just look at last week… The Chicago Bears right tackle Lance Louis kept jumping the snap count, just because there was hardly any way to defend against Miller without doing that. The rookie is second in the AFC in sacks and seems to get one per game at least, what you don’t see, but you will probably notice now that you’ll be watching is that most of the time he is at least hitting the quarterback.
4. Is Tebow the starting quarterback in 2012 or does Elway run him out of town? Why or Why not?
Baring an injury I would say that Tebow is the starter in 2012. John Elway isn’t as against Tebow as the mainstream media would have people think. It is a non-story, how would Elway be against 7-1? That being said, I do see with a full off-season of work and Elway pledging to work with Tebow I cannot imagine Tebow not being significantly better.
5. What is your one key and X-Factor to this game?
Time of possession, somewhere north of 36 minutes for the Broncos will pretty much guarantee a Denver win. The same can’t be said for the Patriots. I think beyond time of possession the Broncos will need to have a very, very specific plan for all those receiving threats New England has: Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Deion Branch and Aaron Hernandez. Denver simply doesn’t have answers for every one of those receivers, I think you’ll find that Champ Bailey won’t even be on Welker most of the time.
The one upside (and extreme downside for the Patriots) is that if New England is passing that much then Tom Brady will be on his back a whole lot. In the last few weeks Matt Cassel, Christian Ponder and Caleb Hanie have all been simply brutalized. People like to talk about Miller, because he is a rookie, but the Broncos also have 2009’s NFL sack leader Elvis Dumervil in the starting lineup. I don’t know that it will serve Brady well to be dealt that much punishment.
For Denver to win New England will have to force the Broncos to pass, part of Tebow’s atrocious passing statistics has to do with the fact that they haven’t had to pass to win games. Denver is ranked 31st in the NFL in passing offense, while rated 1st in the NFL in rushing offense. The Patriots are ranked
6. Who is your pick to win the game on Sunday? Why or Why not?
There is a saying, “The hungry coyote gets fed,” with a two game lead in the AFC West the Broncos aren’t fighting for their playoff chances by any means. Neither are the Patriots, the Patriots are merely trying to get a bye game out of the whole deal. Tom Brady is 2-6 historically against Denver, I have to say that I don’t see Brady pulling it off this time either. The Broncos defense is as good as it has ever been and New England has one of the worst defenses in the league, with an atrocious passing defense and a mediocre rushing defense combining to give up more yards per game than any team currently in the NFL. The last two weeks for the Pats haven’t swayed my opinion that Tebow will beat Brady in their first head-to-head match-up, hopefully it is one of many games between the two and you won’t find a more exciting game to watch this week.