The Georgia Bulldogs got the best of the Florida Gators on Saturday in Jacksonville. They did again the next day in Denver – at least when it came to the performances of the two quarterbacks.
Matthew Stafford (Georgia) and the Detroit Lions blew out Tim Tebow (Florida) and the Denver Broncos 45-10 at Sports Authority Field Sunday afternoon.
Stafford completed 21-of-30 passes for 267 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Quarterback rating – a Sunday best 130.8
Tebow finished the game 18-of-39 for 172 yards, one TD, one interception and a quarterback rating of 56.8.
QB rating or scoreboard totals – Stafford won convincingly. For the struggling Tebow, the inevitable questions are being raised.
“How long,” wonders Denver Post columnist Dave Kreiger, “before Bronco fans and Tebow fans part company?”
“It’s not his fault,” said Detroit Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch in regards to Tebow’s struggling performance. “It’s the media that gives him hype. Obviously, he’s a young player. He has a lot of learning to do. Taking nothing from him, he’s a great player, he just has to find his niche as an NFL quarterback and I think he’ll be able to do so in due time.”
Tebow was sacked seven times on the day, including one time by Tulloch who struck the “Tebowing” pose afterwards.
Lions tight end Tony Scheffler also mimicked the one- knee prayer following a second-quarter touchdown.
A story earlier in the week at NFL.com had hyped the game as Good (Tebow) vs. Evil (Ndamukong Suh of the Lions).
But as news Detroit News columnist John Niyo wrote after the game, “this was simply good vs. bad. The Lions are a good team. The Broncos are a bad team.”
Broncos coach John Fox initially refused to commit to Tebow as his starting quarterback next week against Oakland but has apparently changed his mind – for now.
“For this week, yes.” Fox said when asked about it today, in a less than ringing endorsement, amid calls for Tebow to perhaps consider another position or the Broncos to consider dumping him following this season.
As for Stafford’s performance, Mike O’Hara reminds us that the Lions haven’t had a Pro Bowl quarterback in 40 years – Greg Landry back in 1971. But that drought should end this year.
Speaking of impressive quarterbacks, Eli Manning (Ole Miss) and Cam Newton (Auburn) continue to shine while their teams move in opposite directions.
Manning threw for 349 yards and two touchdowns as the Giants moved to 5-2 with a come-from-behind 20-17 victory over Miami.
“Eli made some big plays,” said Giants coach Tom Coughlin. “Obviously he threw the ball a lot today. No turnovers, no interceptions, and he made plays when we had to have them. Once again, he did a very good job.”
Newton threw three touchdown passes for Carolina but the Panthers came up short three points short against the Minnesota Vikings when a last-minute field goal attempt missed.
The Panthers dropped to 2-5 but the Carolina rookie drew praise from the opposing coach.
“(Newton’s) a terrific athlete,” said Vikings coach Leslie Frazier, who also started a rookie quarterback in Christian Ponder. “He’s a guy who has a great head on his shoulders and really understands football. He knows how to make plays and he has a great future in the National Football League.”
Arian Foster (Tennessee) had his third 100-yard rushing game of the season Sunday, carrying the ball 33 times for 112 yards in the Houston Texans 24-14 win over Jacksonville.
Foster and teammate Ben Tate (Auburn) have combined to rush for 1,040 yards in the first eight weeks of the season.
Finally, Marcell Dareus’ (Alabama) move from defensive end to nose tackle paid off in a big way for the Buffalo Bills Sunday. Buffalo shutout Washington 23-0 and the Bills defensive line dominated.
Buffalo had nine sacks – Dareus was credited with 2 ½. His teammate – linebacker Chris Kelsay was impressed.
“He’s a force to be reckoned with,” Kelsay said. “He’s got a number of years ahead of him playing like that. We’re fortunate that he’s on our side.”
The nine sacks by Buffalo’s defense were the second-most in team history.