Broncos vs. Vikings: 5 Ways to Stop a Tim Tebow-Led Offense
Tim Tebow has successfully led to the Broncos to a win in nearly every one of his starts, so the guy himself is dangerous enough.
Let's take a look at what the Vikings have to do to stop Tebow and his offense.
Make the First Two Drives Count
If this Vikings team is going to beat Tim Tebow and the Broncos, they will need to make their first two drives count.
Tim Tebow's mobility is a problem for most defenses, but scoring on your first two drives—touchdowns not field goals—will help contain that mobility and force Tebow to throw the ball.
Throwing the ball...that reminds me...
Make Tebow Beat You
It isn't any secret that Tim Tebow isn't a great pocket passer, and if the Vikings can accomplish step one, then it would help force Tebow to try and beat the Vikings with his arm.
Tebow isn't the most accurate passer in the world, and he's not a good decision-maker either, but he is showing slight improvement each week, but I don't think it is enough to beat Minnesota through the air.
But what if Tebow starts using those legs?
There's an old philosophy in football for linebackers; one that is paramount to not only containing the ground game—which we'll get to in a minute—but also important when trying to contain a mobile quarterback.
If the Vikings defensive staff can keep their linebackers at the first level with success, they can limit the damage that Tebow's mobility and option offense can do.
Now, what about that ground game?
Beware of Lance Ball
The banged-up and bruised Willis McGahee is expected to get the nod despite being limited in practice this week, but the Broncos also feature another quality back in Lance Ball.
Ball is shifty, quick off the line and a very bruising back, particularly in head-on collisions.
The Vikings are going to have to make sure the ground game is nearly ineffective if they are to stave off both backs—and Tebow's play-action—but more importantly, they are going to need to make sure they do not underestimate Lance Ball.
Wait, what? I thought you said Tebow was a mobile quarterback, and I thought the Broncos were a run-first team? What's all this about play-action?
Defend the Play-Action and Then Some
Yes. Although this Tebow-led offense is primarily a run-first squad, they can in fact pass the ball and make it work for them.
Yes. Tim Tebow is not the best quarterback in the league, but he can hit the right throws when and if they present themselves.
The one advantage the Vikings may have is the potential absence of wide-out Eddie Royal, but the Vikings will still have to deal with Demaryius Thomas, and the ever-threatening Eric Decker over the middle.
That play-action that the Broncos run isn't just for the deep ball. They also utilize the play-action for the short crosses, and shallow throws over the middle to guys like Erick Decker, who usually turn nothing into something.
Ergo, shutting down the ground game will inhibit the play-action, which can first be accomplished by preventing Tebow to run certain aspects of his offense if the Vikings jump on top early, ultimately forcing Tebow to flat-out beat them with just his arm.
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