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Broncos at Vikings

December 04, 2011


If you haven’t tired of hearing about Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow yet, just wait until Sunday night if Tebow leads the Broncos past Minnesota and into first place in the AFC West – a Denver win and Raiders loss at Miami would cause a deadlock atop the division.

Since becoming Denver’s starting quarterback, Tebow has directed three fourth-quarter comebacks, two of which set up overtime wins. He also rallied the Broncos from a halftime deficit in a 38-24 victory over Oakland on Nov. 6. In the fourth quarter of last Sunday’s game at San Diego, Tebow led Denver on a 68-yard drive, setting up Matt Prater’s 24-yard, game-tying field goal with 1:34 remaining. Denver went on for a 16-13 victory in overtime, its fourth straight win.

With the former Heisman Trophy winner running the offense, the Broncos have scored 11 times in the fourth quarter or overtime compared to 10 scoring drives in the first three quarters combined. Tebow’s first-half passer rating of 64.9 is fourth-worst among the 37 quarterbacks with at least 50 first-half attempts, but his fourth-quarter QB rating of 107.8 trails only Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.

In the Broncos’ OT win over San Diego, Tebow rushed 22 times for 67 yards, the most carries by a QB in a game since at least 1950. In Tebow’s only loss as a starter, the Lions committed linebackers to spy Tebow and forced him to stand and deliver in the pocket.

The Vikings own the NFL’s fourth-worst pass defense, allowing 258 yards per game including 262 and three TDs in last week’s loss to Matt Ryan’s Atlanta Falcons, their third in as many games.

The Broncos could get a huge break Sunday in that Vikings star RB Adrian Peterson might miss his second straight game. Peterson said his high left ankle sprain doesn’t have to be 100 percent for him to feel he should play against the Broncos.

“I’ve played several times when I wasn’t 100 percent,” he said. “If I feel I can go and I can help this team and I can be productive, I’m going.”

The final decision belongs to coach Leslie Frazier, who will make that determination based on what he sees in practice on Friday. Peterson, who missed last week’s loss in Atlanta, has not practiced this week, although he was able to jog on Wednesday and was scheduled to do some cutting drills on Thursday.


RECORD VS. SPREAD — Broncos 6-5; Vikings 4-6-1

SERIES RECORD — Vikings lead 7-5

LAST MEETING — Broncos beat Vikings 22-19, Dec. 30, 2007

LAST WEEK — Broncos beat Chargers 16-13; Vikings lost to Falcons 24-14





STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Though Broncos are visitors, game will be broadcast on Fox, rare break from NFL’s contract with CBS for AFC games — including interconference matchups when AFC team is road team. League allowed switch as part of late-season flexible scheduling plan to help boost Fox’s coverage of early games Sunday. Fox had only two other matchups in 1 p.m. slot, both involving teams in South. … Broncos making second trip to Minnesota in last 15 years. They lost at Metrodome in 2003, but none of their current players were on roster then. Vikings still have three players left from that year, TE Jim Kleinsasser, DT Kevin Williams and LB E.J. Henderson. … Broncos’ last loss away from Denver was Oct. 2 at unbeaten Green Bay. Last time they won five road games in a row was 1998, their second of two straight championship seasons. … Broncos trail Raiders by one game in AFC West race. Denver has three home games and two winning teams — Chicago and New England — left on schedule. Oakland has two home games and two winning teams — Green Bay and Detroit — remaining. … Broncos QB Tim Tebow has accounted for six touchdowns without a turnover in 122 total touches during Denver’s four-game winning streak. … Broncos WR Eric Decker returns to home state, and stadium where he played three of his four college seasons for Minnesota. He’s tied for fourth in NFL with eight touchdowns receiving. … Broncos star rookie LB Von Miller recovering from right thumb surgery this week, but expected to play. … After recording at least one sack in each of first nine games and reaching NFL lead with 13½, Vikings DE Jared Allen has gone two straight games without one. … Last time Vikings had two wins at 12-game mark was 1962, their second season of existence.

SA Take: As much as we hate to do this, we are going to go against tebow and the Broncos. We like the kid and think he is a winner. But he is not the whole team and they do have some weaknesses. We like a play on Minnesota here.

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Sunday, December 4th, 2011 NFL Betting 2011

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