Posted Mon Jan 9th by Monty
We’re eagerly preparing to give out BT Game Balls soon — the first-ever Playoffs BT Game Balls, as it were — but I’m jumping the gun a little bit to give two key contributors to yesterday’s win a more appropriate due.
Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and quarterback Tim Tebow deserve a ton of credit for respectively preparing and executing a perfect gameplan against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday. The way you hear The New York Times‘s Andy Benoit say it, McCoy was prophetic:
McCoy designed some very shrewd routes against the Steelers’ coverages. Instead of going with the tight bunches and myriad crossing patterns that most coaches use to beat man coverage, he went with a barrage of outside fly routes. Those patterns ensured one-on-one coverage – as safety help is irrelevant outside in man coverage – and allowed Tebow to heave the ball downfield rather than make precise, timing-based throws to moving targets through tight windows. When McCoy did go to crossing routes, he put in wrinkles like fly patterns up the seams off the crosses or deep hooks on the outside. The idea was to use Troy Polamalu’s aggressive decision-making against him. It worked masterfully.
Meanwhile Tebow, knowing the Steelers were not going to blitz him heavily (“that’s not the way you beat Tim Tebow, that’s the way he beats you,” we were all told), took advantage of his soft pockets to hit Demaryius Thomas for over 200 yards on only four completions. When trouble came knocking, he was able to get out of the pocket and make plays with his feet — often still behind the line of scrimmage, opening up the passing game.
The league’s worst passing offense just beat the league’s best passing defense, through the air. McCoy and Tebow each showed they have the talent needed to transform this offense into something that can compete with the best in the National Football League.