Tebow’s magic coming to an end; Saints to top Niners

Somehow, a Broncos-Patriots’ second round playoff clash doesn’t have the same appeal of a Steelers-Patriots’ rematch.

Such is life, however, after the Black & Gold found a way to make Tim Tebow resemble a future Hall of Famer.

Granted Steelers’ DB Ike Taylor experienced the ultimate day to forget. Those piling on the veteran corner, however, would do well to place even more blame on a Pittsburgh pass rush which was virtually non-existent.

Although this column projected Denver’s unexpected triumph, we were still shocked by the outcome.

The idea Tebow can duplicate his magic act and lead a second consecutive upset seems generally unimaginable. New England already owns a regular season beatdown of the Broncos and it says here a repeat performance is in the cards.

The weekend’s best matchup? Likely on the left coast where the Niners and Saints kick it off this afternoon.


NEW ORLEANS AT SAN FRANCISCO. Something has to give when Drew Brees confronts one of the league’s premier defenses. Key stat: Frisco is rated first against the rush but only 16th vs. the pass. If Saints’ O-line stands tall and adequately protects Brees, a road team prevails in our Upset Special. Saints, 23-20.

DENVER AT NEW ENGLAND. We think this one has all the makings of a blowout with Tom Brady and teammates inflicting major pain. Look for Pats to pull away in the second half. Patriots, 37-17.


HOUSTON AT BALTIMORE. Great season for a Houston franchise which figures to make qualifying for postseason play a routine occurrence. That said, Texans are up against an opponent here which is generally lights-out at home. At least one Harbaugh moves on. Ravens, 24-14.

NEW YORK GIANTS AT GREEN BAY. G-men enter on mini-roll, yet are up against a Packers’ club fully intent on defending their Super Bowl title. Another bad sign, Giants’ defense ranks 29th against the pass. Packers, 42-21.

LAST WEEK (4-0). SEASON (166-93). UPSET SPECIALS (4-14).

Gibson may be reached at rgibson@timesleaderonline.com