Patriots

Fourth-quarter heroics part of Tebow's improvement

612736.jpg

Fourth-quarter heroics part of Tebow's improvement

FOXBORO -- When Bill Belichick went to Gainesville to work out Aaron Hernandez and Brandon Spikes before the 2010 NFL Draft, he also met with Tim Tebow, and worked him out as well.

While Belichick and Tebow learned different things about each other at that time, it's highly unlikely that Belichick could have ever predicted what Tebow's done for the Denver Broncos in the last couple of weeks. The magic that Tebow has possessed in the fourth quarter this season would be impossible to capture in a pre-draft workout.

"I've been in the league for 20-plus years, so you never want to say you've seen it all, but, you get to experience a lot, and he's a fine young man that's a young quarterback that keeps getting better every week," said Broncos coach John Fox on Wednesday.

"When you win in the National Football League, it becomes a pretty big deal on the outside."

Tebow is now 7-1 as a starter in the last eight weeks. And it's fair to say that he has become a pretty big deal.

He's winning because of his constant fourth-quarter heroics, which has been a stretch of dramatic and unprecedented finishes to games that previously saw three quarters of lackluster production.

So what makes him so much better in the fourth?

"I just think that I'm blessed to have great teammates and great coaches in those fourth quarters," said Tebow on Wednesday. "They make me look a lot better than I am, and I just thank the Lord that we've had the opportunity to pull a few of these ones out."

As Fox said on Wednesday, "The guy just wins."

"Knowing the young man, even before coming here to coach him, just in the draft process, he's got outstanding intangibles, and he performed at a very high level in college at the University of Florida," said Fox. "I think everybody can see that. And I think all young players in the National Football League have got a lot to learn. And quarterback is that much more difficult. I know it's the toughest job in our league. It might be one of the toughest jobs in sports.

"He's improving. It's not just the fourth quarter. He's improving as an NFL quarterback."

Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official

raiders_marshawn_lynch_referee_102017.jpg

Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official

NEW YORK - Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch was suspended for one game without pay by the NFL on Friday for shoving a game official during the Raiders' victory over Kansas City on Thursday night.

Lynch was ejected from the game after he shoved line judge Julian Mapp.

The scuffle started when Oakland quarterback Derek Carr was hit late on a run by Kansas City's Marcus Peters midway through the second quarter. Raiders offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Donald Penn immediately confronted Peters, and Lynch sprinted onto the field from the bench to join the fray. Mapp tried to break up the fight, but Lynch pushed him and grabbed his jersey. Lynch also got a personal foul.

NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote a letter to Lynch, saying:

"You made deliberate physical contact with one of our game officials as he was diffusing an active confrontation between players. You were disqualified for your inappropriate and unsportsmanlike actions. Your conduct included pushing the game official and grabbing his jersey. ... You were not directly involved in the active confrontation that the game official was attempting to diffuse, nor were you a participant in the play that initiated the confrontation. You were the only player from either team who ran from the sideline to midfield to insert himself into a situation in which he was not directly involved."

Lynch will be eligible to return to Oakland's active roster on Oct. 30, the day after the Raiders' game against the Buffalo Bills.

Lynch finished the game with two carries for 9 yards.

The Raiders rallied to win 31-30 on a touchdown pass by Carr on the final play, and Lynch was in the locker room after the game congratulating his teammates.

Lynch came out of retirement this season and was traded from Seattle to the Raiders. Lynch said he wanted to make a comeback so he could give something back to his hometown of Oakland before the Raiders move to Las Vegas in 2020.

Lynch has rushed for 266 yards and two touchdowns in seven games.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Larkin provides fourth-quarter spark, Celtics beat Sixers, 102-92

Larkin provides fourth-quarter spark, Celtics beat Sixers, 102-92

PHILADELPHIA – Despite playing its second straight game without a key rotation player, the Boston Celtics did just enough to get their first win of the season, 102-92, over Philadelphia.

Boston (1-2) was led by Kyrie Irving’s game-high 21 points, but it was Shane Larkin's floor game down the stretch that truly catapulted Boston to its first win of the season.

Larkin, who was seeing action in large part because Marcus Smart was out with a left ankle injury, provided a huge spark in the fourth before finishing with 10 points and four assists.

He drained a 3-pointer that tied the game at 75-all, which was part of an 18-9 Celtics run.

The Sixers (0-2) were led by J.J. Redick and Jerryd Bayless who had 19 and 18 points, respectively. Joel Embiid got off to a slow start, but finished with a double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Boston played with a lead for most of the first half, but Philadelphia took over with a 7-0 run to end the second quarter and had the Celtics playing catch-up for all of the third and some of the fourth quarter.

Boston was once again short-handed, with Marcus Smart out with a left ankle injury. He replaced Gordon Hayward, whose left ankle injury in the first quarter of Boston’s loss to Cleveland on Tuesday, is expected to keep him sidelined for the rest of the season.

But with players out, that opens up opportunities for others to step up.

Larkin, who walked away from a contract overseas that would have paid about $5 million more than he’s making with the Celtics, was one of those players.

Aron Baynes, who got the start with Smart out, had 10 points and eight rebounds. Boston also got another strong game off the bench from Terry Rozier who had 14 points and seven rebounds

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE