Athletics

Tebow era over already?

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Tebow era over already?

From Comcast SportsNet

DENVER (AP)Tim Tebow was sacked seven times by the Detroit Lions. Now, he might get sacked by his coach.

A week after salvaging 55 minutes of ineptitude with a miracle comeback in Miami, the Denver Broncos quarterback was good for the first 5 minutes Sunday and then awful the rest of the way in a 45-10 loss to the Lions.

Tebow was off the mark most of the game under relentless pressure by the Lions (6-2), who turned his two turnovers into touchdowns as they snapped a two-game skid and headed into their bye week on a high note.

After the game, Broncos coach John Fox didnt exactly give his quarterback a vote of confidence. Fox said he wanted to evaluate this game before deciding who will be under center when the Broncos (2-5) visit Oakland next Sunday.

It wont be any prettier watching the footage of this one.

Tebow struggled to get the offense into any sort of rhythm, completing just 18 of 39 passes for 172 yards and one score, and most of that yardage came with the outcome long decided. He had happy feet in the pocketmore to do with the Lions pressureand his long, looping throwing motion gave defensive end Cliff Avril enough time to race in, strip the ball and then scoop it up for a 24-yard TD in the third quarter.

Later, cornerback Chris Houston stepped in front of a Tebow pass for the fourth 100-yard interception return in team history.

Just got to improve and get better and come out with a little bit more juice, Tebow said.

Whether thats with Tebow running the show will be a highly discussed and debated topic this week on call-in radio shows. Tebow is keeping out of the fray.

Im just going to get up early and go to work and try to get better tomorrow and consistently improve and be the best person-slash-quarterback for this organization, Tebow said.

He still has the backing of his teammates, who remember the comeback he orchestrated last weekend in Miami more than his lackluster performance against Detroit.

Natural born leader. Hes already proven that, rookie linebacker Von Miller said. Hes a great guy with great character. I feel like he can get it done. Im a believer until the end.

As Tebow struggled, Matthew Stafford picked apart the Broncos secondary, showing hardly any ill effects of an ankle he tweaked the week before against Atlanta. Stafford was on target all day, completing 21 of 30 passes for 267 yards and three TDs.

Feels good now, Stafford said. Feels way better after a win.

His jersey definitely had a lot fewer grass stains than the one belonging to Tebow. Stafford was hardly hit while Tebow was hounded at every opportunity. With a front four featuring standout Ndamukong Suh, Tebow had little time to look for his targets.

That was all part of Detroits game planmake him beat the Lions with his arm.

Hes an athlete. Hes no Tom Brady or Peyton Manning or nothing like that. Or Michael Vick or nothing like that, Houston said. Hes got a long ways to go as far as being a quarterback, but hes a hard worker.

We sent the rush and we were out there on an island most of the time and the D-line just got to him, got a lot of sacks and made him throw the ball up.

Houston was definitely one of the benefactors. He just missed an interception on an earlier play and when the Broncos came back with a similar route, he was ready. Houston jumped in front of the pass and was off to the races.

Given time and patience, Houston believes Tebow can perform at this level.

Hes going to continue to get better in this league, Houston said.

The Broncos started off well in this game by disguising their offensive looks. With Tebow under center, then in shotgun formation, with three backs in the backfield, then none, the Broncos drove down the field on their first drive.

And they looked to have scored on a catch by Eric Decker in the corner of the end zone, only to have the officials rule the catch incomplete and replay validate the call. Denver was forced to settle for a field goal.

From there, the offense went stagnant as Denver gained just 32 yards on its next 22 snaps before going into the locker room trailing 24-3.

We just basically got whipped, Fox said. We got outcoached and outplayed, and weve got a lot of work to do. I think thats very evident.

Last weekend, Tebow inadvertently inspired a phenomenon when he took a knee on the field after a dramatic 18-15 overtime win against the Dolphins and prayed amid all the players celebrating. It became known as Tebowing, and fans all around the country have been posting snapshots online of themselves striking a similar Tebow pose to a website.

Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch got into the act after sacking Tebow, imitating a prayerful pose near Tebow in the first half.

Tight end Tony Scheffler performed a scaled-down version of the Tebow impersonation after catching a 1-yard TD pass against his former team in the second quarter.

Champ Bailey wasnt offended by the behavior, saying that only by stopping teams can that type of celebration be prevented.

Plain and simple, Bailey said. You dont want them celebrating on your fieldstop em. Period.

Jeurys Familia joins the A's at perfect time and picks up win in debut

Jeurys Familia joins the A's at perfect time and picks up win in debut

Jeurys Familia didn't have a whole lot of time for introductions. The newest Oakland A's reliever arrived at the Coliseum just over an hour before first pitch Sunday, less than 24 hours after being acquired from the New York Mets.

A few hours later, the 28-year-old reliever made his A's debut, with the game on the line, no less. Familia entered a 5-5 tie in the ninth inning and proceeded to pitch two scoreless frames, earning the win when Matt Chapman singled home Marcus Semien in the bottom of the 10th, giving the A's a 6-5 victory over the Giants. 

"When you have that kind of a trade and you come to a new team, first impressions are important," A's manager Bob Melvin admitted in his postgame press conference. "When you pitch the way he did, it makes you feel like part of the team very quickly. He was terrific."

"Unbelievable," Sean Manaea marveled from the A's locker room. "I remember watching him in the World Series a couple years ago, and just watching him today, his stuff is nasty. I'm super excited to have him."

Familia joined the A's at the perfect time, as closer Blake Treinen was unavailable to pitch Sunday after throwing 41 pitches the night before. A former All-Star closer, Familia will primarily be used in a setup role moving forward, but he has no problem with that.

"I'm not really concerned with it," he told reporters after the win, through an interpreter. "Whether I pitch the seventh, eighth, or ninth inning, i just want to help the team win."

Added Melvin: "To come into a tie game, you have to be perfect. To do it two innings in a row, for the first time in front of the fan base and in front of your team, there were probably some nerves involved. It certainly didn't show. It was big."

Prior to this weekend, Familia had spent his entire career in the Mets organization. He was understandably emotional when he found out about the trade.

"It was really difficult," he said. "I spent 11 years there, six years in the big leagues. It was really tough to say goodbye to some of those guys."

But Familia is excited to be on a contender and help form one of the best bullpens in all of baseball. The A's are the only team in MLB without a loss when leading after seven innings (39-0), and now they've added another All-Star closer to the mix. Good luck coming back against that.

Brandon Crawford breaks down what happened on A's walk-off single

Brandon Crawford breaks down what happened on A's walk-off single

Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford made highlight play after highlight play during the last three games of the Bay Bridge Series. In the aftermath of Sunday's extra innings loss to the Oakland A's, the All-Star was asked about one he didn't.

A's third baseman Matt Chapman chopped a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning to give Oakland possession of "The Bridge." The ball bounced helplessly off of Crawford's foot and into center field, handing the Giants a second straight loss.

Crawford told reporters after the loss that he charged at the ball because he thought Chapman would beat the throw to first if he didn't. 

"it was a high enough hop that I thought I could get it on that first big hop," Crawford told reporters from the visiting clubhouse at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. "But it came down a lot steeper than I thought it was going to. I think that's what caused me to miss it.”

Crawford entered Sunday 10th among MLB shortstops in fielding percentage (.981), as well as second in putouts per nine innings (1.59) and assists per nine innings (3.07). 

The three-time Gold Glove winner made a pair of impressive catches against the A's on Saturday. He covered the vast foul territory at the Coliseum to make a sprinting catch in one instance, and snagging a ball over his shoulder in shallow center field in another.

A's manager Bob Melvin felt Crawford was in a tough spot on Chapman's chopper on Sunday, and had to react quickly on a "tough play" in order to get Chapman out.  

"But man, how many runs did he save for them in this series," Melvin continued. "He's as good as [shortstops] get. And not only is he a perennial [Gold Glove winner], he's a tough at-bat for them... [He's] a great player. That's not an easy play."