Preps Talk

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.

2018 IHSA Football Playoff Pairings

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

2018 IHSA Football Playoff Pairings

The 2018 IHSA Football Playoff pairings have been unveiled as teams from all over the state begin their postseason journey. 

Be sure to check our Twitter, @NBCSPreps, or the IHSA's Twitter, @IHSAState, for the latest IHSA Football updates. 

CLASS 1A

1. Princeville (9-0) vs. 16. Polo (5-4)
8. Annawan-Wethersfield Coop (6-3) vs. 9. Aurora Christian (6-3)
4. Lena-Winslow (8-1) vs. 13. Lewistown (5-4)
5. Orr (8-1) vs. 12. LeRoy (5-4)
2. Ottawa Marquette (9-0) vs. 15. Orangeville (5-4)
7. Stockton (7-2) vs. 10. Dakota (6-3)
3. Milledgeville (9-0) vs. 14. Fulton (5-4)
6. Forreston (7-2) vs. 11. Hiawatha (6-3)
1. Argenta-Oreana (9-0) vs. 16. Cerro Gordo-Bement Coop (5-4)
8. Fisher (7-2) vs. 9. Cumberland (7-2)
4. Red Hill (8-1) vs. 13. Central A&M (6-3)
5. Madison (8-1) vs. 12. Edwards County (6-3)
2. Camp Pt. Central (8-1) vs. 15. Greenfield-NW Coop (6-3)
7. Sesser-Valier Coop (7-2) vs. 10. Carrollton (6-3)
3. Triopia Coop (8-1) vs. 14. Georgetown-RF (6-3)
6. Arcola (7-2) vs. 11. Salt Fork (6-3)

CLASS 2A

1. Gibson City-MS (9-0) vs. 16. Watseka (5-4)
8. Hope Academy (7-2) vs. 9. Knoxville (6-3)
4. Illini West (9-0) vs. 13. Mercer County (5-4)
5. Newman C.C. (8-1) vs. 12. Rockford Christian (6-3)
2. Orion (9-0) vs. 15. Fieldcrest (5-4)
7. Clifton Central (7-2) vs. 10. Rockridge (6-3)
3. Eastland-Pearl City Coop (9-0) vs. 14. Harlan (5-4)
6. Collins Coop (8-1) vs. 11. Chicago Christian (6-3)
1. St. Teresa (9-0) vs. 16. Staunton (5-4)
8. Eldorado (7-2) vs. 9. Athens (7-2)
4. Pana (8-1) vs. 13. Oakwood (5-4)
5. Nashville (8-1) vs. 12. Tri-Valley (5-4)
2. Maroa-Forsyth (9-0) vs. 15. Routt Coop (5-4)
7. Warrensburg-Latham (7-2) vs. 10. Chester (6-3)
3. Tuscola (8-1) vs. 14. Villa Grove-Heritage Coop (5-4)
6. Bismarck-Henning (8-1) vs. 11. West Hancock Coop (6-3)

Denzel Valentine suffers setback on injured left ankle, will be reevaluated in 2 weeks

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USA TODAY

Denzel Valentine suffers setback on injured left ankle, will be reevaluated in 2 weeks

Denzel Valentine’s troublesome left ankle is going to keep him on the sideline for at least the next two weeks. Fred Hoiberg said Saturday before the Bulls’ home opener against the Detroit Pistons that Valentine is suffering from a bone bruise in the ankle he sprained on the second day of training camp. Valentine will be evaluated in two weeks.

“It sucks because of all the work I put in this summer and being around the guys you want to be out there so bad,” he said. “Things happen for a reason, and now that we know what’s going on I at least have a time frame and be patient with it; it’s bad news but good news at the same time as it gives me time to get ready.”

Valentine had been practicing earlier in the week and appeared close to a return after spraining the ankle on Sept. 25. But the third year wing complained of discomfort in the ankle and missed practice on Friday. A scan of the left ankle revealed the bone bruise, and Hoiberg wouldn’t speculate on when exactly Valentine might return.

It’s the same ankle Valentine had surgery on in May 2017. Valentine also missed the last two weeks of last season after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. The injury couldn’t come at a worse time for Valentine or the Bulls, who are in desparate need of help both in the backcourt and on the wing.

Though Valentine isn’t a true point guard, he averaged 3.2 assists per game off the bench last season. The Bulls could use that kind of production when Kris Dunn returns on Monday, as Cameron Payne and Ryan Arcidiacono haven’t exactly showed promise in the early going.

Instead, Valentine is on the mend and it’s unclear when he might return. Given he’s had surgery on the same ankle before, the Bulls will be cautious upon his return.

“I’m a fighter, I’m not going to quit; just deal with the hand dealt," Valentine said. "I can’t sit here and be negative, I just got to fight, stay mentally strong and this will be bittersweet when I come back and have a great year.”