Comparing World Series cities:

Scouting Notebook: Hunky Torrey

Michael Salfino
Yahoo Sports

As Abraham Lincoln once famously said, "A nation divided against Tim Tebow(notes) cannot stand." So here's my compromise of 2011: Let Tebow play the last five minutes so his believers still get Tebow Time and that way the rest of us don't have to be sickened by Terrible Tim for the other 55 minutes of his games.

A serious element to Tebow's play that has implications for how we project the broader population of quarterbacks is whether to focus on the vast majority of his plays or on the handful of plays where he's played well at the end of games. In many ways, he's the Bizarro Tony Romo(notes), who is excellent most plays but who has inexplicably struggled in key moments of some games (that his detractors selectively remember). Just so you know that it's nothing personal against Tebow, I've been one of Romo's biggest supporters because I believe that you project based on the largest samples of data.

Tebow's problem is his inability to throw the football with the requisite touch, timing and accuracy. And I can't see any evidence that this has changed since his college days.

Now for the rest of the Week 11 Scouting Notebook. As always, feel free to comment below and I will do my best to answer questions even in the short week on Twitter @MichaelSalfino. Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Torrey Smith(notes) is a very interesting player for Baltimore going forward. The floor is always going to be low when you have shares in the Ravens passing game because they're content to win ugly. But Smith is a guy I will target going forward even in non-distance formats as he has elite speed and plays with a little physicality, too, in going after the ball. I think he's a dangerous third receiver in deeper formats for the balance of 2011, too.

The amount of yards in the Ravens-Bengals game shocked me. Andy Dalton(notes) killed it in the fourth quarter when the Ravens went soft, with Jerome Simpson(notes) being the main beneficiary. Dalton filled up our stat sheets without looking very good on the real one. He needs A.J. Green(notes), but who knows when he'll be back. I would not wager on it being Week 12.

Rookies get the benefit of the doubt on mistakes as long as they show they can find the tighter NFL windows under duress and it looks to me like the Vikings have an answer at quarterback long term in Christian Ponder(notes). This makes Percy Harvin(notes) an attractive option going forward. In fact, I'd give Harvin a boost if Adrian Peterson's ankle injury keeps him sidelined a few weeks, as I expect.

Matt Moore(notes) 2009: 98.5 QB rating in 138 attempts with a 7.6 YPA and a 8/2 TD/INT ratio. That bought him one game in 2010 – a joke. It's all because he lacked a draft pedigree – but teams really don't know what they're getting at the position until they see it.

Roy Helu(notes) had eight carries for 35 yards and Tashard Choice(notes) and Ryan Torain(notes) 11 carries for 11 yards. This means nothing to the gremlins in Mike Shanahan's head for next week. But I will bet that the next time Shanahan commits to Helu for a game, it will last for as long as he does in Washington.

Dallas did the right thing with DeMarco Murray(notes) and Felix Jones(notes). The idea that you can't lose your job to injury is maybe the dumbest sports "rule" ever. Wally Pipp, people.

Jordy Nelson(notes) is going to be really something next year when he is established as 1A next to Greg Jennings(notes) in the Packers' passing game hierarchy. But his ability to leverage opportunities now is just astounding. He's a complete receiver. Playing with a quarterback playing at perhaps the highest level over a multi-year period in league history.

James Starks(notes) owners had to love B.J. Raji(notes) getting a goal-line plunge, which he converted.

Matthew Stafford(notes) did it without Calvin Johnson(notes) bailing him out on alley-oop-type throws. This is a key to his development, though unwelcome news for Johnson owners.

Frank Gore's(notes) volume (24 carries) shows you he's fine after sitting out for much of Week 10. I had some people ask me about trading for him last week when his health was more in doubt, but you have the all-clear now, even if you want to overpay with your depth – that's not as useful now that byes are over.

Seattle has a really big team, even by NFL standards. They are pretty stout now. So I wouldn't panic over Steven Jackson even though I've been predicting this kind of demise. There's still a chance I'm wrong and that Jackson has some gas in the tank. Bottom line: I respect this Seahawks defense.

Sam Bradford(notes) is really struggling. But we've seen enough of him to know he can make the throws that need to be made. Right now, his mental game is just not there. He's playing slow and indecisively and that feeds on itself when the results are poor and confidence understandably sinks.

So much for Vincent Brown(notes) off the big game against the Raiders and solid one against the Packers. That made the Bears pay more attention to him, to Vincent Jackson's(notes) huge benefit. That, my friends, is the quandary for complementary targets – the floor is always really low because teams like using them as decoys for their better receivers.

Boy, Matt Forte(notes) was getting such praise from the CBS announcers (and especially Phil Simms) for a guy averaging 2.9 per carry in the game. I assumed he had about 150 rushing yards.

Jake Locker(notes) looked good enough for the Titans to keep playing but it's really hard to judge a guy against vanilla prevent defenses. I feel bad because I projected Matt Hasselbeck(notes) to have a good day against a poor Falcons pass defense in Football by the Numbers where we assess matchups. Hasselbeck looked terrible before getting injured, but probably at least would have salvaged the day.

Michael Salfino writes and edits the SNYWhyGuys blog that projects player and team performance for New Yorkers. He's also a quantative sports analyst whose writing regularly appears in the Wall Street Journal.

View Comments (0)