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Doc's NFL Notebook

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In two seconds, Tim Tebow inadvertently created a phenomenon. After the Denver Broncos beat the Dolphins in overtime on October 23, Tebow dropped down to one knee and began to pray before joining his teammates in the celebration.

It became known as "Tebowing" when Broncos fan Jared Kleinstein uploaded a picture of himself and his friends mimicking Tebow's form. The act quickly became mainstream, with hundreds of people sending pictures to Tebowing.com. When Detroit Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch sacked Tebow just a week later, he celebrated by Tebowing in front of the QB. Tebow takes any mockery of it in stride. "It's not my job to see people's reasons behind it," Tebow said. "I know [of a kid] with cancer that tweeted me, 'Tebowing while I'm chemoing' -- how cool is that?"

West Ain't Best:
Last season, there was no worse division in the league than the NFC West. All four teams finished under .500, and each team carried a point differential of minus-39 or worse. Well take a seat, NFC West teams. There's a new home to inadequacy, and it's the AFC West. Through Week 11, every team had a differential of minus-19 or worse and were in the bottom 10 in points allowed per game. The Oakland Raiders led the way at 6-4 after 11 weeks, despite the struggles of new quarterback Carson Palmer. But hey, maybe the fate of the AFC West champion could turn out as well as last year's NFC West winners. The Seattle Seahawks did upset New Orleans in the Wild Card Round before falling to Chicago.

Downright Offensive:
It's not just a talking point by TV analysts: the NFL has truly become a passing league. The average game this season features 68.6 pass attempts and 53.8 running attempts, the largest gap in league history. But more than that, it is simply becoming an offensive league. The average of 44 total points per game in 2011 is the highest in the Super Bowl era, as is the 5.5 yards per play. The effect can be seen in the running game as well: the 4.3 yards per carry average is the highest of any season in NFL history. And teams are holding onto the ball, with the second-lowest turnover rate at 3.2 per game. All of this stresses the importance of having a defense that can force turnovers: make sure your offense has the ball, and theirs doesn't.

Aaron It Out:
Leading that offensive charge is the unanimous favorite for NFL MVP: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers. If you haven't yet tired of numbers, let's put Rodgers' first 10 weeks into historical perspective. His 72.9% completion percentage is by far the best in NFL history (minimum of 150 attempts). Rodgers has averaged 9.7 yards per pass attempt, the second-highest mark in the modern era. With 28 TD passes and just three interceptions, he is making a run at Tom Brady's record of 50 touchdowns in a season, set in 2007. And while passer rating may not be a comprehensive stat for grading out quarterbacks, it is right to praise Rodgers. His 130.7 rating is nine points higher than any single-season QB performance in history. And against the Colts, he had more TD passes (5) than incompletions (4). That says it all.

New Year, New Blitz:
Sports video game aficionados been craving a new "NFL Blitz" game since the last one came out in 2003. The arcade-style football game was popular a decade ago for its quirky and fun 7-on-7 play. When the original was released in 1998, GameSpot.com called it "the best football game ever made." The new edition is being developed by EA Sports Tiburon, the same studio that creates the Madden NFL games. But while Madden is known for its deep playbooks and realistic settings, "Blitz" is known for its spectacular tackles and long pass plays. NFL Blitz will be available on January 3, 2012 for $14.99 on Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network. And football fans will be able to control the big-headed players to their hearts' content.

Lewis and Clark:
The Ravens and Steelers are known for their intense, smashmouth matchups. But this year's game in Pittsburgh was also notable for emptying players' checkbooks. Ravens LB Ray Lewis and Steelers FS Ryan Clark lost a combined $60,000 for their respective hits during the November 6 game. And the two paid their fines to commissioner Roger Goodell with typical quiet dignity. Yeah, right. Here's Clark: "Somebody else needs to step in ... not that I respected Roger before this ... but this is ridiculous." And Lewis: "You just can't stop playing defense the way this defense has always played." Now we just have to wait and see if the two sides meet up in the playoffs again. The checkbooks are waiting.

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