Morning Newsletter

NFL hands out hefty fines to 6 players in Bears-Lions game

Denver's Tim Tebow scrambled away from a New York Jets defender Thursday night in the Broncos' 17-13 win. Tebow led a 95-yard TD drive in the fourth quarter to give Denver the lead.
Denver's Tim Tebow scrambled away from a New York Jets defender Thursday night in the Broncos' 17-13 win. Tebow led a 95-yard TD drive in the fourth quarter to give Denver the lead. ASSOCIATED PRESS

Four Detroit Lions, including quarterback Matthew Stafford, and two Chicago Bears were fined Friday by the NFL for incidents in their game last Sunday.

Stafford instigated a scuffle when he grabbed the helmet of Bears defensive back D.J. Moore and threw him to the ground. Stafford was fined $7,500, while Moore was hit for $15,000 for striking back at Stafford and being ejected.

Also docked $15,000 was Lions rookie DT Nick Fairley for driving Bears QB Jay Cutler into the ground.

Chicago receiver Earl Bennett was fined $10,000 for wearing orange shoes, his second uniform violation.Detroit DE Kyle Vanden Bosch was docked $7,500 for unnecessary roughness, and Detroit guard Rob Sims also was hit for $7,500 for a late tackle.

Broncos D sets up Tebow

Lost in all the hoopla over Tim Tebow and his recent success is the performance of Denver's dominant defense over the last month.

The Broncos have been able to keep it close so that their unconventional quarterback can stage a comeback.

Led by relentless rookie pass rusher Von Miller, the Broncos (5-5) stymied Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets in a 17-13 win Thursday to climb to within a half-game of the Oakland Raiders in the middling AFC West race.

The defense sacked Sanchez three times, held the Jets to 83 yards rushing and even provided some scoring help to a stagnant Broncos offense when cornerback Andre' Goodman picked off a Sanchez pass and darted 26 yards into the end zone.

But all that was overshadowed by Tebow's late-game heroics as he led the Broncos on a 95-yard drive that culminated with his 20-yard TD run in the final minute.

Tebow improved to 4-1 since taking over for Kyle Orton. Just keep it close for Tebow — that's become the defense's mantra.

"It's a good feeling, because I know if we're close, we've got a chance," Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey said. "He's going to keep grinding."

Around the league

Ravens: Ray Lewis isn't expected to play Sunday against Cincinnati because of a toe injury that has prevented him from practicing all week.

Eagles: Quarterback Michael Vick missed a third consecutive day of practice Friday because of broken ribs, but Coach Andy Reid did not rule him out of Sunday's game against the New York Giants.

Bears: First-round draft pick Gabe Carimi has become the second Chicago offensive lineman placed on injured reserve in less than a week.

Carimi, the team's starting right tackle, has been out since the second game of the season with a dislocated right knee. Carimi underwent an arthroscopic procedure Nov. 11.

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