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The Highs and Lows of Tim Tebow: Down 15-0 Late, Denver Wins

If you were hoping that Tim Tebow talk would die down, sorry. Not this week. Every angle, every storyline, every stereotype of Tebow by both the “haters” and the “lovers” was played out over the more than 60 minutes of game action. For 50+ minutes, Tim Tebow was dreadful and looked every bit like the player who many expected. He scrambled for yards, but it was more than offset by bad sacks and inaccurate throws. On his first eleven drives of the day, the Broncos scored zero points. He was 4 for 14 for 46 yards, and with all the lost sack yards, the Broncos barely had positive net passing yards for the day.

Then, with the Broncos trailing 15-0 late, Tebow led what looked like a garbage time drive, getting a touchdown on a pass to Demaryius Thomas. Denver, though, recovered the onside kick that followed, and Tebow again quarterbacked the team down the field to a touchdown, and then ran in the 2-point conversion to send it to overtime.

He didn’t have to do much in overtime. The Dolphins won the toss, but then Matt Moore showed why he is Matt Moore, and had absolutely zero pocket awareness of the obvious blitz coming at him, and fumbled inside the Miami 40. Three handoffs and three yards later, and the Broncos won the game on a Matt Prater 52 yard field goal.

Last week, I was a “lover” I guess because I thought it was time to give him a chance to see what his different skill set could do, plus I defended his rating by QBR. This week, I’ll probably be labeled a “hater” for not overly praising his winning ways.

Despite all the religious references you will hear, Tebow does not control the onside kick that had to happen. If it doesn’t, the Broncos lose, and the story is about Tebow’s horrible performance that only looked moderately tolerable because of the garbage time touchdown. Since it did, he got another chance and took advantage. He played much better on the final drives, hitting throws that he was missing earlier. He does not will the fumble, though a Matt Moore fumble is not entirely unpredictable.

So in the end, the Tebow talk will be unbearable this week. The truth: he played a bad game against a bad opponent that other quarterbacks have carved up, but played well at the end. The Broncos got some bad breaks early, and had some missed field goals. They got some very good ones late. He made the plays at the end, but I hate the term “when necessary”. It’s necessary to make plays all game long, and there aren’t too many other opponents in this league where such a comeback would have still been viable late.

[photo via Getty]

 

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