Denver quarterback Tim Tebow still questioned, even after comeback win in Miami.
by Nathan Rush
Superman saved the day again. Tim Tebow led the Denver Broncos to an 18â15 overtime win over the Miami Dolphins.
With Urban Meyer watching on the sideline and a sea of blue No. 15 jerseys â both Broncos and Florida Gators â in the stands, Tebow led Denver to 18 unanswered points in a come-from-behind victory that was sealed by a 52-yard field goal from Matt Prater.
It may have taken chants of âWe want Tebow!â from the crowd at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, a massive digital billboard reading âBroncos Fans to John Fox: Play Tebow!!â north of downtown Denver at the intersection of 58th and Logan, and a miserable 6â21 record in the last 27 starts of Kyle Orton, but it has finally happened â Tebow was named the starting quarterback of the Denver Broncos for Week 7.
Why it took so long for owner Pat Bowlen, two-time Super Bowl champion-turned-executive VP of football operations John Elway and Coach Fox to turn to the No. 25 overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft, who knows?
Presumably, the decision-makers want to distance themselves from all moves made by Josh McDaniels, who was fired after a 3â9 start to last season. McDaniels is, after all, the slash-and-burn emperor with no clothes who traded away Jay Cutler and drafted Tebow.
But after a 1â4 start to the 2011 season, pride should be thrown out the window in favor of production. That is, unless Stanford legend Elway wants to lose as many games as possible in order to ensure the No. 1 overall pick to draft current Cardinal icon Andrew Luck.
But even if the Broncos donât get the top pick, Luck could always pull an âElwayâ and demand a trade to Denver â which is what Elway did to the Baltimore Colts in 1983.
If the Broncos want to win this year, Tebow is the only way to go. And Sunday afternoon in South Florida was just another example of that fact â which the fans in Miami seem to have an easier time accepting than the decision-makers in Denver.
Tebow was the main attraction on âGator Dayâ at Sun Life Stadium, where the 2008 BCS national title-winning Florida team was honored at halftime.
A slow start put the Broncos in a 15â0 hole. But the powerful 6'3", 236-pound dual-threat lefty leader lifted the team to a 15â0 fourth-quarter run â commanding touchdown drives of 80 and 56 yards to force overtime and ultimately hand the winless 0â6 Dolphins their 12th loss in their last 13 home games.
âItâs tough to say, but man, Timmy did a great job,â said Miami rookie center Mike Pouncey, a teammate of Tebowâs at Florida.
âHopefully the critics will get off him about what he canât do and talk about the things that he can do, and thatâs figure out a way to win the game, no matter what.â
Tebow finished the game with 161 passing yards, two TDs and zero INTs, as well as eight carries for 65 yards and the overtime-forcing two-point conversion on the ground. He has now thrown for 894 yards, eight TDs and three INTs, while rushing for 329 yards and seven TDs in 13 career games.
Rightfully labeled a âwinner,â Tebow has a 2â2 record in four NFL starts. The Broncos are 4â14 in all other games since drafting Tebow.
Still, there seems to be a league-wide reluctance to acknowledge Tebowâs success and potential. Worse, there is an eagerness to shoot down or pick apart the young signal-caller â whose simultaneously brutish and instinctual skills admittedly resemble a leather-helmeted old school throwback more than a radio-headset-wearing modern day pocket passer.
But, as anyone who has met the remarkable 24-year-old can attest, the Tebow aura is real, his âitâ factor is off the charts and his winning enthusiasm is contagious. Elway may continue to lead the Tebow doubters, but it would be hard to find a Denver teammate who isnât standing loyally behind their new quarterback.
âFirst off, I have to thank my lord and savior, Jesus Christ, and my teammates â¦ they believed in me for more than 60 minutes,â said Tebow, immediately after the win.
âYou canât lose confidence in yourself or youâve lost already. When you get knocked down, youâve got to keep getting back up.â
After this weekâs win in Miami, itâs Tebow time in Denver â even if Elway doesnât believe in Superman.