|We're Tracking Tebow … because it's impossible not to watch.|
Posted by Ryan Wilson
Tim Tebow is 2-1 as a starter this season. After watching his performance against the Lions last week it's, well, a miracle. But faith is a big part of Tebow's life. So when absolutely no one -- including his coach -- believed he was anything more than a glorified fullback, Tebow came out against the Raiders … and looked a lot like a fullback.
The former Heisman winner rushed for 118 yards on 12 carries. He also had two legitimate "Hey, look at me I'm an NFL QB!" touchdown throws, but finished just 10 of 21 for 124 yards. It was more than enough against the Raiders, an outfit that committed a season's worth of stupid penalties in an afternoon, and seemed genuinely perplexed to learn that Tebow was a threat to run.
|Tebow > Tebow meme|
Whatever, it's a win, which have been hard to come by in Denver the last two seasons. Never mind that there are still serious questions about Tebow's long-term viability. On Sunday, he outplayed the Raiders' savior, Carson Palmer, who still looks like a guy fresh out off a nine-month break from football.
For all the criticism heaped on head coach John Fox in recent weeks, give the man credit for tailoring the Broncos' offense around Tebow's strengths. In watching every one of Tebow's snaps this season (preseason too!) a couple things quickly stand out: He struggles to throw accurately on the run (the irony isn't lost on us), and he's at his best on screen passes and short throws. (Yes, we realize this is a scouting report you might expect to read on a junior high school player.)
Against the Raiders the game plan was pretty simple: run Willis McGahee a lot, draw up some designed runs for Tebow (specifically: the Broncos' new-fangled, pro-style run-option scheme to go along with the old standards: Tebow draws and sneaks), give him some easy short throws, and take the occasional shot down the field. Denver didn't abandon the plan, even though they trailed by 10 points in the third quarter. Instead, they continued to lean on the running game and that, dumb Raiders' penalties, and a huge Eddie Royal touchdown return resulted in a blowout.
There's no question that Tebow played much better this week than last, and a lot of that had to do with what the coaches asked him to do (or more accurately: what they didn't ask him to do).
Can he keep it going?
Our eyes and brain tell us no … but this is the AFC West where mediocrity is rampant and every team is a playoff contender. The Broncos head to Kansas City next and the Chiefs are fresh off quite possibly the most embarrassing loss of the season, a 31-3 thumping at the hands of the previously 0-7 Dolphins.
So, yeah, anything can happen.
Play by Play
(Note: You can view the play-by-play breakdown spreadsheet here)
"It's a tribute to our coaches. We've definitely made adjustments. We've been in the process of adjusting for the last three weeks. It's a different style, but it can be effective." - Broncos head coach John Fox
"I think it was college." - Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer on the last time he saw a read-option running attack, referring to Tebow and the Broncos' rushing attack which racked up 281 yards on the ground.
"Honestly, I put that pressure on myself more than anybody else. To try to improve and ultimately get a victory no matter how it looks. That was a special one." - Tim Tebow
"I'm shocked. Ain't no way I thought that team could put 38 points on us with that quarterback. This hurt more than Buffalo." - Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly
Here are the moving-pictures recap of the Broncos' comeback win:
Willis McGahee ran for 163 yards and Tim Tebow threw two touchdown passes to lead the Denver Broncos to a 38-24 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. CBS Sports' Greg Gumble and Dan Dierdorf have the recap.
Two week ago Tebowing was cute (Tim was for it!), then it was sad ... and now it's cute again:
We've fully prepared ourselves for the inevitable "How the Run-Option Saved My Career" Tebow autobiography.
Eye on Tebow
|Tebow limbers up for some run-option magic (Getty Images)|
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