|We're Tracking Tebow … because it's impossible not to watch.|
By Ryan Wilson
When it comes to Tim Tebow, there's really not much left to say. As head coach John Fox pointed after the latest Broncos come-from-behind win, this time against the Vikings, "The guy knows how to win."
Two months ago, such remarks wouldn't have been much different from all the other post-victory-glow cliches we're usually beaten about the head with. But now, with Tebow 6-1 as Denver's starter, and the Broncos atop the AFC West, Fox speaks the truth. There is no logical explanation for the team's sudden turnaround let alone Tebow's success but after witnessing miracle after miracle most of us now take it on faith that some way, some how, the Broncos are going to win and Tebow will do his part. Ironic, we know.
Unlike previous weeks, Tebow matriculated the ball down the field with his arm, not his legs. He had just four rushes for 13 yards, something you might expect from a prototypical NFL quarterback, not a guy whose legend was built on his ability to tuck and run. Not against the Vikings, who seemed intent on keeping Tebow in the pocket and forcing him to put the ball in the air.
He did just that 15 times, completing 10 throws for 202 yards. Adjusted for conventional NFL QBs, that works out to about a 500-yard passing day. Tebow also threw two touchdowns and it was his fifth straight game without an interception.
We can chuckle all we want about Tim Tebow, glorified H-back, but the Chiefs and Bears would love to have him right now. Nothing he does on the football field is pretty but there's no denying that he's efficient. No one -- not even Tom Brady, former 199th pick who cries when he's reminded of his draft-day free fall -- gets more out of their abilities. Because, realistically, Tebow should be a blocking back. He should be playing on the coverage and return units. He should be on the roster bubble every preseason. And yet here he is, doing what he's done since high school: winning.
He's converted an entire country of doubters, and more importantly, he's convinced John Fox and John Elway. Now, with a month left in the regular season there's no reason to think that the Broncos won't win their division. That, folks, is the Power of Tebow (and the benefits of having an easy schedule relative to the Raiders).
Play by Play
(Note: Below are the plays -- both running and passing -- involving Tebow. You can view the entire play-by-play breakdown here)
"I know that everyone wants to know, but our future is right now. When you look at where we are, the future is the Chicago Bears. We've got three out of four at home, and we're coming off five out of six wins, so we're excited to come home. - Broncos president John Elway, on his weekly radio show, answering a question about whether Tebow's performance means he's the team's long-term quarterback.
“Walking out of the tunnel yesterday (in Minnesota), somebody had farted. We’re walking down, this is right before the game starts, and [head coach John Fox] is like, ‘Man, somebody’s nervous.” - Broncos punter Dustin Colquitt offering an example of why Fox is a players' coach and always knows exactly what to say.
"There were a lot of questions on the outside (about Tebow). Sometimes it gets built up like they were on the inside, but the one thing I will say is the guy wins. He does it with his feet, he does it with his arm. He's young, he's just going to get better." - Head coach John Fox
"I've definitely seen that a couple times from No. 15. When I hear all those ESPN commentators say, 'He can't do this,' I laugh. After the game, I whispered in his ear, 'Let 'em keep hating. Keep 'em hating on you.'" - Vikings wide receiver and Tebow's former teammate at Florida, Percy Harvin
Tebow used to struggle with deep throws, even the wide open ones. That was a non-issue against the Vikings.
At this point, nothing surprises us with Tebow. He does it so often everybody expects it. Put differently: we're believers now!
Yes, Tebow is a beneficiary of a good defense, but he also plays better as the game progresses.
Eye on Tebow
Tim Tebow at terminal velocity rips the helmets off unsuspecting opponents.
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