Blog Entry

Tracking Tebow, Week 14: Transformation continues

Posted on: December 12, 2011 1:40 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2011 1:56 pm
We're Tracking Tebow … because it's impossible not to watch. 

By Ryan Wilson

Week 14 Tim Tebow looks nothing like the quarterback we saw in Miami on October 23. Let's be honest: when he made his first start against the Dolphins in Week 7, he was a curiosity, a sideshow that brought out the gawkers and the critics.

We joked about this after the Jets win. Maybe we should give the new Denver helmet serious consideration...
In the seven games since, Tebow and the Broncos are 6-1, and have gone from early season laughingstock to AFC West leaders destined for the playoffs. It isn't all because of Tebow (everyone -- o-line, defense, special teams, wideouts, coaches -- has picked up their game in the last two months) but he's done his part, too.

And after Denver's most recent come-from-behind win, this time against the Bears, it's clear that Tebow is evolving into a legitimate NFL passer as well. No, seriously. A proper quarterback, who reads defenses, manipulates coverages, and gets the ball out accurately and on time (see the play-by-play below for proof).

We were blown away by Tebow's performance against Chicago, and his numbers belie just how well he played. For starters, he threw the ball 40 times. The last time he approached that many attempts was in Week 8 against the Lions, a complete and absolute throttling in which Tebow looked confused and outclassed.

In the subsequent five games -- all wins -- the Broncos stressed the read-option running game and used the forward pass only in cases of emergency. Tebow's attempt totals over that span: 21, 8, 20, 18, and 15. His completion percentages: 48, 25, 45, 50, 67.

On Sunday, he set season highs for attempts and completions. The reason: the Bears weren't going to let Tebow beat them with his legs. But also because the Broncos coaching staff clearly is comfortable with Tebow's progress as a passer. In the previous weeks, he struggled from the pocket, both with going through his progressions and getting the ball out on time. Against Chicago, he was decisive and poised, and most importantly: accurate.

(Also noteworthy: even when Tebow misses intended targets badly, he seldom throws interceptions. That can't be overstated in a league where turnovers equals losing.)

Yes, he was just 3 of 16 for 45 yards (with an interception) in the first three quarters against Chicago, which is pretty much the script for Broncos' games the last seven weeks. But this time was different. Tebow was throwing with touch and anticipation, except that his would-be receivers couldn't hold onto to anything. Maybe it was karmic payback for all those medicine balls Tebow had thrown in prior games, or perhaps it was God's way of ratcheting up the drama for a fourth-quarter run that has now become a cliche.

Whatever the explanation, with the Broncos trailing by 10 points and with sufficient time having expired in the final quarter, Tebow got down to doing what Tebow does. He was 18 of 24 for 191 yards in the final period, including a nifty touchdown pass that shows just how far he's come as an NFL passer.

On this TD pass with just over two minutes to go in the 4th quarter and the Broncos trailing 10-0, Tebow drops back, looks left, then comes back right. He steps up in the pocket, looks as if he's going to run (and draws in the two defenders in pass coverage in the process) and then calmly throws to a wide-open Thomas in the back of the end zone. That's a big-boy play. (Watch the Xs and Os of the play here.)

                                                   Play by Play

(Note: Below are the plays -- both running and passing -- involving Tebow. You can view the entire play-by-play breakdown here)


"He’s a good running back. He does a good job for them. They have a good offense with him back there. They do some different plays. I thought we did a good job overall." - Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, talking about Tebow who, by the way, was 21 of 40 for 236 yards and only rushed 12 times for 49 yards.

"He played hard. I respect a guy that plays hard, him and all the other 10 guys on that field for the Broncos." - Bears linebacker Lance Briggs

"It wasn't anything special that he did." - Bears defensive end Julius Peppers

"Everyone believes that something good's going to happen. And, obviously, Tim's been the guy that's led that thinking. He's just such a strong believer. He's really got everyone else believing if you stay strong, stay positive, something good's going to happen. When guys are thinking that way — and it's been led by Timmy with that positive attitude — all boats have been rising with that." - Broncos executive VP John Elway, former Tebow doubter.


Tim Tebow led another comeback victory, and Matt Prater's 51-yard field goal with 8:34 left in overtime gave the Denver Broncos a 13-10 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

Tim Tebow led another comeback victory, and Matt Prater's 51-yard field goal with 8:34 left in overtime gave the Denver Broncos a 13-10 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

And if you want to experience two totally different post-game press conferences, here's John Fox and Lovie Smith A.T. (After Tebow, natch).

                                                   Eye on Tebow

(Click on photos to enlarge)

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Since: Oct 11, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 2:34 pm

Tracking Tebow, Week 14: Transformation continues

his footwork....hah go watch dancing with the stars if your worried about footwork. tebow dont need no stinking footwork!

Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: December 14, 2011 6:31 am

Tracking Tebow, Week 14: Transformation continues

I'm happy for Tebow and enjoy watching his contribution to the Broncos success. 

But, do we really need a "Tebow Tracker"?  The helmet design in this article is ridiculous.  Nothing like creating a lightning rod where one is not needed!  The media needs to settle down

Continued success, Tim. 

Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: December 14, 2011 1:26 am

Tracking Tebow, Week 14: Transformation continues

LOL. That Osobucks is a real genius isn't he? Look at the NFL's website for QB ratings. Or look at Tebow's stats for his first 11 games vs. many past and present QB's stats for their same first 11 games. Eh,'re obviously a guy who can watch a game, but not understand what you're seeing. I'm not particularly a Tebow promoter, but facts are facts. He's doing pretty well for basically a rookie. Get over your hate.     

Since: Nov 21, 2009
Posted on: December 13, 2011 11:31 pm

Tracking Tebow, Week 14: Transformation continues

This guy plays for the team with the 31st ranked passing offense out of 32 teams, but with the 1st ranked rushing offense. Three of the 6 wins have been in overtime, and last week's win took field goals of 59 and 50 yards to make it happen. In another of the wins, Tebow sat and watched as the other team missed a field goal to win the game, because Tebow's brilliant coach punted on 4th and about a foot, even with a running QB like Tebow. In 4 of the 6 wins, the opposing team has scored 10, 13, 10, and 13 points. The Panthers have scored 35, 29, 27, 23, 23, and 21 in 6 of their LOSSES! This may sound like I'm anti Tebow, but I'm not. I'm just against him getting so much credit for these close wins. He goes in against a prevent defense, because the other team is leading, and has been able to get long field goals to win. The credit for these wins should go mostly to the defense and special teams. Tebow should definitely get credit for not turning the ball over, but he is no more responsible for Denver's wins than Newton is for the Panthers' losses. This coming weekend will prove my point, because there's no way Denver's defense will stop the Patriots, and the Denver running game won't be able to out-score New England.

Since: Dec 13, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 2:33 pm

Tracking Tebow, Week 14: Transformation continues


Is Tim Tebow really Jesus?

Since: Aug 29, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2011 2:32 pm

Tracking Tebow, Week 14: Transformation continues

OSU Bucks drowns in De Nile!

Jets pass D is ranked 7th, Chargers 8th, Chiefs 10th and Raiders 17th. Only the Vikings and Bears could be considered in the "worst passing defense" range.

So, OSU Bucks, do you enjoy looking unintelligent? Boffo!

Since: Nov 19, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2011 2:16 pm

Tracking Tebow, Week 14: Transformation continues

You couldnt possibly be more wrong about him getting better. If you look at his stats, it certainly paints that picture, but he has played some of the worst passing defenses in the game the last few weeks which are accounting for his perceived improvement. It doesnt seem to get any better with New England this week either. His is a HORRIBLE QB, and the world needs to stop pretending he is the next Marino, and the second coming of Jesus. As soon as the league figures out a way to stop the rushing attack, he is dead. His footwork is terrible, he is incredibly inaccurate, and his delivery is suspect. Anyone who thinks he is any better needs to start watching these games with their rose colored glasses off.

Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2011 1:24 pm

Tracking Tebow, Week 14: Transformation continues

Tebow is basically a rookie. He has started all of 11 games. The stats of those first 11 games compare very favorably to many other starters', past and present, first 11 games. He's doing pretty well considering his playing experience. The haters hate primarily out of jealousy, because that's really all they have. The data says Tebow is playing well for a QB with 11 games of experience.   

Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 12:55 pm

Tracking Tebow, Week 14: Transformation continues

Well said Serphnx.  I am so sick of all the bashing on Tebow.  So what if his wins aren't pretty, they are still wins.  All he as done is been a winner his whole life, and people hate on him.  I guess people would like him better if he had 5 kids with 5 different women, carry a hand gun to night clubs, ran a dog fighting ring, and got DUI's.  And now that he is proving everybody wrong, people say they would be just as good as him.  I agree see everone at training camp next year.  I am not saying he is the MVP or going to win the SB this year, but the guy is taking his team to the playoffs, and he will get better year after year. 

Since: Sep 25, 2009
Posted on: December 13, 2011 11:53 am

Tracking Tebow, Week 14: Transformation continues

Tebow haters are ridiculous.  Now they are claiming they could play as well as he does.  Yeah okay, why don't you drop by during NFL tryouts next year.  What a load of crap.  Aaron Rodgers throws to wide open WRs all day too, guess anybody can be Rodgers.

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