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)




                                                        Quotes



"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.


                                                   Audio-Visual




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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Comments

Since: Oct 24, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:59 am
 

Tracking Tebow, Week 14: Transformation continues

If you could mix LeBron and Tebow, you would get one heck of a competitor!!

One plays for three quarters then disappears, and the other is lost UNTIL the fourth quarter(and OT)!!



Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: December 12, 2011 4:50 pm
 

Tracking Tebow, Week 14: Transformation continues

Clown Coach Lovie Smith said after the game that he took out starting DB Tim Jennings - who along with Peanut Tillman had stifled Tebow all game long - and replaced him with long-time back-up Zack Bowman to keep his DBs "fresh"! There is no explanation for having your running back run a sweep towards the sidelines while your team is trying to keep the clock running. Clown Coach Lovie has mismanaged this team for years. Tebow deserves credit for keeping the faith and being a winner - but Smith deserves the credit for another defeat and for being a loser.  



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: December 12, 2011 2:17 pm
 

Tracking Tebow, Week 14: Transformation continues

I like Tebow.  He is a winner and a competitor.  That's all fine and dandy.  I wish him success and improvement.  But if anyone really watched that game, they will understand how Chicago handed them the game.  I give Tebow full credit for making some plays late when his team needed them.  But seriously, I could have shredded the Bears D as well.  Or should I say, I could have dinked and dunked like he did.  Chicago put their safeties 25-30 yards deep and continued to give the short pass up with only a four man rush (which didn't happen in the first 3 quarters).  I could see if they were facing Rogers or Romo or Brees, but trust your corners a bit and play your regular defense.  Try a freaking blitz or two and put pressure on the Quarterback. This has been going on too long in Chicago.  They are not prepared to hold a lead.  They are not coached to hold a lead.  Then with a chance to run out the clock, Marion Barber runs the sideline to gain a few extra yards and is pushed out of bounds.  This keeps 40 extra seconds on the clock, allowing Tebow to once again, throw to wide open receivers and move the chains.  Lovie Smith should be fired instantly but the Bears ownership is clueless, thus allowing the Tebow train to keep on riding.  Winners win ball games, period.  It might not have been pretty, but the Bears were outcoached, and outplayed when it counted.



Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: December 12, 2011 2:13 pm
 

Tracking Tebow, Week 14: Transformation continues

Congratulations to the Bronco's for this amazing run they've put together the second half of the season. Also, congratulations to Tim Tebow for helping this program turn around and win 6 of their last 7 games.  Is he the long term solution? Why can't he be. Just because he looks unorthodoxed throing the ball doesn't mean he can't do other things. I'm not a Tebow fan, but I'm happy for everything he's accomplished.  If were to die tomorrow you could honestly say he played every game as if it were his last day on earth.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com