GALLERY: Click to see the top 10 moments from NFL Week 7.
For three and a half quarters, Tim Tebow was an embattled quarterback. In his NFL debut as a starter in the state in which he had so much college success, he was jeered. He couldn’t find open receivers and was covered by blitzers.
And then suddenly he could.
With the Miami Dolphins leading 15-0 with 5:23 left, Tebow led the Denver Broncos on touchdown drives of 80 and 56 yards and scored the two-point conversion to tie it with 17 seconds left. In overtime, Matt Prater kicked a 52-yard field goal for an 18-15 victory for the Broncos.
“It was my fault we were in that position,” Tebow said. “Silly things kept happening. On the sidelines, we were still believing. We wanted it, and they believed in me for more than 60 minutes.”
It felt like an SEC game, with the Dolphi8ns honoring Tebow’s University of Florida national championship team. Fans on one side of the stadium chanted, “Tebow! Tebow!” On the other side, it was “Tebow [stinks]! Tebow [stinks]!”
At one point, Dolphins players, particularly Jason Taylor, urged the sparse crowd to continue booing.
“You can’t lose confidence in yourself, or you’ve lost already,” Tebow said. “When you get knocked down, you’ve got to keep getting back up.”
In the end, it was his day. His former college coach, Urban Meyer, stood chatting up Dolphins owner Stephen Ross — they weren’t discussing the Dolphins’ head coaching job — and Venus Williams took in the scene on the field as well. In that scene, it was no wonder the Broncos kept believing that anything was possible.
“It was never in doubt,” Broncos Coach John Fox said.
Maybe. But statistically Tebow wasn’t steller — he had completed 4 of 14 passes for 40 yards before rallying the Broncos. (He was 13-of-27 for 161 yards and two touchdowns.) All he did was win — which means the “can he play in the NFL?” debate is only going to rage on this week. At least LeBron James is still in his corner.