Tim Tebow had to play more like a quarterback and less like a running back to pull off this week’s miraculous victory. Passing isn’t something most pundits thought he could do successfully in the NFL, so naturally Tebow carried the ball all of four times and passed for 202 yards, finishing with a 149.3 passer rating.
Of course he did.
After a 1-4 start, the Broncos have won five in a row and are 6-1 with this guy — tied for first in the AFC West with Oakland. Of course they are.
Over his first 10 NFL starts, Tebow has led the Broncos to game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime five times. (He is tied with Scott Brunner and Marc Wilson for most since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.) “The reason we play is to win,” he said without a hint of a Herman Edwards impression or even any irony.
“Trust me, it doesn't hurt to have No. 15 at quarterback,” cornerback Champ Bailey said (via the Denver Post). “Because you know he's fighting. The fight's the thing with him, because Tebow is doing it unconventionally. It's not like he's doing it like Tom Brady or Drew Brees.”
Tebow’s particular blend of leadership and religion continues to draw its share of detractors and disbelievers. It isn’t particularly unique; Aaron Rodgers spoke eloquently last week on ESPN Milwaukee about his faith. It’s just more public. And it’s coupled with criticism about his ability to adapt to the NFL.
“When I hear all those ESPN commentators say, ‘He can't do this,’ I laugh,” Percy Harvin of the Vikings said. “After the game, I whispered in his ear, ‘Let ’em keep hating. Keep 'em hating on you.’ ”
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