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The Early Lead
Posted at 10:13 AM ET, 11/18/2011

Tim Tebow works more fourth-quarter magic


The Broncos get the jump on Tim Tebow after he scored the game-winning touchdown. They should probably be more careful about ths. (Garrett Ellwood / Getty Images)
Tim Tebow.

What more is there to say? He continued to be the embodiment of the NBA — you do remember the NBA — with another must-see fourth quarter. The rest of the game: Meh. But the final 5:54? Just a 95-yard drive, with a 20-yard scamper for the game-winning touchdown with 1 minute, 8 seconds left. (Watch here.) Just another victory as the Denver Broncos moved to 4-1 under Tebow and 5-5 overall with a 17-13 victory over the skidding New York Jets.

His overall night, 9-of-20 passing for 104 yards, will do nothing to convince critics that he can be an NFL quarterback. Nor will the off-the-back-foot, ungainly throws. But something undeniably is going on here. So, basically, both Tebow’s detractors and boosters are correct.

“Everybody looks at him from the outside,” cornerback Champ Bailey said. “They don't see what he has on the inside. Yeah, he might not be the greatest passer. But give him a chance at the end? I've never seen anything like it.”


Tebow, post-touchdown. (Garrett Ellwood / Getty Images)
He rushed six times for 57 of the 95 yards on the final drive — “The Drive Too” — finishing the game with 68 yards on eight carries. “When we were in the huddle, we talked about ‘you want opportunities like this as an offense,’ ” Tebow said. “We haven't done anything the whole game, but we have an opportunity to do something special right now. And everybody was focused, and you could see their will taking over.”

“That's Tim Tebow,” linebacker Von Miller said. “I'm going to ride with him to the end.”

Speaking of Von Miller...


Von Miller sacks Mark Sanchez. (Barry Gutierrez / AP)
Yes, everybody is talking about Tim Tebow. But Miller — the second overall pick in the draft, the rookie who joined the Brady lawsuit — is emerging as a leader and defensive force. He’s the guy John Fox is putting his faith in — not Tebow.

It helped Tebow that the New York Jets are a mess, a bad team incapable of backing up its swagger. In their second crushing loss in four days, Mark Sanchez continued to have clock management issues and threw a pick six. And Rex Ryan’s vaunted defense failed to measure up. (Example: Eddie Royal wriggled free from the grasp of Jim Leonhard on the first play of the game-winning drive. Further example: the Jets’ decision to blitz on third and four at their 20 with a 13-10 lead. Tebow beat the blitz around the corner and scored.)

The Broncos are winning with Tebow in the same way the Florida Gators won with him. He isn’t perfect, as Yahoo’s Doug Farrar points out, but “there are ways in which he’s able to make things work.” There’s jabber that he’s better suited to tight end or running back in the NFL, but, until someone stops him in big moments as the quarterback, he’s going to stay where he is...at the controls of an offense that Coach John Fox isn’t going to let him mess up. Not while Von Miller has a say in the matter.

Sally Jenkins: Tebow may prove critics wrong again

The League: Credit Tebow’s teammates

By  |  10:13 AM ET, 11/18/2011

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