Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow is the biggest story in the NFL this year


Quarterback Tim Tebow kneels to pray before leading the Denver Broncos to a December 11 victory over the Chicago Bears. (Julie Jacobson/Associated Press)
December 14, 2011

Have you heard about Tim Tebow? The Denver Broncos quarterback is the biggest story in the National Football League this season. But why all the fuss about a second-year passer who completes fewer than half of his throws?

First, Tebow is winning. The Broncos started this season 1-4 (one win, four losses) with Kyle Orton as quarterback. Since Tebow, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2007, took over, the Broncos have won seven of eight games.

Denver is winning in amazing ways. The Broncos have come from behind in five of the seven wins, including three they pulled out in overtime.

Tebow has been terrific leading his team in the last minutes of games, throwing and running for touchdowns. But it hasn’t been all Tebow. The Denver defense has surrendered 15 or fewer points in five of the last eight games. That’s great. After all, even Tebow can’t lead a comeback if his team falls too far behind.

The Denver place kicker, Matt Prater, has hit some clutch field goals. In Sunday’s 13-10 overtime win against the Chicago Bears, Prater booted a 59-yarder to tie the game and a 51-yarder to win it.

Second, Tebow is different. Although the 6-foot-3-inch, 235-pound lefty is a tremendous athlete, many experts didn’t think he would be a good quarterback because he doesn’t throw the ball with the accuracy of most NFL quarterbacks. Tebow is no Tom Brady. He might throw one pass perfectly, but the next could be way off the mark.

But he does two things very well. He runs like a halfback. Tebow has gained 517 yards on the ground. He also protects the ball: Tebow has thrown only two interceptions in almost 200 passes.

Give credit to the Broncos coaches, who have changed the Denver offense to take advantage of Tebow’s running skills. The Broncos look like a college team because they run so much. They are fun to watch.

Finally, Tebow is very religious. He kneels down to pray on the sidelines during crucial parts of the game. He also thanks God after every game. That makes Tebow a big favorite of many religious fans.

I respect a person’s religion or anything that helps someone live a good life. Tebow seems like a good and sincere person. Still, I doubt God is helping Tebow and the Broncos win their games. I suspect there are many other players praying just as hard as Tebow, and still their teams aren’t winning as often.

My mother, who was very religious, used to say, “God helps those who help themselves.” Tebow, with his athletic skills and never-give-up attitude, is helping himself and the Broncos to win games.

Fred Bowen writes the sports opinion column for KidsPost. He is the author of 17 sports books for kids, including two football books, “Quarterback Season” and “Touchdown Trouble.”

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