Tebow’s 20-yard touchdown run with under a minute left capped a 95-yard drive and sent the surging Denver Broncos to a 17-13 victory over the stunned Jets on Thursday night.
“It’s hard to explain,” wide receiver Eric Decker said. “I always say it’s that ‘It’ factor. You either got it or you don’t. It’s almost magical, to come in on that last drive of the game and to do the things that he’s done to win a game. It’s pretty special.”
The Broncos had punted on their eight previous possessions when they got the ball with less than 6 minutes and so far to go. Tebow had just 11 yards on two carries to that point but would tuck it six times for 58 and hit three passes on the dramatic drive.
“We played them well, through the whole game, until that last play,” Darrelle Revis said.
Denver is 4-1 since Tebow replaced Kyle Orton, who was 1-4.
“He’s a competitive dude,” Broncos coach John Fox said. “He’s super competitive. He never lays his sword down. He’ll fight you to the death. That’s just his nature. He’s a great young man.”
Tebow’s stats for the first three quarters of the game were hardly spectacular, yet his ability to win games in the fourth quarter again pushed the Broncos to overcome a three point deficit. As Cindy Boren explained:
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.”
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.”
Tebow’s rise to starter and his successes there have garnered national attention because of his open displays of faith and unorthodox demeanor for an NFL player. As Sally Jenkins wrote, Tebow does things his way:
Is there anything more gaily entertaining than the NFL establishment’s disregard for Tim Tebow
? Opponents insult him and analysts scoff, former coaches and players loiter on the sets of pregame shows in their wide-shouldered suits, issuing loud pronouncements only to eat their words. Tebow is a one-man Occupy movement, a squatter at the quarterback position for the Denver Broncos. Everyone knows he’s not supposed to be 3-1, but how do you move this guy out?
“What gets us, what gets a lot of people is, you look at pro football and you don’t want to believe it,” ESPN’s Herman Edwards said.
They don’t want to believe that a player can succeed outside of the blueprint. What happens when Tebow takes the ball is simple enough. He either runs with it or he gives it to someone else, or, very occasionally, he throws it downfield. What happens after that is more mysterious, and how you feel about it depends on your perspective and which of the chattering jackdaw commentators you listen to. His supporters say he is streaking toward a God-sped destiny.
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