Tim Tebow opinions divided among scrambling QBs, but wins are winning more converts

December 8, 2011

Tim Tebow’s success with the Denver Broncos, who are tied for first place in the AFC West with the Oakland Raiders, has divided the NFL community, with many criticizing his play while others admire his results. As AP reported:

Nobody knows what will come of the Tim Tebow experiment, not even those scrambling ramblers who came before him.

Yet it seems like everybody wants to talk about it.

Retired QBs who made a living with their legs, and who also turned the NFL on its ear in their day, have strong opinions about what’s happening in Denver, where Tebow has led the once lowly Broncos to six wins in his seven starts.

Randall Cunningham loves it. Steve Young hates it. Bobby Douglass admires it.

While they debate whether Tebow can morph into a prototypical pocket passer, they’re all pulling hard for the Broncos’ quirky quarterback who defies his messy mechanics and flawed footwork with grit and last-minute magic.

“I think what we all ought to do is enjoy the circus while it’s in town,” suggests another former NFL quarterback, Joe Theismann.

Tebow has brought the option back to the NFL and while he usually struggles for much of the day to move his team downfield, he keeps coming up big in crunch time, guiding the Broncos to second-half comeback wins against the Dolphins, Jets, Raiders, Chargers and Vikings since taking over as the starter two months ago.

On Sunday, he won a shootout in Minnesota, propelling the Broncos (7-5) into a first-place tie with Oakland atop the AFC West.

There is enough buzz around Tebow’s play that the NFL might may choose to flex the Dec. 18 game against the Patriots into the primetime slot. As Cindy Boren explained :

Everybody wants a little piece of Tebow mania and that includes the networks that broadcast NFL games.

The NFL is expected to announce today whether it will flex into prime-time the Dec. 18 game between the Denver Broncos, on a 6-1 roll with Tim Tebow working miracles at quarterback, and the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady (who’s no slouch, either, despite those Ugg’s ads).

Flex scheduling after Week 10 allows NBC to pick the marquee “Sunday Night Football” game it telecasts and it’s eagerly eyeing the game, presently set for a 4:15 p.m. EST start in Denver, as a replacement for the Baltimore Ravens-San Diego Chargers game.

Tebow vs. Tom? Who can blame them?

Not so fast with the faith and Faith Hill references. CBS, the AFC network, reportedly wants to keep the game and a decision, which typically comes 13 days before the game, still has not been announced, prompting rumors of a CBS-NBC battle royale. The NFL cited meetings for the delay.

“Due to NFL Committee Meetings in New York [Tuesday], the Week 15 flexible schedule announcement will be released tomorrow Wednesday, December 7).  All of the clubs under consideration to have Week 15 games flexed have informed our office that they are interested in the strongest schedule for our fans and network partners.”

Much has been debated about Tebow’s effect on the Broncos in relation to their defensive squad led by Von Miller. But one team whose quarterback’s influence can’t be overlooked is the Indianapolis Colts, who have gone winless without Peyton Manning. As AP reported:

Nobody took the debate seriously, not at the start, anyway. The last letter of MVP, after all, stands for “Player,” as in someone who actually takes part in the game.

But go ahead, try and name someone — anyone — more valuable to his team than Peyton Manning. He’s already the league’s only four-time MVP.

“Look, we all know who would win if we took a poll right now. Aaron Rodgers would absolutely kill it. But if the Colts end up going the way they’re headed,” said Mike Dunphy, publisher and editor-in-chief of NFL Magazine, “the more it proves that Peyton really is the franchise.”

While the topic began simmering in chat rooms and on blogs shortly after Indianapolis staggered out of the gate to begin the regular season — even the erudite New Yorker weighed in this week — the premiere issue of the league’s magazine jumps in with both feet.

Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, who’s at the center of a different QB controversy, is featured on the cover. But the story that’s likely to kick up the biggest fuss is inside, titled: “Our Man Manning. Without even playing a down, Peyton’s proven he’s the NFL MVP,” in which writer Thomas George calls Manning “the ghost of the entire NFL season. The league misses him but has marched on without him. The Colts, however, minus him, have hobbled to agonizing, toe-curling places.”

Related Content:

Early Lead: Kurt Warner says Tebow should tone down religious rhetoric

The League: John Fox, the man behind Tim Tebow

Q&A: Why does Tebow grab so much attention? How far can he go?

Early Lead: John Fox says Tebow would “be screwed” running regular offense

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