But then, with the game seemingly out of reach, Tebow showed why so many others believe he can succeed as an NFL quarterback.
Tebow led a eight-play, 80-yard touchdown drive capped by a five-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas to pull the Broncos within 15-7 with 2:52 left in the game.
After the Broncos (who had no timeouts remaining, mind you) recovered an onside kick, Tebow once again drove his team down the field and tossed another short touchdown pass to Daniel Fells to pull Denver within two points with 25 seconds remaining. Tebow rushed in for the conversion to force overtime where the Broncos defense forced a fumble to set up Matt Prater’s game-winning field goal for an improbable, but quintessentially Tebow, 18-15 victory.
The interwebs were ablaze with Tebow love (and hate) in the aftermath, particularly in Denver, where Tebow may have cemented his status as the team’s quarterback for the remainder of the season.
It wasn’t pretty — particularly the wobbling quacker that resulted in an outstanding Fells reception over the middle to set up the game-tying score — but that’s not what Tim Tebow is. He’s a gamer, he’s a leader and he’s the new favorite son in Mile High.
(Here are some samplings from the Denver Post’s game story, which has already generated nearly 300 comments)
• Just relax and enjoy. Two games - two unbelievable comebacks Denver has not seen since Elway. Perfect? no. Top practice player? no. The future of the Broncos? Yes! Be patient. Give Tebow a chance to fail and recover (just as you did Elway). The play calling will get better. The offensive line and running game will get better. The defense will get better. At the core will be Tebow and in our sights will eventually be the Lombardi Trophy. Trust in Tebow! — csteelrock
• Glad to see the Broncos win, but let’s keep it in perspective: two lousy teams played in a toilet bowl and the team that was less lousy for about 5 minutes won. Both teams are a long ways from being contenders and both fan bases are in the midst of a long season. However, a ‘W’ is a ‘W’. — ssreality
• He’s basically a rookie, who wasn’t helped (who was?) by the lockout. The know it all critics don’t get that, they see the mistakes and run in like a pack of African wild dogs for the kill. Now they have to back off a bit, because there is a big fat ‘W’ standing in their way. I’m very interested to see if Fox is less conservative next week. I understand being conservative yesterday, but he’s seen what Tebow can do now. Release the Tebow! — Mark Beguin
• The first 57 minutes blew chunks. The last 3 minutes and OT were Broncos Football at its best (more or less). Something for everyone in today’s game. The Tebow haters have their fodder. So do the Tebow lovers. But all in all, a game I enjoyed. Welcome back Denver football! — Wramblin Wreck