It’s becoming increasingly difficult putting a new spin on what Tim Tebow and the Broncos are doing. Despite having an extra quarter to work with, Tebow again finished with fewer than 10 completions in a Denver victory Sunday.
As per usual, Tebow didn’t begin to resemble an NFL quarterback until Denver’s final drive of regulation — he completed three out of four passes for 65 yards as the Broncos drove down the field to tie the game — as the defense and running game led the way. The D has now allowed 15 or fewer points in four of the six games they’ve played with Tebow as the starting quarterback, which either means they’ve improved naturally (and Tebow’s run of success is at least a little coincidental) or Tebow is somehow contributing to the team’s defensive efforts via telekinesis.
Tebow, Willis McGahee and Lance Ball also combined for 203 rushing yards on 49 carries in the win over San Diego. It’s not exciting, but the zone read continues to successfully baffle opposing defenses.
The Denver win further shakes up an already scrambled AFC West. Oakland beat the Bears, but the Broncos, who have now won four straight and five of six with Tebow at quarterback, are hot on their tails. Look at the schedule — they should be able to win three, maybe four of their final five games. The Raiders have a much tougher road to finish the season, and Denver has a slight edge right now in terms of tiebreakers.
It’s weird breaking down the AFC West race without having to mention the Chargers, who are likely done at 4-7. They’ve now lost six straight games coming out of their bye. Despite having more talent than the Raiders and Broncos, they continue to find ways to lose. Injuries have played a role, but it’s hard to imagine Norv Turner sticking around beyond the next five weeks.
But as a neutral observer, I actually prefer it with San Diego out of the way. A lot of people hate the Tebow storyline, but I love it. I love that what the Broncos are doing is flying in the face of the classic pro football approach. I love seeing a good guy like Tebow succeed, especially in such an unconventional way. I love the originality of this story.
I don’t love that the focus is almost solely on Tebow and the veer, because this goes far beyond that. The Denver defense and that fierce pass rush — Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil are wreaking havoc – has been top notch since mid-October. Tebow was barely touched behind a stellar offensive line Sunday, and they continue to churn up yards on the ground.
As the Broncos continue to win — and I do think they’ll continue to win — I’m hoping that we begin to hear about the 52 players on the Denver roster not named Tim. And maybe, eventually, more of us will begin to take these guys seriously.