While the Green Bay Packers were annihilating one of the league’s best road teams to move to 13-0, the entire country was watching two significantly less skilled teams stumble over each other 1,100 miles away in Denver.
That’s the power of Tim Tebow, the story of the year that just keeps getting better.
Tebow and the Broncos once again used their fourth-quarter magic to come back from a 10-0 deficit and beat the Chicago Bears in overtime. After completing just three passes in the first three quarters, Tebow was 18 of 24 in the fourth Q and overtime, leading a touchdown drive and a field goal drive in the final five minutes to tie the game.
As per usual, he had a lot of support when it mattered most. In Tebow’s defense (as if he needs my defense), his receivers were dropping passes left and right earlier in the game. The defense also failed to haul in a pair of would-be interceptions and they had a field goal attempt blocked. But the D stepped up when the game was on the line, holding Chicago to three-and-outs on all four of their fourth-quarter possessions. And some credit should probably go to kicker Matt Prater, who was good from 59 and 51 to tie and win the game.
It also doesn’t hurt that Denver’s opponents continue to turn into the Washington Generals. It appeared the Chicago offense was doing everything in its power to give Tebow and the Broncos more opportunities to stay in the game late. I understand why Lovie Smith and Mike Martz would be conservative with Caleb Hanie making his third career start, but then you had Marion Barber inexplicably running out of bounds with the Bears in clock-eating mode in the final minutes (had he stayed in bounds, Denver would have had about 16 seconds for its final drive, not 56). And in overtime, you had Barber fumbling in field goal range (credit Wesley Woodyard for a great play to force the turnover).
Regardless, Tebow is now 7-1 as the starter in Denver, and the Broncos have won six straight. They now have a full game edge on the Raiders in the AFC West, and Oakland has been hammered in back-to-back games. It’s very difficult to imagine them not winning the division at this point. Instead, we’re wondering if #TebowTime can continue into January, where the Broncos are likely to host at least one playoff game in the wide-open AFC.
The drama attached to each Tebow comeback is why his team and his story have caused us to forget that we’re watching history being made in Wisconsin. The Packers clinched a first-round bye with their 19th straight win against Oakland. As they were putting the finishing touches on a 46-16 blowout, we were all watching Tebow and the Broncos. Makes sense, but it’s funny how an amazing story has eclipsed amazing football. The Broncos have still managed to give up 33 more points than they’ve scored this season, while the Packers are lapping the field.
Plus, everyone loves an underdog. Tebow was never supposed to succeed in this league and Denver was never supposed to compete in 2011. They’ve now won five straight games as a Vegas dog, while defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay keeps bullying the competition.
Unfortunately, that’s just how these things go. But there is a solution. We can merge these stories. I can see it now: Feb. 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Super Bowl XLVI between the 18-0 Green Bay Packers and the Tim Tebow-led Denver Broncos.