Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tebowmania: Is it Warranted?

In Week 7, we were awed by Tim's final three minutes against Miami, in which the Broncos became the first team to win a game after trailing by 15 points through 57 minutes of play.  After one game as the starter in Denver, even if it was against a winless Dolphins team, Tebow was able to create a reputation, an almost super-human aura.

But then Week 8 rolled around, Tebow completed only 18 of his 39 passes, threw an interception, and fumbled once in a 45-10 drubbing at the hands of the Lions.  Maybe he's not so great after all.

Give it another week, and we are back on the Tim Tebow emotional roller coaster.  Against the Raiders, Tebow rushed and passed for over 100 yards and was able to stay turnover free in a 38-24 victory.  Maybe he's got it after all, despite his subpar passing performances.  After all, he's taking care of the football.

Week 10 is when we finally realized what Tim Tebow was all about.  Against the Chiefs, in a 17-10 victory, Tim went the entire first half without completing a pass, and he finished 2 for 8 on the day.  But only two things mattered that Sunday--one of those Tebow completions went for 56 yards and a touchdown in the 4th quarter, and the Broncos won the game.

Week 11...Game-winning drive against the Jets.  Week 12...Game-winning drive in overtime against the Chargers.  Week 13...Game-winning drive against the Vikings.  Week 14...Game-winning drive in overtime against the Bears.  On the third day, He rose again in fulfillment of the scripture.

But in all seriousness, the Tim Tebow=Jesus equation isn't that far off.  I haven't seen anything like this in sports, and, needless to say, Tebow (and the art of Tebowing) has become a phenomenon.  But who deserves the credit in these recent victories, 7 out of 8 since Tebow took over at quarterback.  Is it Tebow himself?  Is it Matt Prater, whose right foot has won four games on its own?  Is it the Broncos defense, who has stymied defenses since Tebow took over?  Is it the NFL, for giving the Broncos a manageable schedule during the Tebow stretch?  We were left scratching our heads over this team's turnaround, and we latched on to Tebow, the current figurehead of the team.

Whether you love Tebow or hate him, think he's responsible or don't, one things for sure--this Broncos defense, with the exception of the Lions game, has been on another level during the Tebow era.  Von Miller has stepped up his play, and he is stating his case for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.  Champ Bailey has surged as of late, after a slow start had people questioning his age and ability.  This unit has been able to force timely turnovers, especially the last two games, and they have put Tebow in positions to succeed.  But somebody has to take the ball into the endzone, and that somebody is Tim Tebow.  And this same unit was on the field during Kyle Orton's 1-4 start, struggling mightily.  This could have been due to Orton's turnover problems, and the Broncos defense constantly defending a shorter field.  If there's one thing Tebow has proven, he is careful with the football in his hands.  He makes good decisions, and as a result he has only thrown two interceptions all year.

at Miami, Detroit, at Oakland, at Kansas City, New York Jets, at San Diego, at Minnesota, Chicago.  Not exactly Amen Corner, but not easy either.  Five teams with winning records, and the Broncos were able to beat four of them.  They also beat two teams that they had previously lost to with Kyle Orton at quarterback.  And, Tebow had to play these two teams (Oakland and San Diego) on the road, while Orton played them in the comfort of Mile High.  So we can't chalk this turnaround up to scheduling, either.

So, the defense is the same.  The schedule is the same, if not slightly harder.  The supporting cast on offense is the same.  The quarterback is different.  Ding, ding, ding.  I think we found our answer.

Tim Tebow hasn't put up gaudy numbers or great statistics, but his team has won 7 out of 8 since he took over at quarterback.  This team has rallied around an unselfish leader, who brings out the best in this entire team.  With every comeback victory, the Broncos gain more and more confidence, and it is Tim Tebow that instills this confidence week after week.  The defense knows if they can get the ball back for Tim late in the 4th, he will win the game for them, and it makes them work that much harder.  Everyone on the field is working to put this team in a position to win, knowing Tebow will take care of the rest.  Despite not having prototypical quarterback skills, Tim Tebow has proven that he has every single intangible that one could ever want in a quarterback.  And it all starts with his presence as the leader in the locker room.

I can't imagine these comebacks will last even into the next couple weeks.  Eventually Tebow will have to figure out how to play for the other 55 minutes of a game.  But something tells me he will figure it out, and he deserves to be the starting quarterback next year.  The Elway-Tebow relationship (I'd like to call it the Elbow relationship from now on) has to work, because Tebow has captured the hearts and minds of America, and he's 7-1 in the process.

We will find out what Tebow is really made of against New England in Denver, but I'll put my money on a Broncos' overtime win.


  1. Hi -

    Just wondering, do you think the Media's portrayal of Tim Tebow would be any different if he was a bear?

    1. very interesting question. i can't see it being much different, considering he would be in a relatively similar situation. he would have a good defense, and he would be making the most out of an offense without many weapons around him. i think the rushing attack with tebow and forte would be ridiculous. tebow is a natural media darling, he has been since high school. no matter what, you gotta think he's going to get alot of coverage and media support, wherever he's playing. might even get more on a team in a bigger market known historically for hard-nosed football.