2012 NFL Playoffs: 10 Ways the Playoffs Are Set Up Perfectly for Tim Tebow

Jeff Kayer@thereal_kmanCorrespondent IJanuary 8, 2012

2012 NFL Playoffs: 10 Ways the Playoffs Are Set Up Perfectly for Tim Tebow

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    With an 80-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas, Tim Tebow led the Denver Broncos to an improbable 29-23 victory in the quickest overtime in NFL playoff history.

    Virtually every NFL analyst picked against the Broncos, with some people going so far as to openly laugh on television and radio shows at the mere notion of Tim Tebow defeating the mighty Steeler defense which yet again was the top ranked in the league.

    Yet there Tebow was kneeling in the end zone triumphantly, going 10-21 for 316 yards and two touchdowns as well as rushing for 50 yards and another score.

    The Broncos now get set to travel to New England to take on the Patriots

    While many will undoubtedly pick against Denver yet again, here are five reasons why the playoffs are actually breaking down perfectly for the Broncos. 

The New Engalnd Patriots Are Beatable

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    Yes, the New England Patriots went 13-3 this year but just one of those wins came against a playoff team...the Denver Broncos.

    Now Denver has footage to watch regarding what they did wrong in their 43-23 loss to New England on December 18th.

    Similar to last season, the Patriots played a home game against an opponent they blew out in the regular season, the New York Jets.  While everyone spoke about how the Jets had no chance, Mark Sanchez outplayed the great Tom Brady en route to an upset win.

    Tim Tebow has the opportunity to do the very same thing against a Patriots team that frankly isn't as good as many other New England teams of recent years.

    The Patriot defense is one of the worst in football, and if Denver can apply the same kind of pressure they put on Ben Roethlisberger today, they have the chance to slow down Tom Brady and the offense. 

    Between the coaching staff letting Tebow throw, and the fact he was able to complete a number of long passes, the Broncos will employ a different offense from their previous matchup. 

    For all these reasons and more, the Broncos should not be counted out against the Pats. 

The Houston Texans Will Be Injured And Worn Out

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    If Houston is able to upset the Baltimore Ravens next Sunday, they could be the perfect opponent for the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship.

    Houston looks like a similar team as T.J. Yates, a rookie quarterback, is being held back by his coaches more so than what John Fox and company are doing with Tim Tebow

    Ultimately, a game with the Texans would give the Broncos the opportunity to play against a team that currently has a quarterback worse than Tebow.

    The Texans rely heavily on their running game and a strong defense.  While their roster may still look better on paper, the fact is they're more injured than Denver and will have to survive a likely bloodbath with the Ravens.

    An AFC title game between these two teams would likely result in a low scoring game, but then again, there were a fair amount of analysts that believed Denver's game with the Steelers would result in zero combined touchdowns.

The Baltimore Ravens Will Be Ripe for The Picking

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    To be sure, the Baltimore Ravens would be a formidable foe for the Denver Broncos. Many consider the Ravens the best team in the AFC.

    They have a strong defense and an offense that resembles what we saw from the Broncos against Pittsburgh.  They have a very strong running attack and look for big plays to stretch the field.

    The good news for Denver, much like it was described before, is Baltimore will have to survive a slug fest with the Texans in order to advance to the AFC Championship.

    Another factor that could be even bigger than fatigue and injuries?  Baltimore has shown a bad tendency to play down to its level of competition and also overlook their foes.

    While the Ravens have had impressive wins against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the aforementioned Texans, Cincinnati Bengals and San Francisco 49ers, they've also laid a number of goose eggs as well.

    Their loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in October has been described as one of the worst games in Monday Night Football history.  They've also suffered losses to other non-contenders like the Tennessee Titans, Seattle Seahawks and San Diego Chargers.

    Now, there are those that will say they had a perfect 8-0 home record.  But don't overlook some near misses they had against the Arizona Cardinals and Cleavland Browns.

    It's entirely possible the Ravens will already have their eyes on the Super Bowl with the Broncos coming in to town. 

    That would be a terrible mistake to make against a guy like Tim Tebow, who as we have now seen, can take down a top defense like Pittsburgh's. 

Every NFC Team Has a Significant Weakness

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    If the Broncos are able to get to the Super Bowl, they will have done so playing against some of the better defenses in the NFL (excluding the Patriots).

    Unless they played the 49ers, Denver would be assured of playing against one of the weaker defenses in the NFL, which should almost automatically give them a puncher's chance at taking home the Vince Lombardi Trophy.  Let's take a quick look at every possible NFC opponent.

Green Bay Packers

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    No one can doubt how good their offense is, but the defense is one of the worst in football.  If Tim Tebow can throw for over 300 yards against the Steeler defense, he can absolutely do it against the Packers

    Green Bay is a scary team, but as the Kansas City Chiefs proved, a good defense, a potent running game and solid quarterback play can dethrone the defending champions.

New Orleans Saints

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    Nearly everything said about the Packers can be applied to New Orleans.  They have one of the most prolific offenses in NFL history, but they also surrender a big chunk of yards too. 

    Denver would need to make Drew Brees's life very uncomfortable, but if they can give up less than 28 points, Tim Tebow could take down the Saints.

New York Giants

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    With his older brother Peyton out of the mix in 2011, Eli Manning filled his shoes admirably, enjoying his finest season in the NFL.  The Giants needed that too as they were very one-dimensional due to their running game being the worst in the NFL in the regular season.

    What the Giants have that neither the Saints or Packers have is a ferocious front four that as we saw in their game against the Atlanta Falcons, completely dominated Matt Ryan. 

    However, the offense run by Tim Tebow could neutralize that line if he can effectively time his option offense that keeps the Giants defense guessing. 

    If the Broncos can keep Manning in check and Tebow can keep the defensive front off guard, the Broncos can expose a very weak Giants linebacking corps and secondary. 

San Francisco 49ers

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    They have by far the best defense of the four teams left in the NFC.  Their problem is putting up enough points to keep up. 

    The 49ers had one of the more quiet 13-3 seasons you'll ever see in part because many other NFC teams were putting up points like they were in a video game while San Francisco thrived on shutting teams down. 

    In a game that would likely be a defensive struggle, all Tim Tebow would need to do is outplay Alex Smith, who, while he's having a decent season, is nowhere near as talented as any other quarterback left in the playoffs with the exception of T.J. Yates. 

    All in all, the Denver Broncos, while flawed as well, would have a chance to take down any NFC team if they can expose the opponent's weaknesses to perfection.

Pressure? What Pressure?!

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    Going into his game with the Pittsburgh Steelers, everyone routinely spoke of the immense amount of pressure Tim Tebow was facing. 

    Would he humiliate himself on national television?  Would the Broncos cut him if he lost?  Would he be benched if he struggled?

    All of this had to be in Tebow's mind as he took the field, yet he responded with his best game in his NFL career.

    Ironically now, all of the pressure he and the Broncos faced heading into their wild-card game are now completely off their shoulders.

    There are no expectations for Tebow now and thus absolutely no pressure.  People will continue to not give the team any chance to win.

    One of the most dangerous things you can find in the NFL playoffs is a team that can take the field with nothing to lose.  Just ask the New England Patriots about pressure.

    They had nothing to lose when they were nearly 20-point underdogs against the St. Louis Rams a decade ago in the Super Bowl and emerged victorious.

    Just six years later, they found themselves as the heavy favorites against a New York Giants team the world left for dead.  The Giants defense routinely put Tom Brady on his butt, a miraculous catch by David Tyree kept a last minute drive alive and Eli Manning hit Plaxico Burress for the unforgettable upset. 

    Denver gets to be that team now.  Don't discount that fact. 

It's Tim Tebow Magic!

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    Sometimes it's better to not analyze Tim Tebow and the Broncos and just chalk it all up to the same Tim Tebow magic we have seen for nearly six years now since his stepped onto the campus at Florida University.

    Some way, some how, the guy just finds a way to win games.  Even Tim Tebow naysayers (and I've been one of them) had to give credit to Tebow's performance against the Steelers even though they were a bit banged up on defense.

    No matter how injured they were, 30 yards per completion against Pittsburgh is nothing to sneeze at.

    In the first ever NFL playoff game with the new overtime rules, Tebow set a record that can never be broken as he led his team to victory in a single play. It also marked his fourth overtime win this year.

    There are many good NFL quarterbacks past and present that didn't have that many in their career! 

    Are the Broncos going to be an underdog in every game moving forward?  Absolutely.

    Do they have the weakest roster of every remaining playoff team?  Probably.

    Is Tim Tebow all of a sudden an elite quarterback?  No way.

    What Tebow does possess though is an ability to come through in the clutch and to rise up at the greatest times of adversity. 

    He's also a tremendous leader and after their win against the Steelers, the entire Broncos team is going to march into Foxboro Stadium believing they can take down a Patriots team that's dropped its last two home playoff games to quarterbacks named Joe Flacco and Mark Sanchez.

    We have seen some incredible runs to the Super Bowl.  Perhaps we're about to witness another one with Tim Tebow leading the way.