Tim Tebow: Pressure Has Been Lifted from Denver Broncos QB Once and for All

Eric Ball@@BigLeagueEballFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Head coach John Fox of the Denver Broncos celebrates a touchdown with Tim Tebow #15 to trail 10-7 to the San Diego Chargers during the second quarter at Qualcomm Stadium on November 27, 2011 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Are you a Tim Tebow believer yet?

John Fox is. So is John Elway. So is the entire 53-man roster of the Denver Broncos. Add the Pittsburgh Steelers to the list as well.

Throwing for 316 yards and rushing for 50 yards against the No. 1 ranked defense in the NFL will do that. Only Joe Montana and Jeff Garcia have ever thrown for over 300 yards, two TDs, 50 rushing yards and a TD in the playoffs.

It’s ironic that at the same time backup Brady Quinn was on the sideline warming up, Tebow launched a 51-yard beauty to Demaryius Thomas to jump-start the offense in what turned out to be a 29-23 OT thriller.

The most memorable imagine of the 2011 NFL season is the shot of vice president of operations Elway watching games from the press box as Tebow took his franchise on one of the greatest roller coaster rides in the history of sports. Elway’s Monday morning spot on a Denver radio station was dissected word-by-word every week.

Despite taking a 1-4 team to the playoffs, Tebow’s job in 2012 was still very much in question. Throughout Denver’s 7-1 stretch in the middle of the season, potential replacements were still being talked about.

After his patience in the pocket and ability to complete five passes of 30 or more yards, the anti-Tebow ammunition vanished.

The postgame celebration with Elway was symbolic.

Finally Elway felt comfortable giving him a big bear hug with nothing but smiles. You couldn’t even understand the words coming from Elway’s mouth he was so excited.

Elway’s postgame interview with ESPN’s Ed Werder was telling as well. The raw emotion shows that Elway is relieved. There won’t be any questions regarding Tebow’s future with the team. He is the quarterback of the future in Denver—time to use draft picks on other players. The offseason just got a lot easier for the Denver legend.

When Elway was told Tebow broke his team record for most passing yards in a playoff debut, Elway’s answer summed up everything: "I loooove it. That’s perfect!"

Tebow’s throwing motion, footwork and mechanics may not be perfect, but it doesn’t matter. On Sunday, Tebow was as close to perfect as he’s ever been. All he does is win.

A win against big bad New England would be icing on the cake. Tebow is playing with house money at this point.

Tebowmania is officially the greatest story of the NFL season. 


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