The biggest knock on Tim Tebow after his first two years (2010-2011) with the Denver Broncos—other than his poor statistics—was his inability to come through in big games.
The clear high point of the Broncos 2011 season occurred in Week 14, when a fantastically lucky overtime win (their third of the season) elevated Denver to an 8-5 record and gave them a real shot at a high playoff seed. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there, as Tebow went on a historically bad five-game stretch to finish off the year.
First, Tebow fumbled twice and was sacked four times in a blowout loss to the New England Patriots, whose defensive schemes confused him and prevented him from pulling the trigger on throws.
The next week featured an appalling showing against the Buffalo Bills. With three interceptions, two fumbles, and an astounding 13-of-29 completions, Tebow made it impossible for his teammates to do anything in a 26-point blowout loss.
Finally came the biggest game of the regular season, a home game against the division rival Kansas City Chiefs. A win would guarantee a playoff spot, while a loss would mean that a heavy dose of luck would be needed to still reach the playoffs.
In one of the uglier games of the 2011 season, the Broncos lost 7-3 despite a stellar defensive performance. Tebow had his worst individual performance of the season, completing only 6-of-22 passes to go with an interception and a fumble.
Fortunately for Denver, they still backed into the playoffs in one of the strangest ways in NFL history. They won the AFC West in a three-way tie of 8-8 teams.
The fourth game of this historic stretch was a home playoff game against the injury-crippled Pittsburgh Steelers. This one was a famous game, in which a subpar individual performance by the quarterback resulted in one of the strangest and most entertaining overtime victories. Despite completing only 10 passes, the Broncos pulled out the victory on a fantastic game-winning catch and run by Demaryius Thomas.
The final game of this five-game stretch was an embarrassing 45-10 loss at the hands of the New England Patriots. With 9-of-26 passing and a fumble to go with five sacks, Tebow was again confused and frozen by the Patriots defense, as he had been four weeks prior. It would end up being Tebow's final game as a Denver Bronco.
NFL general managers and scouts can look at that stretch of big games and ask:
Why would I ever want that man touching the ball for my team in an important game?
Two months later Tebow was traded to the New York Jets for a pittance in draft picks.