'Twas the day after Christmas, when arose such a clatter,
Mile High Stadium exploded with the noise of a Broncos game that mattered.
No, Denver’s team wouldn’t make the playoffs,
But their rookie quarterback played his butt off.
The defense was dreadful, despicable, and dysfunctional,
And they let the Texans run up the score,
But in the second half Tebow brought the Broncos back,
Broncos Country finally again had a reason to roar.
To begin his second game, late in the lost 2010 season, the Denver Broncos played Tim Tebow conservatively.
Two successful screen passes got the team down to the 11-yard line, where Tebow made a rookie mistake, underthrew Brandon Lloyd and threw an interception in the end zone.
The rookie QB had 102 yards in the first half passing, but almost all of them came on screens to running backs and wide receivers.
In the second half, as Denver found itself down 17 points, all hopes of winning seemed lost.
Interim head coach Eric Studesville decided to gamble a bit and let Tebow uncork a few passes and allow the kid to prove his worth.
On the second play of the second half, Tim Tebow dropped back and tossed a beautifully arcing 50-yard bomb that hit Jabar Gaffney in stride. Correll Buckhalter—given his first real chance to play all season—capped off the drive with a six-yard TD gallop.
Broncos down 17-7.
On Denver’s next drive, down 20-7, Tebow hooked up with Lloyd with an on-target 18-yard laser before underthrowing him deep, as Lloyd made an amazing adjustment to haul in the 41-yard prayer of a pass. Ultimately, it was Tebow’s inaccuracy that cost the Broncos a touchdown on the drive, as he overthrew Eddie Royal on the back end zone line. Denver down 20-10.
To begin the fourth quarter, Tebow and his Broncos were down 23-10 and he again hit Lloyd across the middle for an 18-yard first down. After a seven-yard rush by Buckhalter, Tebow quickly took the ball up the gut for another fresh set of downs. But the rookie again showed his youth, fumbling the snap and getting sacked on the next play. Tebow was able to make a play, get the ball to Buckhalter on a 3rd-and-14, which he took 23 yards for the score. Denver down 23-17.
With 7:42 left in the game, it was officially, finally Tebow Time in the Mile High City.
Tebow and his Broncos began at their 24-yard line, needing 76 yards and a touchdown to pull ahead for the first time in the game.
Tim Terrific had the Texans right where he wanted them.
Two ineffective plays set up a 3rd-and-10, and he Tebow tossed yet another highly successful screen pass to Buckhalter for 22 yards. Tebow then threw thunderbolts to Lloyd for 15 yards and Gaffney for eight, putting his strong arm on display. After a first-down run by Buckhalter, Tebow ran twice himself, for 11 and six yards—showing off his wheels—placing the Broncos on his back and pushing them down the field.
Penalties on both teams set up a 2nd-and-goal from the Houston 6-yard line, Tebow ran right, reversed field, found an opening and took the ball over the goal line for the Broncos' 24-23 win.
Mile High erupted in elation as their beloved Broncos moved in position to win their fourth game of the year.
Tim Tebow motivates the masses, he brings hope to all those disheveled Denver die-hards who have seen their franchise hit rock bottom in the NFL in terms of talent and respect with the cheating scandal.
One of the reasons Tebow inspires fans is his wonderful attitude.
Of the interception he threw he said, “Terrible decision. Bad throw, bad decision.”
He could have made the excuse that it was his second start, but he owned up to the mistake he made.
Another reason Tebow boosts Broncos backers is because his determination and work ethic are second to none.
After the game he said, "I am someone that is going to play until the end and I love this game and I am going to play it with all my heart." Even if the team is playing a meaningless game, going for their fourth win.
And above everything else, Broncos fans love him because he’s a winner, plain and simple.
Tebow won the Heisman, he won a national championship with Florida and he won the game for the abysmal Broncos today.
And as much as he brings hope to the fans, Tebow inspires his teammates as well.
It could be seen by the body language of the entire Broncos team in the second half, and Denver dominated due to Tebow’s direction.
Look, he’s not perfect and he never will be.
Tebow’s throwing motion is sometimes too long and too slow, but it also looks sharp at times too.
And really, throwing motion is something more overly scrutinized and hyped than it should be.
Tebow’s timing was off, as he was noticeably late on many passes today, but that’s something he’ll get the hang of with more reps as a starter.
Overall though, 308 yards with two TDs (one rush, one pass) and one INT is a superb second game as an NFL starter on a terrible team. He was actually the fifth-leading passer this weekend when Sunday’s games were completed.
Tim Tebow showed today what many in Denver were hoping—that he can play quarterback in the NFL.
Now whether the Broncos want to start him full-time right away in 2011 or let him back up another QB for another year is still to be decided by the next regime and leadership—but for now, the Broncos know Tebow could be the quarterback of the future.
Of course, Tebow must diligently work to improve his game (something he’s already done) and Broncos fans will have to live with his growing pains for the time being.
But it’s not like they should be expecting a playoff appearance anytime soon anyway.
Given his chance, Tebow has already shined.
He even has his Elway-esque comeback win.
However many more he has up his sleeve is yet to be seen.
Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist actively seeking for a career in journalism. Besides being a Denver Nuggets, NBA and Denver Broncos Featured Columnist, Kurtzman is also the CSU Rams Examiner, Colorado/Utah Regional Correspondent for stadiumjourney.com and a weekly contributor for milehighhoops.com.
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