Broncos vs. Chargers: 4 Things We Learned About Denver in 29-24 Loss
It may not be fair to the rest of the team, but a lot more was learned about the "Tebow-led" Broncos and what can be expected of them in the future coming out of the bye week.
It seems unlikely that with the kind of spark that Tebow provided that Denver will turn back to Kyle Orton. With that assumption in mind, here are some things fans saw and might come to expect if Tebow does become the starter in Denver.
With Tebow, the Running Game Is Better
All of a sudden, with the same offensive line and the same running back in the backfield, there was more room to run. The difference was Tebow, and whether it was truly an increased effort from Broncos players or simply a more favorable defensive game plan to rush against, the running game was better.
Willis McGahee looked like the downhill runner that Denver hoped he could become. He and Tebow both moved in between the tackles with relative ease and sparked the Broncos to their near-comeback against San Diego.
This makes the game coming out of the bye against Miami a lot more exciting as it now is another winnable game if the Broncos can rush the ball from the start like they did at the end here.
Knowshon Moreno Found His Role
The screen pass from Tebow to Knowshon Moreno for a touchdown was the type of play that Moreno was born to run.
Hopefully, the Broncos earmarked that page of the playbook and will remember to do a lot more of it with Moreno in the future. Moreno needs to have the ball in space and will deliver more often than not when he does.
Perhaps the Broncos will even watch film of Cam Newton and DeAngelo Williams and implement the option play that worked so well for them against the Saints on Sunday.
Whether it is Orton or Tebow under center, the Broncos need to utilize Moreno out of the backfield way more often.
The Defense Runs on Momentum
The success of the defense in the second half may have had a lot to do with the return from injury of a few key players, but they were there in the first half, too.
It seemed apparent that a Denver defense that sensed the offense needed the ball back in order to climb back into this game responded with tough coverage and good pressure on Philip Rivers.
In the end, the Broncos secondary was exposed for the long first down play that allowed the Chargers to extend their lead with another field goal, but the energy in the second half was undeniable.
Whatever the reason was for the defense only surrendering two field goals, the Broncos need to make sure it returns against the Miami Dolphins.
Tim Tebow Is Winning the Quarterback Battle
This is going to be a very long bye week for Orton fans, Tebow fans and Broncos fans in general.
The whole theory of one quarterback giving Denver the "best chance to win" has been completely obliterated by the play of not only Tim Tebow, but the whole Broncos team when Tebow entered the game.
Tim Tebow still has obvious deficiencies, but are they any more debilitating than the shortcomings of Kyle Orton?
It didn't appear so today and the main statistic that has plagued Kyle Orton (turnovers), did not haunt Tebow in his time against San Diego on Sunday. If anything, the play of Tebow should demand that he be able to at least split time with Orton when practicing with the first-team offense, if not take it over completely.
The battle may not be completely over, but its becoming clear that Kyle Orton is a "practice" quarterback and Tim Tebow is a "game" quarterback. John Fox has known since day one that this was not going to be an easy job, but now it just got a little tougher...or did it?