Tim Tebow: Can the Denver Broncos Make the Playoffs with Tebow at the Helm?

Christopher SmithCorrespondent IIIOctober 15, 2011

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 9: Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos rushes the ball against the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 9, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Chargers won 29-24. (Photo by Bart Young/Getty Images)
Bart Young/Getty Images

Did somebody say Tim Tebow?

Yep, everybody did... Over and over and over.

Tebow is officially the starter for the Denver Broncos, and half of their fans couldn't be happier. The other half is still trying to grasp what all the excitement is about.

The Denver Broncos came into the 2011 NFL season with the third toughest schedule considering the final records in 2010.

This is no longer the case.

The Broncos now face a winless team in the Miami Dolphins in Week 7. They also have the luxury of facing the Kansas City Chiefs—without Jamaal Charles—twice, and the hapless Minnesota Vikings.

Not all the teams remaining on Denver's schedule are bottom-feeders however. Denver still hosts the currently undefeated Detroit Lions, travels to the Black Hole to rematch the Oakland Raiders, and faces the three more potent teams of the AFC East—the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and New England Patriots.

So here's the question.

Will Tebow and the electricity he brings to the field be enough to dig out Denver's dismal season and propel them towards the playoffs? Or will he just further contribute to Denver's own "Suck for Luck" campaign?

It's never safe to say any game is a gimme, especially when the 2011 Denver Broncos take the field. Take for example their Week 2 matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals. This was possibly one of the only games checked off as a win during the preseason, and the Broncos barely managed to pull it out.

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 9: Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos reacts to a play against the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 9, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Bart Young/Getty Images)
Bart Young/Getty Images

For the sake of predictions, and basically making up the future, let's say the Dolphins game and both of Denver's meetings with the Chiefs are certain wins. What's left to take from 2011?

Assuming that the Buffalo Bills will at some point come back down to Earth, Denver and their newly appointed leader should come away with a win on Christmas Eve.

That gives Denver four wins to hope for so far. 5-4 is over .500 but there are still seven games remaining on their schedule.

The Dolphins should provide a confidence boost for Tebow and Co. if they continue their winless tradition in 2011, but the Broncos will fall fast in Week 8.

At this point, Detroit should be on a historic run for their fans and it's hard to believe that Tim Tebow's young and untrained arm will be enough to slow them down.

It won't get any easier for Denver then. They'll need to rematch the Raiders, and Tebow will have his first opportunity to prove his supremacy over Kyle Orton as quarterback.

Orton's lazy fumble against the Raiders in Week 1 is arguably the turning point of that game. Then again, we can probably point at any game over the last two years and Denver will find a way to blame it on Orton.

If Tebow can beat the Raiders on their home turf, it's certain that the majority of Broncos fans will be sold. Tebow is King of Broncos Country if he downs their hated nemesis on the road.

The New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings, and Chicago Bears are all underachieving in 2011, so would a loss to the Broncos and the most talked-about back-up quarterback in history really be that surprising for any of these franchises at this point?

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 25:  Kyle Orton #8 of the Denver Broncos lays on the ground by a penalty flag after being hit during a game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on September 25, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee.   The Titans defeated the Broncos
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Maybe, maybe not.

Denver also flies to San Diego to give Tebow a full run at the Chargers. So far, Tebow has had two opportunities to down the Bolts and hasn't been able to get it done—albeit one of those efforts took place over the course of only half of a game.

It's tough to predict that San Diego will give Denver a pass in the second half of the season when their game tends to pick up significantly.

All that's left is the Patriots.

Denver used to always have New England's number. But Mike Shanahan is gone, and nobody really knows if this new Denver team has anybody's number or if they're just playing the lottery right now.

The best Denver can hope for? Well, obviously 12-4.

The best they can expect? Maybe 10-6?

Tebow's been in this John Fox system just as long as Orton, but unfortunately it wasn't built around his skill set.

The realistic place for Denver to land is right where they are now—the bottom half of the AFC West.

Denver beats the teams they should after the bye week, and pulls out an upset or two to end the run.

Final record of 7-9—just what Denver fans have become accustomed to.

There's always next year, Broncos Country. Let's have a good time at least while this one lasts and maybe witness a miraculous season comeback fitting enough for the miracle worker himself—not Jesus, silly, Tim Tebow.