Tim Tebow and the 5 Best Closers in the NFL
Tim Tebow has come out with a bang in his first start of the 2011 NFL Season. After leading Denver to a thrilling come-from-behind victory in Miami, is it fair to add Tebow to the list of the best closers of the NFL?
Whatever the answer to that question, a better question is, who else populates that list?
In a league where parity is slowly becoming a reality and the difference between a win and a loss can be one play, one drive or one kick, who are the players that can be counted on to close?
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This list should be led by the most money closer in the game right now, Tom Brady. Proof of this fact was seen as recently as last week when the Patriots used a last-minute drive by Brady to beat the Cowboys.
Regular season or playoffs, it doesn't matter as Brady has led his team to victory frequently in both. It is not just Brady's propensity for comeback victories, though, that makes him special.
The brutal accuracy and efficiency with which Brady operates makes it nearly impossible to come back against the Patriots when they have the lead.
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Comeback attempts have fallen short at the hands of DeMarcus Ware pretty frequently.
Ware is closing in on 100 career sacks quickly and many of them have ended games for the opposition against the Cowboys. Suffice it to say that being behind against the Cowboys and being forced to throw is not a place that opposing quarterbacks would like to find themselves.
Mainly because those quarterbacks find themselves enjoying the view of the giant Cowboys Stadium jumbo-tron from their backs.
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Any team in the league would gladly welcome the services of "Megatron" in the fourth quarter of a close game.
No receiver in the league can climb the ladder and haul in a touchdown pass amid three defenders, except Johnson.
His freakish athleticism has helped Detroit ascend from the NFC North cellar and close out many of the games that the Lions have won since he joined the team.
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The score of the game is really inconsequential to a player like Rodgers who does not adjust his play to fit the moment.
Aaron Rodgers has one gear and it either takes the Packers to a huge lead or guarantees that they are never out of any game. Coach Mike McCarthy has total faith in his quarterback and would call a pass in any situation.
That confidence allows Rodgers, McCarthy and the Packers to salt away quite a few victories in the NFL.
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A dramatic comeback in Miami can now be added to the growing legend of Tim Tebow. After a near miracle comeback against the San Diego Chargers two weeks ago in Denver, Tebow finished the job against the Dolphins in Week 7.
So is it fair to say that Tim Tebow is one of the NFL's elite closers?
Well, the Denver QB is sporting a 124.4 rating in the fourth quarter and has led his team to four total touchdowns in the fourth quarter of the last two games. Take those stats (which come from a very small sample size in 2011) and add them to the fourth quarter comeback against Houston last year and you might have something.
However, Tim Tebow will need to add a lot more to his resume in the way of late game heroics to get a permanent spot on this list. For now all we can say is that it's a great start.