Tim Tebow is more than just a football player, and that much is evidenced by his rapidly growing fan base. He is one of the most popular players in the sport and he has only started a handful of games so far. His jerseys sell like hot cakes and he has a popular internet meme in his likeness.
Despite being on a team that had barely won a game this year, he led them to a 4-1 record in his first five starts. This is only more fuel added to the fire. Tebow surely is a hero to some, but there is another group of people that think this is all just a really lucky streak.
I agree, he is very lucky.
Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. He's well prepared, and he's been given a lot of opportunities.
Let's take a look so far.
After a historic career in Gainesville, Florida, Tim Tebow came into the NFL under much scrutiny. He had all the physical tools required to be great football player, but he had never played in an NFL type offense. Could he succeed?
A lot of analysts suggested he would be a long-term project and should probably be a third or fourth round draft pick. However, we all know it only takes one, and Josh McDaniels took a chance, drafting Tebow in the first round.
McDaniels had big ideas for Tim Tebow, but he made a bunch of bad decisions, lost a bunch of games and soon lost his job.
The new coaches inherited the quirky quarterback with an odd throwing style.
Coming into the season, there was debate over who would play behind center for the Broncos. After a few weeks with the new coaching staff, it was very apparent that Kyle Orton could run a regular NFL system, and that Tebow had problems playing in the pocket. Kyle Orton was announced as the starter very early in the preseason. John Fox and John Elway wanted a traditional passer and Tebow surely isn't that kind of player. He was relegated to the bench.
Why he was lucky?
Had McDaniels not drafted Tebow in the first round, neither him nor his fan base would have considered him a legitimate NFL quarterback. The coaches would not have been pressured to start him. Had Kyle Orton not played so badly, Tebow would be just another backup in the NFL, and might have to find a new position or a new job at the end of the year.
The Miami Dolphins were winless through their first five games. Tim Tebow got his first start against the Dolphins in the sixth game of the season.
This was a perfect situation for Tim Tebow, he was going up against a bad team and there weren't any expectations for the game.
Tebow struggled throughout the game. Going into the final six minutes of the game, the Broncos had not scored any points and looked dead. He was only 4-14 for 40 yards so far in the game.
Here comes Tebow.
With 5:23 in the game, he leads his team on an 80-yard drive. Then, as luck would have it, his team recovers an onside kick. After which he leads another touchdown drive, and scores a touchdown and game tying two-point conversion.
Luckily, his defense sacks the Dolphins quarterback, forces a fumble and the Broncos just have to kick a field goal to win.
Why he was lucky?
The Dolphins had not won a game all year and Tebow had an extra week to prepare for them. He was very well prepared going into the game.
Then, at the end of the game the Broncos recovered an onside kick. This happens only about 25 percent of the time, without that, the Broncos have no chance at all. In overtime, the defense gets a sack and fumble so the offense doesn't have to do anything.
After getting a win in his first start of the season, Tim Tebow had a little confidence behind him. Enter Detroit Lions.
This is a game where Tebow was exposed as the Broncos lost 10-45. The Broncos went down three touchdowns at half time and the quasi-quarterback had to throw all game long.
Tebow went 18-39 for 172 yards and 63 yards rushing. The more telling stat is his seven sacks. They showed just how uncomfortable the running-back-behind-center was in playing an NFL offense. He just can't handle stepping up in the pocket.
There was no luck here, just a bad game by a guy who wants to be an NFL quarterback.
The Raiders may be the game where the Tebow faithful gained their faith and the game when the Broncos thought they just might have a slim chance at a playoff in the poor AFC West.
This was also the game that Coach Fox decided to try and let Tebow play a college style offense. After watching him struggle mightily throwing the ball, Fox made Tebow a running back.
Tebow ran for over 100 yards, and showed exactly what his real skill is, his legs. He did throw two touchdowns, but was only 10 of 21 passing the ball.
Why he was lucky?
The Raiders were starting Carson Palmer for the first time, and he looked like a quarterback that had been sitting on the couch for the pas 10 months, and was playing in an offense that he had learned only a week or two earlier. Palmer threw three interceptions to help the Broncos. Also, it was Eddie Royal who returned a kick in order to break a tie. The defense and special teams deserve more credit for this game than anybody on offense.
The Chiefs were supposed to be a tough matchup, but their offense struggled immensely against the Broncos. Matt Cassel threw for under 100 yards in what was a very ugly game. Neither team could do much of anything.
Tim Tebow did his part to add to to the ugliness as he completed just 25 percent of his passes, even worse, he only attempted eight passes all game.
After watching this snoozer, it was clear that the Broncos coaching staff just do not trust him to throw the ball. They did everything in their power to keep the ball on the ground.
However, in the fourth quarter of a tie game, the Broncos unleashed a deep pass, and Tebow hit his receiver in stride. It was a great pass, and all Denver needed against the stumbling Chiefs.
Why he was lucky?
Matt Cassel played terribly. The Chiefs couldn't move the ball and Denver's D was doing their job. Despite only accumulating 112 yards yards with the ball, Tebow still had a chance to win the game. Tebow played so bad that the defense forgot he could throw the ball and let a receiver get behind him.
I will give it to him, he made the necessary throw when he needed to.
The Jets were put in a tough position after their big divisional loss to the Patriots. They played a game late on Sunday night and had to fly across the country with only three days to prepare for an option offense that hasn't been seen in the NFL in decades.
Tim Tebow and the Broncos were 3-1 since No. 15 took the helm, and they were finally playing with confidence.
Going into the big Thursday night game against the New York Jets, it was easy to see this was a game of destiny for the Denver Broncos.
Mark Sanchez struggled at quarterback in what is a recurring theme here. I think it's time to give the Broncos defense credit as they shut down three USC quarterbacks in Carson Palmer, Matt Cassel and Mark Sanchez in three consecutive weeks.
Once again Tebow and the offense could not move the ball and Tebow continued to struggle throwing the ball, going 9-20.
Mark Sanchez threw a terrible interception to give the Broncos an easy touchdown. After a late field goal by the Jets, it was once again Tebowtime. Late in the fourth quarter, Tebow once again led a drive to help seal a victory.
Why was he lucky?
Once again, the opposing quarterback played a terrible game, and despite another atrocious game passing, the Broncos were still in the game late. On the play that clinched the win for the Broncos, Tebow ran outside of the defensive end, and was able to run into the end zone. Tebow was able to do this because the DE lost containment on the outside, and basically gave Tebow a huge hole outside. Had they had more time to prepare, it is very possible this wouldn't have happened.
I will give it to Tebow though, the read and the run were both impressive, even if they came due to a mental error on the DE.
A few things are clear so far.
1. Tim Tebow, if given the chance late in the game knows how to close out a game and win. His ability to do so is extremely unique.
2. No matter how badly Tebow plays, its hard to bet against him.
3. He is a great runner. He has over 300 yards rushing and averages 6.9 yards per rush.
4. He motivates his team and fans.
5. The Broncos defense has played extremely well since he has been QB.
6. The Broncos have a chance at a division title.
7. He is a terrible passer, never completing even half of his passes in a game. He is a 45 percent passer and is averaging 5.7 yards per pass. (Less than he is averaging per run).
8. His coaches do not trust him to throw often. They have created an offense because they don't think he can succeed in an 'NFL' offense.
9. Defenses will soon get smart. The more game tape they have of Tebow, the more they can stop his unique offense.
10. The Broncos coaching staff is going to have a tough decision on how to deal with him at the end of the year. Fox and Elway both want a prototypical quarterback and Tebow is not their guy. But, if they cut him or bench him they will have a huge public relations problem to deal with.
11. I am both amazed at his ineptitude at the position and his ability to win games. I am sure his passing deficiencies will continue to be on open display, but without a very tough schedule, I am also sure that they are going to win a few more games, and just may sneak into the postseason. I do not know how it is going to end up, but I know this much for sure, it is sure going to be fun.