Tim Tebow Comeback: Ranking the Chosen One's Improbable Wins in 2011
At this point it’s becoming a comedy act.
Each and every week Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos find themselves down in the fourth quarter with the game clock working against them. Yet seven of the past eight weeks the Broncos have pulled out a miracle win, and Sunday’s 13-10 OT win over the Chicago Bears is just the latest example.
Facing a 10-point deficit with under five minutes remaining, somehow, some way Tebow was able to pull it off with the aid of two 50-plus yard field goals. Despite failing to complete a single pass in the second of third quarter, Tebow Time found a way.
He has swept the AFC West division on the road, has a 3-0 overtime record and is now 7-1 as the Broncos starting QB. Only Aaron Rodgers has a better winning percentage this season.
So where does this rank on the rapidly growing list of comebacks? Does it even crack the top three?
5. Narrowly Avoids Tie in San Diego
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Messiah Meter: 5 out of 10
This game was all about prayers.
After San Diego kicker Nick Novak made a 53-yarder in the first quarter, a career-best, Novak was wide right on a 53-yard field goal attempt with 2:31 left in overtime.
Tebow admitted after the game to missing the attempt because he was in his infamous Tebowing pose praying he would miss...and he did.
A 12-yard scamper by Tebow and a 24-yard run by Willis McGahee later, and Broncos kicker Matt Prater drilled a 37-yarder with only 29 seconds left to prevent the first tie in the NFL since 2008.
The Broncos relied on Tebow's legs to keep them in the game against division their rival. Tebow's 22 carries for 67 yards were the most by a quarterback since 1950.
Trailing by a field goal for virtually the entire second half, Tebow was able to make the big plays when it mattered most and set up Prater for the tying field goal with under two minutes in regulation.
This comeback marked the Broncos third straight road win in the division...in the span of three weeks.
4. Passing His Way to a Victory in the Metrodome
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Messiah Meter: 7 out of 10
Last week's 35-32 victory over Minnesota marked the best passing game of Tebow's season. He threw for 202 yards and had two TDs. He completed 66 percent of his passes and showed a lot of progress in the pocket. He had a season-low four carries for only 13 yards.
Once again it was the kicker Prater who technically finished off the comeback by drilling two field goals in the final 93 seconds of the game, including a 23-yarder as time expired.
The Broncos defense certainly deserves the assist in this one. Mario Haggan had a pick-six and Andre' Goodman intercepted Christian Ponder to set up the short field for the game-winner. It was a reminder of why Tebow is so successful. To that point he had thrown a grand total of one interception in seven games as a starter.
Not bad for a QB who the critics feel is the worst quarterback in the league.
3. Jets Fall A Sleep in The Fourth
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Messiah Meter: 8.5 out of 10
Darrelle Revis famously said the only thing the Jets secondary had to worry about is falling asleep on the field.
Well, he was right for the vast majority of the game as Tebow accounted for a grand total of 80 yards in the Broncos’ first 11 drives, but racked up 92 of the 95 yards on the game-winning drive, including the 20-yard TD scamper.
That is likely the most memorable play of the Tebow era, as he was the guy to score the game-winning points without the assist from Prater. He broke multiple tackles and looked more like a fullback than a quarterback on the play.
The Broncos had punted on their eight previous possessions when they got the ball with less than six minutes and 95 yards to go.
This was the best opponent Tebow has played this season...and he dispatched them in the same manner as seemingly every team he plays.
2.Barely Beats Bears
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Messiah Meter: 9.5 out of 10
Tebow didn’t complete a pass in the second or third quarter, and the Broncos were in danger of getting shutout at home for the first time in the history of the Broncos franchise.
Then it was Tebow Time.
A touchdown and 59-yard field goal in the span of 2:09 and the game was going to overtime.
Bears running back Marion Barber, who idiotically stepped out of bounds instead of killing another 40 seconds of clock at the end of regulation, proceeded to fumble the ball right as the Bears were in field goal range on Chicago's first possession in overtime.
Tebow collected a few first downs and a 51-yarder by Prater won it.
For the second week in a row Tebow threw for a season-high in passing yards, this time for 236 yards and a touchdown. Yet with an interception and a fumble lost...it began to look like Tebow was crumbling against the best defense he had faced that is chock-full of veterans.
Instead, once again he kept plays alive with his feet and overcame a ton of drops by his receivers to pull off the third OT win of the season.
Zero points in the first 11 drives means nothing to Tebow.
1.Miracle in Miami
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Messiah Meter: 10 out of 10
The first win of 2011 for Tebow remains the most incredible.
After looking like a scrub for over three quarters, Tebow made the best comeback of the entire NFL season.
The Broncos appeared to be dead ducks when they trailed 15-0 with 5:23 left and took over at their 20. At that point Tebow was 4-for-14 for 40 yards, and Denver was 0-for-10 on third-down conversions.
He threw for two touchdown passes in the final 2:44 and also secured the two-point conversion to set up a 52-yarder by Matt Prater in overtime to seal the deal. Don't forget about the onside kick that was recovered as well.
It was his first start of the year, in his home state, with all the haters who felt Kyle Orton should be the starter in full force. He proved them all wrong...yet the critics all said this was a one-week fluke against a Dolphins team that was winless at the time.
Who knew it was just a prelude to one of the most remarkable stretches in the history of the NFL?