Three quarters of the way through the much-anticipated debut of Tim Tebow as the starting quarterback for the 2011 Denver Broncos many fans were wondering if they were backing the right horse. Heisman Trophy winner and number 1 draft pick Tim Tebow got his team off to a rough start. By the start of the fourth quarter the Broncos were down against the hapless Miami Dolphins by a score of 0-15. For a moment it seemed that the worst team in the NFL would give the Broncos their first shutout in 19 years… then it was Tebow Time.
With three minutes left to go in the game Tebow went into high gear going 9-13 for 122 yards and two touchdowns. With the two point conversion on the second touchdown, suddenly the game was tied at 15 and forced into overtime. An overtime fumble by Miami quarterback Matt Moore led to a game winning field goal by Broncos Kicker Matt Prater.
What does this tell us about Tebow
There are two major caveats in this game. The first is that Miami isn’t a serious competitor this year as their now 0-6 record shows. The second is that Tebow lost his best receiver this week when the Broncos traded Brandon Lloyd. It will take more than a flash of late game brilliance to avoid an embarrassing loss to the Detroit Lions. Detroit is coming off a two game slide and will be hungry for a big win.
In spite of any criticism, today’s win will just cause Tebow’s legend to grow. He has now tied Kyle Orton for number of wins this season, and as many sports fans will tell you, the win column is the only stat that matters. All this buzz is not new to Tebow, and he handles it very well. One fan, Dr. Andrew Hall from Colorado Springs remembers well the excitement Tebow can create.
“Everybody knew who he was in the state of Florida,” Dr. Hall recalls. “They knew his recruitment really well, knew that he could have gone to either Alabama or Florida for college very easily so when he came to Florida he was a rock star the first day he showed up.”
Tebow’s performance in his first game proved that he has the intangibles needed to lead a team to a win. Will he be the long-term solution to John Elway and John Fox’s multi-season rebuilding plan for the Broncos? Will he have continued success against stronger teams like Detroit and Oakland? We will just have to wait and see.