Down by three points, Tebow (9 for 20, 104 yards passing) leads his Broncos on a 12-play, 95-yard scoring drive in just under five minutes, capping it off with a 20-yard rushing touchdown. The touchdown was the third rushing touchdown of the season for the south paw (ninth of his career).
The 17-13 victory, bringing Denver up to .500 with a 5-5 record, was not all pretty however. Before the final drive Tebow had completed just six passes on 15 attempts for 69 yards. The offense had converted just one third down on 11 tries, and he was his normal, inaccurate self.
What makes Tebow and Denver work so well is that he can finish games. He put the team on his back and accounted for 92 of the 95 yards on that fateful drive.
The critics will still be swarming Tebow with every chance they get. In fact, I myself am not quite sold on him being a successful NFL quarterback in the future. He has done everything he can to win games for the Broncos, and he has done just that, but to be a successful quarterback in this league you need to be able to efficiently pass the ball.
There are still plenty of questions surrounding his accuracy and throwing mechanics, and normally that is quite evident in the first three quarters. Eight pass attempts (last week's win vs. Kansas City) is not going to cut it against most teams in the NFL.
There's no doubt that I support Tebow being the starter in Denver, his impact has been obvious early on–Denver is 1-4 without Tebow and 4-1 with him under center. But he will need to start playing consistent football for a full 60 minutes, and not just the final couple of drives. He has pulled this off in the last five minutes twice now, but how much longer can he go on this way?
The exciting part about this situation is that Denver is now only a half game behind the first place Oakland Raiders. The only way Denver will be able to make a late run to the playoffs in the final stretch is if Tebow shows up for a full four quarters.
One final note: Denver's defense showed up to play tonight as well. Everyone seems to be making a huge deal about Tebow's game-winning drive, but without Andre Goodman's interception of Mark Sanchez, and his 26-yard TD return, they would not have even been in position to win this game.
Rookie linebacker Von Miller puts up a great performance all across the board, recording 10 tackles (9 solo), 1.5 sacks. 3 tackles for a loss, 1 pass deflection and four hits on the quarterback. His 1.5 sacks broke him in to the top five in the league's sack leaders, tying New York (Giants) defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul for third. Miller has me convinced that he is one of the most deserving of the Defensive Rookie of the Year awards, and possibly even a Pro Bowl vote.
Tebow: AP Photo/Julie Jacobson
Miller: Ron Chenoy--U.S. Presswire