Monday, 12 December 2011

It's Tebow Time whether you like it or not

Bobby Roy

The Extra Point

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Denver Bronco’s quarterback Tim Tebow had a section of his own terms in the dictionary by the end of this season.

“Tebow,” “Tebow Time,” and “Tebowmania” are a few of the terms starting to appear each weekly miracle performed by the former Florida Gator, Tebow.

And just when you think the hype, criticism, interest and play surrounding Tebow should start to simmer down, the most talked about player this NFL season keeps giving people reasons to talk, gossip and stare in awe about.

What he and his team have been doing on the field recently are being called miracles and for good reason.

Dec. 11’s 13-10 overtime victory over the Chicago Bears at home is latest, craziest miracle performed by Tebow and the Broncos.

It’s a game they shouldn’t have won, but the Broncos have heard plenty of that talk in their current six game-winning streak.

“He did what?” “Did that just happen?” How is that even possible?”

Those are some of questions I asked watching the improbable unfold in the 13-10 Bronco win.

With his team down 10-0 with less than three minutes to play in the game and with no timeouts, he engineered a drive where he completed seven of seven passes, culminating in an easy touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas to cut the lead down to three.

An unthinkable mistake by the Bears’ runningback Marion Barber gave Tebow and the Broncos the ball back and a chance. A few throws later and the Broncos had a realistic chance. A 59-yard field goal try with three seconds left? No problem. Tie game and we’re headed to overtime.

The Broncos lose the toss and the Bears drive into field goal range. Maybe the miracle is finally over? Wrong. Barber proceeds to do the unthinkable again, fumbling the ball on a third down play to give the Broncos the ball.

It’s Tebow Time.

Two completions later and the Broncos are well within their kicker’s range — a 51-yard field goal attempt.

It could have been good from 70 and the Broncos win their six straight and most amazing win of the streak.

Amazing. Stunning. Unbelievable.

Those are just some of the words that come to mind looking back at the game. But those words have been following Tebow around for the past eight games.

Since taking over for the then 1-4 Broncos, Tebow is 7-1, but his passing numbers have been less than convincing and he still isn’t receiving respect from players, fans and media around the league.

In those eight games he’s only gone over the 200 passing yard mark twice —202 against Minnesota and 238 against Chicago (he was 3-16 after three quarters).

The Bears’ Brian Urlacher called him a good running back afterwards.

His numbers are anything but impressive.

In the first three quarters that is.

Tebow is 18 of 24, 191 yards, one touchdown, and no picks in the fourth quarter and overtime. He is clutch when it comes to crunch time, no doubt about it.

And he’s captured anyone and everyone who follows the NFL. There’s just something about Tebow’s aura that has accrued him more and more followers every week.

He was criticized before he got the job, while he has the job and will be, no matter how the Bronco’s fairytale season ends.

And he should be, because I’m (and I’m sure there are plenty of others) not convinced he is and will be a great quarterback in the NFL.

The Broncos’ defense, timely offense and special teams are the reason why they are on a six game winning streak and in control of the AFC West.

But maybe people expected too much on what kind of player Tebow would be when he was drafted. He’s been compared to the likes of John Elway and other great quarterbacks, but he doesn’t share the same qualities.

He has shown he is a running quarterback first and foremost, but he comes up big with his arm in the fourth and overtime quarters. Tebow doesn’t strike fear in opposing teams like Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady or Drew Brees do, but he does share a similar quality with those three —he wins.

And that’s all that matters in the NFL. If doesn’t matter how you win as long as you win and Tebow has done that, even though all those wins haven’t been the most convincing. The Broncos have won all of those seven games by six points or less.

It may be only a matter of time until Tebow Time is over in Denver or maybe not, but what everyone can agree upon is that it is fun to watch, read and talk about Tebow and the Broncos are doing right now.

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