What happened to the Broncos on Sunday? After more than 55 minutes of being shut out in his first starting game, Tim Tebow miraculously lead the Broncos to an overtime 18-15 win against the Miami Dolphins in one of the most surprising and improbable wins in recent Broncos history.
The Denver Post reports that with less than three minutes remaining in the 4th quarter, the Broncos were down 15-0. At that late point in the game Tebow had only completed 4 of 14 passes for 40 yards and had been sacked five times -- this was not the Tebow that fans had chanted for.
But, then, impossibly, Tebow turned into a new quarterback -- he completed two touchdown passes and scored a 2-point conversion with only 17 seconds left in the game, pushing the teams into overtime, 7News reports. Then kicker Matt Prater, who had missed his first two field goals, connected with a 52-yard-field goal, ending the game with a win for the Broncos.
In those final minutes, it wasn't just Tebow that came alive -- the entire Broncos squad played with renewed focus and energy: Demaryius Thomas, Matt Willis, and Daniel Fells all made incredible catches for Tebow in those final minutes, ProFootbalTalk reports.There was the recovered onside kick that Virgil Green wrestled away from a pile of Dolphins. There was the sack of Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore by D.J. Williams who stripped the ball and forced a fumble giving the Broncos the ball at the 36 and putting Prater in position for the winning field goal just three plays later, according to ESPN.
It had to be seen to believed. And even then it's hard to believe that the Broncos pulled this one off.
Tebow said this to 9News about the win against the Dolphins that seemed like it could not possibly come:
It was my fault we were in that position. Silly things kept happening. On the sidelines, we were still believing. We wanted it, and they believed in me for more than 60 minutes.
Was it just the power of positive thinking? "Still believing," as Tebow says? Was it a new Broncos squad finally gelling on the field when it mattered most? Was it because of a now 0-6 Dolphins team who could not put up a fight against even a flailing Denver Broncos? One thing is certain, Tebow-mania just increased severalfold.
In many ways an ugly win rife with errors and Tebow showed just how much improvement he still needs, but a win is a win. And perhaps more tellingly, when the pressure was on and the odds could not have been more stacked against him, Tebow didn't collapse, he performed better. That's the “competitive greatness” that John Fox was referring to post-game when comparing Tebow to Broncos' beloved Number 7, John Elway. Fox said in the New York Times:
There's competitive greatness. Not everybody that plays in this league has it. It's a great quality to have. We have a guy - number 7 that I work with every day - he had it. He definitely had it.