On Oct. 23, while the 2008 Florida Gators National Championship team was recognized at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Denver Bronco’s quarterback, Tim Tebow, made his first start of the season. This wasn’t just your ordinary breaking-in of a young quarterback, with lots of potential and high expectations. In fact, we can’t truly be certain what the reasoning in starting Tim Tebow was.
From the opening of training camp, Tebow’s position on the depth chart has been a fairly popular subject around the National Football League (NFL). Tebow came out of training camp slotted third, behind starter Kyle Orten, and backup Brady Quin. Some members of the Bronco’s staff even felt that Tebow was really the fourth-best quarterback coming out of camp, getting out-played by un-drafted free-agent, Adam Weber, from the University of Minnesota.
Despite his depth-chart status, Denver fans have been tirelessly demanding more playing time for Tebow. So, did the Bronco’s give Tebow the start to see what he can do, or was it so they could expose what he can’t? A lot of fans and analysts remain cynical, as Tebow was a controversial pick right from the start. Despite his vast success at the University of Florida, it was widely felt that Tebow would not make a good NFL quarterback, and Denver was questioned immediately as to why they selected him with their first round pick two years ago.
Two other young quarterbacks, the Bronco’s Quinn and Stanford’s Andrew Luck, make this story even more interesting. Quinn, who beat out Tebow for the back-up job in training camp, was now leap-frogged without getting his own shot at picking up his team. Luck is the top quarterback and top prospect in the nation, who should be the number-one pick in the upcoming draft.
Denver is currently still alive in the “Andrew Luck Sweepstakes”, and Stanford is where Bronco’s legend and current vice president of football operations, John Elway, played his college ball. It would make sense that Elway would want to strongly pursue Luck, and combined with the fact that Quinn was bypassed without auditioning as the starter himself. It seems the Bronco’s just want to put the “is Tim Tebow an NFL quarterback” debate to rest, whether they themselves believe in his talents or not.
Tebow lead the Bronco’s to victory on Sunday, but it didn’t look good for the first fifty-five minutes of regulation. With 5:23 left in the fourth quarter, Tebow was only 4 of 14 passing for 40 yards, with a fumble, and was trailing the Miami Dolphins 15 – 0. Tebow then lead the Broncos 80 yards down the field to put the Broncos on the board, and after a successful onside kick Tebow and the Broncos drove 56 yards for the score and the game-tying two-point conversion.
In overtime, Dolphin’s quarterbacked Matt Moore was sacked by Denver’s D.J. Williams, and coughed up the football. Three plays later, kicker Matt Prater kicked a 52-yard field goal to win it for the Broncos. Bottom line: Tebow got a win. However he looked less than impressive against a bad Miami team. Tebow somewhat proved his critics right on Sunday, as the Broncos were shut-out until late in the fourth quarter. However, Tebow did show he’s used to big moments and showed a lot of poise during the Broncos late game comeback.
All in all, Tebow’s status remains about the same. He didn’t establish himself as a true “NFL” quarterback by any stretch, but he got the job done, and will hold the support of Denver fans for at least another week. It will be interesting to see what Tebow does next Sunday, against the Detroit Lions, who have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL.
The Bronco’s quarterback was sacked 7 times during the game by a below-average Dolphins defense. We can’t say for sure if the Bronco’s really trust in Tebow, or if they’re just trying to give the fans what they want, while disclosing a bad experiment for what it is. Either way, Tebow has his chance to prove the naysayers wrong, and continue his winning ways in the NFL.