It’s Tebow Time, Broncos Huge Winners
If you’re looking for the Game of the Week, look no further than the 1-4 Denver Broncos at the win-less Miami Dolphins. Wait, what? This game has
everything: Tim Tebow starting, Tim Tebow starting, and Tim Tebow starting. Did I mention that Tim Tebow is starting this game? The Tim Tebow era in Denver has officially started and it is starting in an ironic place — Florida. The game is so big that even the Miami Dolphins are going to honor Tebow, more on that in a little while.
Let me first backtrack, I set the date as Sunday October 9th, same year. The Denver Broncos are down 23-10 to the San Diego Chargers at halftime, little to no chance of winning this game. Kyle Orton, their $8 million man, just finished the first half on 6/13 for 21 yards passing and a cool 21.0 passer rating. The life was sucked out of Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver (that name is almost as bad as the 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre in Tampa), the fans were restless and booing their team.
Broncos head coach, John Fox, made the decision to bring in Tebow in the third quarter. The fans at Mile High greeted #15 to a loud standing applause once he took the field with the offense. Tebow had a rough third quarter: He bobbled 3 snaps, missed on a few passes, and lead the team to consecutive three-and-outs.
It was the fourth quarter where Tebow took over and brought the Broncos within two points. On the two-point conversion try, Tebow threw a beautiful fade pass to Brandon Lloyd which was slapped out of his hands. The Chargers would take their time on a long drive to score a field goal, which left Tebow and the Broncos just 24 seconds to tie the game. Tebow led the team down the field and despite the 13-point halftime deficit, the Broncos came up just short but were in the game until the very last play. Tebow’s final line read: 4/10 79 yards and 1 touchdown with a 101.7 passer rating, he also added 38 yards on the ground on 6 attempts and another touchdown.
The following Tuesday after the loss, head coach John Fox announced that Tebow would be the teams’ starter following the bye week this Sunday at Miami. The question has to be asked, did Tebow win or did Orton lose the starting quarterback job? To be honest with you, it has to be that Orton lost the job. Kyle Orton is sitting with the sixth-most interceptions in the league with seven, he threw three of them the previous week at Green Bay.
Tim Tebow started the final three games of the 2010 season for the Broncos and gave three encouraging performances. Many considered him to be the front-runner for the starting job this year. So confident in Tebow, Kyle Orton was nearly traded to the Miami Dolphins on the eve of training camp, but a deal couldn’t be reached due to contract details. Orton continued on and had an outstanding training camp and preseason, while Tebow struggled. Since November 1, 2009 the Broncos have gone 7-23 and Orton’s record in the same time is 6-21. Orton is also ranked near the bottom of the league in passer rating, sitting at 28th. So to answer my question, no doubt about it, Orton lost the job.
It is now Tebow Time in Denver, it is time for Tim Tebow to step in and show the Denver Broncos organization what he has to offer. Like the title reads, the Broncos are the big winners here anyway. If the team continues to improve and win games behind Tebow than the team has their quarterback for the future, if they continue to lose they join the next best competition: The “Suck For Luck” sweepstakes. For those not familiar, this is referring to Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, who many consider the best QB prospect since Peyton Manning and John Elway. John Elway just so happens to be the Broncos Vice-President and it just so happens he has been heavily scouting Andrew Luck. Any coincidence that Tebow gets the start here? Maybe.
Maybe Elway is suggesting here that Tebow will bomb and the team will be in the Andrew Luck race. Some have said that the race for worst record might just be as exciting as the race for best record. The Broncos maintain that John Fox made the final decision for the quarterback change. Sure it was, Denver. Or maybe it was someone in the Denver front office that looked at the standings, said they have no chance, and demand they see what their former first round pick has to offer. The Broncos are winners for this simple reason: If Tebow tanks, they play for Andrew Luck. If Tebow is great, than the team has their future QB. Either way Denver will have the QB they want next season.
Now moving to the smart people in Miami. The Miami Dolphins front office has dubbed Sunday, Florida Gator day at Sun Life Stadium. The team will honor the 2008 National Champion Florida Gators, which in turn means they will honor the very QB they’re facing (although there are going to be about 20 players from that team on hand at the ceremony). Here comes some confusion from Miami. When Tebow was first thought to be starting this season for the Broncos back in training camp, the front office decided to honor the Gators team to get more people in the stands. It just so happens that the Florida Gators have a bye week this week, which will prompt many fans in the state to flock to Miami to see Tebow in action. But the confusion is that Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said, “It’s never been Tebow day. Always been a celebration of the 2008 Gators team.” So the Dolphins announced this ‘Gator Day’ when Tebow was thought to be the starter back in training camp, but have declared it not a ‘Tebow Day’? I’m not buying it, Dolphins fans just know that your team wants to honor the opposing QB to sell some tickets.
The Dolphins have been facing ticket problems all year, even having to come together with sponsors to buy roughly 10,000 tickets to avoid a blackout vs. the Houston Texans. The Tebow effect has hit Miami: As of 10/12 30,000 tickets were left and on Thursday it was announced there were less than 5,000 remaining. It just seems so odd that a NFL team wants to volunteer to honor a college team, located 325 miles north of the stadium. That must be because the Hurricanes (Who play at the same stadium as the Dolphins) wanted no part of this ceremony. Hurricanes QB Jacory Harris tweeted: “I bet they’re not honoring the University of Miami in Gainesville.” You’re right Jacory, that’s because the Hurricanes have been awful lately.