Tim Tebow believers have always viewed him as a miracle worker, and after the Broncos' 17-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs yesterday, they've got more inexplicable evidence to support their argument.
As his Lord and Savior conjured up loaves and fishes, Tebow created a victory out of thin air -- although not through the air.
It's been clear for weeks that the Broncos coaching staff is absolutely terrified of letting Tebow chuck it -- but it wasn't until this weekend that we learned how terrified. The Chosen One was only allowed to throw three passes in the entire first half, and four in the second, with his initial heave coming with only minutes to go before the break.
And heave is the right word. The team's braintrust appears to believe that the only aerial tool in Tebow's belt is his ability to throw a long way -- and if the D's only expecting him to run, hand off or pitch, maybe no one will even be guarding receivers on the fly pattern, making both his questionable accuracy and his tendency to overthrow short routes moot points. Under those circumstances, his guys could circle under the ball, almost like catching a punt.
Trouble is, Tebow mildly underthrew Eric Decker and Eddie Royal when this plan was unsheathed -- although, to be honest, both were catchable balls. However, the scheme worked to Decker in the fourth, registering a touchdown mere minutes after Tebow notched his first completion, to Matt Willis.
Confession: When Willis hauled in the ball, I actually cursed, because I thought it'd be funnier if the Broncos managed to win without a single catch. But it was funny enough with two. The Chiefs knew what was coming the vast majority of the time, but they couldn't stuff it consistently enough even against third-stringer Lance Ball, who was repeatedly handed the rock after both Willis McGahee and Knowshon Moreno went down with injuries. Somehow, Ball, supplemented by Tebow, gained just enough to keep the Chiefs off the field for long stretches -- an enormous benefit to the Broncos' improving defense, which held Matt Cassel and company in check for the majority of the contest.
Granted, Cassel provided a big assist in that respect.
The Broncos, meanwhile, offered an offensive attack that predated what we've come to know as the modern passing game -- a period before Y.A. Tittle, before Otto Graham, even before Slingin' Sammy Baugh. The contest was a flashback to the glorious 1930s, when helmets didn't sport face-masks and the ball was typically held tight to the gut except during fumbles. And somehow, it worked.
Say what you will about Tebow. The guy's led Denver to three straight wins on the road, including at Oakland and Kansas City, two of the toughest places in the league for visitors to survive, let alone come away with a W.
His mental toughness is obvious -- as is the likelihood that he'll be carted off the field on a stretcher before long, as a result of the pounding he's been taking. At this point, though, we need to throw logic out the window. But for God's sake, don't throw anything else!
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Look below to see Tebow's TD to Decker -- an exception to the rule, to put it mildly.
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More from our Sports archive: "Ten slogans for the pro-Tim Tebow, anti-Kyle Orton billboard."