There's not enough acid in the world to have made Denverites collectively hallucinate the Broncos' 29-23 playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. From the moment Denver's offense came to life in the second quarter to the sight of the CBS studio crew Tebowing, the game was a trip from which we don't want to come down. And the Chosen One is responsible for us feeling Rocky Mountain High.
The Broncos' first pair of offensive possessions were offensive in precisely the same way as the ones that dominated recent losses to the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs -- ultra-predictable play-calling that suggested zero faith in Tebow's ability to execute even the most basic parts of the typical NFL quarterback repertoire. But then, early in the second quarter, immediately after Steelers goon James Harrison had incapacitated Eric Decker with a cheap shot to the knee, Tebow hit Demaryius Thomas for a 31-yard lollipop -- and one play later, he found Eddie Royal in the end zone for a TD that gave the Broncos a 7-6 lead. And before halftime, thirteen more points followed, with much of the yardage that led to them earned through the air.
It's not that Tebow suddenly transformed himself into Drew Brees. His motion was still loopy, and slo-mo closeups of the ball in flight showed it floating and wobbing like the bone-to-interstellar craft montage in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Moreover, he seems weirdly uncomfortable with throwing short passes. At one point in the second half, for instance, he had a running back wide open in the middle of the field as a play broke down, but he chose to run it up the gut instead, apparently under the theory that subjecting himself to bashing by a slew of black-and-yellow giants would be easier than the sort of backyard toss anyone over the age of eight can usually make.
When it came to big strikes, though, Tebow pulled off one after another, often to Thomas, who gained more than 200 yards on just four catches. And even after typically reliable performers like Willis McGahee (who coughed up the ball at a key time) and Champ Bailey (who failed to haul in an interception that would have come close to icing the game) gave the Steelers life, Timmy still managed to earn a victory via a crossing pattern to Thomas on the first play of overtime. The score brought Tebow's yardage total to 316 -- or should we say John 3:16.
Commentators with a national perspective quickly likened the Broncos' win to the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks' triumph over the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints last year -- and while the Hawks played credibly the following week against the Chicago Bears, they still lost. The Broncos are likely to do the same against the New England Patriots, especially considering that the Pats handled Denver just three weeks ago. In addition, the Broncos must travel cross country and will have one fewer day of preparation than usual, since the contest is scheduled for Saturday.
Then again, after what happened yesterday, all things are possible.
Below, check out a treasure trove of video that's surfaced since yesterday: the winning touchdown, the CBS crew in action, celebrations in the locker room, a weird tribute filled with religious references and shots of Tebow wearing Biblical eye black, and another use of YouTube's favorite Hitler movie scene, with the Führer coming out of the closet as a Steelers fan.
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More from our Sports archive: "Tim Tebow's 10 most motivational Bible verse recommendations & when to use them (PICS)."