For weeks, the chants to bench Orton and play Tebow have gotten louder and louder. During the same period of time, Kyle Orton's production has gotten worse and worse.
On Sunday, against the Chargers, the wheels fell off of the Broncos offense and Kyle Orton was given the hook during halftime. Under Kyle Orton, the Broncos offense scored just 3 points. In fact, at halftime, the Broncos defense had outscored the Broncos offense, due to a first quarter Cassius Vaughn interception for a touchdown.
In the second half, Tim Tebow took the reins and scored 2 touchdowns (1 rushing, 1 passing), something that Kyle Orton wasn't able to do in the first half. The Broncos were within a 2 point conversion of tying the game at 26, but Antoine Cason made a late play on the ball and was able to knock it out of the hands of Brandon Lloyd.
Ignoring the fact that the Broncos are 1-4 going into the bye, Broncos fans finally have something to hope for. Instead of groaning and booing after every Kyle Orton incompletion or interception, the Mile High Magic has returned. The cheers flooded Mile High as Tim Tebow drove ever closer to a miraculous comeback.
It was the most exciting Denver Broncos loss of the season. Taking the game as a whole, yes, it was a loss. However, taking each half into consideration, the Broncos lost 10-23 in the first half and won 14-6 in the second half. Can the second half success continue after the bye week? Time will tell.
One thing is for certain, though. Kyle Orton shouldn't be the starter, any more. After making the switch during halftime of the Chargers game, our bed is made. There's no going back.
Honestly, this is how it should be. Tim Tebow fighting for his job. If Tim Tebow is unsuccessful, we'll have to live with the consequences. The Broncos will likely draft a rookie quarterback early in the 2012 NFL Draft. If Tim Tebow is successful, he'll win games and play himself into the starting role. Either way, starting Tim Tebow for the remainder of this season is paramount. The Broncos need to find out what they have, for better or worse.
Was Tim Tebow the prototypical pocket passer against the Chargers? Absolutely, not. He struggled to pass the ball, for the most part, but was able to move the ball with his legs. A screen pass went for a touchdown and he made a pair of nice passes on the final drive of the game, but beyond that, he was as ineffective as Kyle Orton with his arm. That will need to change if he wishes to become the permanent starter. Although, the way he was able to move the ball, despite his struggles in the passing game, was still encouraging. He got the job done and put points on the board. In fact, ESPN's week 5 Total Quarterback Rating - whether you agree with the system's lack of transparency or not - ranks Orton 26th (last) and Tim Tebow 5th. In terms of moving the ball, I feel that the Total QBR does a pretty good job of telling the tale.
John Fox would not admit that Tebow is the starter during his post-game press conference, but I think the Broncos would be irresponsible to go back to an Orton led offense. Tebow may not be the next Peyton Manning, but we know for a fact that Kyle Orton isn't, either. The Broncos might as well continue to play Tebow, for better or worse. What's it going to hurt?
We're already 1-4.