I, like many other Bronco fans waited the past two weeks for what seemed to be an eternity eagerly anticipating Sunday's game, hoping for a great start to the Tebow era in Denver. Then the game began. Run, run, pass. run, run, pass. run, run, pass. (Insert Fergie here....run, run, pass...gotta get that Run, run, pass.) For the first couple drives I optimistically watched on, thinking as long as the defense can hold up, Tebow will eventually hit a 3rd down pass to move the chains and allow McCoy to get into a rhythm calling plays. Halftime...
So Halftime is now here and as bad as Tebow, Prater, and the offense have struggled, the D has kept Denver within striking distance. Three and out is followed by three and out...the Broncos begin throwing a bit more but Tebow is holding on to the ball too long, not trusting his instincts...trying to stay in the pocket to run the play as it was called. Open receivers are being missed. The 3rd quarter passes. Tick, tick, tick. 15-0. 55 minutes have now passed, 90% of the game is now over and the Broncos are 5 minutes away from inevitably becoming the laughing stock of the league. Shut out by the 0-5 Miami Dolphins on Gator day. Our QB is lost, defeated, and the media is now eagerly awaiting the conclusion of the game so they can begin the destruction of Tebow. It looks as if Denver's league leading streak of games without being shut out is going to end shy of 300. Make a play. Someone, somehow get a 1st down at least. Then it happens.
What I witnessed in the final minutes of that game might have been one of the biggest turn-a-round in sports history. Never have I seen a game with so little time left in it, take a complete turn like that one. The Broncos had no hope, no timeouts, no points, yet the team still believed in each other. The Bills and Oilers playoff game comes to mind...but they at least had 30 minutes to get things figured out and enough time for the Oilers to continuously self-implode. George Foreman-Michael Moorer comes to mind. But that was boxing, not a team game. If Foreman had to have 45 other players believe in him while he was getting beat mercilessly for the entire fight they would have given up hope. Yet as I sat on my couch I still believed. I saw the players on the field frustrated, puzzled, confused...but I saw them continue to fight on...because they believed. Each player on the field believed that if they could just make one play, something may happen.
A play was made. Then another. Then another. 15-7. 2:43 remains and no timeouts. Matt Prater has had the worst day of his career up to this point. And we all know how erratic kickers can become when confidence becomes an issue. Prater makes a play. The onside kick goes perfectly in to the air. Virgil Green has been silent all day. He's been on the field blocking. On the field while the offense went 3 n-out time and time again. Virgil makes a play. Plays are continued to be made. Daniel Fells watched a ball miss him by about 20 yards earlier as Kyle Orton muttered from the sidelines, "He was F****ing wide open." Daniel Fells continued to fight. Daniel Fells made a play. Demaryius Thomas was targeted 9 times up to this point and had two catches, one horrible drop, one route miscommunication, and one ball that sailed about 10 yards wide out of bounds. Demaryius continued to fight and Demaryius made a play.
Tim Tebow was in the midst of playing through what was quite possibly the ugliest 3.5 quarters of QB play the NFL has ever seen. There may have been worse stats and worse QB ratings...but this was ugly. Real ugly. Tim watched as the veterans of the team on defense made play after play to keep him within striking distance. Tim failed again and again to capitalize and bring his team back. Tim could not make a throw. But he kept fighting and kept believing that if he just made a play, his teammates would rally. Tim made a play. Then another. Then another. Then another.
15-15. Overtime. Kyle Orton walks out onto the field as Captain to call the coin toss. Orton witnessed this comeback from the sidelines. Everyone believes. Everyone knows. That Kyle Orton is gonna blow this. Never has a 50/50 chance been so lopsided. The referee uses a two headed-coin. Kyle Orton called heads. Tails. Kyle Orton continues to choke. Kyle, please hand over your "C" before you spill more milk on it.
The defense believes. They make plays. Three and out for the Dolphins. Quan Cosby believes. He makes a play. Mike McCoy doesn't believe. With the game tied, he goes back to Run, run, pass. Mike McCoy is calling plays to not lose the game. The defense still believes despite the offense's 3 n-out. Then a play is made...by the Dolphins, by Brandon f***ing Marshall. 17 yard first down. Carpenter is warming up. This is when bad teams fold. This is when teams that do not believe fold.
Two weeks ago DJ Williams cost the Broncos and Tebow time for a comeback bid when he took a personal foul penalty. DJ saw what Tebow was almost able to do against the Chargers and believed if he had more time the outcome may have been different. DJ just saw Tebow and the Broncos come back from 15 down with less than 3 minutes to play, after being totally shut out for 57 minutes. If he could just make one play right now, maybe the Broncos could steal this win. DJ made a play. A damn good play.
Prater is warming up. Prater is 0-2 today, but he believes. John Fox and McCoy must believe in Prater as they set him up on the right hash marks after Run, run, run. The snap, the hold, the kick...It's good!!!!!!!!! The Dolphins don't believe it.
After the game, Tim Tebow takes fault for his play and thanks all of his teammates for continuing to believe for the entire game. The team rallies around their new leader.
Do you believe???