Down by 10. Inside of 4 minutes. The Broncos WR had dropped passes all day while the run game never got going. Do you know the odds of pulling off this comeback? As Han Solo once said, "Never tell me the odds". The fact of the matter is that when it comes to Tim Tebow and the Broncos, the odds don't matter. There is something special about this team. There has never been a season like this and I don't know if there ever will be a season like this again. Tim Tebow led the Broncos to yet another improbable 13-10 comeback victory. As I sat on my couch after the game, I found myself repeating the words "I don't know how he does it." Truthfully, I don't care how he does it. I've stopped caring about how. I've never been this excited as a Bronco fan. Let's jump into the studs and duds of this incredible victory.
Tim Tebow through the first 3 quarters: 3-16 for 45 yards and 1 INT.
Tim Tebow in the 4th quarter and overtime: 18-24 for 191 yards and 1 TD.
Clutch is too soft of a word for Tebow. Competitive Greatness isn't 5strong enough either. The truth is, there are no words or phrases that can accurately describe what Tim Tebow is capable of doing in the 4th quarter. When it's Tebow Time, anything is possible as we've seen 7 times this year. He had a rough outing for 3 quarters. His wide receivers did him absolutely no favors, but somehow he pulled it out. Don't ask me how. As I said before, I don't know and I really don't care. As a certain Tebow homer on ESPN says, "He. Just. Wins. Football. Games."
59 yarder for the tie. 51 yarder for the win. Matt Prater had a slump earlier in the year, but he's in a slump no more. Matt Prater has been as clutch as Tim Tebow this year. Did you see those clutch kicks? Those things would have been good from 65+ and were dead on. They were never in question. Time to lock up Prater for a long time.
It's obvious that this team has had a positive influence on DJ. He's having the best year of his career and it's not even close. On Sunday, DJ was all over the field making plays. He finished the day with 9 tackles including 2 sacks and 4 TFL. DJ now has 75 tackles, 5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles on the year. When DJ plays up to his abilities, he can be one HELL of a player. On Sunday, we saw an example of just how good DJ is capable of playing.
These two badasses are really hitting their groove and it's fun to watch. Von Miller came back after missing last week's game and he was definitely missed. Von has to be the most athletic linebacker in the NFL. I don't know who could possibly compete with him. The guy is a monster. He's special and that Elvis Dumervil guy, he's not bad either. I love Doom and I love his attitude. These guys are a QB's worst nightmare and they are only going to continue to get better as Von progresses and the talent is upgraded around them. On the day, they combined for 10 tackles, 2 sacks and 3 TFL. Is it too early to name them the best pass rushing duo in the NFL?
Bronco Country needs to send Willis a fruit basket or something. He's so under appreciated. On a day where every WR was dropping passes, Willis was a steady, consistent target for Tebow. He finished the day with 4 grabs for 75 yards. He's becoming Tebow's go-to guy in clutch situations. How many times has Tebow hit Willis on a 3rd and long on a game winning drive? He's another guy that has that clutch gene.
Seriously, how the hell did this guy go undrafted? Chris Harris is good. He's really good. The former Kansas Jayhawk had another great game for the Broncos. He nearly had an interception (that could have gone for 6) and he also stepped in for an injured Andre Goodman and there was absolutely no drop off. The guy is a baller. He has been a huge reason why the Broncos D has been so successful this year. What a find. Good for you Xanders.
Marcus Thomas and Broderick Bunkley
I can't tell you how impressed I was with Marcus Thomas today. The guy was flying all over the field. He looked like he came ready to play today and he surely did play. He finished the day with 6 tackles and 2 TFL. The Broncos need to resign him after the year. He has been a really quality signing.
As for Bunkley, he should be the #1 priority in the off season. The Broncos really struck gold with the Bunkley trade. The former Eagle has been a beast for the Broncos. He is a vicious run stuffer who takes on multiple blockers so players like DJ Williams can have big games. Re-signing Bunkley and Thomas should be one of Xanders' first jobs this summer.
Woodyard is another guy the Broncos should try to resign in the off season. He has been huge for the Broncos. He steps in as a nickel linebacker and was great as the starter when DJ was hurt. Against the Bears, he made his presence known when he stripped Marion Barber of the ball in overtime. Huge play by a guy who has consistently been making a huge impact.
8 punts, 363 yards for a 45 yard average with 3 punts inside the 20? Screw Shane Lechler. Britton Colquitt is the best punter in the NFL right now. You can tell him I said it too.
I had a hard time deciding where to put DT. On one hand, he was terrible the first 3 quarters. On the other, he was clutch and fantastic when it mattered most. In the end, DT was a huge reason why the Broncos won. For as terrible as he was in the first 3 quarters (and we'll get to that in a minute), he was equally as great when it counted most and because the Broncos won, he gets an honorable stud mention. He was Tebow's go to guy in the clutch. In overtime, DT made two huge catches including one where he was stretched out and caught the ball totally away from his body. Let's not forget it was DT who caught the only TD for the Broncos. He finished the game with 7 receptions for 78 yards and 1 TD.
Tim Tebow's stats through the first 3 quarters were: 3-16 for 45 yards and 1 INT. On the surface, that looks terrible. However, as we have come to realize, stats don't tell the whole truth. Tim Tebow threw some very nice passes in the first 3 quarters that were dropped by his WR. Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas are not going to like watching the film on Monday. I counted at least half a dozen passes that they dropped. The most brutal drop was a beautiful deep pass from Tebow to Demaryius Thomas that went right through his hands and would have gone for a TD. Decker was known for his steady hands in college while Demaryius was known for dropping passes. Both of them need to spend time on the jug machine this week.
How do I put this kindly. The Broncos OL got owned on Sunday by the Chicago front 7. Going up against one of the best defenses in the league, the Broncos OL had absolutely no push in the run game and struggled some in the pass game as well giving up 5 sacks. Now, it is a little understandable considering how good the Bears front 7 is, but if the Broncos want to make a playoff push, they are going to need much better play from the OL.
Blocked Field Goal
I think I literally facepalmed when this happened. It was a field goal shorter then 30 yards. How the hell does that get blocked?
If I never see Joe Mays in coverage, it will be too soon. The guy just doesn't have what it takes to be a 3 down MLB. He's got poor sideline to sideline speed and gets burned by everyone he tries to cover. Let's hope Nate Irving continues to develop.
5 of 17 on 3rd downs? It seems this stat sucks every week. I thought I heard that 3rd down percentage has a direct correlation to winning football games. Maybe not.
Injury To Dawkins
Our defense just didn't play as well after Dawkins left. It's weird too because Dawk is really against the run, but he's been below average against the pass. Dawkins' leadership cannot be overstated. His presence has been huge for our team.
The question I keep hearing is: How long can we keep this up? The answer is nobody knows. If you would have told me back in August that the Broncos would have started 1-4 under Orton, changed to Tebow and went 7-1, I would have thought you were smoking something really strong. I would have checked you into a mental institution if you would have told me the majority of those victories were 4th quarter come from behind wins. We are in unprecedented territory. Nobody knows what is going to happen. What we do know is that the Broncos are a full game ahead of the Oakland Raiders with 3 games left. Next week the New England Patriots come to town. What a better way to make a statement then for Tebow and the comeback Broncos to beat one of the best 4th quarter QB's of all time. Until next time, MHR.