DENVER, CO - JANUARY 08: Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos looks to pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 8, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Somewhat lost in what was one of the biggest wins in Denver Broncos history was the fact quarterback Tim Tebow was playing in just his first playoff game. Obviously it was a success - the Broncos won - but where did Tebow's performance rank historically?
Tebow completed 10-of-21 passes for 316 yards with two touchdowns and rushed 10 times for 50 yards (5.0 avg.) against Pittsburgh. With his performance, he joined Joe Montana and Jeff Garcia as the only players in NFL postseason history to pass for 300 yards and two scores in addition to rushing for 50 yards and a touchdown.
PLAYERS TO PASS FOR 300 YARDS, 2 TDs & RUSH FOR 50 YARDS AND 1 TD, IN NFL PLAYOFF HISTORY
|PLAYER||OPPONENT(Date)||RESULT||PASS YARDS/TD||RUSH YARDS/ TD|
|Joe Montana||S.F. Vs. Mia. (1/20/85)||38-16, W||331 Yards / 3 TD||59 Yards / 1 TD|
|Jeff Garcia||S.F. Vs. NYG (1/5/03)||39-38, W||331 Yards / 3 TD||60 Yards / 1 TD|
|Tim Tebow||Den. vs. Pit (1/8/12)||29-23, W||316 Yards / 2 TD||50 Yards / 1 TD|
Tebow's 15.1 yards per passing attempt against Pittsburgh also represented the best mark in NFL postseason history (min. 20 att.), and his 316 passing yards were the most ever by a player in his postseason debut with the Broncos.
MOST PASSING YARDS/ATTEMPT, NFL POSTSEASON HISTORY (min. 20 att.)
|Terry Bradshaw(Pit)||L.A. Rams||21||14||309||14.7|
|Bob Waterfield(LA Rams)||Bears||21||14||280||13.3|
MOST 25+YARD PASSES, SINGLE GAME, NFL POSTSEASON HISTORY
Tebow also broke the team record for most passing yards in a postseason debut.
MOST PASSING YARDS IN BRONCOS POSTSEASON DEBUT
While I don't like to compare eras, especially because the rules have made it easier for quarterbacks and receivers, the comparisons between John Elway's first playoff start, and Tebow's, are a bit scary. Both faced the Steelers, and both played the game at home. Elway was 24 years, 185 days old. Tebow? He was 24 years, 147 days old.
Am I saying Tebow is Elway? Absolutely not. What I am saying is, even right now, the moment is not bigger than Tebow. That, to me, might be the best intangible of all. While guys like Matt Ryan get all the love and continue to come up small in the playoffs, Tim Tebow continues to win.