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Tim Tebow Leads the Broncos to Victory: How Do You Quantify Heart?

For 55 minutes, I sat in boredom and disbelief. Tim Tebow was awful and the Broncos were scoreless. There was a stretch from the 2nd through 3rd quarter where he missed 6 consecutive passing attempts. At the start of the 4th quarter, Tebow had 2 net passing yards. The game was, seemingly, over. There were 5 minutes and 23 second left in the 4th quarter and the Broncos were down 15-0 with the ball at their own 20. 

Then, it was Tebow Time. Somehow, the Broncos came away with an 18-15 win.

Can anyone explain to me what happened? Luck? A Tim Tebow Miracle? Mile High Magic in Miami?

It's not often that you come across something you can't quantify or comprehend. As senior engineering student at the University of Louisville, I've been taught a number of methods for quantifying biological processes, creating equations for control systems or modeling mechanical functions. In football, there are a lot of ways that we can measure certain aspects of the game such as 3rd down conversions, rushing yards allowed, turnovers, etc.

But how do you quantify heart? How can you make an equation for a 4th quarter comeback? How do you model putting the team on your back?

I honestly don't know. Certain people have titled it "The Tebow Thing" but nobody knows that the "thing" is. For 3 and 2/3 of a quarter, Tim Tebow was atrocious.Tebow boasted a 39 passer rating. The Broncos offense hadn't scored a single point, in part because of 2 missed Matt Prater field goals (43 and 49 yards). 

Tim Tebow was bad. Very bad. Set the running game on the backburner... He missed a wide open Daniel Fells, overthrowing him by about 20 yards, while Kyle Orton could be seen on the sidelines saying "He was (censored) wide open." Tim Tebow nearly threw an interception on his first pass attempt, straight through the hands of Karlos Dansby. He rarely, if ever, threw to his first read during the first three quarters. He lobbed a ball over the head of an open Knowshon Moreno, who ran into the left flat about 10 yards up-field of the launch point. He missed. Everywhere. You name it, he missed it. Somewhere, Merril Hoge was laughing, hysterically.

But then, things changed. Throw the numbers out the window in the final 4 minutes of the game. The Broncos scored 15 unanswered points in the final 2:52 of regulation and scored a field goal to win in overtime. Tebow gets it done, somehow. 

If somebody can explain to me how the Broncos offense can be awful for 55 minutes and score 18 unanswered point to win the game? I''ve solved my share of analytical questions, but I'm truly stumped. Tim Tebow seems to evade traditional quarterbacking metrics the same way that he evades would be tacklers.

Must be a "Tebow Thing"...