Oh come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, Oh come ye, oh come ye to Te-ee-bowland.
This is in fact his land now. Even with Kyle Orton dressed on the sidelines and one game removed from being the Broncos’ starting quarterback, it’s evident that the Broncos’ future has turned into the present.
Tim Tebow’s love for the game was contagious and the rest of the Broncos arrived in rain-soaked Oakland with more energy than a four-year-old on Christmas morning. It looked like the Broncos were poised enough to gift-wrap their fans a win, but fell short with a 39-23 loss in front of aguably the most hostile crowd in the league.
Before we start hearing the choirs of angels sing with exultations, we need to realize that this was just one game. The Tebow crystal ball does look bright and shiny after this 8-for-16, 138 yard, 1 TD passing performance, but the rookie still needs time to develop, and the team needs a major overhaul.
The Broncos’ coaching staff realized Tebow’s vulnerability, and called a very conservative game. Most plays had Tebow handing the ball off to his backs, or keeping the ball himself to run. The Broncos wouldn’t let him throw in the final minute of the first half or when the team was backed up inside the 5-yard line in the third quarter. Late in the game when the Broncos run game wasn’t going anywhere but in the ground, the Broncos stuck to their game plan and wouldn’t let Tebow throw the ball. The dagger to the heart was a safety halfway through the fourth quarter giving them a 32-22 lead. It was all Raiders from there on out.
At the end of the first half, Tebow went 4-for-8 for 73 yards and 1 touchdown, and added 63 yards and another score on five carries.
Tebow has the size and strength of a fullback or tight end and that was clear as he dragged Raiders’ defenders for any extra inch he could get. However, the fan base panel is still trying to decide if Tebow has what it takes to be a passer in the league. Some of this throws were dead on strikes while other balls floated in the air like a snowflake in a snow globe. The Broncos’ coaching staff just didn’t give us a chance to judge whether or not No. 15 has the potential to be a great passer.
The Broncos should have had an additional touchdown on a Tebow to Lance Ball connection in the endzone with five minutes left in the third quarter. However, Ball dropped the perfectly thrown ball, and forced the Broncos to kick a field goal.
That’s just the kind of day that it was for the Broncos’ backs. Knowshon Moreno left the game with two minutes left in the first half with what appears to be a back or rib injury. He ended his day with 4 carries for 5 yards. His replacement, Lance Ball, couldn’t get the running game going either. It was Tebow who led the team with 78 yards on 8 carries, and 1 rushing TD.
The Broncos defense played well in beginning forcing 3 turnovers, all in the first half, and giving Tebow the opportunity to get his two touchdowns on the board. However, they weren’t able to tame Oakland’s 3rd best rushing attack. Oakland finished was an astonishing 264 yards on the ground, led by Darren McFadden who had 20 carries for 119 yards. The Broncos gave up 502 total yards on offense, and that’s as good as taking the ink to the history books – the Broncos simply couldn’t stop the Raiders or keep pace.
Today was not all lost as we saw good things from Tebow and kicker Steve Hauschka who went 3-for-3 on field goals.
Many people will proclaim that Tebow was the way to go from week one while others will defend the arm of Orton. Neither quarterback could help the Broncos’ defense or their running backs, and that’s what has led to the Broncos’ 3-11 record. However, I want to leave this up to you, the fans. Do you think the Broncos would have a better record right now if Tim Tebow was the starting quarterback since week 1? Cast your ballot below.
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