In a game where the run was supposed to be emphasized, the Broncos had just 35 rushing yards at halftime. Willis McGahee was averaging just 1.5 yards per carry on 8 attempts, and Jeremiah Johnson had 2 carries for -7 yards. It was clear that the ground game was as doomed and gloom as Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore’s marriage.
“I’m not trying to make any excuses, but I didn’t feel like myself,” McGahee said. “It was a chance for me to see what I could do and I’m just glad we won because I had that little mishap, that little fumble in the game, and that shouldn’t happen.”
McGahee finished with 12 carries for just 18 yards.
Maybe it was the altitude or the Broncos relentless passion to stick with the run, but by the end of the game, they had 125 yards on the ground. The Jets simply ran out of fuel, and the Tim Tebow train pulled out of the station. He lead the team in rushing with 8 carries for 68 yards and the game winning touchdown.
“You know Tebow is going to keep it in that situation,” Rex Ryan said. “That’s what he does. You’re going to keep the ball in your play-makers’s hand.”
The Broncos 125 yards were by no means easy pick ups. Their game total was well below their 158.2 rushing average coming into the game.
The team didn’t use the option as much as they did against the Raiders and the Chiefs.
“That’s a Rex Ryan coached defense,” John Fox said. “They’re sharp. They do a good job.”
Ryan wrote a book on the 46 defense (a.k.a. Bear defense) and 20 pages of it were dedicated to the option. That’s why offensive coordinator Mike McCoy steered away from it.
The exciting storyline here is that the Broncos were able to win without the most productive part of their offense producing like they normally so.
Credit the entire defense for the win, but credit Tebow for the clutch running. Without his 20-yard touchdown with 58 seconds remaining, the Broncos would have been running to the locker room two games below .500 and that much further away from a playoff spot.