If life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. If the NFL hands you a fourth quarter deficit, the Broncos constantly make the best of it. The Broncos have come back from 17, 15, and 10 points down since Tim Tebow has been named the starter. The Broncos have won 3 games in 12 days. How do you like them oranges?
Just like winning seasons and playoff runs are about peaking at the right time, winning individual games are about peaking in the right quarter. The Broncos fourth quarter performance in four of their last five games make them look poised for a playoff run. The team’s defense steps it up, and Tebow eats a proverbial can of spinach to give the Broncos their final push into the end zone.
Tebow is 4th in the NFL in 4th quarter passer rating (109.9). Remove the No. 15 on his chest and stick a No. 23 on there because so far he’s the Michael Jordan of the NFL when it comes to late game heroics.
We all remember John Elway’s “The Drive” which was a 98-yard push into the end zone to force overtime against the Cleveland Browns in the 1987 AFC Championship game. On Thursday against the Jets, the “Drive Part 2” took place. Tebow trotted the Broncos 95-yards down the field in 12 plays with just less than five minutes remaining.
Lindsay Jones of the Denver Post put together a great play-by-play description of the drive which includes quotes from players.
The Drive Part Deux was capped off by a 20-yard touchdown run that made Mile High come alive like it had in the late 90s. Throngs of folks in orange and blue made the stadium shake, rattle, and roll as the Broncos looked like they were going to pick up yet another win.
The Jets turned ghostly white as Tebow ran in for the score. After all, they had played him fairly well all game. One defensive play call, however, came back to bite them at the wort possible time.
I’ll let Tebow explain it:
"“That was the second time in the game [the Jets] had blitzed everybody against us…When I knew they were blitzing everybody, and I saw [S] (Eric Smith) coming off the left side, and he came and he hugged tight, and I knew he was going to be extra because they were bringing one more guy than we could block. I just figured he wasn’t going to think I was going to try and get to the outside and escape, so I just believed that the tackle and the tight end were going to get the block, and that I could try to hopefully outrun him to the edge, and thank the Lord that I was able to do so.”"
Just like that the Broncos were up by four points, and all the offense had to do was wait for the defense to put the final nail in the coffin.
The game played out like a dramatic novel, and from New York to Colorado, the score read like a statement never been heard. The 17-13 outcome made Khaki lovers cringe and predominantly orange wearers chuckle.
It all came in a days work, with the hopes that Thursday’s work day can be a building block for the upcoming Sundays.
Onward and upward the Broncos go. Where they land, nobody knows.