Do you believe it now? If you watched the game on Thursday you saw the undeniable magic that Tim Tebow brought to Sports Authority Field at Mile High. I’m starting to believe that Tebow really does have his own ‘angel in the end zone’, something I inquired about in my article It’s Tebow Time, Finally! The Denver Broncos started the season at 1-4 and far outside playoff contention through the first five weeks of the season. Then Tebow took the reins and the Broncos now find themselves at 5-5 and in the midst of the playoff race. With a big win Thursday night, the Broncos moved within a half game of the AFC West leading Oakland Raiders. While the Raiders took care of business Sunday and beat a struggling Minnesota team, the Broncos still found themselves gaining ground in the AFC playoff race.
Thanks to losses by Tennessee and Buffalo, the Broncos moved into 7th place in the conference and only one game back from a wild card spot. Although it would be ideal to beat out Oakland and win the AFC West division, it may not be the only road the Broncos can take to the playoffs. With a mediocre AFC conference this season, most teams find themselves alive in the tight playoff race.
1 Baltimore 7 3 AFC North Champ
2 Houston 7 3 AFC South Champ
3 New England 6 3 AFC East Champ
4 Oakland 6 4 AFC West Champ
5 Pittsburgh 7 3 Wild Card
6 Cincinnati 6 4 Wild Card
7 Denver 5 5
8 Tennessee 5 5
9 NY Jets 5 5
10 Buffalo 5 5
11 Kansas City 4 5
12 San Diego 4 6
13 Cleveland 4 6
The Denver Broncos are atop the 5-5 teams due to the best conference record among all
four .500 teams. I believe the Broncos will continue their success due to two main reasons: Tim Tebow and the defense. Despite Tebow’s low completion percentage, he has been successful at two things that many other quarterbacks struggle with in the NFL. First, Tebow has kept his turnovers down, only throwing 1 interception and giving up 2 fumbles in the last five games. Winning the turnover battle is always a good indicator of who is going to win games, and due to Tebow’s good decision-making, the Broncos have only lost the turnover battle once in their last five games.
Second, Tebow has proven that he plays well under pressure. He makes plays when they really matter, and that’s what Broncos fans remember most about the last five weeks. The 2 touchdowns with 5 minutes left in Miami, the 56-yard bomb to Decker at Kansas City to seal the win, or the 95-yard winning drive at home against the NY Jets are all examples of how Tebow executes at the end of games. Many quarterbacks crack under the pressure when the game is on their shoulders, but Tebow seems to embrace it. It’s extraordinary, and an attribute that everyone needs to remember when they are assessing Tebow’s quarterback ability. The 4th quarter of games is quickly becoming ‘Tebow Time’.
The Broncos defense has been exceptional the last five weeks, other than the thumping they received from the Detroit Lions. In wins against Miami, Kansas City, Oakland and the NY Jets, the Broncos defense allowed an average of only 15.5 points per game. Much of their success can be accredited to rookie linebacker Von Miller, who is tied for 3rd in the NFL with 9.5 sacks. He has proven himself worthy of the #2 draft selection he received and has brought pride back to the Broncos defense. If the defense continues to make plays and Tebow maintains his magic at the end of games, the Broncos may very well find themselves in the playoffs come January.