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Tim Tebow's Two Game Report Card

By Dave Bruning

Denver Bronco fans have been clamoring for Tim Tebow much of the season. The Broncos teased us with a few Tebow goal line cameos and a couple of guest appearances as the leading man in the Wild Bronco. These teasers gave the fans a preview of Tebow. Thanks to a 3-10 record and the bruised ribs of Kyle Orton, the Tim Tebow era in Denver has officially begun and it appears there is no looking back.

Tebow made his debut as a starting quarterback in the Black Hole of Oakland. The Raiders level of play has been subpar lately for the most part, but they are a team on the rise. Tebow could have made his first start in an easier game than on the road against the Broncos most hated rival. Then again, maybe that is the way it should be.

Tebow brings an impressive list of intangibles when he takes the field. His charisma, leadership, preparation and effort will never be questioned. In fact, he provided a nice spark for a Denver team that played hard but came up short against Oakland, 39-23. If Lance Ball doesn’t drop a touchdown pass late in the third quarter the final outcome may have been different.

The most impressive Tebow highlights came in the first quarter. He scored a touchdown on a 40-yard scamper off a broken play and threw a 33-yard touchdown pass as well. Brandon Lloyd deserved most of the credit on the touchdown pass as he made yet another spectacular catch.

Much of the rest of the game was typified by rookie struggles. Tebow made some nice throws, but there were also shaky passes and some poor decisions. To become a quality NFL quarterback, Tebow must learn from his mistakes and the best way to do that is to continue to play. Interim head coach Eric Studesville committed to starting Tebow the rest of the season with just that in mind. To be fair, I thought the Broncos were very conservative in their play calling and did not take advantage of some Tebow’s skills.

Tebow’s home debut came against the Houston Texans. This was fortuitous as the Texans defense is statistically one of the worst in the NFL over the past 25 years. Denver opened up the playbook against Houston. Tebow started with several nice quick screens, moving Denver quickly down field. He then threw a very bad interception. The Broncos were stagnant for the rest of the half and trailed 17-0.

The second half showcased the best of Tebow. He led Denver back to a 24-23 victory, throwing a touchdown pass and scrambling for the winning score late in the 4th quarter. Tebow threw for 308 yards and rushed for 27 more. He is a raw talent who will make mistakes, but the learning curve has started. Don't underestimate the importance of the respect Tebow is earning from his teammates. Denver’s victory eliminated any chance of having the first pick in the 2011 draft and a chance at Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. That had to be a pleasant thought for Tebow as he celebrated his first NFL victory.

None of these developments bode well for Orton. He didn’t deserve to lose his starting job. It is not likely he will get it back with Denver. Orton will likely be traded in the offseason or on draft day. There are a number of teams in need of steady veteran leadership at quarterback, San Francisco, Arizona and Minnesota to name a few. If Denver can acquire perhaps a second and fourth round pick for Orton, it is a trade I would make. The classy Orton deserves the opportunity to play elsewhere.

It is easy to get caught up in the excitement Tebow has generated. There has not been much else for Denver fans to get excited about in this dismal season. I would give him a B- so far; plenty of potential and room for improvement with the expected rookie mistakes. His play through two games warrants a full season of playing time to see if he is truly Denver’s quarterback. This team is about to start a massive rebuilding project and needs to address an aging and quite frankly, terrible defense in the upcoming draft. A new head coach is also on tap. Whoever that may be, Tim Tebow is the clear cut choice at quarterback for the 2011 Denver Broncos. As Tebow likes to say, God Bless.

2 comments:

  1. Reading this one a few days late, but I think a little of the mustard is off the hot dog after the Broncos game against San Diego. He is a B-/B guy right now. He got away with some passes and made some things happen with his feet, exactly what he was advertised to do. Frankly, I think Denver fans should be pleased Carolina lost the rest of their games so Denver has NO decision to make about Andrew Luck.

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  2. Despite a shaky first half, he still had a chance to win it at the end. Frankly, I think his receivers looked like they were done playing before the end of the game! Hire a coach who can work with him and give him a year playing, let's see what he can do? There is something about Tim Tebow that brings excitement to the game, and the game isn't over until the fat lady sings!

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