The Denver Broncos now lead the AFC West at 8-5, 7-1 with Tim Tebow as their starting quarterback. Here's the list of quarterbacks with higher winning percentages this year than Tebow: Aaron Rodgers -- and nobody else.
And the truth is, there's nobody else quite like Tebow. No fewer than five of his seven victories have featured late fourth quarter comebacks. Approaching -- okay, we'll say it -- the miraculous.
Again today, Tebow did next to nothing until the waning moments, and then, down 10-0 with two minutes left, he throws a touchdown pass, and the Broncos tie it at the gun on a 59-yard field goal. And then win it in overtime on a 51 yarder. The combination of Denver's continuing late heroics, and today, the Bears otherwise unexplainable errors, is enough to have some at least suspect divine intervention. Except that Tebow, whose sincere faith cannot be questioned, and should be respected, also has the good sense, and good grace, to make it clear he does not believe God takes a hand in the outcome of games.
Most of us are good with that. Otherwise, how to explain what happens when there are equal numbers of believers on either side. Or why so many of those same believers came up empty facing Sandy Koufax. Or hit the deck against Muhammad Ali. Or why the almighty wouldn't have better things to do.
Still, there is no doubt that Tebow and his team benefit from his honest belief. How? Frank Bruni put it well in today's New York Times. Whatever Tebow may lack in classic NFL quarterbacking traits, he possesses other qualities in abundance. And in his case, those qualities -- confidence, equanimity, optimism -- and a presence that can't be explained, but can certainly be felt. The whole Tebow persona derives from how he sees the world, and his place in it. Those qualities, no matter how one comes by them, are an asset, perhaps especially in sports.
Good for Tebow, and those who share his beliefs. And those who don't can still acknowledge, and appreciate, that who Tim Tebow is, is not only genuine, but for the moment at least, it makes him and the Broncos, one of the most fascinating, and in whatever sense you interpret it, uplifting stories in sports.
DAN PATRICK ON PETER KING’S REPORTING ABOUT FALCONS HEAD COACH MIKE SMITH:
“One other note, Peter King has learned that Falcons head coach Mike Smith was taken off the team's charter in Charlotte with chest pains. He was worked on by paramedics and taken to the hospital. All tests were negative. And he is flying back to Atlanta tonight.”
DUNGY AND HARRISON ON TOM BRADY
Dungy: "When I used to give the scouting report on Tom Brady, I always started with composure and cool. That didn’t look like it today; red zone interceptions, arguments with his coaches on the sidelines. But I think he’s under a lot of pressure because I don’t think he believes in his defense."
Harrison: "I’ve been with Tom Brady six years and this is the most frustrated I’ve seen him. When he was going back and forth with the offensive coordinator, the offense had already scored 34 points. This is why he is frustrated, because this is the worst Patriots secondary they’ve had in the last 10 years."
--NBC Sports Group--