Tim Tebow‘s ability to reinvent himself at the end of football games is well documented at this point. Whether it was a 15-yard furious comeback against the Miami Dolphins in the final three minutes of a near shutout or a 95-yard game-winning drive in the game’s final minutes against the New York Jets, Tebow has proven time and time again that he can deliver in the clutch.
This Sunday was no different. Bolstered by impressive performances by Andre Goodman and Matt Prater, Tebow led the Broncos to three game-tying or game-winning drives in the fourth quarter of Denver’s 35-32 win in Minnesota Sunday. A half of some truly offensive offense was forgotten and forgiven as Tebow hit Demaryius Thomas for two touchdowns and ran in a game-tying two point conversion in the game’s third and fourth quarters.
Andrew Mason of MaxDenver.com broke down the first half vs. second half numbers, which paint a picture of offensive ineptitude vs. offensive domination.
1: Number of first downs the Broncos gained in the first half Sunday.
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12: Number of first downs the Broncos gained in the second half.
48: Denver’s total yardage in the first half.
288: Denver’s total yardage in the second half.
2.53: The Broncos’ average yardage per play in the first half.
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9.60: The Broncos’ average yardage per play in the second half.
8:54: Time of possession for Denver in the first half.
13:15: Time of possession for Denver in the second half.
0: Offensive points for Denver in the first half Sunday.
25: Offensive points in the second half.
Those are remarkable differences. It makes one wonder why the Broncos offense can’t gel in the game’s opening two quarters. Is there a warming up period for Tim Tebow’s magic? Is it simply unavailable until the quarterback has reached a certain threshold?
It boggles the mind. It is becoming the stuff of legend.
Of course we can’t just blame Tebow, or even the Broncos offense as a whole, for that putrid first half output. We’d be remiss not to give the Vikings credit for their impressive defensive efforts in the first half. Not recognizing that also belittles the remarkable manner in which offensive coordinator Mike McCoy made halftime adjustments for the Broncos. They came out of that locker room at halftime with a purpose.
Still, the question remains: can Tim Tebow deliver for four quarters? If the Broncos do continue to win and get into the playoffs, will they be able to remain competitive with the league’s elite? In the playoffs, even as good as Tebow has played in the games’ final quarters, five or even 30 minutes of good football probably won’t be enough.