Tim Tebow takes the field for his much anticipated start back in the state of Florida.
words // Brandon Richard
It figured to be an eventful day for Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, who made his first start of the season on a Sunday where he and his old Florida Gator teammates were also being honored at halftime in the opponents’ home stadium. Arguably the most polarizing figure in sports today, all eyes were on the highly-scrutinized hurler as we took the first step to learning whether or not he’d be the Broncos’ quarterback of the future. The results were inconclusive, but extremely entertaining nonetheless.
For the first 55 minutes of the game, the Denver offense was completely ineffective, with Tebow repeatedly under pressure and missing open receivers with bad throws. The Broncos trailed 15-0 with a little more than 5 minutes to play in the game and appeared to be heading for a tough week of criticism. Then, that all-too familiar feeling of Tebow leading a late-game charge made its presence felt.
Finally hitting his receivers, Tebow lead an 80-yard scoring drive that included a 42-yard strike to receiver Matt Willis. The drive concluded with a 5-yard pass to receiver Demaryius Thomas, who was playing in his first game since suffering an Achilles injury last season. After kicker Matt Prater successfully converted the extra point, the Broncos lined up for an onside kick, which was recovered by Denver tight end Virgil Green.
With the Broncos starting on their own 44, Tebow took charge once again, this time making tight end Daniel Fells his primary target. A 28-yard pass to Fells set the Broncos up on the 3-yard line, where Tebow found him once again for a touchdown. Tebow ran for a two-point conversion to tie the game at 15 and send it into overtime. In the extra frame, a D.J. Williams sack-and-strip of Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore set Prater up to kick a game-winning 52-yard field goal. Tebow didn’t exactly look like the next Tom Brady, but he sure found a way to win like him.
Also in early Sunday games, the Chicago Bears bested the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London by a score of 24-18; the Cam Newton and Steve Smith connection was effective once again as the Carolina Panthers beat the Washington Redskins 33-20; the Atlanta Falcons handed the Detroit Lions their second-straight loss with a 23-16 victory at Ford Field; Browns kicker Phil Dawson’s two 50+ yard field goals proved to be the difference in Cleveland’s 6-3 win over the Seattle Seahawks; the San Diego Chargers outscored the New York Jets 17-0 in the second half to pull off a 27-21 comeback victory; and Matt Schaub’s Houston Texans destroyed the Tennessee Titans by a score of 41-7.
Tim Tebow avoids a tackler in the Nike Zoom Alpha Talon.
Willis McGahee runs in the adidas Malice D.
Cam Newton strikes a Heisman pose while running in Highlight CompFit Under Armour football cleats.
Steve Smith runs after making a catch in NFL U-Form 4Speed Mid M4 Reebok football cleats.
Mohamed Massaquoi dives for a first down in the Nike Alpha Speed.
Roddy White runs after making a catch in the Reebok NFL U-Form 4Speed Mid SD4.
Darelle Revis celebrated another interception in the Nike Zoom Vapor Carbon Fly.
Roy Williams and Matt Forte had touchdowns for the Chicago Bears in London, both wearing the Nike Super Speed D 3/4.
Matt Schaub tries to locate a receiver in a Breast Cancer Awareness colorway of Air LT Superbad Nike football cleats.
images via ESPN