The overtime began Sunday in Denver and 15 more minutes of drama seemed likely since the Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers were tied, 23-23.
But the overtime lasted just one play. After the Steelers’ kickoff went into te end zone and wasn’t returned, Tim Tebow zipped a pass to Demaryios Thomas and the resulting 80-yard touchdown ended the NFL playoff game.
Like many watching on television around America, I was stunned. How fast it ended. How unusual, with the much-maligned Tebow winning the game not with a run but a pass.
Where were all those critics who said he wasn’t an NFL quarterback? Where were the experts who felt he’d be better off playing another position?
The Tebow controversy has been the hottest topic in the NFL all season. It should now be put to rest.
No matter what happens Saturday night, when the New England Patriots are favored to eliminate the Broncos, Tebow has proven his point. Not only is he good enough to play quarterback in the NFL he’s good enough to lead his team to a division championship. And he’s good enough to win a playoff game with heroics in the final minutes just as he did in the regular season.
What that final play accomplished Sunday was create a moment that will live in sports history. It will be discussed in the future like Kirk Gibson’s World Series pinch-hit home run for the Dodgers 25 years ago
I’m not an NFL authority like some journalists who specialize in pro football. But all season I’ve been asking myself a question.
What do they do in the NFL? Play football? Well then, why is there a question of whether one of the all-time greats in college football can succeed in rhe NFL?
Oh, it was his mechanics as a quarterback they didn’t like. He’d rather run than pass, they said. He doesn’t have the classic style of an NFL passer.
Fair enough. I respect the opinion of people who study this closer than I do,
But I think the goal is to win football games. It doesn’t matter how a guy does it.
I watched several Bronco games this season. I learned that Tebow’s scrambling gives his receivers time to get open. This skill should not be minimized.
I also saw that he was an outstanding competitor who plays his best when the game is on the line at the finish.
Now factor in the fact John Elway, the former great quarterback and now Broncos vice president, wasn’t allowed to work with Tebow this summer due to the NFL lockout. Elway will work with Tebow in the coming off-season.
I have no rooting interest in NFL games but I’m very happy for Tebow. I think he’s one of those people who rises to the occasion when someone says he can’t do something.