Of all the magical Bronco/Tebow comebacks we've seen this season, this one was the most magical. The Bears led by 10 points with under three minutes to play, and somehow, the Broncos found a way to yank a victory away from them. There were Bears meltdowns, outstanding plays by Tim Tebow, and much general chaos -- basically, Denver's formula for victory.
After the game, though, the stars on the Bears defense were in no mood to join everyone else in heaping praise on Tebow. Via Alex Marvez at Fox, here are quotes from the pillars of the Chicago D, in order of least to most inflammatory.
Lance Briggs: "He played hard. I respect a guy that plays hard, him and all the other 10 guys on that field for the Broncos."
Julius Peppers: "It wasn't anything special that he did."
Brian Urlacher: "He's a good running back."
I don't blame any of them for feeling the way they do -- it's an absolute fact that the Bears blew that game more than the Broncos won it. That's how I'd expect competitors to react.
The quote from Lance Briggs, I have zero problem with. He deflects attention away from Tebow and towards the entire Bears team, which is exactly what Tebow would do. In fact, that's what he did do, saying, "I don't think it's Tebow Time. I just think it's Bronco Time."
Peppers is a little more bitter, actually saying that Tebow didn't do anything special. Urlacher is the most caustic of all, denying even that Tebow is a quarterback.
But again, these are competitors on a team that not only lost, but beat themselves. I wouldn't expect for a second that they'd be leaving that game with piles of praise for anyone. They're angry with themselves, and they know they let a game get away from them. Those are not optimal conditions for being happy little rays of sunshine.
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