There was no Christmas Eve miracle for Tim Tebow, who instead found himself in a chilly hell in Buffalo on Saturday afternoon as his Denver Broncos got manhandled by the host Bills in a 40-14 loss.
For Tebow, who has risen to stardom via some some very mediocre passing performances, it was a showing that was even worse than usual. Completing 13 of 30 passes for 185 passing yards, his lowest output since Week 12.
Making matters worse, he had one passing touchdown but four interceptions — easily a career high. Tebow's previous career high for interceptions in a game was Week 17 last year at San Diego when he threw two picks. In fact in nine games in 2010, three as a starter, he had just three interceptions. This season, he was picked off just twice heading into the game against the Bills.
Saturday afternoon in Orchard Park, he looked confused and lost.
"You've got to give them a lot of credit, they played well, they executed and they came up with big plays," Tebow said. "I just have to do a better job of not giving them opportunities. I tried to make something happen and I tried to force it. But you have to give them a lot of credit."
Sprinkled in with Tebow's post-game press conference remarks included the usual opening homily about his faith, a remembrance about some motherly advice that again included a shout-out about his faith and a tip of the hat to the Bills for a defensive effort that included sacking him three times.
While his offensive line frequently let him down and his receivers, a hodgepodge group, failed to get open down the field, it was still Tebow who threw interceptions on back-to-back plays in the fourth quarter to all but seal the game for the home team. His first pass was intended for wide receiver Eric Decker and the second came off good pressure from the Bills.
To his credit, Tebow didn't make excuses or shift blame.
"The one down the middle to 'Deck,' I was trying to force that in. Hopefully we'd get a 90-yard touchdown. I shouldn't have thrown it or try to place it outside a little bit," Tebow said. "The other one, I didn't see the guy coming and he just hit my arm as I was throwing it and it went up. It was kind of a crazy play."
The Broncos are now 8-7 and face former quarterback Kyle Orton (the real one, who was cut earlier this month, and the Kansas City Chiefs next Sunday. Win and Denver will capture the AFC West.
Kristian R. Dyer can be followed at twitter.com/KristianRDyer
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