The best quarterback rating in the league for Week 13 will not go to someone named Drew Brees, Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers, unless Mr. Brees goes off the hook against the Detroit Lions on Sunday Night Football (which is entirely possible). The top quarterback rating in Week could very well go to ... Tim Tebow.
Sunday's 35-32 win by the Denver Broncos over the Minnesota Vikings perhaps answers the question of Tebow having a NFL future with a resounding "yes." Best known for running the ball out of the Broncos option offense, Tebow put together not just his best and most complete game in a NFL career that now spans 19 games, it was also the first time he was able to truly showcase his arm and accuracy. Tebow's 15 pass attempts was actually just slightly below his season average coming into the game, but his 10 passes completed showed an ability to get the ball down the field.
It wasn't how much he threw, it was how well he tossed it for a player who, in Week 10, completed just two of his eight passes. It was a bit of a coming out party for Tebow, including a quarterback rating of 149.3.
"I think the main thing was that we just wanted to be balanced and try to keep them off
balance as much as we could," Tebow said.
His 202 yards passing represent a career high, as does his 13.5 yards per attempt. While those numbers probably aren't enough to begin commissioning his bust in Canton, they do speak volumes about a quarterback who is still viewed as a bit of a gimmick around the league. Because he isn't a prototypical pocket passer, Tebow's staying power is often criticized.
"There are a lot of questions on the outside and sometimes they are just built up, like they
might be on the inside but no matter what they say you have to win," Broncos head coach John Fox said. "And he does it with his feet, he does it with his arms, and he is young so he is just going to get better."
Unlike previous weeks, including last week when he rushed 22 times for 67 yards, it was Tebow's arm that did the damage. His four rushes for 13 yards represent his lowest rushing since being named starter in Week 7. While his passing numbers came against a depleted Vikings secondary, he still managed to get the ball to his playmakers and let them do the rest.
Two Matt Prater field goals in the game's final two minutes gave Denver another improbable win for a quarterback who is now 6-1 as a starter. Tebow said that no matter if a game is a run-gun one like this past Sunday or one where he totes the ball over 20 times, like the week before, all he cares about is the win.
"It doesn't matter. Whatever the situation is, you have to be ready at the end to go.
Hopefully, every game doesn't have to come down to the end. That's not our goal," Tebow said. "We want to find a way to win. If that's coming down to the last minute, then it still counts as a win."
Kristian R. Dyer can be followed at twitter.com/KristianRDyer