October 11, 2011
It wasn't too much of a surprise after he nearly dug the Denver Broncos out of the hole Kyle Orton(notes) and a terrible defense had put them in against the San Diego Chargers last Sunday, but it's now official — the Broncos named Tebow their starter for the team's upcoming Week 7 game against the Miami Dolphins in Miami. Tebow started a handful of games at the end of his rookie season after Orton suffered a rib injury, but this is the first time the move has been made based on performance. Jay Glazer of Fox Sports first broke the story on "The Dan Patrick Show," adding that the decision was head coach John Fox's to make.
Adding additional intrigue to the news is the fact that the Dolphins will be honoring the 2008 national champion Florida Gators that week — of course, Tebow was the quarterback, so he'll essentially be playing to a home crowd.
The San Diego game had to be the breaking point for a lot of people in the Broncos organization, and it's important to note that the decision must be as much about how lost Orton has looked this year as it is about Tebow's ability to drive the team. Orton left the game in the third quarter with the Broncos down, 26-10, having completed six passes in 13 attempts for 34 yards and an interception. Tebow started out by doing what he does best — getting the Broncos in the end zone with a zone option running play (we should remember, all joking aside, that this kid had as many rushing touchdowns in college as Marshall Faulk). He then … well, sort of led the Broncos to another touchdown drive with a 28-yard screen pass to Knowshon Moreno(notes).
[Related: Video: It's Tim Tebow time in Denver]
Tebow finished his day with another drive that almost got the Broncos back in the lead, but the score stood at 29-24 after a Tebow Hail Mary (how appropriate!) fell incomplete. Still, his ability to get the team going with any kind of momentum was an obvious improvement over what Orton was doing. Tebow still has a great deal to learn, and it's most likely that the current Broncos administration inherited him more than they would have wanted him, but the Broncos have nothing to lose. Now is the right time to do it. With a bye this week, the Broncos have an extra week to merge what Tebow can do with their own game plan.
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