So, after a mediocre but respectable first start as an NFL quarterback, Tim Tebow lifted the Broncos to a 4th quarter comeback victory, 24-23, over the struggling Houston Texans.
Tebow’s stats were again relatively pedestrian, but it was his first 300 yard passing game and he completed one TD pass and ran for another in bringing the Broncos back from a 17 point halftime deficit.
I only watched the second half, so I missed the fans booing the Broncos play selection, but what I hear is that the Broncos called very few passing plays and the Texans were teeing off on Tebow and the running game just like Oakland had done the week before. After halftime the coaches finally decided to let Tebow be an actual quarterback and he lit the place up on a couple of high-pressure, high-drama drives, including the eventual winning score which he ran in on a broken play when his right side blocking broke down and he simply turned and sprinted about 30 yards to the left pylon for a 6 yard TD run. On that play he looked like the sort of QB who can turn a broken play into a big play using his feet.
My initial impression of Tebow was more or less reinforced. He looked like a rookie on a few plays, and looks like he’s still getting used to the speed and defensive reaction of NFL caliber defensive players. He has a very nice feel for the pocket when he wants to, and stepped up to deliver very well thrown balls on the few plays that the Broncos offensive line was able to actually create a pocket. When the pocket collapsed he ducked left and right with equal ease, on one play making a pass that would have done Jay Cutler, Dan Marino and Brett Favre proud, going back across the field probably 40 yards to an open receiver on the other end of the field.
He managed the game well, as far as I could tell. He didn’t screw up assignments, he identified the blitz and was able to find the man-on-man receiver, he was brilliant on the bubble screens that the Broncos called, turning several of them into critical first downs.
But most importantly to me, he clearly won his teammates over. He reminded me of Brett Favre in his jubilant enthusiasm after every first down and especially after touchdowns. It was clear that the whole team fed off his energy. Even the defense, after making a critical stop, found Tebow on the sidelines grabbing the playmaker and high-fiving or chest bumping with them.
I didn’t see Tebow’s first quarter interception, but he said it was a ball he shouldn’t have thrown and he didn’t seem overly upset with it. Drew Brees made two TERRIBLE throws on MNF so I’m not going to judge Tebow on one poor decision.
In the main I would say that Tebow has shown some real promise with his skills, and has shown himself to be a leader that the team gets behind and feeds off his energy.
Keeping my fingers crossed, but right now I think Tebow is doing fine.