Tebowed: Broncos 17, Jets 13
For the first fifty five minutes of football on Thursday night, New York's defense made Tim Tebow look like a guy that has no business in the National Football League. Unfortunately for Gang Green, the games last a full sixty minutes. At 11:4o p.m, when Mark Sanchez's Hail Mary pass came up short of the goal line and a Jets receivers hands, Tim Tebow Mania took another step toward absurdness and the Jets season took another step toward an early grave.
Here are the biggest reasons why Denver pulled the upset:
-Tim Tebow's heroics: What else is new? Denver was 1-4 with Tebow on the bench. They are now 4-1 with him as their starter. He looked awful at times, but was dazzling when it counted. Denver had to go 95 yards to take the lead on their last drive. Tebow accounted for 92 of those. The turning point? Go back to his scramble on 1st and 10 around mid-field with three minutes left. He escaped the pocked, rolled right, and lowered his shoulder to barrel through the best defensive player in the sport, Darrelle Revis. Call the hype nonsense, but it's clear that an entire organization believes in him when the game is on the line.
-Mark Sanchez's pick six: Just an unacceptable pass to make. I want to like this quarterback, but he just can't put his team in spots like that. He's getting farther and farther from being a championship thrower. On the opposite side, Tebow might not be able to make many plays through the air, but he almost never, ever turns it over.
-Von Miller: We might be looking at the next great NFL linebacker. Miller, a stud in the 3-4 defense at Texas A&M, has picked up right where he left off in College Station. He was a force in the run game and put his hat in Mark Sanchez's numbers all night long.
-Inability to put a team away: New York should have stomped on Denver when they had the chance. A quarterback that can't throw consistently can't come back from double digit deficits against good defenses. Rex Ryan didn't trust Mark Sanchez enough to throw the ball on third and long in the 4th quarter. If you have to shelter your quarterback, go get a new one.
-Stamina: It's not an excuse, but the altitude played a role as the game moved along. The Jets defense was smothering until it counted late in the 4th. I have to believe that some of that was due to the combination of travel/short week/the relentless physicality of Denver's offense from the opening snap.