I have never been teabagged before, but I can’t imagine it feels any worse than being Tebowed.
I’ve been trying my damndest (sorry for the harsh language, Tim) to think of what exactly that verb means since the Bears became The Pious QB’s latest victims. I believe it would read something like “To make the first three quarters of a football game not even matter; to possess the heretofore unknown quarterbacking skill of making offensive players on the opposing team perform even more poorly than you have for roughly 80 percent of the game; to receive 100 percent of the credit for the performance of a 53-man team.”
Tebow’s latest win was perhaps the most miraculous in regard to how little he had to do with the outcome. Yes, he had the drive to cut Chicago’s lead to 10-7, and it was impressive. But there is virtually no chance for the Broncos to score the tying points if Marion Barber III’s dumb ass doesn’t run out of bounds as the Bears were trying to run down the clock in the final two minutes. Likewise, the Bears would have been well on their way to victory in overtime had Barber not fumbled the ball away.
Had the Bears had Jay Cutler and Matt Forte in the lineup, this game wouldn’t have even been close. But the Broncos lucked out by facing a severely handicapped team that no longer has any shot at the playoffs. (Teams that lose to the Chiefs at home can be described no other way). Then again, that’s been part of the pattern for all of their six-game winning streak.
Here’s a breakdown:
Dec. 4 at Minnesota: Broncos tie the game late on a field goal. Then, Vikings rookie quarterback Christian Ponder throws an interception on the first play of the ensuing drive to set Denver up in field goal range, where Matt Prater kicks home the 35-32 win over the second-worst team in football.
Nov. 27 at San Diego: Philip Rivers is terrible, completing less than 50 percent of his throws, Nick Novak misses a game-winning field goal attempt after taking a piss on the sidelines, and once again Prater kicks in the overtime winner for the 16-13 victory just 29 seconds before it would have ended in a tie.
Nov. 17 vs. New York Jets: In one of the least-watchable games of all-time — the Jets score a touchdown when an offensive lineman recovers a fumble in the end zone, and the Broncos score on a Mark Sanchez pick-six — Tebow improbably leads the Broncos on a game-winning 95-yard drive following eight straight punts. Again, a very impressive final drive, but the Broncos never win this game without the points scored by the defense.
Nov. 13 at Kansas City: Tebow passes 2-for-8 to lead the Broncos to a 17-10 win, joining such illustrious signalcallers as Derek Anderson, Akili Smith and Steve Grogan on the list of quarterbacks to complete only two passes in a game post-1981 and still win.
Nov. 6 at Oakland: A solid game for Tebow, who runs and passes for over 100 yards in a 38-24 win. Can’t hate on him for this one. Although Denver once again benefits from an opponent’s misfortune as Carson Palmer chucks three interceptions in his second game in silver-and-black.
Like the God he so devoutly believes in, there is no scientific explanation for how this Tebow thing works.
Certainly it helps to have a kicker like Matt Prater, who has won three straight games for Denver with his foot. (Perhaps teams are actually getting Pratered rather than Tebowed). All six wins have also included huge assists from running back Willis McGahee and the Bronco defense, which has a completely new identity than the one it had in the Cutler era thanks to Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil.
Most obviously, it also helps to play bad teams. Only one of the six wins in the streak came against a likely playoff opponent, the Jets, who had to travel to Denver for a Thursday night game — probably the toughest place you could go on short rest.
Next up is Tom Brady and the Patriots. Logic dictates this is the point where Denver’s hot streak ends, though the Broncos are still likely to win the AFC West.
Then again, logic and Tebow don’t exactly go hand-in-hand. If he manages to pull one over on Bill Belichick, even us cynics will be left with no choice but to believe.