- (Reuters/Rick Wilking)
Denver Broncos’ quarterback Tim Tebow may be celebrated by Christians and the media, but defensive standouts around the NFL are not impressed by his heroics.
Tim Tebow saved the Broncos season, pulling out seven wins in dramatic fashion to put them in the playoffs after a 1-4 start. While Jockey has given him their endorsement and new fans crowd the Tebow bandwagon after every win, the born-again Christian’s performance is not loved by everyone.
In fact, defensive players who may or have already faced Tebow frequently call out his skill set- or lack thereof. Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs was his latest critic. The outspoken quarterback-predator cited the Broncos “backing in” to the playoffs after a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs where Tebow failed to produce a touchdown scoring drive.
“Once again, God had to save Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos. He couldn’t even give them two drives? 7 to 3,” said the defensive player of the year candidate on ESPN’s “First Take.”
The Broncos needed a win against Kansas City Chiefs Sunday to win the AFC West and clinch a playoff spot. However, they lost to the Chiefs, led by the former Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton. Due to a loss by the Oakland Raiders to the San Diego Chargers, the Broncos won the division by default and will host a playoff game anyway.
Because of this, Suggs, who has fourteen sacks this season, isn’t impressed or concerned with a Broncos team who has only scored 20-plus points in three of Tim Tebow’s twelve starts.
The Baltimore Ravens are the No. 2 seed in the AFC and will have a bye week for the first round of the NFL playoffs. Suggs is the leader of a vicious Baltimore Ravens defense, ranked third overall that has been be a nightmare for NFL quarterbacks with 48 total sacks.
Another defensive star in the NFL not impressed with Tebow’s winning efforts is Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher. In their loss to the Broncos in week 14, the Urlacher-led Bears’ defense punished Tebow for three and a half quarters. Then, inexplicably, everything began going in the Broncos favor.
Offensive and defensive meltdowns by the Bears led to a Broncos win. It was celebrated as a miracle victory led by Tebow and his Christian faith. He wore a mic in that game that captured him praying on the sidelines and singing Gospel tunes during the competitive struggle.
After the game, during a press conference, Urlacher diminished Tebow’s efforts, calling him a good “running back.”
After a loss to the Detroit Lions in week seven, a Lions’ defender called his play a “joke.”
“Can you believe 15? Come on– that’s embarrassing. I mean, it’s a joke. We all knew that if we brought any kind of pressure, he couldn’t do anything,” the player said. “In the second half it got boring out there. We were like, ‘Come on – that’s your quarterback?’ Seriously?”
During a CBS interview with former Bronco great, Shannon Sharpe, Tebow defended his play, saying that there has been times where he has thrown the ball down field very well.
“I feel like there’s been certain times this year where we’ve had to throw the ball and we’ve done it very well,” Tebow told Sharpe. “And there’s also times where he have to get a lot a better, and I’m going to get better every day!”
When Sharpe pointed out the fact that Tebow “is a quarterback” and that he signed up to “throw the ball,” he boldly answered, saying he signed up to win.
“I think you signed up to win games … and compete … and go out there and try to lead a team, however you can do that,” Tebow answered. “No matter if that’s throwing or running or whatever it is.”
Tebow hate had subsided during his prolific win streak, beating the New York Jets, Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders. But three embarrassing performances against the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs have given Tebow haters plenty of steam.
During the losing streak, Tebow had seven turnovers and only scored four touchdowns.