(Photo: Reuters/Eric Miller)
Tim Tebow, the NFL's comeback quarterback, has done it again.
The Denver Broncos met the Minnesota Vikings yesterday in Minneapolis for a routine late season showdown. What followed was instead a brutal, back-and-forth shootout that saw each team pushed to the edge of defeat. Undeterred by such drama, Tebow helped take his team back from the brink and earned them first place in the AFC West division en route to victory.
"Tim Tebow has an ability to expand on plays and finish games unlike anybody else I've seen in a long time," said Kolin Mayne, a Conifer, Colo. Broncos fan. "I'm seeing him as someone who lives up to all the hype from before the start of the season."
The team's late victory continues a remarkable transformation of Denver football that began when Tebow took over as the team's quarterback in October. Taking the reins of a 1-4 team, yesterday's win improved the Broncos’ record to 7-5 and tied them with the Oakland Raiders for first place in their division. Popular for his outspoken Christianity, Tebow has since taken to social media and thanked God for his team's rapid turnaround.
"Another all-around awesome team win!" Tebow wrote this morning. "I thank the Lord to be lining up every Sunday with such great men GB²."
Given the Broncos have already bested the Oakland Raiders this season, they automatically rank above their rivals despite having the same AFC West record. Minnesota, meanwhile, gave Denver some scares but ultimately slinks off to a disappointing 2-10 season. It's a tough pill to swallow for many Vikings fans given their team came so close to derailing Denver's momentum.
"I was born and raised a Vikings fan," said Aaron Horak, a beer vendor at the Vikings' Metrodome. "They always find a way to rip your heart out or shoot you in the head at the last minute every season. In contrast, Tim Tebow is good in the clutch. I'd rather have him on the Vikings than our current quarterback Christian Ponder."
Christopher Gates, head blogger for the Vikings fan website DailyNorseman.com, said he was saddened that the Broncos bested Minnesota. All the same, he said he admired the hard work Tebow and his teammates had done turning their team into a threat in the NFL West.
"We got Tebowed last night, which is a real verb now," Gates said. "Since he became a starter, the Broncos have retooled their entire offense on the fly in the middle of an NFL season. For what the Vikings ask Tebow to do, he's doing a great job."
Ted Glover, another blogger at DailyNorseman.com, said it was difficult hating Tebow as he was such a positive role model on and off the field. Between the quarterback's hard work ethic and open reverence for the Holy Spirit, he said Tebow's actions were admirable even after Minnesota tasted defeat.
"I admire Tim Tebow for what he's been able to do while withstanding a level of criticism that ranges from simple jokes to downright hate for doing nothing more than believing in God and not apologizing for it," he said. "He's a good person, a great role model and I wish noting but success for him except for when he plays the Vikings again."