Tim Tebow capped off a 95-yard, fourth quarter drive with a 20-yard touchdown run to beat the Jets 17-13 in Denver Thursday night.
The Denver Broncos had punted on eight consecutive possessions until Tebow and the Broncos took over at their own 5-yard line with less than six minutes to play. Tebow had run for only 11 yards the whole game, but ran six times for 58 yards and hit three crucial passes on the final drive.
On the third down from the Jets' 20-yard-line with 58 seconds remaining, Tebow rolled out of the pocket and improvised a run to the end zone, beating safety Eric Smith to the corner before cutting it up field and across the goal line.
"He's a competitive dude," Broncos coach John Fox told reporters. "He's super competitive. He never lays his sword down. He'll fight you to the death. That's just his nature. He's a great young man."
Tebow has yet to complete more than half of his passes in any game, but the Broncos are 4-1 since Tebow took over for Kyle Orton last month.
In Tebow’s eight starts, he has four fourth quarter comebacks.
"That's why I wanted to be a quarterback since I was six years old, watching guys like John Elway and Steve Young have game-winning drives," Tebow said.
Tebow's game-winning, 20-yard run was the longest run by a quarterback in the last minute of the fourth quarter in NFL history.
"I hope he shut up a whole bunch of critics today," said teammate Von Miller after the game.
Denver employed an offense stylized to Tebow’s strengths, running variations of the option play – a style long considered to be ineffective in the NFL.
After leading the Broncos deep into Jets territory on the opening drive, Tebow's offense was stagnant until late in the fourth quarter.
Trailing 13-10, the Broncos ran the ball successfully by exploiting a Jets defense that opted to protect against the big play. After the Broncos reeled off consecutive runs, Tebow was able to pick his spots in the passing game, patiently working down the field.
The game featured two mostly inept offenses that seemed to click when it mattered most. Perhaps it was the short week – both teams played last Sunday.
But Tebow showed on one play in the third quarter just what makes him a special quarterback, if not a particularly gifted thrower.
Running toward the sideline, Jets cornerback Darelle Revis – who told reporters this week that Tebow’s offense is “boring” – Tebow had the option to step out of bounds, like most quarterbacks would do. Instead, Tebow plowed through Revis, picking up an extra five yards.
"I actually am shocked,” Revis said after the game. “Don’t get me wrong. I’m not doubting Tim Tebow’s skills or anything like that."
Check out Tebow and the Broncos' winning play: