Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver won yesterday for just the fourth time all year, breaking a five-game losing streak as Tim Tebow earned his first NFL victory, fourth-quarter comeback and 300-yard game. The Broncos overcame a 17-0 halftime deficit and trailed the Texans 23-10 as the final period began - Denver dominated the fourth quarter as Tebow threw for one touchdown (a 23-yard catch-and-run by Correll Buckhalter) and ran the game winner in from six yards out with 3:11 remaining. Tebow finished the game with 308 yards passing and 27 yards rushing to go with the two touchdowns and an ugly first-drive interception in the Texans' endzone. Over the course of his first two NFL starts, Tebow has put forth an impressive 93.4 QB rating with an eye-popping 9.9 YPA while generating an average of 8.7 yards of adjusted total offense per chance*, along with a TD on 6.1% of his chances. By comparison, previous starting QB Kyle Orton has averaged 7.2 YPA and 6.2 yards adjusted total offense, and a 3.6 TD% passing and rushing over the past two seasons.
Small sample? Yes, of course. Stats we'd never have considered pre-Tebow? Absolutely. But that's the point - Tebow brings a different dimension to the Denver offense via his ability to make plays on the run. So, is it more fair to compare Tebow to Jay Cutler, Orton's predecessor? Cutler averaged 7.4 YPA, 6.2 yards adjusted total offense and scored a TD 4.1% of the time as Denver's starting QB - numbers very much like those Orton has produced as a Bronco, and also significantly less productive than Tebow. Again, small sample. But these are the numbers that matter, if you're in the business of trying to win football games.
* I've taken PFR's Adjusted Net Yards Per Attempt (which factors in TDs and INTs) and also added in rushing stats. Chance = Pass Attempts + Sacks + Rush Attempts
As for the rest of the Broncos' numbers (yes, they still exist), the offense was a much-improved 5 for 11 on 3rd downs but just 3 of 5 in the red zone. Denver was fortunate to only turn it over once (on Tebow's early interception) despite putting the ball on the ground with a potentially disastrous four fumbles. Meanwhile, the defense only managed one turnover - an interception on a tipped pass which terminated the Texans' final possession - and not a single sack. If they generated any pressure whatsoever on Matt Schaub, I can't say I remember seeing it, although admittedly I was probably too focused on the Broncos' draft picture...
Speaking of which, Denver is now out of the running for the first pick in the 2011 Draft, although a loss to San Diego would assure them of the second pick overall. A victory over the Dolts would likely drop the Broncos to the fifth choice, but of course that would depend upon the outcome of several other games.
Broncos TV shares Eric Studesville's postgame speech to the team.
Chris Hall and Broncos TV wrap up the game.
Highlights from yesterday's victory via NFLN's GameDay.
Tebow highlights courtesy of NFL.com.
Yesterday's box score for your analysis.
According to Woody, the Broncos have worked out the details with John Elway as to what his role will be in the organization. Contrary to Dan Pompei's report yesterday, Paige says Brian Xanders will remain GM.
Klis says Elway will be named the Broncos' vice president of football operations after the season finale.
Ted Bartlett explains why Tebow will help make the Broncos into a great screen team going forward.
Mason's take on the Broncos' second-half turnaround and the HC-worthiness of Kubes.
Mason on the extra something that Tebow brings to the game.
Klis sums up the game and player reactions to losing the Luck Sweepstakes.
Notes from the DP - Champ Bailey (heel) and Knowshon Moreno (ribs) both left the game with injuries.
Mason says Broncos fans at least have hope now.
Legwold on Houston's puzzling choice to run the ball just six times in the second half.
Kubes was impressed by Tebow.
Krieger on the Tebow effect.
LJ says Broncos fans are psyched up by Tebow.
We're not the only fans stuck reading reactionary idiots - after two starts by Tebow, the Jags were apparently already proven wrong to pass on Tebow, according to this George Diaz.
Richard Justice thinks the Texans should fire Kubes yesterday and hire Bill Cowher ASAP.
John McClain's notes on the game.
Dale Robertson on Denver's comeback.
On Schaub's tipped interception, TE Owen Daniels was apparently wide open.
As Robertson observes, we Broncos fans still love Kubes.
More notes from the Chronicle.
The Chefs clinched the AFC West with the combination of their victory over the Titans and the Dolts' loss to the ZOMG! Bungles.
Tim Sullivan on the doneness of the Dolts.
Acee's notes on the Dolts.
Jokeland lost, but they had nothing to play for.
Sebastian Janikowski set a new Jokeland single-season scoring record.
Monte Poole wonders if Tom Cable has earned his keep.
The Niners have fired Mike Singletary and his pants.
Here's the full playoff picture.
PFW is hearing that Denver will not add a fullback to the roster in Spencer Larsen's absence.
In his notes from Sunday, Matt Bowen writes that he saw progress yesterday from Tebow.
Don Banks' take on the day.