It’s official. Tebowmania has taken over the league.
Beating the Dolphins, the Raiders, and the Chiefs didn’t really count. Leading the Broncos from behind with a 95-yard drive against one of the best and proudest defenses in the NFL has taken the legend of Tim Tebow to a new level.
Tim Tebow and his Broncos, after a sluggish night through more than three quarters, put together an Elway-esque effort to steal a victory from the Jets. The 17-13 win moved the Broncos to 5-5, and dropped the Jets to 5-5.
Facing third and four from the Jets 20, with a growing sense that this one would be settled in overtime, the Jets opted to blitz, Tebow avoided it by rolling left, and he rumbled past the first-down sticks and into the end zone.
Hampering the Jets was the early loss of running back Shonn Greene, who injured his ribs. Coupled with the absence of LaDainian Tomlinson (knee), the Greene injury forced Joe McKnight to carry the load, and McKnight grounded and pounded for only 59 yards on 16 carries.
Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez played erratically for most of the night, and an interception returned for a touchdown by cornerback Andre Goodman was the only seven-pointer that the Broncos could muster until Tebow orchestrated that epic 95-yard march.
It started with a near disaster, as Tebow passed from the end zone to Eddie Royal, who caught it in the end zone and nearly was tackled by Jets safety Jim Leonhard. Royal juked past a sliding Leonhard and sprinted to the 13.
The Broncos had only 134 offensive yards before that 95-yard drive, which included seven runs by Tebow for 57 yards. Perhaps most impressively, Tebow managed to keep possession of the back end of the ball as Jets linebacker David Harris tried to rip it out while Tebow was falling to the ground.
The Jets now have their backs against the wall — again — with two losses in four days and a visit from the Bills on deck in Week 12.
Next up for the Broncos? A trip to San Diego. And for the first time ever, the Broncos and Tebow widely will be expected to win the game.