Tim Tebow pulled the trigger.
On the first and only play from scrimmage in the shortest overtime in NFL history, Tebow saw Demaryius Thomas streaking over the middle and hit him in stride for a stunning 80-yard touchdown and 29-23 overtime victory.
Cornerback Ike Taylor had Thomas one-on-one on the play and allowed Thomas to take the middle of the field. Tebow hit him perfectly in stride. Thomas showed off his strength with a stiff arm and his speed to take it the distance.
It was a perfect play call by the Broncos. As pointed out by Chris Brown here, they motioned a wide receiver to block before the snap. That is a heavy run tendency for the Broncos, so the Steelers rotated a safety down into the box to stop the run like they did most of the game. Nine Steelers were in the box.
That left Thomas against Taylor. Thomas won, like he did most of the game. The second-year player finished with 204 yards on only four catches. Tebow threw for 316 yards on only 10 completions.
Taylor looked a little old on that play, like the Steelers defense did for much of the day. Defensive linemen Brett Keisel and Casey Hampton couldn’t finish the game. LaMarr Woodley was limited and effective.
This was a night for youth. A night for Tebow to show that he could hit vertical throws into small windows; for Denver’s defense to come up with the big sack of Ben Roethlisberger with the Steelers threatening to win in regulation; for Thomas to show that he’s one of the league’s most promising young receivers.
Tebow Time has been extended a week. Now he and Thomas get to face the man that drafted them next week in New England, with a trip to the AFC Conference Championship on the line.
If someone was writing this stuff into a Tim Tebow movie, they would have been fired by now because it all sounds too unbelievable.