Miami Herald, Joe Rimkus Jr.) MAGS OUT, Associated Press
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Although Tim Tebow's mechanics are far from polished and his passes far from pretty, his moxie appears to be in perfect working order.
When the game's on the line, the Denver Broncos' charismatic quarterback finds a way to rally his team, happy feet in the pocket and all.
Tebow, in his first start of the season, pulled off an improbable comeback Sunday, bringing the Broncos back from a 15-0 deficit in the waning minutes of regulation for an 18-15 overtime win over winless Miami.
With this implausible victory, the popularity of Tebow is only going to skyrocket — as if it weren't sky high already.
Many fans have long wanted Tebow as their starter, even going so far as to put up billboards begging coach John Fox to insert the former Heisman Trophy winner from Florida.
They got their wish against San Diego two weeks ago when Fox yanked Kyle Orton in favor of Tebow, who almost rallied the Broncos to a win in the fourth quarter.
This time, Tebow succeeded.
And with a comeback for the ages, too.
The Broncos said it's the largest deficit overcome in a win with less than 3 minutes since the 1970 NFL merger, citing the Elias Sports Bureau.
"He's a guy who's going to continue to fight, continue to scrap and use his arm, his legs or whatever to get the job done," safety Brian Dawkins said after the game.
That's the thing about Tebow: He may not always look pretty and perfect, but he can find a way to get the job done. It's a quality that just may be his strongest.
He also wears his emotions on his sleeve, even if his left arm doesn't always deliver the most accurate of passes. He's been scrutinized and chastised by skeptics since he was drafted by the Broncos with the 25th pick in 2010. Not because of his work ethic — that's never questioned — but because of his unorthodox style.
But what he lacks in smoothness he tries to make up for in leadership.
"There's one thing you can say about this team is that we have a lot of heart. We have a lot of courage. We're going to fight until the end and continue to believe," Tebow said. "It's my fault that we were in that position in the first place. I just have to play better in the first three quarters so we don't have to make that comeback in the fourth."
Fox certainly wouldn't mind that.
Tebow was having a lackluster day until midway through the fourth quarter. He was missing backs on simple screens and overthrowing wide open receivers down the field. Tebow was 4 of 14 for a paltry 40 yards before finding his touch late with 5:23 remaining.
"I liked the last 5 minutes better than first 55," Fox said, chuckling. "We feel like he'll improve."
Asked if he's the starter from here on, Fox danced around a direct response.
"I can't predict the future," he said. "He's the starter right now."
Once burned, twice shy. After all, Fox has had his own words come back to bite him before. Leading into the season, he said over and over that Orton gives the team the best chance to win.
And now Tebow has taken over.
So, does he give them the best chance?
"I'll probably never use that statement again," Fox said. "It does get thrown back at me quite a bit."
Hard to argue with the result.
But Tebow had plenty of help, starting with receiver Demaryius Thomas, who made a sprawling catch for the first score with 2:44 left.
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