As Tom Brady’s 48-yard punt finally rolled to a stop at the 10-yard line, his incredible game came to an end. Brady’s Bunch had just dismantled the Denver Broncos entirely, by beating them 45-10. The magic of Tim Tebow was gone in the matchup against the New England Patriots. Tebow threw for a mere 108 yards, and rushed for only 13 yards.
Tebow isn’t the only one to blame for the loss. Denver’s offensive was absolutely dreadful. Tebow’s pocket was collapsing every possession that the Broncos had. The Patriots defense, especially their linebackers, could just walk right into the backfield. In the game the Patriots had 15 tackles that were for negative yards. Five of the tackles were sacks on Tebow. The Broncos‘ receivers also were not doing so hot. Whether it was the low temperatures or the thought of getting drilled by a Patriot defender, they were not catching the ball. On multiple crucial third downs, Tebow would throw the ball right between the numbers and they would simply drop the pass. The one glimmer of hope for the Broncos was running back Willis McGahee. He only ran for 76 yards, but for the Broncos‘ standards that was good. McGahee also accounted for the only touchdown that Denver scored.
On the other side of the ball Tom Brady was phenomenal. He threw for 363 yards and tied the record for most touchdowns thrown in playoff game with six. His one mistake was throwing an interception to Quinton Carter. Along with that he also had a 48-yard punt. The other standouts in the game for the Pats were tight ends Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, and linebacker Rob Ninkovich. Gronkowski continued his remarkable season, by catching three TDs and racking up 145 yards. One of his touchdowns was a great tumbling catch in the back corner of the end zone. Brady put the ball right on the money for “Gronk” who dove, reached up and caught it, for a moment. The ball somehow came loose from his giant paw-like hands, only to be secured moments before crashing to the ground. Hernandez, while catching a touchdown, also rushed for 61 yards. Ninkovich only had five tackles, one of which was a sack, but he was pressuring Tebow all night long. He was beating men on the outside with his speed, and beating guys on the inside with his strength. As analyst Phil Simms said, “He’s a big dude.”
With all the pressure on Tebow, the Broncos’ night was over before it even began. No really. The Broncos were down within two minutes of the kickoff. That first touchdown by the Patriots really set the tempo of the game. On Tebow’s first possession he fumbled, the fumble forced by the “big dude” Ninkovich, and recovered by Tebow’s former University of Florida teammate Brandon Spikes. As Spikes saw so many times in Florida, Tebow’s frustration started to boil over in the third and fourth quarter of the game, when the Broncos weren’t able to get a first down or a touchdown. Tebow has that big-game mentality every game, whether it be a preseason game or a game in the back yard.
Tebow has had his share of ups and downs in his career. At Florida in 2008, they lost a game against Ole Miss, 31-30, taking away their chance at an undefeated season. Tebow came to the “stand” to give some comments after the game. In the speech he apologized to Gator fans, and said that “a lot of good would come out of this.”
I think that for the Broncos, a lot of good will come out of this loss to the Patriots. Tebow will get a full offseason to train with the coaching staff, which he wasn’t able to have last year because of the lockout. He’ll also keep honing his skills, so to be able to compete at this level. The Broncos definitely have a great quarterback in the making. He is dedicated, much more so than other players. He can add a different dimension to the game with his legs, and he has the accuracy and the velocity to be one of the best all-around quarterbacks in the league. And did I mention he’s built like a hummer? Yeah, he’ll run you over if need be.