MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Leading into Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the question on most football fans’ minds was: can Tim Tebow beat the best defense in the NFL? Consider that question answered with a resounding, yes!
Tebow finished the game throwing for more than 300 yards and his final throw, an 80-yard pass to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas will haunt the Steelers defense until next season.
The throw came just 11 seconds into overtime, making it the shortest overtime period in NFL history.
“When I saw him scoring, first of all, I just thought, ‘Thank you, Lord,'” Tebow said. “Then, I was running pretty fast, chasing him — like I can catch up to D.T! Then I just jumped into the stands, first time I’ve done that. That was fun.”
Tebow perplexed the linebackers and secondary for the Steelers all night by constantly threatening to run the ball, but often times pulling up and throwing a quick pass to one of his receivers.
But on the final play, it was a simple crossing pattern that he hit Thomas in stride and the receiver took it to the house.
The former Florida Gator quarterback finished with a 125.6 passer rating, which was the highest in Broncos history, with four of the passes going to Thomas for 204 yards.
But while Tebow beat an injury-depleted Steelers team, he now has the unenviable task of traveling with the Broncos to Foxboro, Massachusetts to play Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
It was just a few weeks ago that the Broncos were riding high on a 7-1 midseason streak that Brady led the Patriots into Denver and thumped the Broncos, 41-23.
New England was gashed early by the Broncos running game, but made adjustments and completely shutdown Denver’s rushing attack.
The key for the Broncos this time will be whether they can get a consistent pass rush against Brady. As the New York Giants displayed in 2007, the only way to beat the Patriots is to constantly harass Brady in the pocket and knock him down.
But, the Patriots managed Denver’s defensive attack in the first matchup by running the ball 28 times and the offensive line only allowed Brady to get hit three times in the entire game.
Denver’s formula to success is to keep the game close heading into the fourth quarter and then close out a game strong.
But, New England can score points in bunches and that puts more pressure on Tebow to deliver lots of points to keep up with the Patriots.
The game is set for an 8:00 p.m. kickoff on Saturday and can be seen exclusively on CBS4.