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Published on 12/04/2011 at Sun Dec 04 14:59.
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Tim Tebow Broncos huddle

Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos huddles up with his teammates in the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings on December 4, 2011 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Statistically, it was Tim Tebow‘s finest career game. Answering the call of his critics, the run-first QB completed 66.7% of his passes, throwing two touchdowns on 15 attempts. He threw for a season-high 202 yards and had no interceptions. His passer rating: a mile-high 149.3.

But even that wasn’t enough to beat the Minnesota Vikings. Not by himself.

Cornerback Andre Goodman and kicker Matt Prater were there to take over the fourth quarter hero’s role.

Prater kicked two field goals in the last two minutes of regulation — a game-tying 46-yard field goal and a game-winning 23-yarder set up by an Andre Goodman interception. The Denver Broncos forced three turnovers and came back to win 35-32 against the Minnesota Vikings as time expired.

Not that Tebow wasn’t clutch in the second half. On the contrary, Tebow was his usual innovative, playmaking, spectacular self in the third and fourth quarters, escaping pressure and making plays. The difference today was his willingness to trust his air game rather than his ground game when the play broke down.

Tebow had a handful of help from others as well. Demaryius Thomas had his breakout game, getting wide open for two touchdowns and nearly hauling in another in the fourth quarter. Willis McGahee went nuts in the second half, busting loose for 111 rushing yards, his sixth 100+ yard rushing game of the season (tying the NFL lead in the category). Brian Dawkins continues to provide visual inference that the fountain of youth must exist, and Mario Haggan played superbly in place of the injured Von Miller, intercepting a first quarter Christian Ponder pass that he returned for a touchdown.

With the win, the 7-5 Broncos enter a first-place tie with the Oakland Raiders in the AFC West.

  • Anthony

    Do you believe yet? I’ve said it before………. BRONCOS FANS!!!! Having Tim Tebow on your team is not a burden. Embrace this!!!! Team of destiny. Go Broncos!

  • Dante Pakistan

    Wow, the Vikes secondary is horrible, our WRs were open by atleast 5 yards on every completion. D stepped up when they needed too, Willis ran great in the second half and Tebow hit his open recievers, good all around win.

  • Davidl413

    Incredible. This team is playing inspired football and Tim Tebow is at the center of it. The doubters will find a reason to keep doubting, but this is the Broncos QB of the present AND the future. First place!

  • Gradishar53

    When Eddie Royal isn’t in the game, Tebow doesn’t have to throw to a guy who can’t get open and when he does, he drops the ball.  We’ve seen the future and it’s Tebow-Thomas-Decker.  Bye bye Eddie!

  • Tanner Shurtz

    Just going to leave this here. . . Also, I believe the Broncos will beat the Bears next week and the Raiders will lose to the Packers.

  • Davidl413

    It may be true. He’s still valuable as a return guy, but what happened to the Eddie Royal of his rookie season? Awesome to see Thomas break out though.

  • areferee

    Nice recap Kyle.  Your writing is tight, accurate and interesting.  Hell, you have us ALL inspired.  Even DPak’s writing was positive.

    This team is continuing to show their own inspiration and belief in each other.  They are as fun to watch now as the early season team was painful.  A 10-6 finish is looking more likely.  There was no one feeling that after the first 5 games under the previous starter.

    WOW!  What a difference.

    (I will miss JC under center next week.  So will Von Doom.)

  • (dee)

    I had to turn away from the game after the last Harvin touchdown, I wish I had not.

    What’s undeniable is that this team for all the play calling frustrations and all the things that make us all pull out our hair ..simply finds a way to win. 

    Bronco teams in the past found ways to lose, in the biggest moments in the game they faded. 

    This is a special team, I’m not sure how far they will go , but I am very proud of the way they fight till the end, today it feels great to be a Broncos Fan.

  • King

    Uh, they were open because the threat of the run.  Please do some study on football. 

  • roshon2411

    Jay Cutler was traded…that’s what happen to Eddie Royal.

  • Anonymous

    Uh before you start telling others how they need to study about the game maybe you should too, because you clearly do not!!! Guess Cam didn’t ball again right? Looser!

    The Vikes secondary is horrible and our receivers were wide open most of the time.

  • Tanner Shurtz

    definitely saw on a couple of plays that the Vikings corner was slow to cover the WR’s because he thought he was getting help from SS. . .

  • Anonymous

    The second half was probably TT’s best part of a game yet. That was fun to watch and I have to tell JJ good call on the passing yards, even though he was almost 50 short of what you called for that was a nice performance passing.

    Now TT has moved from playing for 5 min to a qtr now to a half… Lets get in 3 qtrs now, if he does that he shouldn’t loose another game with the way this Defense is playing.

    That was a fun half of football for sure. I’d split a game ball between McGahee and the Defense!

    Oh and I think we are in the lead in the Div arent we? We have the tie breaker I thought?

  • Davidl413

    Probably true, but Orton threw the ball plenty. Royal just hasn’t been the same guy since that 2008 season. Hopefully Thomas is the official starter now anyway.

  • Anonymous

    That is a very good point but I wouldn’t say bye bye to him at all, he is a very good return man as David points out and I hope he stays around for that. Willis filled in quite well also!

  • King

    Don’t you mean “loser”? 

    Cam did “ball” today.  I give credit when/where it’s due. 

    The secondary was biting whenever Tebow would roll out to pass.

  • King

    The way Tebow is playing we should consider trading him. 


  • Anonymous

    Not sure why they are getting off to such a slow start offensively in the first half.  It seems they either come out in a different gear or McCoy really knows how to make adjustments.  One thing you can see for sure is that when they keep running, especially in the 4th quarter, those 2 and 3 yard gains become 9 and 12 yard gains.

    TT continues to improve each and every week in the passing department.  Yeah yeah yeah, the CB thought he had help, but the fact is TT found the open guy and dropped it in there.

    Defense missed V-Doom ans the offense kept them on the field for most of the second half.  Not their best performance yet they came through (what’s gotten into Goodman) when it counted.

    Also, I thought the refs called a rotten game today.

  • Anonymous

    Then why dog this Dante kid when he stated a fact and very good point? With or with out a typo it still fits!

  • Anonymous

    What a fun game to watch that was! Even better was seeing it at an Oggis, a favorite watering hole/pizza chain of charger fans. There was plenty of grumbling going on there afterwards and lots cheering by me!

    Tebow looked like his confidence continued to grow, especially in crunch time yet again. The lack of Von Miller really showed as the pass rush was really missing. He may have won defensive player of the year today by not playing and showing his worth to the team.

  • Dante Pakistan

    My bad, I guess I’m wrong, the Vikings have an elite secondary, they were just so scared of Tebow, thanks for correcting me guy!

  • Guest

    How was it an upset? lol

  • Dante Pakistan

    The line was Vikings -1.5

  • Anonymous

    Dante is a bit of a negative punk ass, that may be part of it. haha

  • Anonymous

    Yeah I know but King is an idiot as well and has no room telling any one to “study on football” when he lacks as much knowlage as any one here. ;-)

  • virginiabronco

    I can’t wait to here Hodge explain this one. 

  • virginiabronco

    hear even

  • Tom9798

    Just imagine what are record would have been. 

    At 1-4, people were selling their tickets, packing their bags, and talking about draft picks.  

    Four to go . . . . Whew . . .

  • crazykid

    I dont care what people say about Tebow, I thought he looked amazing! The uniform really complimented his eyes and complexion.

    But seriously, I never saw any lame duck passes this game. This is way better than Suck-ing for Luck!

  • Anonymous

    could we get a 1st?

  • Anonymous

    you like those two facemasks they missed? Or the one they called on us when they were holding each others?

  • Anonymous

    32 points to Ponder isn’t “game ball” worthy. Our D looked every bit as bad as it has for the last 5 years.
    Where the Defense has kept us in the game these past 4 weeks, today, in the 5th week, the Offense kept us in it.
    Tebow gets a game ball
    McGahee gets a game bal
    Thomas gets a game ball
    Prater gets a game ball
    Hagan gets a game ball

    Close but no cigar includes Goodman who got the big pick, but was a total disaster for much of the game.
    Offensive line did good, but way too many drive killing penalties to fully deserve a game ball

  • Anonymous

    only four to go? what a drag!

  • Anonymous

    Still not sold on Tebow.

    I love how he inspires the whole team.

    I love the guy, I LOVE THE WINNING!!

    We’ll see.
    I’d still draft a 2nd or third round QB to compete.

    Haven’t enjoyed Bronco football so much in years.

  • Anonymous

    DPak still sidestepped giving Tebow any props (as if Orton would have us at 6 – 1 over the last 7 games) haha.

    I’m with ya though Ref! Everytime the game comes down to the wire, I feel like the odds are in our favor to come out on top. It’s literally been 13 years since I’ve felt that way. I don’t know what exactly “it” is but Tebow has arguably more of “it” then anyone to have ever played this game. 

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, wasn’t that the biggest bunch of BS!

  • Anonymous

    That really depends on who is sucking for him!

  • Bronco Pete

    This is Bronco Pete from Albuquerque, NM.  The Broncos played a HELLOFA game today.  The Offense and the Defense stepped up when they had to!  Tebow always plays his best in the second half.  The defense always keeps the game close and This Exciting Brother Only Wins!! or These Entire Broncos Only Win!  Keep up the good work together as a team and we’ll go all the way.  God Bless you all and stay together always. 

  • Anonymous

    I seem to be in the minority here but I REALLY like Weber. I watched a few of his games in college (I loved Decker in college and predicted him to be a future pro-bowl WR so you can imagine I freaked out when we drafted him). Anyway, I think the kid has a very bright future as a great backup for us and even possibly a great starter down the road. 

    I would be fine with us picking up a QB in the 3rd but I would much prefer it in the 4th. RB & DT need to be our top priorities. McGahee’s wheels could give out any time and he hasn’t had this much action in 7 years or so and we are in desperate need of a solid DT. Bunkley has been great but at the very least we need a super solid rotational guy with him and preferably a slight upgrade that makes him rotational. 

    Next I’d prefer we take best CB available in the 3rd as there should be some decent ones still on the board. 

    That puts QB in round 4 which is still a decent slot to grab someone from a smaller school that has great potential and of course we will have Weber with a full year under his built learning.

  • Anonymous


  • Glenocana

    Love the win, love Tebow’s passing and as a team they get it done again. But I didint like the play of our backup safetys, BRUTON and MCCARTY, they looked horrid, missed assignments and tackling. “Toast”   Could be a draft priority.

  • Anonymous

    The 2nd Harvin TD was BS too. He completely shoved Harris to the ground. Also what was up with the Tebow fumble? I didn’t think the ground could cause a fumble.

  • Braden

    I dont mean to be a prick, but i laugh at Kyle Orton getting injured on his first throw.  Glad hes in the past somewhere in a dark chapter of Bronco history.

  • Dante Pakistan

    How was I being negative? For the first time in a long time I actually didn’t say anything negative.

  • Dante Pakistan

    I gave him credit, he made a lot of good passes and hit his open receivers. They weren’t tough throws but in his first couple starts he would have missed at least half of them. He’s improving but it was a great overall team effort. Man I guess I just need to to blow him or else I’m being negative.

  • Dante Pakistan

    Why wish I’ll will on Orton, he was a class act while here and never complained about the Cutler/McDaniels/Marshall/Tebow drama.

  • Dante Pakistan

    No King is right, the entire Vikes secondary is completely healthy and they are all have Pro Bowl talent.

  • Dante Pakistan

    Not like Vikes have the 26th ranked pass defense or anything.

  • Anonymous

    Dante, come on man.  I know your posts today were not negative, but usually you are one of the most negative people here.  You were the king of “suck for Luck” and badmouthed everything Tebow did in his first few starts.  It’s going to take some time for people to warm up to your new outlook on the team. 

  • King

    You say the same thing every week.  lmao