Drive of the Week: Miracle Man

Denver Broncos, Drive of the Week, Inside the Game, Jonathan Smyth

What does Tim Tebow have in store for his next miracle? Will he walk on water?

Turn water into wine?

Whatever it is, I’m sure it will be football related and not Biblical. But it is fun to watch him work his magic on the football field. Unfortunately for the Broncos, his magic escaped him for the first 54 minutes and 37 seconds of the game. Tebow was 4-for-14 for 40 yards passing with 5:23 left play in the fourth quarter. The Broncos trailed 15-0 and looks as though they were about to help Miami to its first win of the season. But then the “miracle man” took over.

Tebow brought the Broncos within eight points on 5-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas. On the ensuing kickoff, Denver recovered an onside kick, which is where the miracle begins.

KEY PLAYS ON THE DRIVE

1ST and 10 at the Broncos 44 – Tebow starts out in the shotgun and will remain there for most of the drive. On the first play of the drive, he scrambles out of the pocket and hits Demaryius Thomas for a 7-yard gain on a stop route near the left sideline. Tebow has a tendency to leave the pocket early before pressure really gets there. He also waits until his receivers are open instead of hitting them as they come out of their breaks. This will be a reoccurring theme in this drive and something Tebow needs to work on if he wants to become a more accurate quarterback.

3rd and 1 at the Dolphins 47 – This is the Broncos’ new short-yardage formation; Shotgun, 5-wide, Tebow runs it. It’s effective and it’s working for them. Tim picks up the first down with a 4-yard run.

2nd and 10 at the Dolphins 43 – Tebow finds Eddie Royal on a flanker drive for 7 yards. Similar to the first play, Tebow leaves the pocket prematurely and misses Royal on his initial break, but I guess no harm no foul.

3rd and 3 at the Dolphins 36 – A 5-yard pass to Eric Decker for the first down. This time Tebow stays in the pocket but still is late getting the ball to his receiver. Get the ball out of your hand, son!

2nd and 10 at the Dolphins 31 – This is the biggest throw of the drive for Tebow. He connects with tight end Daniel Fells for 28 yards on a perfect throw and a beautiful catch. Fells runs a seam route and Tebow looks for him all the way. He puts the ball in-between three defenders only where Fells can catch it and gets the Broncos within scoring position.

2nd and Goal at the Dolphins 3 – You can tell the Broncos really practiced this play. It was well executed and a great call by offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. Tebow sells the play to the left on the roll out then gently (almost too gently) lobs the ball to Fells for the score.

Two-point Conversion – The Broncos need two points to tie it up. They come out in their short-yardage formation (Shotgun, 4-wide, running back in the backfield). Tebow signals to Knowshon Moreno to motion out wide giving Denver a 5-wide, empty backfield look. The ball is snapped, the guard pulls, Tim follows his blockers and caps off this improbable comeback with a two-point conversion. In his post-game press conference, Tebow said that the initial call was a run to the left but he optioned out and called his own number. It was a smart decision and it resulted in a game-tying conversion.

What did we learn about Tim Tebow from this game? Not much. He’s raw. He still has that funky throwing motion. But if he’s your QB and you’re losing in the fourth quarter, you know he still might pull off a miracle.

For more on this drive, check out Brian Baldinger’s analysis on NFL.com’s Drive of the Week.

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