Can Tim Tebow lead the Denver Broncos to the AFC Championship?
Tim Tebow led the Denver Broncos past the Pittsburgh Steelers in a wild-card game Sunday afternoon, throwing for 316 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for another score. But can he do it again Saturday against the New England Patriots with a trip to the AFC Championship on the line?
Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss the topic. Check back throughout the day for more responses and join the discussion by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.
Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times
Can Tebow lead the Broncos that far? Yes, with the unpredictability of the NFL, any of the remaining teams could conceivably get that far. But will it happen for the Broncos? I have my doubts.
The Patriots are far from invincible, and they need to spackle a lot of holes in that defense. But Tom Brady & Co. has averaged 34.2 points a game, two touchdowns per game more than the Steelers, and the Broncos aren't built for shootouts, where they're drawn into that pass-first mentaility. New England beat the Broncos, 41-23, three weeks ago, and that was in Denver.
There's nothing to suggest the Patriots will take a step backward. Then again, the Patiots' defense is ranked 31st overall and 31st against the pass, so there's always hope for more Tebow Time.
Brad Biggs, Chicago Tribune
I would have said no in this space last week if asked about homestanding Tebow’s chances to defeat the Steelers. I’m glad I was spared the embarrassment. This week, it’s an emphatic no when it comes to Tebow and the Broncos winning at New England.
The Broncos simply don’t have the defense to stop Tom Brady and the Patriots, let alone the offensive talent to match up in a high-scoring affair. It really doesn’t have as much to do with Tebow as it does the rest of the team. Even if the Broncos manage to score 29 points again, it will not be enough as the Patriots cruise into the AFC title game.
Dave Hyde, South Florida Sun Sentinel
“Can” Tim Tebow beat New England? Of course he “can.” If there’s any verb Tebow has been able to bend to his purposes, it’s that one. “Will” he win this game? That’s the question, as well as the fallacy. Denver’s team isn’t ready to go into New England and win a game like this. It’s just off the most emotional win any of them had as pros. It still has severe holes on the roster.
Now it goes to a rested New England, and Tom Brady and Bill Belicick are desperate to win a playoff game for the first time in a few years. Is this young Denver team ready for that? Sure, Tebow “can” win this game. New England has the worst-rated defense in the league. That presents opportunities. But “will” it?
New England 31, Denver 17.
Photo: Tim Tebow celebrates his touchdown run Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Credit: Justin Edmonds / Getty Images