What’s left to say about the Broncos that hasn’t been covered every 15 minutes by every sports program all across the nation? Let’s take a look at why this team is winning and who deserves the credit. We all know that there are many supporters and detractors of Tim Tebow, but both have already forgotten where this team was when Tebow took the reins. The Broncos at 1 & 4 were terrible, their primary running back is an aging veteran with bad knees, their secondary is older than some NFL franchises and their wide receiving core wouldn’t scare either one of the teams playing for the college national championship.
Despite all of these factors the Broncos continue to win in improbable fashion and supporters and opponents of Tebow struggle to explain the phenomenon. Let’s a look at who Tebow’s detractors are crediting for the Broncos recent success. Keep in mind that when the switch to Tebow was made in week 6, there were no other major personnel changes, no coaching changes, for all intents and purposes it is the exact same 1-4 team other than Tim Tebow.
Willis McGahee is no doubt having one of the best years of his career. He has run very well and provided a toughness at running back that has been missing since the departure of Mike Shanahan. McGahee’s power, speed and vision have helped the Broncos get to where they are right now. However a large part of his success must be attributed to Tebow. With opposing defenses forced to consider Tebow as a legitimate running weapon it creates just a slightly larger window for McGahee and to his credit he has exploited it. Unfortunately much like defenses wear down late in the game after taking a pounding from McGahee, it is has become clear that he himself is wearing down with the increased work load. In the weeks where McGahee has sat out of practice to nurse minor injuries he has not been nearly as effective in the game. His performance against the Chicago Bears is a perfect example. If the Broncos hope to keep their magic alive they must limit his carries through the remainder of the regular season in hopes of keeping him healthy for the playoffs.
The Broncos defense has been getting a large amount of credit for the team’s recent success as well. There is no doubt that this defense with the addition of Von Miller, who is a lock for defensive rookie of the year, is improved over last year. The defense has done everything in their power to keep the Broncos in every game and give the offense a chance to win late in games. However this is not a defense that is capable of claiming the rights to a 6 game winning streak on their own. With very little depth in the secondary and 2nd round pick Rahim Moore greatly underperforming, it is clear that the Broncos secondary is both an asset and a liability for this team. Much of the defensive leadership is located in their secondary, but with injuries to both Brian Dawkins and Andre Goodman the Broncos going forward may be relying heavily on 2 players that failed to make the rosters of any other NFL team. Chris Harris, an undrafted rookie, and Tony Carter, also undrafted and promoted from the practice squad this week, will most likely play large roles versus Tom Brady and a potent Patriots offense. The Broncos defense will have to continue playing above their talent level if the team hopes to continue this run into the playoffs.
The special teams of the Broncos have been a huge asset for the team this year, in particular punter Britton Colquitt and the coverage team. When you rely heavily on a methodical ball control offensive style like the Broncos are right now, field position is critical. Britton Colquitt and the coverage team have been outstanding this year, helping both the offense and defense to look better than they are. Matt Prater is no doubt an invaluable asset to this team as well. While he did suffer a small slump earlier in the year and have a key kick blocked versus Chicago, you can almost guarantee he will get an opportunity to kick a field goal of 65+ yards this year and enter his name in the record book.
While all of these factors have no doubt played a role in the recent success of this Broncos team, Tim Tebow is the catalyst that makes it all possible. If any part of this team deserves an inordinate amount of praise for this run, it is Tim Tebow. Football is the ultimate team sport and the Broncos are proving the power of truly playing as such. While each piece of the puzzle plays a key role in the finished product, try to keep in mind where this team was before Tebow came along. His leadership, unselfishness and praise of others has brought about a synergy that is unmatched by any current team in the NFL. While other teams like the Green Bay Packers may be more talented and performing at a higher level, no team has experienced such a drastic turn around thanks to one player. Too much is made of the minor skill deficiencies of Tim Tebow and not enough of what he truly brings to the team. He makes all players around him better and would be the last one to take any credit for turning this team around; he is and will continue to be one of the best leaders in the NFL. Click to become an Official Bronco Fan!