Tim Tebow and the Broncos were beaten by the Patriots. Translation? Tebow Time is over, right? Not exactly. Tebow proved that he is a legitimate threat in the loss, but at the end of the day, Tom Brady and company emerged on top.
Tim Tebow, you have made your point. By now, anyone who is questioning the skills of the two-tim BCS National Champion and former Heisman Trophy winner is delirious. Tebow can run with the best of them (literally).
Tebow completed 11-of-22 passes for 194 yards and also ran for 93 yards and two scores, but the Broncos were defeated by the New England Patriots, 43-21, on Sunday afternoon at Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado.
Most believe that the Broncos' loss spelled the end for Tebow mania. Well, it doesn't.
Tebow may not have won the game, but he was undoubtedly impressive. A first-quarter touchdown run and solid play under center in the early stages of the game put Denver on top 16-7 in the early going. Tebow proved that he can hang with good teams, but he also proved that he has more growth to do and isn't perfect.
Denver fumbled twice -- with Tebow fumbling the ball away -- in the second quarter, which was the definitive point of the game. New England outscored Denver 20-3 in the quarter, with Tom Brady (23-for-34, 320 yards, TD; six carries, two yards, TD) throwing a one-yard score to Aaron Hernandez (nine catches, 129 yards) and rushing for one score.
While Tebow has proven that he's a legitimate threat, the Patriots reminded everyone that they're still a force to be reckoned with, too.
Brady is being Brady, which usually means a 300-plus yard game and a couple of touchdown passes. That alone is good enough to get the Patriots into the playoffs almost annually. However, it's not like Brady is making the players around him look good simply because they're in his shadow -- the Pats have some very talented players.
On offense, Wes Welker, Deion Branch and tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Hernandez have proven to be among the best receivers in the game, and all are still viable threats that Brady makes good use of. Chad Ochocinco even showed some promise (finally) when he reeled in his first touchdown catch of the season on a 33-yard score.
The area of concern for New England has been the secondary, which lacks depth and experience. That fact was clear after the first quarter of the game as Tebow and company were able to mull through the Pats defense to take their early lead. However, mistakes cost Denver in the second quarter and the Patriots were able to make them pay.
A win is a win, but there are certainly still concerns for the Patriots. At this point, if the Pats are going to compete and even have a shot at making the Super Bowl, they will be relying solely on their offense to carry them. It isn't entirely bad, as Brady can do exactly that, but we all know the old adage -- defense wins championships.
Let's face the facts. Denver wasn't exactly a top-notch opponent, and while they may reach the playoffs, the Broncos don't exactly represent the type of opponent New England will have to go through in order to reach the game of the year. The Broncos passing offense is abysmal, but their rushing game is top-notch and the Pats really struggled to stop them, especially in the first quarter. On defense, they are a talented squad but still don't compare to that of the Ravens or Steelers. Beating the Broncos was a nice accomplishment, but it didn't show us anything new.
New England will have two more weeks to improve defensively, as the Patriots face the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills to close out the regular season as they continue to fight for the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC. Even if Brady's bunch can't get the conference's top spot, they are still going to the playoffs and can't be taken lightly.