NFL Game Summary - Denver at Miami|
(Sunday, October 23rd)
Final Score: Denver 18, Miami 15 (OT)
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - The moment the Broncos lined up for a two-point
conversion with 17 seconds to play and a chance to tie the game, it seemed
destined Tim Tebow would get the ball.
And as he crashed over the goal line, Tebow looked less like the quarterback
who struggled for most of Sunday's game and more like the player who rose to
stardom in Florida.
Tebow, in his first start of the season, led the Broncos to two touchdowns in
the final three minutes before Matt Prater's 52-yard field goal midway through
overtime lifted Denver to an 18-15 victory against the Miami Dolphins at Sun
It was vintage Tebow.
He was named the Broncos' starting quarterback heading into their bye last
week, replacing Kyle Orton, and Sunday provided a homecoming for him.
Tebow led his Jacksonville-area high school to a Florida state championship
during his senior season, then became a star for the Florida Gators. He led
them to a pair of BCS national championships and won the Heisman Trophy during
the 2007 season, finishing his career as one of the most decorated college
football players ever.
Sunday's game also provided a stage for Tebow to lead the Broncos (2-4) to a
thrilling victory. They benefited from an onsides kick recovery after their
first touchdown and two big plays by tight end Daniel Fells, then won after
recovering a fumble in overtime.
"You can't lose confidence in yourself," Tebow said. "I kept believing. More
importantly I kept believing in the people around me that eventually we would
be able to get things going."
On the other hand, the Dolphins (0-6) were left the stunned losers after their
15-point lead evaporated in the final quarter. They sacked Tebow seven times
and held Denver in check for most of the game, but couldn't hang on.
"It's just embarrassing. There's no other words to explain it," said Dolphins
running back Reggie Bush, who gained 42 yards on 10 carries.
On Sunday, the Dolphins honored the Gators' 2008 national title squad, which
featured Tebow. He led Florida past Oklahoma in the BCS title game at Sun
Life, and the Dolphins got a first-hand look at his abilities while playing
Tebow passed for only 24 yards in the first half and couldn't lead Denver out
of its own territory in the third quarter, but late in the fourth, something
The Broncos took over at their own 20 with 5:23 to play and quickly made their
way up the field.
Tebow found Demaryius Thomas for 15 yards on the first play, and later hit
Matthew Willis for a 42-yard gain. He followed a sack with a 13-yard scramble,
which brought the ball to the five-yard line for a third down.
On the next play, the left-handed Tebow threw across his body to Thomas in the
right side of the end zone. Thomas made the catch, which was upheld upon
review, to put the Broncos on the scoreboard.
The 80-yard drive was remarkable. Until that point, the Broncos hadn't
converted a third down and hadn't gained more than 54 yards on a single
With 2:44 to play, Denver opted for an onside kick and recovered after Miami's
Marlon Moore couldn't hang on to the ball.
Tebow then went back to work, keeping the ball for a four-yard keeper to
convert a third down just inside the two-minute warning. Tebow's five-yard
pass to Eric Decker along the sideline converted another third down and put
the ball at the Dolphins' 31 with 62 seconds left.
Two plays later, Tebow aired out a wobbly pass over the middle between a few
defenders, but Fells managed to haul it in for a 28-yard gain. Tebow went to
Fells again moments later, connecting with him on a screen in the right flat.
Fells' three-yard score brought Denver within 15-13.
Tebow got the call on the two-point try and ran off right tackle to get across
the goal line, pumping his fists after reaching the end zone.
Having been saved by Tebow, the Broncos seemed destined to win in overtime.
Linebacker D.J. Williams stripped Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore of the ball
as he sacked him, then recovered at the Miami 36.
The Broncos ran the ball three times before Prater -- who had missed two field
goals earlier -- made the winning kick with 7:24 left.
The final stretch of the game was a whirlwind, especially how Tebow played
early on. He was nearly intercepted on one of his first passing attempts and
spent a lot of time in the pocket looking for passing options, which sometimes
led to him being sacked.
Tebow also fumbled in the final minute of the first half and missed receivers.
He overthrew a wide-open Eric Decker in the middle of the third quarter and
didn't see a wide-open Fells with about seven minutes remaining, opting
instead to throw the ball away.
But the Broncos were never really out of the game thanks to a strong defensive
effort. They limited the Dolphins to two Dan Carpenter field goals in the
first half and held them scoreless in the third quarter.
Miami reached the end zone six seconds into the fourth quarter, when Matt
Moore connected with Anthony Fasano on a 16-yard score. The two-point
conversion failed, leaving the Dolphins' lead at 12-0.
Carpenter kicked a 43-yarder through the uprights on their next touch.
Tebow finished 13-of-27 for 161 yards...Matt Moore was 22-of-33 for 197 yards
for the Dolphins, who gained 267 yards. Denver had 308...Neither team
converted a third down until Matt Moore completed a four-yard pass to Davone
Bess, on 3rd-and-1, with five minutes left in the third quarter.
10/23 20:04:29 ET