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(Sunday, December 26th)
Final Score: Denver 24, Houston 23
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Tim Tebow's six-yard rushing touchdown with just over three minutes to play in the game lifted Denver to a dramatic 24-23 come- from-behind win over Houston at Invesco Field.
The rookie quarterback led his team back from a 17-point deficit by going 16- of-29 for 308 yards, a touchdown and an interception in his second career start for the Broncos (4-11), who halted a five-game slide and won for just the second time in 11 games.
Tebow's 308 yards passing were the most for a Denver rookie quarterback since Broncos legend John Elway, who was famous for directing fourth-quarter drives to win games, threw for 345 yards against Baltimore, the team that drafted him, on December 11, 1983.
"It was a very exciting win," Tebow said. "It was an opportunity to really show a lot of determination for this team. Things weren't going well early but we kept fighting, we kept believing in each other and found a way to get it done at the end."
Correll Buckhalter carried 11 times for 42 yards and a touchdown and added three catches for 50 yards and a score while Brandon Lloyd made five grabs for 111 yards to post the second-highest single-season receiving yardage total in team history.
Matt Schaub connected on 23-of-33 throws for 310 yards and a touchdown while Arian Foster ran for 91 yards and a score on 19 attempts for the Texans (5-10), who have lost four straight and eight out of their last nine games.
Jacoby Jones made five catches for 115 yards in the absence of Andre Johnson. Owen Daniels caught eight passes for 73 yards and a score in defeat.
Trailing 23-10, the Broncos moved 74 yards in 12 plays to slice their deficit to six with 10:55 to go in the game. Tebow faked a screen to the right, turned and threw back to the left to Buckhalter, who burst through the middle for a 23-yard scoring pass.
Following a Texans punt, the Broncos started at their own 24 and moved down the field to take the lead for the first time and for good.
Buckhalter took a short pass over the middle 22 yards to his own 46 on 3rd- and-10, before a 15-yard pass to Lloyd moved the Broncos to the Texans' 39.
Later in the drive, a pass interference on Glover Quinn in the end zone put the ball at the one before a false start penalty pushed the Broncos back five yards. Two plays later, Tebow started right before reversing course and scooting out of the pocket to his left and over the goal line to make it 24-23 with 3:02 left.
The Texans began a last-ditch drive at their 17 and moved to the 45 at the two minute warning. A 15-yard completion to Joel Dreessen pushed the ball to the Denver 40. After a one-yard pass to Foster, Schaub's next throw deflected off the helmet of blitzing safety Brian Dawkins and was intercepted by a diving Syd'Quan Thompson.
"We had a good call for the coverage and the blitz that they were bringing," Schaub said about the interception. "If I can get it into Daniels' hands, he might score."
Denver was able to run out the final 75 seconds to sew up the victory.
After punting on their first two possessions of the game, the Texans put together touchdown drives on their next two touches.
Foster capped a six-play, 91-yard drive with a three-yard scoring dash to make it 7-0 with 2:41 left in the opening period. Foster set up the Texans first first-quarter TD since Week 9 against San Diego with a 34-yard jaunt on the previous play.
On the visitors' next series, Schaub found Daniels in the back of the end zone and the three-yard play-action pass increased the lead to 14-0 with 11:43 left before the intermission.
Neil Rackers kicked a 34-yard field goal with 22 ticks remaining in the half to build the lead to 17-0.
Denver needed only two minutes to get on the board in the second half as Buckhalter capped a four-play, 80-yard drive with a six-yard scoring burst up the middle.
The teams then exchanged field goals, as Rackers hit from 54 yards out before Steven Hauschka was good from 27 yards away to make it a 20-10 contest with just over seven minutes to play in the third quarter.
Rackers then matched the franchise record and set a personal best with a 57- yard boot with 2:34 left in the period.
Tebow ran for 27 yards on 10 carries while Lance Ball added 38 yards on five tries for the Broncos...Knowshon Moreno was limited to 19 yards on seven totes in the win...Lloyd has 1,375 receiving yards this season...Rod Smith set the Denver single-season record with 1,602 yards in 2000...Jabar Gaffney caught four passes for 90 yards for Denver...Foster also caught four passes for 44 yards...Kris Brown initially set the Texans' field-goal record with his game- winning 57-yard attempt in a 22-19 win over the Dolphins on October 7, 2007.
12/26 20:12:41 ET