The Chicago Bears head to the Denver to face Judgement Day. I’m not talking about Arnold Schwartzenegger/John Connor/Skynet Judgement Day, I’m talking about Tim Tebow, who is leading the surging Broncos to the AFC West lead while the beleaguered Bears try to stumble into the playoffs behind backup quarterback Caleb Hanie and backup running back Marion Barber.
Since we know that this game is all about Tim Tebow, I asked Predominantly Orange editor Kim Constantinesco an all-Tebow set of questions in our weekly 5 Questions series. Let’s go!
1. Tim Tebow is probably the most polarizing quarterback in Denver since a guy we Chicago Bears fans are familiar with, Jay Cutler. Let’s put your cards on the table Kim, are you pro-Tebow or anti-Tebow? What is it about him that is so polarizing?
In the beginning, I was perched high up on the Tim Tebow fence. Even three wins into this current five game winning streak, I was still saying that we needed to give the young QB a longer evaluation process. I’m now at the point where I’m pro-Tebow. He’s our QB and his primary goal is to win. I’ll go beyond that and say that his only goal is to make sure that when the game clock hits 0:00 in the fourth quarter, his team is ahead.
Any athlete with an extremely clean image or an extremely dirty image is a polarizing player. Combine that with success across the board, and that athlete is either very well-liked or deemed a nuisance to the sport. In Tebow’s case, he’s got a genuinely squeaky clean image coupled with high school, college, and professional success. His unorthodox style of play makes the doubters shake their fingers, and makes the supporters embrace him even more. Throw in a deeply religious stance that he expresses readily and regularly and you have the most polarizing players in today’s game.
2. Tim Tebow is 6-1 as a starter but I’ve heard a lot of mention about the Broncos’ defense keying their recent strong play. What percentage of the Broncos’ resurgence can be attributed to Tebow?
There’s the direct Tebow effect and then the indirect Tebow effect. There’s no doubt that the Broncos defense has vastly improved since Tebow was named the starter. Tebow’s offense is now an offense where running the ball effectively is a high priority, and a necessity. The Broncos are No. 1 in the league in rushing yards per game. Because of this, they are picking up about 4 yards per down, which slowly moves the chains, and keeps the defense off the field. Additionally, Tebow doesn’t turn the ball over. He has 13 touchdowns (passing and rushing) and just 3 interceptions on the season. Therefore, the defense’s time out on the field is limited and when they do come in, they have fresh legs. That’s the direct effect.
The indirect effect is simply Tebow’s personality. He’s a winner by nature, he wears his heart on his sleeve, and he’s a born leader. Even in his second year in the NFL, he’s constantly in guys ears giving them motivational talks. When a defense sees a quarterback that wants to win so badly, they will do anything in their power to get the ball back into their quarterback’s hands.
I can’t give all the credit to Tebow for the Broncos improved defense, however. New defensive coordinator Dennis Allen employs a very aggressive 4-3 defense. Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil are arguably the best pass rushing duos in the league. They come off the edge hard and they’ve helped the Broncos to 10th in the league in sacks.
3. Do you think that Tim Tebow has improved as a quarterback since the Broncos went on their hot streak? Do you think he can develop into a passer or is this just a gimmick offense that will go the way of the Wildcat from a couple of years ago?
Tebow has improved tremendously from game one to game seven. Compared to week one, he’s more comfortable in the pocket and going through his progressions. He’s better at managing the game and getting over his mistakes. Watching him in week one, although thrilling, was a lot like watching a blind man tightrope walk.
Tebow showed last week against the Vikings that he can be a passer in this league. He will never be a guy that regularly throws for 300+ yards per game like Philip Rivers or Drew Brees. He’s more of a Ben Roethlisberger-type that will throw for 200 yards and a couple of touchdowns once he consistently gets the passing game down. As long as the Broncos rush game is effective and the offensive line continues to pull their weight, Tebow’s pass game will steadily improve, and their unorthodox offense will work. The Broncos offense is a threat in multiple ways and that’s why defenses are having such a hard time with stopping them.
I will say that the progress I think we’ll see regarding Tebow’s pass game from this season to next season will be remarkable. The lockout hurt his development tremendously.
4. A couple of quick True or False questions. Please provide a quick sentence or two along with your answers.
- The Broncos will make the playoffs this season.
True. Right now the Raiders are the Broncos’ only opposition and they close the season out with Green Bay, Detroit, Kansas City , and San Diego. Broncos own the tie breaker.
- Tim Tebow will be the Broncos starting quarterback next season.
True. He’s 6-1 as the starter this year. That’s secured his position for next season.
- The Broncos would be better off if they had never traded Jay Cutler.
False. It was hard to let Cutler go, but he would have clashed with Josh McDaniels mid-season and left the team anyway.
5. What’s your Tebow-rrific prediction for the game including the score?
The Mile High home field advantage will be too much for the Bears. So will the absence of Jay Cutler and Matt Forte. Broncos -23 Bears – 14