MIAMI – Fans chanted Tim Tebow’s name in derision. They hooted as he missed open receivers, got buried under blitzes and kept falling short on third down.
Then he led an improbable comeback that became the latest chapter in the legend of Tebow.
In his first start this year, Tebow rallied the Denver Broncos with two touchdown passes in the final 2:44 of the fourth quarter to force overtime, and Matt Prater’s 52-yard field goal gave them an 18-15 win Sunday over the stunned Miami Dolphins.
“It’s tough to say, but man, Timmy did a great job,” said Dolphins center Mike Pouncey, who played with Tebow at Florida. “Hopefully the critics will get off him about what he can’t do and talk about the things that he can do, and that’s figure out a way to win the game, no matter what.”
The Broncos appeared beaten when they trailed 15-0 with 5:23 left and took over at their 20. At that point Tebow was 4 for 14 for 40 yards.
‘It was my fault we were in that position,” he said. “Silly things kept happening. On the sidelines, we were still believing. We wanted it, and they believed in me for more than 60 minutes.”
In the frantic final minutes of the fourth quarter, Tebow led TD drives of 80 and 56 yards sandwiched around a successful onside kick. He scored a 2-point conversion standing up with 17 seconds left to tie the game.
In overtime, Denver’s D.J. Williams sacked Matt Moore to force a fumble and recovered it at the Miami 36. Three plays later Prater hit the game-winner.
“It was never in doubt,” said Denver’s relieved coach, John Fox.
The Broncos (2-4) won for the first time in the eight games they’ve played on the Dolphins’ field.
Miami (0-6) extended the NFL’s longest losing streak to nine games and lost for the 12th time in the past 13 home games, leaving the status of embattled coach Tony Sparano even more tenuous.
Mia—FG Carpenter 38
Mia—FG Carpenter 36
Mia—Fasano 16 pass from Mat.Moore (pass failed)
Mia—FG Carpenter 43
Den—D.Thomas 5 pass from Tebow (Prater kick)
Den—Fells 3 pass from Tebow (Tebow run)
Den—FG Prater 52
|Total Net Yards||308||267|
|Time of Possession||34:17||33:19|
RUSHING—Denver, McGahee 18-76, Tebow 8-65, Moreno 7-28, Ball 6-14. Miami, Thomas 19-53, Bush 10-42, Mat.Moore 2-(minus 1).
PASSING—Denver, Tebow 13-27-0-161. Miami, Mat.Moore 22-33-0-197.
RECEIVING—Denver, D.Thomas 3-27, Fells 2-31, Decker 2-21, Royal 2-14, Moreno 2-10, Willis 1-42, Larsen 1-16. Miami, Bess 7-52, Marshall 6-61, Hartline 2-29, Fasano 2-22, Bush 2-4, Thomas 2-0, Clay 1-29.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—Denver, Prater 49 (WR), 43 (WL).