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Added November 28th, 2011 by Chalk
NFL

Tebow Outplays Rivers As Broncos Outlast Chargers in OT

Matt Prater kicked the game-winning field goal with 29 seconds left in overtime to give the Denver Broncos a 16-13 road win over the San Diego Chargers. Denver’s Tim Tebow had a higher quarterback rating for the game than San Diego’s Philip Rivers, and the Broncos have now won four straight while the Chargers have dropped six in a row in their longest losing streak since 2001.

Tebow completed 9 of 18 passes for 143 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions, while Rivers was 19-for-36 for 188, 1 TD 0 INT. Tebow also ran 22 times for 67 yards, the most carries by a NFL quarterback since at least 1950. The Broncos are now 5-1 with Tebow starting, and have won road games against all three of their division rivals in that stretch.

Tebow gives the credit for the turnaround to a higher power than himself — the Broncos coaching staff. “This is a special team, a special team when you have a bunch of guys that when things aren’t going good we get closer instead of pulling apart,” said Tebow. “The No. 1 reason we are like that is because we believe in each other, we believe in the coaching staff.”

More surprisingly, the Broncos coaching staff is starting to say they believe in Tebow — well at least as a runner. “Tim has outstanding ability,” said Denver coach John Fox. “He proved it at a high level of college football in the SEC at Florida. [Running the option is] something that he is comfortable with. I think our team has adapted to it. Right now it’s working in the run portion of our offense. We still have some growth to do in the pass portion.

Tebow hasn’t played defense at all for the Broncos, but defense has still been a major if overlooked part of the team’s turnaround. Tebow’s teammates on defense were confident they could contain Philip Rivers and San Diego’s passing game. “We knew with [Rivers] struggling a little bit they would come out and pound it at us,” said Broncos linebacker Joe Mays. “For us, we just had to keep coming, to hold up and not let [Rivers] get in a position where he felt like he could take over the game. … we just forced them into situations where they had to run the ball or they felt like that was the way to go because we were getting to the quarterback.”

 
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