The day after the Denver Broncos unexpectedly beat the New York Jets and sent themselves into a tie for first place in the AFC West with the Oakland Raiders, the subject again and again turned to Tim Tebow and the way in which the Broncos keep winning with him under center as their starter. Apparently the talk has gotten head coach John Fox's attention -- as it should -- and he defended his starter today at the day-after press conference.
"A guy like that should be celebrated, not scrutinized the way he is," said Fox. And Fox has a real point. Tebow has won four games out of the five he's started this season. It began with an ugly win over the Miami Dolphins (winless at the time) and the streak hasn't been able to earn across-the-board respect ever since. Even on such an unlikely climb out of the AFC West cellar, a large swath of NFL personalities and analysts remain unconvinced.
That said, the numbers aren't pretty. Tebow cannot even manage to complete 45 percent of his throws (44.8 on the year) although he has only thrown one interception to seven touchdown passes. The entire offense has had to conform to his limited strengths on offense and the Broncos haven't looked good on offense since he entered. Yet the results that matter most have dramatically changed since he came in -- moving from worst to first in the process.
Some will remain unconvinced even if the Broncos win the division title, so their criticism needs to be taken with a grain of salt at this point. The naysayers, in other words, will remain naysayers no matter how Tebow performs. Yet Fox is right that Tebow deserves some celebration at this point. Any other team in the AFC West would love to say they've won four of their last five and have the momentum that the Broncos do. That at least warrants something more than Tebow is getting.