Tim Tebow Builds Case as Starter Heading Into Broncos' Uncertain Offseason
And it's likely whoever is going to make that call isn't even with the Broncos' organization yet.
Tebow just missed pulling out another comeback in Denver's 33-28 loss to San Diego in Sunday's season finale, a game that showcased both his strengths and weaknesses as a quarterback. He was 1-2 as a starter, with his lone victory coming in a 24-23 win over Houston a week ago in which he rallied the Broncos from a 17-0 halftime deficit.
Tebow's passing accuracy and unorthodox throwing delivery remain a question mark. But he showed tremendous on-field leadership, poise under fire and seemed to keep the chains moving for the most part, using his legs to help make up for some wayward passes.
On Sunday, Tebow completed 16 of 36 throws for 205 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. He rushed 13 times for 94 yards, including a 6-yard scoring run with 26 seconds left. After the Broncos recovered an onside kick, he had enough time to take a couple more shots at the end zone, but Chargers defenders knocked those desperation heaves away.
With the Broncos organization itself in a state of flux -- the team is just now beginning its search for a permanent head coach -- there is no certainty Tebow will begin next season the way he ended this season, as the Broncos starting quarterback. The same goes for Kyle Orton, who was displaced by Tebow in the final two weeks of the season after initially missing a game with a rib injury.
"We will get to next year (later)," said interim Broncos coach Eric Studesville, whose own future with the organization is uncertain. "There are so many things that will come before that. Tim Tebow is an outstanding football player. We are certainly glad he is here. You see the exciting things he does on the field and guys will always gravitate towards him. I love the kid and I love everything about him and the way he plays this game."
Tebow's 94 yards rushing Sunday stands out as the second-highest total in a game by a quarterback in team history. Only Norris Weese had more, with 120 yards on Dec. 12, 1976, at Chicago.
With 78 yards rushing, including a 40-yard touchdown run, in his first career start at Oakland on Dec. 19, Tebow already has two of the three highest rushing totals by Broncos quarterback ever.
But Tebow said whether he remains the Broncos starting quarterback is not his call.
"That is not necessarily up to me," he said. "Whatever is put on my plate, I am going to try to handle as best I can. I am going to worry about what I can control and that is about it."
Reviewing his performance over the last three weeks, Tebow added: "I would say I did some things well and I have some things to improve on. I think that I have improved gradually throughout the season and throughout these three games. So, I am just going to try to continually improve and get better and try to be ready when (organized team activities) come around to step it even more."