Broncos turn back the clock for Tebow, and it equals wins

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- As the Denver Broncos fine-tune the playbook to fit Tim Tebow's style, they have become increasingly reliant on the ground game.

With the approach, they're off and running.

Banking on an unconventional option-style offense led by an unorthodox quarterback, Denver has suddenly surged back into contention in the mediocre AFC West. The Broncos (4-5) have won three of their last four games with everyone pretty much knowing exactly what they are going to do -- run and run some more.

"We're trying to do what's going to help us win and in my opinion that's all part of coaching -- putting players in position to utilize their abilities," Broncos coach John Fox said.

However, their backfield took a hit Monday with word that backup tailback Knowshon Morenowill have season-ending ACL surgery on his right knee.

But leading rusher Willis McGahee (hamstring) is expected to return for the game Thursday night against the New York Jets (5-4) on NFL Network. As an insurance policy.

The more backs the better, especially with as much as the Broncos prefer to run the ball these days.

Of their 63 offensive plays Sunday in a 17-10 win over Kansas City, 55 were on the ground. Tebow did his part, too, running for 43 yards.

In an offense that's being tweaked just for him. Tebow has become quite proficient at sticking the ball in a running back's gut, surveying the defense and either taking it back out to hightail it around the end or allowing the back to continue through the line.

Just like the former Heisman Trophy winner did in college.

"Hey, as long as you're moving the ball, possessing the ball, giving your defense some rest, it's all good," Fox said. "Run, pass, if they let you kick it down the field, I wouldn't mind doing that either. As long as you're moving the ball, that's the key."

It's quite a contrast for the Jets.

"They've got a top-10 defense in the National Football League so they know what they're doing," Fox said. "It's tough on this kind of turnaround, regardless of what you're preparing for. It'll be challenging for both of us."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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