The reason I'm putting this offensive dud from a Thursday night as the top Tebow comeback is because the go-ahead drive by the Broncos was 92 percent Tebow. Seriously, the only play that wasn't Tebow was a 3-yard run by Lance Ball. The rest were six Tebow rushes for 57 yards and three completions on five pases for another 35 yards.
Inexplicably, Tebow ran a championship-esque fourth-quarter drive, running nearly five minutes off the clock, scoring seven points and giving his dominant defense the space it needed to shut down the Jets sputtering offense. Oh, and seeing Tebow bowl over Darrelle Revis on the sideline during one of his runs was just icing on the cake.
The comeback that started Tebow-mania also was Tebow's first start. The Broncos were losing 15-0, on the road, with 5:23 left in the game and had Tim Tebow under center. Just let that sink in for a moment. Two touchdowns, a two point conversion and one converted onside kick later, the Broncos had forced overtime. From there, the defense did what they did, and the Broncos started their chain of ridiculous Tebow-led comebacks. Tebow made some nice throws on the final drives to move the chains, but the Broncos play-calling was the difference maker.
This comeback marked the sixth-straight victory for Tebow and the Broncos, and they had to comeback from a 10-point deficit with only 4:34 left in the fourth quarter to do it. Tebow and company managed to get the touchdown they needed backed by a seven-for-seven performance by Tebow, but they failed to get a crucial onside kick. Whether by Tebow magic or Marion Barber's complete lack of awareness, instead of staying in bounds to ice the clock, Barber inexplicably ran out of bounds, giving Tebow 56 seconds to get his team in field goal range, which he obviously did ... sort of. It took a 59-yard Matt Prater field goal to push the game to overtime, and then a 51-yard field goal by Prater in overtime gave Tebow and the Broncos the win.
The Broncos were facing a 24-17 deficit against their AFC West rivals with just under three minutes to play in the third quarter. The game would be tied in a span of seven seconds thanks to the Broncos ability to run the read option. The story of this game wasn't so much Tebow magic, as viewers later came to expect, but rather the magic surrounding Tebow. The Broncos exploited the Raiders attention on Tebow to a devastating effect, as Willis McGahee rushed for 163 yards and Tebow tacked on 118 himself. The defense kept guessing -- and guessing wrong -- as the Broncos ran their way back from a 10-point deficit in the third quarter and turned it into a fourth-quarter stomping.
Even though this game was one of Tebow's best days as a passer -- 10 of 15 for 202 yards and two touchdowns -- his comeback wasn't as magical as others. Tebow led the Broncos into field goal range late in the fourth quarter while down 32-29. Demaryius Thomas had been triple deke-ing the Vikings secondary all day to the tune of 144 yards and two touchdowns, and he almost caught a third for the game-winner. Thomas had a half step on cornerback Cedric Griffin, and Tebow laid a near-perfect throw (Yes, I'm not exaggerating; watch it again in the game highlights.) that hit Thomas in the hands, but he wasn't able to reel it in. Instead, Matt Prater knotted up the score with a field goal, and, after a Christian Ponder interception, he kicked the game-winner, giving the Broncos an improbable three straight come-from-behind victories.