There was hooting and hollering at Broken Arrow’s Main Street Tavern Sunday afternoon. Showing on the sleek overhead screens were several NFL games, but front and center was Detroit and Denver.
From the far corner, it was hard to tell if the whooping was for a score or for the demolition of the Broncos’ new starting quarterback – or as may be the case – the former starting quarterback Tim Tebow.
The Heisman winner has had his critics all along, those who have said he would never make it as a next-level QB. Those critics looked like prophets on Sunday.
Even with the advantage of a bye-week in which the Denver Broncos changed their offense to accommodate the style of Tim Tebow, the Detroit Lions proved that scrambling college plays do not translate well to the NFL.
His prayer-kneeling pose – dubbed “Tebowing” – was thrown back in the player’s face after a Sunday quarterback sack by Detroit linebacker Stephen Tulloch, who dropped to one knee in a mocking tribute to Tebow. There was nothing kind said by the Lions regarding Tebow’s play.
There was little said in a favorable light by Bronco players, either.
The fans have been largely behind the emergence of Tebow as a starter over Kyle Orton, although the size of Tebow’s contract may also be a factor. His ESPN-fueled popularity has resulted in legions of passionate followers, who believe the staunchly religious Tebow can somehow tap into a higher power to win games.
It was obvious on Sunday that the taps may be a little jammed in that regard.
The final was a sound 45-10 whipping of Denver by Detroit. Tebow was sacked seven times, a number that roughly corresponds with the number of minutes in which Tebow played well.
Tebow managed just 18 of 39 passes for 172 yards, but even that is misleading. Most of his success came long after the outcome of the game had been decided. His wide-arcing passing style allowed Cliff Avril time to strip the ball and run it back for a 24-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Cornerback Chris Houston grabbed another errant Tebow pass for a 100-yard interception and score.
Tim Tebow is a documented hard worker. It will take more than character and prayers for him to keep the starting job.
There is a lot more hard work ahead.