Posted: Dec 26, 2010 9:55 PM
Updated: Dec 26, 2010 9:55 PM
Source: Associated Press
DENVER -- Tim Tebow won on several fronts Sunday.
By rallying the Denver Broncos past the Houston Texans 24-23, the raw rookie from Florida secured not only his first victory as a pro but he won over the fans who have suffered through the franchise's worst slump in almost 40 years and were jeering the conservative play calling as the team trudged off the field at halftime.
"He definitely stepped up and gave the fans what they wanted," wide receiver Brandon Lloyd said. "And as a player, he gave us what we needed."
More importantly, Tebow took Denver (4-11) out of the running for the No. 1 draft pick in April, which figures to be Stanford star quarterback Andrew Luck.
John Elway, who is expected to join the Broncos soon as their chief football executive, is a big fan of the best passer Stanford has produced since, well, himself, and he said last week that Denver would have to seriously consider selecting Luck if he were available.
Now, Luck figures to be headed not to the Rocky Mountains but to the Blue Ridge Mountains as Carolina secured the top draft pick Sunday with wins by Denver and Cincinnati.
Tebow scored on a 6-yard scramble with three minutes left in his first home start, capping a comeback from a 17-0 halftime deficit.
"Things weren't going well early, but we kept fighting, kept believing in each other," Tebow said.
Matt Schaub was driving the Texans (5-10) for a go-ahead score when rookie cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson picked off a pass intended for wide-open tight end Owen Daniels, who had already caught eight passes for 73 yards and a score. But it was deflected at the line by Justin Bannan and settled into Thompson's arms at the Broncos 27 with just over a minute remaining.
"It was like a dream," Thompson said. "The ball was floating in the air so long. I had to go pluck it."
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