It’s Tebow Time!

Photo from Tim Tebow’s website.

By Terrance Turner

May 10, 2021

The Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to sign former quarterback Tim Tebow to a 1-year deal, according to NFL reporter Ian Rapoport. The new deal would have Tebow playing tight end, which is significant since the team just drafted No. 1 pick Trevor Lawrence at quarterback last week.

The move is also significant because Tebow hasn’t played professional football in nearly a decade. According to FOX Sports, Tebow hasn’t played in the NFL in 3,053 days!!!

This is the latest development in what has been a storied career. Born in 1987 after a near-fatal gestation, Tebow was home-schooled by his parents. Despite having never enrolled, he was allowed to play at — and then scouted at — Allen D. Nease High School in Jacksonville, Florida. He went to the University of Florida, where he played quarterback.

Tebow’s stellar play made him the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy. He broke the SEC record for most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in a single season (with 20) in 2007. And he scored rushing TDs in 10 consecutive games — a record for the school. Tebow led the Florida Gators to 13-1 records in 2008 and 2009, breaking more records in the process. In his last college game (the Sugar Bowl, vs. Cincinnati) Tebow threw three touchdowns, ran for another, and racked up 533 total yards of offense — more than anyone in Bowl Championship Series history, according to ESPN.

Tebow signed an $11 million deal with the Denver Broncos in 2010. He began as a backup quarterback but started the last three games of the 2010 season. He rushed for 78 yards in a game versus the Oakland Raiders, including a 40-yard TD run — the longest touchdown run in history for a Broncos quarterback. His first career victory came the day after Christmas 2010. After being down 17-0 at halftime, Tebow rallied the Broncos to a 24-23 win over the Houston Texans.

While he started as a backup in the 2011 season, Tebow replaced Kyle Orton at halftime against the San Diego Chargers. He was later named the starting quarterback. The next week, versus the Miami Dolphins, Tebow was sacked six times but came back from a 15-0 deficit to help the Broncos win 18-15 in overtime. It was the start of a sensational season.

Tebow, a devout Christian, often knelt on the field in prayer before playing. The practice became known as “Tebowing” and drew significant media attention. But so did his play. With Tebow at quarterback, the Broncos won six straight games during the 2011 season. Four of them were dramatic come-from-behind victories in which they pulled off last-minute rallies. After beating the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs, the Denver Broncos’ comeback win streak began.

In November 2011, Tebow helped his team to a surprise win on “Thursday Night Football”. According to ESPN, the Broncos had punted on eight straight possessions when they got the ball with six minutes to spare. Tebow had a 20-yard touchdown run with just 58 seconds left; the Broncos stunned the New York Jets, 17-13. The next week, Tebow ran the ball 22 times to win over the Chargers, 16-13. He notched his third straight comeback win versus the Minnesota Vikings, 35-32. And after being shut out for nearly the whole game, Tebow and the Broncos came back again to beat the Chicago Bears, 13-10.

The Broncos won their division (the AFC West) that year. Then, during the playoffs, the Broncos pulled off yet another dramatic win. After taking a 20-6 lead versus the Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver had to contend with a game-tying surge by Pittsburgh. The game went to overtime, and Tebow launched a far-flung 80-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas. The Broncos stunned the Steelers, 29-23, for their first playoff win since 2005.

Unfortunately, Tebow struggled during the 2012 season and was ultimately traded. The trade happened as part of a memorable quarterback swap: the Indianapolis Colts drafted Andrew Luck No. 1 and cut QB Peyton Manning. Manning went to the Denver Broncos, who then got rid of Tim Tebow. Tebow went to the New York Jets, where he was contending with QB Mark Sanchez and had little playing time. He was released at the end of the 2012 season.

Since then, Tebow has switched sports. In between brief stints of broadcasting, he became a minor-league baseball player. He played for the New York Mets’ minor-league beginning in 2016; around that time, sports outlets noticed an increase in size that could benefit him at the tight end position.

Tim Tebow works out for major league scouts at USC Tuesday, August 30, 2016. (Photo by David Crane Southern California News Group)

Photo from Pinterest.

Tebow retired from baseball in February 2021, according to CNN.

Now, with his first NFL job in nearly 10 years, can Tim Tebow pull off another miracle comeback?

UPDATE (MAY 11, 2021): As news of the deal continues to spread, many are questioning why Tebow is getting a second chance at playing football, but not Colin Kaepernick:

Chiefs #1 After Close Wins vs. Broncos, Dolphins, and Falcons

By Terrance Turner

Dec. 6, 2020 (Updated Dec. 13, 2020)

The offense took a while to warm up, and its run defense continued to be poor, but the Kansas City Chiefs prevailed. High-level play by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, a deft interception by safety Tyrann Mathieu, and late-game heroics by kicker Harrison Butker helped the team win. The Chiefs beat the Denver Broncos 22-16 tonight in Arrowhead Stadium, earning a spot in the NFL playoffs.

Denver began with a field goal. The Chiefs responded with a field goal drive of their own. “Alert! Alert!” said quarterback Patrick Mahomes to his teammates. “Roll it back! Roll it back!” he said afterward. It turned out that the play was a decoy. According to NBC Sports announcers, Mahomes was at first indicating a running play, but then reverted to the original play call: throwing the ball to Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. That catch was good for 19 yards.

Then, on 3rd and 4, Sammy Watkins made a catch to get the first down. As announcer Al Michaels noted, Mahomes dealt with the blitz simply — “throw the ball on top of the blitz”. Then Mahomes found Kelce for another 19-yard play. With that play, Kelce passed 1,000 yards for the season. He is the first tight end in NFL history with five straight 1,000-yard seasons.

Later, the play was followed by an unbelievable near-miss: receiver Tyreek Hill caught the ball in the end zone, then lost it — and then regained possession as he landed. The ball never touched the ground. That should’ve been a touchdown, but the refs failed to recognize it, and the catch only became clear on replay. By that point, it was too late to challenge. But the play will surely inspire all kinds of watercooler discussion tomorrow.

That proved to be a costly mistake. The damage could have been averted had the Chiefs defense actually been able to stop the run. But on 3rd down, Broncos running back Melvin Gordon ran 63 yards, dashing past Chiefs defenders for one missed tackle after another. That led to a touchdown by the Broncos.

A horse-collar tackle on the Broncos led to a 15-yard penalty. That gave Chiefs a first-down. Hill went to the 24-yard line, and Mahomes took off on a daring run to the four-yard line. That put them at first and goal. Yet despite that auspicious start, the Chiefs were unable to break through to the end zone. They settled for a field goal.

Denver took over with the ball and attempted a long field goal, with the help of reliable kicker Brandon McManus. But the 57-yard kick was no good. The score remained 10-6. The Chiefs took over, and Kelce notched another first-down catch. The Chiefs made it to 1st and goal (again). But thanks to a batted-down pass by a Denver defender, the Chiefs had to settle a field goal.

That proved to be the story of the half. Chiefs moved down the field efficiently, but were stopped four times in the end zone. Thanks to the stout Broncos defense, the Chiefs had to settle for four field goals. Three of those field goals came in the first half; the last one made it 10-9 at halftime.

But the offense finally broke through in the second quarter. After a Denver touchdown that put the ahead 16-12, Mahomes got the Broncos defense to jump offsides, then hurled a pass to Kelce for the Chiefs’ first touchdown of the night. That made it 19-16. As the fourth quarter neared its close, kicker Harrison Butker drilled a field goal to make it 22-16. The Broncos tried to mount a game-winning drive, but Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu intercepted QB Drew Lock to seal the win.

With this win, the Chiefs are in the playoffs! This is their seventh straight win, according to NBC Sports. This takes them to 11-1 for the season. Mahomes celebrated by crashing Kelce’s postgame interview, pouring cold water down his neck in the cold. (Photo above — and video below — courtesy of Twitter.)

UPDATE (Dec. 13, 2020): The Chiefs won again today, scoring 27 straight points to overcome an early lead by the Miami Dolphins. Mahomes threw three interceptions for the first time ever, but he also threw two touchdowns and 393 yards. Kelce scored a touchdown in today’s game. So did Mecole Hardman, who returned a punt all the way to the house for 67 yards. Chris Jones sacked Miami’s rookie quarterback for a safety, for a 30-10 Chiefs lead. A field goal by Harrison Butker late in the fourth quarter helped ice the game. The Chiefs beat the Dolphins 33-27; this is their 10th straight road win. They improve to 12-1, winning their AFC West division for the fifth straight season.

UPDATE (Dec. 27, 2020): The Kansas City Chiefs are now 14-1 The Atlanta Falcons had a chance to tie their game versus the Chiefs today and go into overtime. But the Falcons’ field-goal kick was no good. Mahomes exulted, running down the sideline and ripping off his mask in excitement. He had good reason to be excited: the Chiefs won, 17-14. They clinch home-field advantage and a first-round bye in the playoffs.

This is the team’s 10th straight win. It’s also the seventh win to come by six points or less. (Today, the team won by three points — the same margin by which they beat the Saints last week. Their victories against the Broncos and Dolphins were by six points apiece. They narrowly defeated the Bucs by three points, the Raiders by four, and the Panthers by two.) At 14-1, the Kansas City Chiefs have the league’s best record. They have attained the #1 seed and automatically advance to the next round of the NFL playoffs, which start on January 9.

Also, Travis Kelce made history: he has 1,416 receiving yards this season, the most ever by a tight end. He also became the first tight end to record a pair of 100-catch seasons, according to NBC Sports. But it was the team’s stellar record that impressed Kelce most: “The real record I’m proud of right now is that it’s the first time the #Chiefs have ever been 14-1,” he told reporters after the game. “And we’re gonna try and make it 15-1 next week.”