Tim Tebow deserves more work

December, 19, 2010
12/19/10
10:20
PM ET
Tim TebowJason O. Watson/US PresswireDenver rookie quarterback Tim Tebow played well in his debut as a starter.
Tim Tebow has already made NFL history with his arms and legs.

In his first NFL start, Tebow became the third player in NFL history to throw a touchdown pass of 30 or more yards and run for a touchdown of 40 or more yards. The other quarterbacks were Kordell Stewart in 2000 and Michael Vick in 2002.

The accomplishment isn’t to suggest that Tebow is going to have a brilliant NFL career or be a consistent run-pass threat. But it’s an indication that Tebow can make a mark in the NFL.

Tebow started because starter Kyle Orton had a rib injury and the Broncos were 3-10 entering the game. There was no downside to playing Tebow. After his performance Sunday, there probably will be no downside in letting him play in the final two games of the season.

For the most part, you have to consider Tebow’s starting debut a success. It is irrelevant that Denver lost in Tebow’s debut as a starter 39-23. Denver was expected to be blown out in this game. He kept the undermanned Broncos in the game until the second half on the road. The game didn’t seem too big to Tebow. He wasn’t a wide-eyed rookie; he looked like he belonged.

Tebow certainly wasn’t polished or refined, but we knew he wouldn’t be. But he moved Denver’s offense. He made plays with his arms and his feet. Tebow completed 8 of 16 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown. His passer rating of 100.5 was the highest ever by a Denver quarterback in his starting debut. Yes, even higher than John Elway’s.

Tebow ran for 78 yards, including an impressive 40-yard touchdown run, on eight carries. Tebow’s first extensive NFL action showed that he has potential and that he can have an impact. And he will only get better. I’m not saying Tebow is going to be a superstar soon. But there weren’t any immediate reasons to think he’s going to be a bust.

He showed he has a chance to be a solid NFL player.

I expect him to get more chances in the Broncos’ final two games in Denver. Why would Denver go back to Orton for the final two games? Denver fans will need a reason to brave the cold in the next two weeks. Watching Tebow is a perfect excuse. If Tebow makes strides in the next two games, it's not out of the question to think the new Denver coach will seriously consider making him the starter next season.

The Tebow Era started Sunday and there were enough good things shown to think it should continue indefinitely.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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