While limited, Tim Tebow holds his own in debut

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 19: Tim Tebow  of the Denver Broncos celebrates after he ran in for a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on December 19, 2010 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Tim Tebow hasn’t had many opportunities to take first-string snaps in practice and the designer of the Broncos’ offense is at home right now on his couch. But for all intents and purposes, the rookie held his own in his NFL debut against the Raiders on Sunday.

Tebow completed eight of his 16 pass attempts for 138 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing eight times for 78 yards and a score. And on that score, he took a designed draw 40 yards while breaking several tackles and carrying a defender into the end zone. (Somewhere, Urban Meyer got so giddy while watching the play he screamed to his wife, “Honey pack the kid’s bags – we’re moving to Denver!”)

If it weren’t for the Broncos’ highly conservative playcalling, maybe we could have seen Tebow throw more. But apparently the Denver coaching staff made a pact before the game that they would only run off-tackle on first downs and never, no matter the circumstance, mix in play-action. I shudder to think what would have happened had the Broncos attempted anything but an off-tackle run on first down. It creeps me out just thinking about it.

The Raiders went on to win the game 39-23 thanks to Denver’s hanus defense and horrendous offensive playcalling. Jason Campbell was brutal in the first half but he rebounded in the second to keep the Raiders’ playoff hopes alive. They now have to beat the Colts next week to stave off elimination so yeah, good luck with that, Oakland. (It’s a safe bet that Peyton Manning is going to attempt more than 16 passes and the Colts don’t have any off-tackle runs in their playbook.)

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