Hear me out.
By now, Skip Bayless has probably discussed Tebow so much that he’s likely broken down what the Broncos QB had for lunch before the game. But as a Ravens fan I have to ponder such a clutch effort in the playoffs against the Steelers since a feat like that took Flacco so long to accomplish.
Sure, Joe Flacco led the Ravens to the AFC championship in his first season and has a career postseason record of 4-3 in his first three NFL seasons, but he has struggled against Pittsburgh prior to 2011. In the 2008 AFC championship game, Flacco threw 3 interceptions and had a QB rating of just 18.2. In the 2010 divisional game against the Steelers, he threw for 125 yards with a TD and a pick.
The Pittsburgh hurdle was one that took Flacco three years to clear. Baltimore’s quarterback hadn’t defeated a Ben Roethlisberger led Steelers’ team until this season. But he did so in dramatic fashion, whooping the Steelers 35-7 in week one and 23-20 in a come from behind win on the road in week eight. Flacco was excellent in those games. He threw for 524 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. His QB rating was 97.7 in those two match ups.
As for Tebow, you probably know exactly how many yards he threw for against the Steelers defense. If you didn’t it’s 316, just like his favorite Bible verse. He also averaged 31.6 yards per completion. He became the first quarterback in 2011 to throw for more than 300 yards against Pittsburgh.
With the weight of the world on his shoulders and in his first playoff game, Tebow took the underdog Broncos to overtime and threw the game winning touchdown pass in an outstanding effort. Surrounded by reports that indicated that the Broncos were ready to bench him if he struggled, he led Denver to victory against a team that many saw in the AFC championship.
I know that Bayless has relentlessly argued with Terrell Suggs about taking Tim Tebow over Joe Flacco, but after that effort I’m beginning the believe in #15. I’m certainly pulling for him in New England as I’d love for the Ravens to have two home playoff games.