It’s unusual for an NFL quarterback who’s turned his team into a winner to be a polarizing figure. Especially when the quarterback in question doesn’t gloat, trash talk, or even swear. But Tim Tebow’s success with the Denver Broncos this season has galvanized believers and naysayers.
Fox Sports national columnist Jen Floyd Engel joins Bill this week to talk about the quarterback who moonlights as a cultural phenomenon.
Since Tebow took over as Denver's starting quarterback, the team has gone 7-1 and moved to the top of the standings in the AFC West. Despite the success, team owner John Elway and head coach John Fox have been muted in their praise of Tebow.
"I think that they are concerned that [Tebow] isn't a 'long-haul' answer, which is kind of interesting because I think everyone thought he wasn't a 'short-haul' answer," Engel says. "And he's proven that wrong."
Tebow's frequent discussion of his Christian faith in interviews about football inspires some and annoys others, but Engel says it hasn't hindered his ability to form bonds with his teammates.
"An NFL locker room actually is one of the best meritocracies there is out there," Engel says. "If you're good enough and you help us win, they'll forgive anything. Even in this case if what needs to be forgiven isn't something that needs to be forgiven at all, which is just a guy who is faithful."
If people aren't talking about Tebow's religious views, they're often talking about his tendency to run the football as much - or more - than he passes it.
"I think what people are missing here is that yes, Tim Tebow runs a lot more than other quarterbacks," Engel says. "But his passing has improved."
Sunday the Broncos (8-5) will host the top team in the AFC East, the New England Patriots (10-3). Engel says it's the Patriots' game to lose, but...
"I would not discount the Broncos actually winning this game," Engel tells Only A Game. "There's something to be said for momentum."
Read Jen Floyd Engel's column about Tim Tebow's improvement as a passer.
This segment aired on December 17, 2011.