The Denver Broncos have a problem, and a bit of a ridiculous one at that. At this point, it's almost as if Broncos fans are on an endless search for a reason to justify playing Tim Tebow. And on Monday night, during Denver's season-opener, the fans found just the reason, all of 50 minutes into the year.
Kyle Orton didn't have a great game by any means. He struggled at times, most notably with a back-breaking fumble in which the ball slipped out of his hands as the Broncos were driving for what could have been a go-ahead touchdown. And while Orton passed for 304 yards and a touchdown, he also turned the ball over twice in the Broncos' loss.
As the game wore on, the boo birds reach full-throat at Mile High Stadium. It got ugly, with unwarranted, vocal hate aimed squarely at the starter. At one point in the fourth quarter, "We want Tebow" chants were picked up on the ESPN broadcast, despite the fact the former Florida Gator remains buried on the depth chart.
Rarely does a third-string quarterback command the attention Tebow has seen, and it's a bit of a mystifying phenomenon. Despite some of his flaws, Orton made throws Tebow simply cannot. Despite the "he's a winner" argument and his likability, Tebow has yet to separate himself and seize the opportunity to move up the depth chart. In fact, he moved down it.
And so the problem will persist. Tebow will continue to be polarizing, even in Denver, and fans will still clamor for him. No matter what he does, it's unlikely Orton will win over fans dead-set on Tebow. It's a difficult situation that will only intensify as the season goes on, especially if Orton hits a rough patch.