The Denver Broncos were already without the likes of Knowshon Moreno, Champ Bailey, Brandon Lloyd, Elvis Dumervil and D.J. Williams heading into the game. When Eddie Royal pulled up lame with a groin injury, all hoped seemed to be lost. But have no fear! Because Tim Tebow was there to help pick up the slack and fill in at receiver. And though he seemingly didn't do anything of any real significance, no doubt his handsome smile and golden boy charm played a critical role in Denver's 24-22 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Eric Decker helped out too, catching five passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns, including a 52-yarder from Kyle Orton in the fourth quarter. Willis McGahee, pitching in for Moreno, proved that he still had the legs to carry a heavy load with 28 rush attempts for 101 yards and a goal-line touchdown.
As Cincy Jungle points out, the game ultimately turned on a fourth-and-one from the Broncos 36 in the fourth quarter. Denver's offense had stalled with consecutive three-and-outs and Cincinnati was driving to take the lead. Instead of kicking a 50-plus yard field goal or trying the pin the Broncos deep on a punt, the Bengals opted to run a naked boot leg to pick up the first down. Defensive end Robert Ayers sniffed out the play, however, forcing an incomplete pass in the flat intended for A.J. Green.
The rookie receiver picked up his first 100-plus yard receiving game of his career with 124 yards on 10 catches. Andy Dalton turned in another decent rookie performance with 332 yards and two touchdowns on 27-for-41 passing. The Bengals have some reason to be optimistic for the future, though their playoff prospects this season look shaky at best.