DENVER -- With the offense coming up with just a field goal in the first two quarters, and the Broncos finding themselves down 23-10 at halftime to division-rival San Diego, Head Coach John Fox knew his team had to find a way to put more points up on the board.
So he made a switch and in came backup quarterback
Tebow, who had taken only two snaps from behind center on the season, took every snap of the second half and led a Broncos comeback that fell just short after his pass intended for
"I was just very thankful for the opportunity and wanted to make the most of it," Tebow said.
Even though the comeback came up short, Fox complimented Tebow for the spark he gave the offense.
"I think it was fairly obvious that he did spark our offense," Fox said. "But we were not good offensively for 60 minutes as we needed to be today."
Tebow finished the game 4-for-10 passing for 79 yards and one touchdown, but he made plays with his feet, as well. He rushed six times for 36 yards and one touchdown, extending several plays with his footwork in the backfield.
The second-year signal caller led the offense to two touchdown drives on the day as the unit rallied together during the comeback.
"It wasn't just Tebow out there, it was the whole offense,"
Tebow struggled early as the offense went three-and-out, and he completed just one pass for zero yards, on his two third-quarter possessions. He said it took a few drives for him to get into a rhythm, but he and the offense found its groove just as it seemed the game was slipping away.
Down 16 points with nine minutes left in the game, Tebow led the Broncos on the touchdown drive they needed.
After a no-gain, Tebow took the shotgun snap, ran off the left guard and sprinted his way into the end zone for a touchdown that brought the stadium to life and cut the Chargers lead to just eight points after a successful two-point conversion.
"Yeah, that felt good," Tebow said. "Coach (Offensive Coordinator Mike) McCoy had a great play called and we have an audible off of it to go back to the left and run. I changed it to that, and it was a great job by the line of recognizing it and going. They washed them down and it was easy for me."
After Ayers forced a fumble, Tebow threw a screen pass on the ensuing drive to running back
Nick Novak kicked a field goal to push the Chargers lead to five points late in the game, meaning Tebow had just 24 seconds to drive the Broncos 80 yards for a game-winning score.
He almost did.
Tebow made a few plays, including a 20-yard pass to Lloyd, who made an incredible one-handed catch to help set up a 29-yard pass on the final play of the game that fell incomplete.
Even with the loss, Fox said he liked what he saw out of the young quarterback Sunday.
"I like him as a young man," Fox said. "I've told you all along that he's a good young player. He's got some intangibles that I know, as a coach, which I like a lot, and we'll go from there. He's a young guy and things are just going to get better."
As for Tebow, even though he brought the Broncos to within one completion of a victory, he wasn't satisfied with the final result.
"It never feels good losing," Tebow said. "It definitely puts a bad taste in your mouth. We just have to go out there and work and get better, so hopefully we don't have to feel that way this often again."