Overtime drama from Tebow sends the home fans wild

Overtime drama from Tebow sends the home fans wild

Tim Tebow produced an 80-yard touchdown pass on the first play of overtime as the Denver Broncos defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 29-23 in the AFC Wild Card contest.

Tebow connected with Demaryius Thomas, who beat Ike Taylor and held off Ryan Mundy on his way to the end zone for the decisive score at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

The play took 11 seconds and was the quickest ending to an overtime in NFL history.

Tebow, who engineered five fourth-quarter comebacks and three OT wins in the regular season, headed for his own end zone and knelt on one knee – a gesture known far and wide as Tebowing. Then he pounded a fist in triumph and took a victory lap.

The Steelers (12-5) lost despite Ben Roethlisberger rallying injury-depleted Pittsburgh from a two-touchdown halftime deficit with 10 points in the final 10 minutes.

Denver (9-8), on their first post-season appearance since 2005, will head to New England on Saturday for a second-round game against the top-seeded Patriots.

Tebow completed 10 of 21 passes with Thomas hauling in four of them for 204 yards after his top target, Eric Decker, was lost to a left knee injury on the first play of the second quarter when he was hit by linebacker James Harrison.

Tebow also ran 10 times for 50 yards and capped his best day as a pro with the toss to Thomas.

These two teams had played the first ever regular season overtime game in Denver in 1974.

Now, they played the first non-sudden death playoff game in history. The new rules called for both teams to get the ball in the extra period providing there wasn’t a touchdown by either the offense or defense.

But Tebow ensured there would be no need for a second play, let alone a second possession.

After Thomas raced down the Broncos sideline the crowd , including Broncos executive vice president John Elway, were sent into a frenzy.

Making his first appearance in the playoffs after going 7-4 as Denver’s starter, Tebow outdueled Roethlisberger, a two-time Super Bowl winner, who fell to 10-4 in the playoffs.

The Broncos snapped a three-game losing streak that had many wondering if their first play-off appearance in in six seasons would be an embarrassment, and it kept the Steelers from their 34th playoff win, which would have broken a tie with the Cowboys for the most ever.

Tebow led Denver to 20 second-quarter points – they had scored just 13 in the quarter in his 11 starts – but a 20-6 halftime lead ld be brought back by the Steelers.

Receiver Mike Wallace had a 1-yard TD run, Shaun Suisham kicked a short field goal and Jerricho Cotchery grabbed a spectacular 31-yard TD pass with 3:48 left in regulation to tie it.