They once dominated the SEC sharing the field in Gainesville, Fla., but on Sunday, Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin met in Minneapolis to lead their respective offenses in a pinball-type NFC battle. In the end, Tebow's Denver Broncos outgunned Harvin's Minnesota Vikings, 35-32, on a last-second field goal by Denver kicker Matt Prater.
Tim Tebow moves to 6-1 as a starter for the Denver Broncos this season, five of those wins coming in the form of a fourth quarter or overtime rally.
On Sunday, he threw for 202 yards and two touchdowns after completing 10 out of 15 passes. More surprising than Tebow exceeding two hundred yards is the fact that he only carried the ball four times for 13 yards and still led the Broncos to a win.
The Denver Broncos quarterback expanded Tebow Time to the entire second half, throwing two touchdown passes to Demaryius Thomas in the third quarter and running for an extra two-point conversion in the fourth. After a crucial interception by Denver cornerback Andre Goodman on Vikings rookie QB Christian Ponder with a 90 seconds left in the game, the Broncos ran out the clock to set up a kicker a last-second field goal win by Prater.
Percy Harvin, the Vikings receiver who has fought injuries and crippling migraine attacks for the last several years, helped recently stepped up on offense to keep Minnesota in the game. On Sunday, Harvin had 175 all-purpose yards, including 156 receiving yards and two touchdowns on only eight receptions.
Unfortunately, Harvin and the Vikings came up short, after an explosive scoring display in the second half by the Broncos. Thanks to an incredible effort on the defensive end, Denver was able to put up 28 points in the final 26 minutes of the game.
This is Denver's fifth straight road win, which the Broncos haven't seen since John Elway quarterbacked the team.
Veteran rusher Willis McGahee also stepped up big for the Broncos, running for 111 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown. He now leads in the NFL with the most 100-yard games this season (6).
With 3:30 left to go in the game, The Vikings and Broncos were tied at 29 points apiece, but despite Ponder missing Harvin by about 20 yards, he luckily didn't receive an intentional grounding penalty, because it didn't appear he was under pressure. Without the penalty, the Vikings' Ryan Longwell kicked a 39-yard field goal, putting Minnesota up 32-29.
Once the Broncos received the ball, the Vikings refused to take a time out before letting the game go to the two-minute warning, giving Tebow and co. just enough time. Broncos kicker Prater kicked a 46-yard field goal to tie the game with 1:38 to go in the game.
With less than two minutes, all eyes were on Minnesota's own rookie quarterback Christian Ponder, who needed to lead his team from the 20 yard line to within field goal range to win the game. It was likely -- their own surprising rookie QB story, who regularly competed against Tebow in college as the Florida State Seminoles' quarterback -- already had 381 yards and three touchdowns in the game. Unfortunately, a low toss landed in the hands of Goodman, the Denver cornerback, allowing the Broncos to run out the clock and set up Matt Prater at the two-yard line for a 23-yard field goal try with two seconds to go. Prater kicked it through and sealed the deal for the Broncos. Prater is now 13 of 18 field goals on the season.
In four years at the University of Florida with coach Urban Meyer, Tebow threw for 9,286 yards and 88 touchdowns and ran for 2,947 yards and 57 touchdowns, breaking Hershel Walker's SEC record of 51. He won two SEC championships and two BCS championships with the Gators, and was awarded the Heisman Trophy and was nominated three times. He also received the Maxwell Award for best football player in 2007, and in that same year, won the Davey O'Brien Award for the best quarterback in the nation and James E. Sullivan Award as the best amateur athlete in any sport.
Percy Harvin was no slouch either. In competing with the Gators for three years, Harvin racked up 1,929 yards and 13 touchdowns on 133 catches. The dual-threat receiver also rushed for 1,852 yards and 19 touchdowns on 194 carries. His 32 career total touchdowns is the most in school history by a receiver.
In the NFL, Harvin has missed a considerable number of games due to injury, and has been hospitalized several times due to migraine headaches. On Aug. 19, 2010, Minnesota Vikings players were horrified when excruciating migraine headaches caused Harvin to pass out on the practice field. An ambulance arrived in minutes and took him away to a local hospital, where he was discharged the following day.
Harvin and Tebow, the two Florida alums, say they are still friends today.