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Tebow displays potential in starting debut

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Posted Dec. 20, 2010 @ 1:54 p.m. ET
By Michael Blunda

Deemed a "project" by most observers, expectations were low for Tim Tebow in his first NFL start. And while he didn't blow anybody out of the water, he certainly showed signs of what could be on the horizon.

Taking on the Raiders in a hostile environment in Oakland, the rookie from Florida did a decent job guiding the offense, especially considering the conservative game plan the Broncos asked him to run. Tebow completed 8-of-16 passes for 138 yards and a TD, good for a solid 8.6 yards per attempt. But where he really made a difference was on the ground, running for 78 yards and a TD on eight carries.

Far from a typical pocket passer, Tebow's best chance to be a fantasy star is likely with his legs. He displayed his big-play ability Sunday when he took off up the middle in the first quarter, dodging and outrunning defenders for a 40-yard TD. He has drawn frequent comparisons to Hall of Fame QB Steve Young, who was consistently good for 300-400 rushing yards and 4-5 rushing TDs each season. If Tebow can put up comparable numbers, he won't have to throw for 4,000 yards to be a fantasy force.

With Kyle Orton hurting and Denver out of playoff contention, Tebow likely will get the starting nod for the team's final two contests. He's far from a finished product, but against a terrible Texans secondary this Sunday, it wouldn't be surprising if he had a productive outing.

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