DENVER – Due in large part to the seven interceptions thrown by QB Tim Tebow, the Denver Broncos lost the 2013 NFL season opening game 49-27 to the world champion Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night, a loss which has reportedly caused the Broncos organization to wonder if maybe they should have pursued free agent QB Peyton Manning back in the spring of 2012 when they had the chance.
“We’re all disappointed to lose so decisively to Baltimore like this, and yes, Tim’s continued struggles at quarterback are certainly something that I am concerned about,” said team president John Elway at a solemn post-game press conference. “Looking back on our 3-13 season last year, as well as this brutal loss we experienced tonight, I can’t help but wonder if things might have been different had we offered Peyton a contract last year.”
Manning, of course, was a high profile free agent during the ’12 offseason, and many thought that he would be a natural fit for the Broncos. But Elway refused to consider signing the superstar QB, claiming at the time “we’re sticking with Tim Tebow. He got us a playoff victory, so by God, I think he’s earned the right to be the long term starter here.”
Eventually, Manning would sign a contract with Tennessee where he led the Titans to a 13-3 record last season, before losing in the playoffs to Joe Flacco and the Ravens on a interception in overtime.
“Would we have won this game tonight if we’d had Peyton Manning at QB instead of Tim Tebow? Who can say?” said a frustrated Wes Welker, the team’s prized free agent acquisition.. “But I do know that if Peyton were here, I would’ve caught more than just two passes for six yards, I can tell you that.”
Others however, were not so quick to condemn Tebow’s performance.
“Look, football is a team game,” insisted ESPN’s Skip Bayless. “No one single player wins or loses a game like this. What, you think that if Tim Tebow were somehow magically swapped out for Peyton Manning, that the Broncos would’ve scored seven touchdowns and won this game instead? Get real.”