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Denver Broncos, Tim Tebow pull off stunning comeback against Chicago Bears in overtime

Broncos kicker Matt Prater, who forced OT with a 59-yard field goal, hits his winning 51-yarder.

Associated Press

Broncos kicker Matt Prater, who forced OT with a 59-yard field goal, hits his winning 51-yarder.

DENVER — Wild wins are getting routine for Tim Tebow and the Broncos, who flail away through most of four quarters before coming through in the clutch.

Matt Prater's 51-yard field goal 6½ minutes into overtime gave Denver a 13-10 victory over the stunned Bears on Sunday. Prater's 59-yarder with 3 seconds left in regulation tied the score after Tebow led another rally.

"If you believe," Tebow said, "then unbelievable things can sometimes be possible."

It was Denver's sixth straight win and seventh in eight games since Tebow, a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback at Florida dubbed the "Mile High Messiah," was named the starter. The Broncos have trailed in the second half in six of those victories.

This latest comeback put Denver in sole possession of first in the AFC West after Oakland's 46-16 drubbing at Green Bay.

"Never say never," receiver Eric Decker said. "That's a great characteristic of this team."

After failing to score on their first dozen possessions, the Broncos erased a 10-0 deficit in the final 2:08 of regulation.

"I think we're rewriting the book on 'keep fighting,' " coach John Fox said. "Our guys never blink. They remain positive."

Tebow hit Demaryius Thomas with a 10-yard score, then got the ball back with 53 seconds left after running back Marion Barber saved the Broncos precious time by going out of bounds when the Bears were trying to run out the clock. With Denver out of timeouts, Barber cut outside toward the sideline and was pushed out, stopping the clock.

The Bears punted, and Tebow got the ball at his 20. He drove 39 yards for Prater's tying kick.

The Bears won the toss in overtime and got into field goal range. But Barber, who rushed for 108 yards, coughed up the ball when linebacker Wesley Woodyard stripped it, and lineman Elvis Dumervil recovered.

Barber, who hasn't talked to reporters since training camp, avoided the media.

"I hate to say it — we gave this one to them," Bears quarterback Caleb Hanie said.

As for Denver's capacity for comebacks?

"I don't know if they just kind of wait until they think, 'Oh, man, we might lose this game,' and start playing," Fox said. "It's aging me quickly."

Tebow, who also led OT wins at Miami and San Diego, ran for 49 yards and completed 21 of 40 for a season-best 236 yards.

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Denver Broncos, Tim Tebow pull off stunning comeback against Chicago Bears in overtime 12/11/11 [Last modified: Sunday, December 11, 2011 11:16pm]
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