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AFC WILD CARD WEEKEND: Texans, Broncos advances

MARCUS HENRY Special to the AmNews | 1/12/2012, 2:18 p.m.
AFC WILD CARD WEEKEND: Texans, Broncos advances

If there's anyone out there who is sick of Tim Tebow, get over it. The young gunslinger for the No. 4-seed Denver Broncos helped carry his team to a dramatic overtime win over the No. 5 Steelers in the AFC Wild Card playoffs.

And once again, Tebow has become the talk of the NFL.

But what you saw wasn't the normal Tim Tebow. This wasn't the Tim Tebow who would pass for 150 yards and run for 80. This version of Tim Tebow threw for 316 yards. This version of Tim Tebow hit on four pass plays of 40 or more yards, including the 80-yard strike to Demaryius Thomas that lifted the Broncos to their 29-23 overtime win.

Why are we emphasizing this? If Tebow has truly evolved as a pocket passer and has the wherewithal to do the same against the Patriots in primetime on Saturday night, don't be shocked to see the Broncos in the AFC championship game.

TEXANS ROUGH UP THE BENGALS

The No. 4 Houston Texans made a big statement in their AFC Wild Card 31-10 win over the No. 6 Bengals. The Texans' message to the NFL is that they aren't dead.

When quarterback Matt Schaub went down earlier this season, most wrote off the Texans. Some even believed the Texans, who are enjoying their first playoff appearance since joining the NFL, wouldn't win the AFC South.

We were all wrong.

The Texans rode the back of a stout defense and big-time running attack led by Arian Foster to the playoffs, but it's not going to be as easy this Sunday when the Texans head to Baltimore for a second-round matchup.

The Ravens can run the ball, are just as tough on defense and are more settled at quarterback with Joe Flacco.

Current Texans quarterback T.J. Yates, a rookie, has been anything but consistent. He'll have to make some plays to keep the hard-charging Ravens' defense honest.

Throwing a rookie quarterback into the Ravens' den is like tossing a snowball into a volcano. It was good run while it lasted for the Texans.