SAN DIEGO – Numbers of note from the Broncos’ fifth win in their last six games, a 16-13 overtime triumph over the Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium here on Sunday afternoon:
1: Number of times during Tim Tebow’s nine career NFL starts that the Broncos have led going into the fourth quarter.
6: Number of wins the Broncos have during Tebow’s nine starts, which includes four successful fourth-quarter comebacks: against Houston last Dec. 26 (13-point fourth-quarter deficit), against Miami in Week 7 (15-point deficit), against the Jets in Week 11 (three-point deficit) and the Chargers on Sunday (three-point deficit).
95-32: Margin by which the Broncos have outscored opponents during Tebow’s last nine fourth quarters. The only time the Broncos have been outscored during a Tebow-inclusive fourth-quarter was in his first start, at Oakland last Dec. 19, when the Raiders pulled away with a 16-3 fourth quarter.
If you recalculate that 95-32 margin, it comes out to an average of 42-14 per 60 minutes.
1: Touchdowns allowed in each game by the Broncos the last three weeks. The last time the Broncos allowed one or fewer touchdowns in three consecutive games was in Weeks 2-4 of the 2009 season; the last time they only permitted three touchdowns in three games was in Weeks 3-5 of that same season.
The 36 points allowed in the last three weeks are also the least in a three-game span since Weeks 3-5 of 2009. To illustrate how far the Broncos have come defensively, one need only look at their performance in the last 12 games of the 2010 season, when they conceded an average of 32.2 points per game and allowed at least 36 points four times in that span.
“I’m glad that we’re not playing against them,” tight end Dante Rosario said. “I mean, we go against them every week (in practice), so we know how tough they are, but the pressure they get on the quarterbacks — they put the offense in great positions, especially at the end of games.”
7: Length of the streak of consecutive games with a fourth-quarter touchdown that was snapped Sunday when the Broncos were stopped at the 7-yard-line with 1:39 remaining in regulation. That streak dated back to the 49-23 loss at Green Bay in Week 4, when Kyle Orton hit Daniel Fells for what turned out to be Orton’s final touchdown pass as a Bronco.
6: Points allowed by the Broncos’ defense in the last five fourth quarters.
38: Points scored by the Broncos in the last five fourth quarters. To go a step further, the Broncos have outscored opponents 67-18 during the seven fourth quarters since Tebow was inserted into the lineup in Week 5.
5: 100-yard games by Willis McGahee this season, the most for a Broncos running back in one year since Reuben Droughns’s six 2004.
225: Number of yards for which McGahee must rush to become the Broncos’ first 1,000-yard running back since Tatum Bell in 2006.
0: Number of quarterbacks in at least the last 50 years to run 20 or more times and pass 15 or more times in the same game. Against the Chargers on Sunday, Tebow had 22 carries for 67 yards and passed 18 times, completing nine for 143 yards.
12: Number of wins by Kyle Orton in 33 starts as a Bronco.
6: Number of wins by the Broncos in Tebow’s nine starts.
6: Years that had passed since the last four-game Broncos win streak in which a majority of the wins came in the second half of the season.