Tim Tebow now has two wins in three tries as the starting QB of the Denver Broncos this season.
OAKLAND, Calif. — Tim Tebow took the snap, put the ball in Willis McGahee’s belly and decided whether to hand it off or keep it for his own run.
Those plays looked a lot like what he did so often in college — especially the results.
Tebow threw two TD passes and ran for 117 yards, McGahee added 163 yards rushing and two more scores and the Denver Broncos beat the Oakland Raiders 38-24 Sunday.
Even though he looked far from a prototypical NFL quarterback relying on his legs much more than his arm, Tebow still managed to win for the second time in three starts this season and put the Broncos (3-5) one game out of first place in the AFC West.
“Honestly it doesn’t necessarily matter too much how you drew it up as long as you get this feeling at the end, because it was pretty special,” he said.
It’s quite a turnaround from a week ago, when Denver was dismantled 45-10 by Detroit and some of the Lions were questioning Tebow’s ability to succeed in the NFL. Broncos coach John Fox was only willing to commit to Tebow for this week’s game. But after the coaches made a few tweaks to the offense, Tebow earned himself another start.
He threw touchdown passes to Eric Decker and Eddie Royal early in the game and then expertly ran the option game that helped the Broncos gain 298 yards on the ground, their highest total since a 300-yard game against Seattle in 2000, and most ever against the Raiders (4-4).
“As long as it worked, that’s all I care about,” McGahee said. “He did a great job as far as reading the ends on what he had to do as far as keeping it or giving it. When I got the ball it was my job just to get some yards.”
PACKERS 45, CHARGERS 38: Aaron Rodgers threw touchdown passes to four receivers, Green Bay returned two Philip Rivers interceptions for scores and the Packers withstood a wild finish to remain the NFL’s only undefeated team, winning 45-38.
The Packers improved to 8-0 behind Rodgers, who completed 21 of 26 passes for 247 yards. He has an NFL-high 24 TD passes.
The Packers led by 21 points early in the fourth before Rivers threw two TD passes to Vincent Jackson in the span of 1:07 midway through the quarter.
San Diego had a final chance to tie it, but Charlie Peprah intercepted Rivers in the closing seconds and returned it 76 yards to seal the victory.
Rivers tied his career high with four TD passes but was picked off three times. The Chargers are 4-4.
DOLPHINS 31, CHIEFS 3: The Miami Dolphins are no longer winless. Matt Moore threw for 244 yards and three touchdowns, Reggie Bush had 92 yards rushing and another score and the Dolphins walloped the Kansas City Chiefs 31-3 on Sunday.
Moore, who took over after Chad Henne had season-ending shoulder surgery, became the first Dolphins quarterback since Chad Pennington in 2008 to throw three TD passes.
The win by the Dolphins (1-7) leaves the Indianapolis Colts (0-9) as the NFL’s only winless team.
49ERS 19, REDSKINS 11: Frank Gore ran for 107 yards, and the NFL’s stingiest scoring defense forced three turnovers as San Francisco ran its winning streak to six games.
The 49ers improved to 7-1 and have their longest winning streak since 1997. They are also 4-0 on the road for the first time since 1992 and hold a commanding lead in the NFC West.
JETS 27, BILLS 11: Mark Sanchez threw a touchdown to Santonio Holmes, and the Jets’ sturdy defense forced three turnovers in a key AFC East midseason showdown.
Sanchez’s 8-yard pass to Holmes with 3:27 left in the third quarter helped blow open the game as the Jets (5-3) won their third straight — and first on the road — to move into a tie with the Bills (5-3).
BENGALS 24, TITANS 17: Andy Dalton threw for three touchdowns and 217 yards, and Cincinnati rallied from a 10-point deficit for their fifth straight victory.
The Bengals (6-2) last won five in a row in 1988 when they won the AFC championship and went to their second Super Bowl.
CARDINALS 19, RAMS 13 OT: Rookie Patrick Peterson returned a punt 99 yards for a touchdown in overtime to lift Arizona.
Peterson, whose pass interference penalty moments earlier seemed to set up the Rams (1-7) for a game-winning field goal, fielded the ball at the 1.
SAINTS 27, BUCCANEERS 16: Drew Brees passed for 258 yards and two touchdowns, and New Orleans running backs combined for 195 yards rushing.
Brees’ scoring passes went for 3 yards to Lance Moore and 21 yards to Darren Sproles. Pierre Thomas added a tackle-breaking 9-yard score for the Saints (6-3), who saw their running game bounce back after gaining only 56 yards in a humbling loss at St. Louis a week earlier.
COWBOYS 23, SEAHAWKS 13: Tony Romo shook off an inefficient first half to throw for a pair of touchdowns.
Romo had no trouble moving the ball from the start, but the Cowboys (4-4) settled for field goals on consecutive drives that stalled at the 2-yard line and inside the 1. On the next series, Dez Bryant was inside the 1 when a hit he never saw coming caused him to fumble the ball away.
TEXANS 30, BROWNS 12: Arian Foster rushed for 124 yards, Ben Tate ran for 115 as Houston set a franchise record with 261 yards on the ground.
The Texans (6-3), playing without injured receiver Andre Johnson for the fifth straight game, had a pair of 100-yard rushers for the second time in three weeks and moved three games over .500 for the first time.