Tim Tebow's first pass completion of the season -- well, technically it was his second, but it was the first that wasn't fumbled away by a Jets teammate who suffered a season-ending injury on the play -- wasn't exactly a routine play.
But the Jets haven't exactly used Tebow in routine fashion, and he was hardly needed on a dominating day for the offense in Sunday's 35-9 rout of the Colts.
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Tebow did come up big, however. His 23-yard completion to special-teamer Nick Bellore from punt formation was the third fake punt Tebow has converted for a first down this season and the first via the pass. It kept alive a drive that Mark Sanchez and the Jets converted into their third touchdown of the game just before halftime.
"You have to keep being creative, keep them off-balance and have the ability to go to different things at the line," said Tebow, who also ran four times for 7 yards in his only Wildcat sets of the day. "We had several different things we could have gone to, and we just felt like that was the right one."
Amazingly, the right call was to Bellore, a linebacker by trade who said he had never had a pass deliberately thrown to him in his football life. "Just passes I've intercepted," he said.
Special-teams coach Mike Westhoff put the play in this week, Tebow said. It was up to Tebow to call it once he saw the Colts' punt-return formation on fourth-and-11 at the Indianapolis 40-yard line just before the two-minute warning of the first half. He also had to sell it, given that the Colts certainly were aware that Tebow already had run for first downs out of the punt protector spot this season.
"We got a pretty good push to the front side," Tebow said.
He faked a run and looked to his left, then hit Bellore on the weak side, all alone over the middle. Colts punt returner T.Y. Hilton saved a touchdown, taking Bellore down at the Colts' 17.
Four plays (including one Tebow 3-yard run) later, Sanchez hit Jason Hill for a 5-yard score, sending the Jets into halftime with a 21-6 lead.
"What we've done in the past kind of set that up," Bellore said. "[Tebow] obviously poses a problem for a lot of special-team guys, and for the defenses that have lined up against us in punt formation, which we've seen a lot already."
Tebow hasn't had many opportunities to show off his quarterbacking skills; it was only his third pass attempt, and he hardly qualified it as a true pass. He just missed connecting with Jason Hill in Monday's loss to the Texans, and he completed a 9-yarder earlier this season to backup tight end Dedrick Epps, who fumbled the ball away after taking a low hit that sent him to the waived / injured list.
"I threw a pop pass -- I've been doing that since Pop Warner," Tebow said. "So I don't know if it's showcasing my arm. They're respecting the ability to run, so that's why the pass was there."