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Near the close of the Tennessee Titans' unfathomably wretched 41-7 home loss to Houston Sunday afternoon, a few remaining frustrated fans at LP Field began chanting "We want T.O.! We want T.O!"

Or could it have been, "We want Tebow, We want Tebow"?

Judging by the completeness of the Titans' third defeat in six games and its second straight loss, either Terrell Owens or Tim Tebow might help the many hues of blue crew.

But when you're outgained 518 to 148 in total yards, your defense spends 37 minutes on the field and former Tennessee Vol Arian Foster runs for over 100 yards, catches more than 100 yards in passes and scores three touchdowns, your problems would appear to be so many in nature that one wonders what lasting improvement anyone short of a couple of Real Steel boxers could make on the Titans.

And given that, the acquisition of Owens -- who is scheduled to stage a workout in California on Tuesday for the Titans and others -- would appear to only slightly cure Tennessee's ills, though University of Tennessee at Chattanooga fans would surely enjoying seeing their most famous former football Moc playing so close to home.

Yet for all the rumors concerning where the six-time Pro Bowler may ultimately land -- assuming he decides to play somewhere -- Sunday pretty much belonged to Tebow and the amazing comeback he orchestrated in leading the Denver Broncos to an overtime win at winless Miami.

Yes, to borrow a line from the Godfather, the Dolphins are sleeping with the fishes these days. In fact, with a coach named Tony Sparano, how could they not be, though he may no longer be the coach by the time you read this.

And Tebow was pretty awful the first three periods of this eventual 18-15 victory, missing open receivers, getting sacked, looking every bit as overmatched as his many critics say he is to run a pro-style offense.

But regardless of Miami's malaise -- and the not-so-little fact that the Dolphins entered this game with the league's 26th-ranked defense --Tebow still rallied the Broncos from 15-0 hole with 2:44 to play, which was supposed to be the kind of Superman stuff he wouldn't be able to keep doing once he graduated from the University of Florida to the NFL.

Yet that's exactly what he did, throwing two touchdowns and running for the game-tying 2-point conversion in those final 166 seconds. He finished with over 160 yards passing and 65 yards rushing, good enough to numbers to bring the following praise from Denver coach John Fox:

"There's competitive greatness. Not everybody that plays in this league has it. It's a great quality to have. We have a guy -- No. 7 that I work with every day -- he had it. He definitely had it."

No. 7, of course, is John Elway, one of the greatest clutch quarterbacks ever, but a pretty amazing quarterback regardless of the situation. And Fox wasn't attempting to say that Tebow will ever compare to Elway, who led the Broncos to five Super Bowls, winning two.

But this isn't so much about Tebow becoming an NFL Hall of Famer as it is about underscoring that what so many of us have always loved most about him -- his fire, his heart, his dedication, his will to win -- still burns brightly when it matters most.

As so often happens this time of year in the NFL, the contenders begin to separate themselves from the pretenders. Thus do the Atlanta Falcons again look like an NFC beast following Sunday's win at Detroit, though it may not matter in a conference currently dominated by the world champion Green Bay Packers.

Thus, too, do New England, Baltimore and Pittsburgh appear to have the best shot to win the AFC, though one should never count out the Jets.

But all of that has plenty of time to take shape over the final 10 weeks of the regular season.

For this past weekend, if this past weekend only, it was nice to know that college football heroes can still occasionally duplicate their fairytales against the big boys.

Or as Miami center Mike Pouncey, a former Tebow teammate at Florida said late Sunday: "Hopefully the critics will get off him about what he can't do and talk about the things that he can do, and that's figure out a way to win the game, no matter what."

Amen.

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