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Does Tim Tebow really worry Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots?

Tim Tebow unexpectedly picked apart the mighty Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday. But this Saturday's game against a vulnerable New England Patriots defense might actually be more of a measuring stick for how far Tim Tebow has progressed.

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Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the New England Patriots in a regular-season game earlier this season.

Jack Dempsey/AP/File

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In Sunday's wild card game, the Pittsburgh Steelers basically dared Tim Tebow to beat them with his arm. 

He did. 

Now comes a game Saturday night against the New England Patriots, whose pass defense has been only somewhat more resilient than a soggy roll of Charmin. 

Can Tebow do it again?

The statistics would suggest that the Patriots could be in a heap of trouble. On Sunday, Tebow posted a career-best 316 passing yards against a team that, during the regular season, gave up a league-stingiest average of 172. The Patriots, by contrast, gave up 294 passing yards a game – good for second-worst in the league.

Tebow, we're guessing, is not sweating in his Lycra stretch pants.

What's more, Tebow's Denver Broncos managed to reel off an unseemly 176 yards rushing in the first quarter of a regular-season loss to the Patriots before they were undone by turnovers. 

With an improving Tebow in the pocket and the Broncos' league-best rushing attack preparing to chew the Patriots into tiny Tebow flakes, how can the Patriots defense hope to cope?

Certainly, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick had the customary nimbus clouds brewing overhead in a press conference Thursday.

"You have to worry about everything with Denver's offense," Belichick said. "You have to worry about the running game, the passing game, the backs, the receivers, the quarterback, the offensive line, they're a well-balanced unit.... If you just load up on one thing then, you pay the price somewhere else."

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