Generally, things in life that have the word mania attached to them subside over time.  By definition the word means excessive or unreasonable enthusiasm.

By no means do I fault Bronco or Tebow fans for feeling downright manic after his first eight starts this season.  Tebow was 7-1 as a starter, but it was the way Denver was winning games that made people question what they thought to be true.

Whether it was recovering onside kicks, players inexplicably stepping out of bounds, or the defense making amazing plays, everything seemed to go Denver's way in the late stages of games.  For some, those occurrences were easily explained as nothing more than luck or coincidence, but for others it  had to be more than that.

You can't tell the story of Tim Tebow without mentioning his faith and devotion to Jesus Christ.  There have been other athletes who have been outspoken about their faith, but they are usually established players whose abilities aren't questioned.

The other part of the Tebow story is that very few of the so called experts or analysts thought Tebow could succeed as a quarterback in the NFL.

The story lines of his faith and attempts to prove skeptics wrong have pushed the Tebow story out of the realm of sports and into mainstream popular culture.  So much so that even 'Saturday Night Live' has taken time to lampoon Tebowmania.

Tebowmania would have reached an all time fever pitch had the Broncos defeated the Patriots on Sunday.  The Broncos came out the gates swinging, taking a 16-7 lead early in the second quarter.

Like he has done for so many years, Tom Brady calmly led the Patriots down the field on a touchdown drive that cut the Denver lead to two.  The Broncos then fumbled on two straight possessions, and before you could say Elway New England led 24-16.

Denver then compounded their mistakes by fumbling a Patriot punt and allowing New England to get a cheap three before the break.

The Broncos could gain no momentum in the third while the Pats extended their lead to 34-16.

Tebow was able to sneak it in from two yards out with 8:41 to go in the fourth to cut the lead to 34-23.  Bronco and Tebow fans had to wonder if it was going to be the start of another chapter of Tebow magic.

Brady and the Patriots made sure there would be no Tebow magic on this day.  BenJarvus Green-Ellis's one yard plunge with 4:10 to go extened the New England lead to 41-23.  Green-Ellis's touchdown would be the final score of the game.

Despite the lopsided score, Tebow continued to make progress as a quarterback.  The Broncos still run much more than they throw, but Tebow continues to look more comfortable in the pocket with each passing week.

Today's reality check loss should bring people back to Earth and remind them that Tebow is still a work in progress.