Let me preface this by saying that the issue has less to do with anything that Tebow has done himself, but rather the media coverage of the player. After every game, fans and analysts have moved from using terms like “incredible” to terms like “miracle.” Those people are making this out to be something supernatural, when it reality it is just a football game.
What the Denver Broncos have done these past two months has been very impressive. The team is now 8-5 after starting the season 1-4. However, there is a lot of credit to go around to this surging squad. The defense has played outstanding of late, keeping the team in the game every week. Veterans Brian Dawkins and Champ Bailey have played well as linebacker Von Miller has been the defensive rookie of the year.
So what about the man that everyone is talking about?
Tebow deserves a good amount of credit for this turnaround, as he has led five fourth-quarter comebacks this season, but does this mean he can be a full-time quarterback in the NFL?
In 2006, the Tennessee Titans started the season 0-5. Head coach Jeff Fisher decided to start rookie Vince Young over veteran Kerry Collins. Although the team missed the playoffs, the Titans finished with an impressive 8-8 record.
Vince Young was labeled a “winner,” and he continued to prove that year after year. During his five seasons in Tennessee, Young finished with a 30-17 record as a starting quarterback. Still, he was bench multiple times due to poor statistics and the general feeling that he was not helping the team win. This offseason, he could not find a starting job in the NFL.
There are plenty of other quarterbacks who have had winning records but are considered below average. Even those loyal Denver fans ran Brian Griese out of town despite having a winning record and a pro bowl appearance in his five years on the Broncos. He just could not stack up to his predecessor John Elway.
From Trent Dilfer to Alex Smith, there have been plenty of below average quarterbacks on winning teams. This season alone, Smith has four fourth-quarter comebacks for his 10-3 49ers team. The former No. 1 overall pick has avoided mistakes to have himself a pretty good season, and could possibly have had as successful of a record if he was placed on the Broncos.
With all of these poor quarterbacks, what makes Tim Tebow different? It could be the religious angle, as the young man makes no secret of his affiliation to Christianity. Some people see him as a savior, while others see him as too “in-your-face.” This is one of the reasons for the divide across the country. Every time people use the term “believe” when referring to a football player, it angers the non-religious types in America.
Tim Tebow is not as bad as some think. He has a terrible completion percentage (48.5%), but his ability to run causes all eyes to be on him, leaving open receivers downfield. However, the question is whether he can continue to succeed in the long-term, and especially against better teams. The answer to that question is no.
The Broncos have been a product of a fortunate schedule. Miami was 0-5 at the time, the Raiders had a quarterback in Carson Palmer making his first start of the season after spending most of it on the couch, the Chiefs had lost Matt Cassel for the season, San Diego came in on a five-game losing streak, the Vikings have two wins this season and the Bears have looked terrible without Jay Cutler and Matt Forte.
This leaves one win over a quality opponent, a 17-13 victory over the New York Jets. However, a deeper look at that game shows how little a quarterback had to do to win that game. The Jets scored 13 points, while the Denver defense scored seven on a 26-yard interception returned for a touchdown. In addition, Matt Prater was able to kick an early field-goal on a drive that started on the Jets’ 34. Basically, the Denver offense only needed three points the entire game to even the score.
Tim Tebow deserves some credit for this run, but his supporters give him way too much. Matt Prater should have been called the hero of the win over the Bears, after tying the game with a 59-yard field goal and winning it with a 51-yarder in overtime. The defense caused a fumble by Marion Barber that prevented Chicago from winning the game. Unfortunately, the only name you hear after a Broncos win is Tebow.
This season the Denver Broncos have been good, Tim Tebow has not.