The Tebow Quotient

You could almost hear the television announcers last night on NFL Network: “If you’re just joining us Tim Tebow has a chance to do it again.” Invesco Field at Mile High sprung to life when the Broncos came onto the field with just over 5:50 to go. We don’t want to say the New York defense looked defeated as they took the field but they had somewhat of a demoralized pace and demeanor . You could see the look on their faces which seemed to say “How did we let ourselves get in this position?” Then Tebow went to work.

It is here where we’ll cite a previous article on the Tebow quotient. In our week 10 AFC West edition we said “The Broncos need to realize they have a running quarterback the size of a linebacker. They need to call plays that exploit his ability to turn football back into 11 on 11 on some running plays. He and Willis McGahee bludgeoned Oakland with over 100 yards each and the better he runs, the more defenses are going to remain honest in nickel and especially dime defense situations. Instead of 6th and 7th pass defenders back to cover receivers they have to keep them within 10 yards of the scrimmage line to deter him from running. Right now the Broncos have to come up with a hybrid version of the wildcat where the quarterback is as much a runner as a thrower. That simple. They have to go to the collegiate ranks and nab a quarterback friendly offensive co-ordinator to make this work.”

‘Critics are just going to bash Tebow for backlash from the super favorable treatment he received in college. We legitimately thought of him as a tight end going into the draft. Yet when you see a pass play breakdown, he can bull his way to positive yards instead of throwing a pass that could be intercepted. Sure critics point to Kyle Orton’s superior passing percentage (58.7% -46.4%) yet this is the only showcase to Orton’s upside. Yet when it comes to touchdown to interception ratio Tebow is killing Orton (6TDs /1 INT- 8TDs /7INTS) and Orton has thrown 58 more passes. Orton’s having thrown 6 more interceptions directly relate to Denver’s losing 23-20 to Oakland, the Titans 17-14, and the 29-24 loss to San Diego. Think about it, had they had the ball and possibly have scored 1 more time in each game, this team could be 6-2. The Tebow trade-off for rushing yards (277-17 for Orton) is well worth getting rid of the 6 extra turnovers. The difference is Tebow SHOULD improve passing the football vs this is it for Orton’s upside. Coach Fox, you’re just going to have to live with some offensive breakdowns from time to time, hell the Giants did that with Lawrence Taylor when he’d rush the passer instead of dropping like he should when he was young. This is where you have to close ranks as a team and move on. Yet you’re 2-1 with Tebow v. 1-4 with Orton. Alright make a case for why Orton should be elevated to starter again??”

Now the Broncos are 4-1 with Tim Tebow at the helm…

Was this or was this not the essence of Tebow ball last night. It was sloppy and haphazard yet when the game was on the line the Broncos did what they did best: Run with Tebow to force defenses to  play 11 on 11 and we clearly saw CB Darelle Revis NOT want to tackle the charging 245 lbs quarterback on one of his runs to the sideline. Then the final touchdown run illustrating how hard it is to defense this guy. If you’re going to run a man to man defense, the linemen and blitzers can’t allow the quarterback to take off with the football. No one will account for him. So once he broke past Jets safety Eric Smith, it was clear sailing to the endzone. Had the Jets been in a zone the defenders wouldn’t have had their backs to him when he took off running.  Yet this is nothing new…

Remember back in the 1987 season when defenses started to defend a young John Elway with spies?? These were normally reserve defensive backs that played 5 yards off the line of scrimmage and mirrored the quarterback once he stepped up and threatened to run they would come up as delayed blitzers. They did this with Randall Cunningham also yet I digress. We hear of all the pundits getting on Tebow’s passing ability but let’s not forget Roger “The Dodger” Staubach, Terry Bradshaw, Kenny “The Snake” Stabler, Fran Tarkenton, and many of the greats had to rely on their running ability before they developed downfield throwing prowess. In the famous game with the “Immaculate Reception” before Franco Harris won the game, it was Kenny Stabler who scrambled 30 yards for a TD to give the Raiders a  7-6 lead. When the Cowboys won Super Bowl VI, Staubach wasn’t the full time starter until week 7. Even in the Super Bowl Staubach ran more times than he passed it in the first half (9 to 6).

Right now Tebow can get away with games where he just runs the football and should develop as a down field passer. Again Orton had far superior passing yards yet the Broncos were 1-4 with him passing. Looks like the Broncos will be playing “Wing-T” or “Wildcat” football for now.

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