By Steve Kallas
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Another inexplicable loss by the New York Jets, this time to Tim Tebow and the revitalized Denver Broncos? Not really.
Another inexplicable win by the Denver Broncos, this time against the once-upon-a-time (maybe) Super Bowl contenders, the New York Jets? Not really.
HERE’S THE INEXPLICABLE PART
Once again (see the Dolphin win), the Broncos were, offensively, inept for 55 minutes. But what was inexplicable in the first 55 minutes was the lack of Tim Tebow running the ball. When the Broncos took over at their own five with just over five minutes to go, nobody believed they could move the ball 95 yards for a game-winning score. Maybe, if they were really lucky, they could move it 55 yards for a long field goal to tie.
But here’s what happened: Tim Tebow, or the play-callers, finally decided to let Tebow run the ball. Remember, the Broncos could barely move the ball when they started (multiple times) in Jet territory. In the first 55 minutes, Tim Tebow ran the ball a grand total of two times for 11 yards.
The Broncos, to this writer, simply can’t score if Tebow doesn’t run the ball.
So, somebody woke up on the final drive. After running twice for 11 yards in 55 minutes, Tebow ran the ball six times for 57 yards, including that 20-yard touchdown run, on the final drive. While everybody in New York today is slaughtering the Jets defense (which was great until the final drive) for allowing a 95-yard drive (how could it happen?), the reality is that Denver’s offense picked up tremendously once Tebow decided to run the ball.
That was the key to the game, by far.
WHAT ABOUT THE JETS’ OFFENSE?
Well, what about the Jets’ offense? As we’ve discussed before, the improvement arrow on Mark Sanchez simply isn’t pointing up this year. He simply can’t (or hasn’t been allowed to, depends on what story you believe) drop straight back and throw the ball down the field to a pretty good group of receivers.
You can blame the offensive line for some of that and you would be right. Sanchez spent a lot of time on his back Thursday night, including a couple of questionable hits by Von Miller that could have (should have?) drawn flags.
But the Sanchez mistakes are often whoppers (one interception against Denver, but for an Andre’ Goodman TD) and the Jets, with a very good (but not great) defense can’t overcome those mistakes, especially when John Fox has turned these football games into rugby scrums; that is, when you play the Broncos (who, by the way, have a very good defense of their own), it’s usually going to be a low scoring, grind-‘em-out game.
Whatever you think of the Broncos offense, know this: your possessions will be less, your mistakes will be magnified and, if the game is close, Tim Tebow has that knack of beating you.
Even today in New York, people are still talking about Tim Tebow’s inability to throw a football. While these people are right, they can’t see the forest for the trees: the intangibles that Tim Tebow brings to the table are off the charts.
A PERFECT STORM
There was a lot going against the Jets this week. They got hammered Sunday night, had a quick turnaround for a Thursday game and had to prepare for an offense unlike any other in the NFL. In addition, and this is becoming obvious even to the Tim Tebow critics, they were playing against a guy who has an incredible will to win, more so than most other (virtually all other?) NFL players.
That combination caused the Jets too many problems. They now have to go on a big winning streak to win a wild card.
If they don’t, they are going to have to look in the mirror and decide whether this quarterback (and/or this offensive coordinator?) is really the one to lead them to the Promised Land.
Would you want Tebow as your quarteback? Leave a comment below.