NFL Playoffs: Why a Tim Tebow-Led Offense Can't Win in the Playoffs

Andrew McCluskeyCorrespondent IDecember 30, 2011

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 18: Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos heads to the locker room before playing the New England Patriots on December 18, 2011 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)
Marc Piscotty/Getty Images

Tim Tebow taking over as the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos has been one of the biggest stories of the NFL season. 

Tebow captured the hearts of many and drew quite a bit of criticism from others. His style of play is unique, as he is still unpolished as a passer. There is no doubt he is a great athlete, but his abilities as a quarterback are certainly in question.

Regardless of how you feel about Tebow, he is simply not ready to win in the playoffs.

His current skill set is entertaining to watch, but when it comes to the big time stage of the NFL playoffs, I don't believe that it will translate. 

Don't get me wrong, Tebow has played great considering the amount of work he has actually had with the first team offense. People forget that he only started a handful of games last year and was buried at the bottom of the depth chart to start this year. It was clear at the start of the season that the Broncos had no intentions of grooming Tebow to be their starter.

They were forced to put Tebow due to poor play by Kyle Orton. The Denver Broncos' playbook had to be built around Tebow rather than building Tebow in to it.

It is an incredible feat to go 7-3 after a 1-4 start. However, most of that success can be attributed to improved defense and excellent special team play as much as it can be to Tebow. 

The reality is that Tebow doesn't have what it takes to win playoff games just yet.

The NFL playoffs aren't about one player or having one strong area of your team. The playoffs are about the most complete teams going head to head. They will expose each other's flaws and whoever has the fewest flaws usually will prevail. 

We saw the Broncos' flaws in their last two games against the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills.

The Patriots offense was able to steam roll over Denver's defense after a frustrating start. As New England's lead grew, the run first attack of the Broncos became less and less effective. It was then put on Tebow's shoulders to throw the ball, and the offense just didn't look the same.

The Bills got to Tebow much earlier. They were able to make Tebow stand in the pocket and throw for one of the first times all year long. What resulted as a 40-14 loss to the Bills and three interceptions from Tebow.

The game against the Buffalo Bills showed us how easily Tebow could be taken completely out of his element. In the postseason, he will be matched against the elite of the AFC division. All of the teams in the AFC will be prepared for the offensive attack of the Denver Broncos.

At this point in his career, Tim Tebow is not prepared to change his style of play to match the game plan of the opposing defense. While he may have the potential to someday become an efficient passer, he is simply not prepared for this postseason.

Tebow will be matched up against some of the toughest defenses in the league. Teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens will be prepared for whatever the Broncos have to offer. They will not be able to get by rushing the ball 30 times a game. 

Tim Tebow still has a long career ahead of him. He hasn't reached his full potential yet and could someday evolve into a complete quarterback. However, for now the Broncos will need to accept that he is what he is. That means accepting that the current Denver offense is not one that can succeed in the playoffs.

Until Tim Tebow evolves in to a quarterback that can be successful in any situation, the Broncos will have to accept their limitations. 

"Tebow Time" was fun while it lasted, but it will all come to an end during the postseason.