The most recent debacle came at the hands of the rival Kansas City Chiefs, a team that had absolutely nothing to play for aside from pride. Apparently, pride beats lack of offensive production every time.
Though it is true that the Denver Broncos will be hosting a playoff game on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, one would be remiss if they were not the least bit skeptical and downright pessimistic about not only the Broncos' chances in the contest, but the play of the their starting quarterback, Tim Tebow.
One also does not need to be inculcated with how the Broncos arrived at their current position in the postseason.
It is indeed a polemic.
Some argue that Tebow is the reasoning behind the Broncos' success.
While others have acclimated themselves to the notion that Tebow was not responsible for holding opposing offenses under 20 points, properly positioning the offense with an opportunity to win it at the end, nor was he the one who kicked game winning, tying field goals from astronomical distances.
Yet, others still are able to coalesce and find solace in the discrepancies by stating it was a team victory.
The latter is the hardest to come by.
The fact is Tebow has not looked good since the miracle against the Bears. He has looked, well, mortal. This is funny because that is what he is.
Sorry to ruin the plot for anyone who thought otherwise.
Confidence—Or Lack Thereof
In the last three games, particularly during Sunday’s embarrassing loss, Tebow looked unsure of himself. He lacked the confidence that every card-carrying member of the flock said he always had. In their eyes this confidence would never waiver.
Anyone without their “Tebowing” strips under their eyes could plainly see that Tebow was rattled by the horrendous game he played in Buffalo. The game was arguably the worst game of his football career—including his time at Florida. Maybe even high school and Pop Warner too.
When faced with the opportunity to establish any semblance of a passing game, Tebow held onto the ball far too long. When he did attempt to throw it, his favorite receiver was whoever happened to catch the ball on the sideline as he threw it away.
Tebow was rattled.
I know he offered a different point of view in his press conference. After hearing the same customary colloquialisms from him for the past 11 weeks, I am beginning to think there may be someone in the Tebow camp who “assists” him with his pressers after the game.
That, or at least coaches him up a bit.
Any young QB who endured a performance akin to Tebow’s in Buffalo would be a little gun shy the next week. Tebow is not any different from any other young QB.
Again, I am sorry to ruin the plot for those who thought otherwise.
At moments during the game, he looked and played scared.
Now by scared, I am not insinuating that a 6’4” 245lbs man is afraid of being hit, or taking on a linebacker. We all know Tebow yearns for those moments.
No, I am asserting that he was scared to make a mistake.
This feeling has only been further exacerbated after Tebow fumbled—again—in the early stages against the Chiefs. We all knew he was always hesitant to throw, but did that fumble make him tentative to run too?
Granted, I will capitulate to the concept that the Chiefs drew up an astute game plan and countered Tebow’s moves with either a spy, or an extra safety in the box.
Yet, was that not the case in other games as well?
I am almost certain that stopping Denver’s running game has always been at the top of the list of the opposing teams’ defensive game plan.
So, what has changed?
Everything Has Changed—Already
In all honesty, the changes that have occurred really should not shock many people.
Denver did not win six games in a row because Tebow was the sole victor. They won the games because the defense played lights out, the kicking game was at its best, and the team did not turn the ball over.
The same cannot be said now.
Tebow has become the proverbial turnover machine.
It started against the Patriots, snowballed into Buffalo, and continued against the Chiefs. Anyone who expected the incessant drivel of “Tebow Time” last night, instead got to witness Tebow throw a pick in the waning moments and Kyle Orton emerge victorious.
In essence, it is sad because Tebow’s lack of turning the ball over was the only thing that kept his diluted QB rating at a respectable level.
Not so much anymore.
Now, all of the things that those—again—who are not dawning the Tebowing strips had customarily shoved under the rug and turned a blind eye to have now become big problems.
Tebow cannot throw? “No problem” was all that was said because the Broncos were winning.
A similar response was offered when one would shed light on the problem regarding the lack of offensive production and scoring output.
“We’re winning…that is all that matters…”
Well, now the Broncos are not winning. And if you were to ask anyone outside of Denver, this trend will most likely continue on Sunday. Barring, dare I say, a miracle.
What happens then?
Out of Denver?
If the Broncos falter against the Steelers on Sunday, and Tebow is as inept as he has been the past few weeks, it is impossible for one not to see that the Denver brass will be looking elsewhere.
Only there is a caveat.
There is not a feasible way for Tebow to co-exist with another competing quarterback.
Actually, let me rephrase that. There is no way that the Tebow flock can co-exist with another competing quarterback—just ask Kyle Orton.
With this logic in mind, the Broncos have two options: Either they are all in with Tebow for 2012 and beyond, or they ship him during the offseason.
Just in case you are wondering, Jacksonville has the seventh pick in the upcoming draft.
If Tebow under performs on Sunday and becomes the loser of four-straight to conclude the season, then to take his record to 8-6 as a starter (almost a full season). Does the Broncos brass really go “all in” on Tebow?
My guess is no, they will not.
Tebow has regressed dramatically in the last few weeks. He was not supposed to get worse; he was supposed to show signs of improvement. Maybe all the pundits who said it would only be a matter of time until teams figured Tebow out were right.
Maybe Tebow is the proverbial one hit wonder.
Everyone talks about how confident he is. What I saw on Sunday was anything but confidence. He looked lost and very unsure of himself as a passer. He played hesitant, timid and scared.
These are three terrible qualities for a supposed NFL starter to have.
Others may call me a hater, and say my writing is crap, nonsense, or even worse.
That is fine, I can take it.
They will cling to the notion that Tebow’s faults were merely a malevolent plan on the part of the Broncos coaching staff to turn Tebow into what he is not—an NFL QB.
They will blame the play-calling, the offensive line, and the receivers and maybe even the defense.
The fact is, I do not make the rules or set the standards for what an NFL QB should be able to do.
I just know that going 6-22 for 60 yards with two turnovers in a game that your team needed to win to get into the playoffs is viewed as unacceptable, along any scale except the one that measures Tebow.
It won’t be acceptable this week either. This time Rivers cannot bail Tebow out.
At that point, the writing may be on the wall.