Tim Tebow is an icon and a charismatic, inspiring figure. That cannot be denied. He has dazzled football fans and captured the imaginations of fans and citizens all over the world.
But let's be honest, Tebow will never win a Super Bowl as a starting quarterback. Sure, he's one of the most motivated and competitive athletes of all-time, but he simply doesn't have the athletic ability to win a world championship.
As the New England Patriots demonstrated in Saturday's 45-10 trouncing of Tebow and the Denver Broncos, if you take away his ability to run, Tebow melts like a stick of butter in the Mexico sunshine. Tebow was 9-of-26 for 136 yards and no touchdowns against the Pats, earning him a paltry 52.7 quarterback rating.
New England devised a great plan of attack defensively, taking away the Denver ground game and option attack and forcing Tebow to make passes downfield, which he ultimately was unable to do.
Granted, the Patriots' pressure was relentless, and by no means is Tebow the only one to blame for Denver's loss. But if he had the ability to make quick throws downfield and take advantage of the blitzes, he would have had a huge day. But New England, by pressuring him and making his running a non-factor, exposed his weaknesses as a passer.
The Patriots' neutralization of Tebow demonstrated the ugly truth for Denver's prospects with Tebow: In the end, the quarterback doesn't have the passing ability to lead a team to a Super Bowl. His awkward delivery is already a handicap, but on top of that he doesn't have an NFL-caliber arm.
Tebow also struggles to read defenses, and he seems to instinctively favor running the ball as opposed to throwing it, not a good sign for an NFL quarterback. He has made some impressive plays buying time with his feet, but he lacks the ability to sit in the pocket and dissect a defense like great quarterbacks do.
And when that pocket breaks down, as it did against the Patriots, Tebow needs to be able to adapt to the circumstances. But he wasn't unable to do that against New England, either. That's also where the slow delivery really hurts him.
That's not to say he can't win. But championship teams are led by quarterbacks that have unquestioned abilities to throw the ball downfield. They have NFL-caliber arms. To be blunt, Tebow doesn't have an NFL-caliber arm in terms of being able to consistently make all the types of throws necessary. When he can't run the ball effectively, he becomes one-dimensional and reminds us that he is human after all.
In short, championship teams will find ways to beat Tebow. His sheer will to win and resiliency are awe-inspiring, but they can't win every game for him. Teams like the Patriots will exploit his weaknesses.
This is not an indictment of Tebow as a person; he embodies the American values of faith and competitiveness, embraces his opportunity to be a role model and gives back to the community. He is undeniably an outstanding individual. But many great players have never won a Super Bowl, and the reality is that Tebow simply doesn't have the skills he needs to do so.
Tebow may be the starter in Denver for the foreseeable future, but he will never hoist the coveted Lombardi Trophy as long as he's the starting quarterback.