Tim Tebow Trade: Why Patriots, Bills Fans Should Be Rejoicing
Regardless of whether Tebow had a choice in where he landed, one thing’s for certain—fans of the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills should be thanking the football gods Tebowmania landed in the AFC East.
Not only do the Bills and Patriots have better teams, thanks to the Bills adding defensive ends Mario Williams and Mark Anderson to ease the transition to a 4-3 and the Patriots having Bill Belichick, but the Jets will now self-destruct in spectacular fashion.
Bringing Tebowmania to the Big Apple does a couple of things. For one, as soon as incumbent starting quarterback Mark Sanchez beings to struggle, chants for Tebow from the rabid Jets fanbase will begin.
Secondly, bringing in Tebow to install a Wildcat formation only hinders Sanchez’s progression as a quarterback.
The Jets organization, including Head Coach Rex Ryan, still believes Sanchez is the starting quarterback of the future. The team recently signed him to a three-year, $40 million extension. That’s a huge investment in a quarterback that only a season ago ranked fifth in the NFL with 18 interceptions and had a measly 78 percent quarterback rating and 57 percent completion percentage.
Add those numbers to the fact that Jets fans are becoming more and more hostile toward Sanchez, and there’s trouble in the Big Apple.
Let’s not forget the anonymous players who spoke to the media about Sanchez being lazy.
Adding Tebow to the equation only makes it all the more volatile.
How can a quarterback like Sanchez that is struggling to develop be expected to progress if the team brings in another high-profile quarterback?
For a quarterback to develop, he has to not only have reps in practice, but consistent in-game playing time. The addition of Tebow means Sanchez sees less reps in practice so Tebow can have reps in the Wildcat formation.
During games, Sanchez will be yanked in short-yardage situations in favor of the multi-threat option Tebow presents in the Wildcat, effectively killing any momentum Sanchez had been accumulating.
The decision to bring in Tebow has to be hurting Sanchez mentally as well. Sanchez is the man for now, and has the new financial backing to prove it. But this isn’t just any backup. This isn’t bringing in a Kyle Orton or Drew Stanton.
This is Tim Tebow, leader of the cult known as Tebowmania.
Reports are already surfacing that Tebow believes he can land the starting role in New York, and he’d be correct in that assumption. The Wildcat is a guise to bench Sanchez when he struggles without effectively “benching” him.
When Tebow hits a hot streak, the job is his.
It’s a win-win for Pats and Bills fans, but the locker room is sure to be divided over the quarterback controversy.
As far as the Wildcat goes, the gimmick offense hasn’t been effective in years. That won’t change with Tebow at the helm.
Jets Offensive Coordinator Tony Sparano effectively used the formation in 2008 as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, but its novelty wore off fast.
Defenses have learned how to stifle the Wildcat offense, and Tebow won’t breathe new life into the formation.
Thus far in his career, Tebow has completed less that 50 percent of his passes. His percentage is not going to budge when he sporadically enters a game without any rhythm for a short-lived offensive stint.
So while the Jets make a lateral move with the potential to make the team even worse, the Patriots, Bills and even the Dolphins continue to improve.
The complexion of the AFC East hasn’t changed one bit. In fact, it’s become all the more clear. There are two clear-cut top teams in the division—the Patriots and the Bills. After that, the Dolphins and Jets can continue to dabble in a war of attrition and mediocrity.
The division isn’t more competitive—it’s more entertaining.
Bills and Patriots fans, you get to face the circus that is known as the Jets twice next season. The threat is a loud-mouthed team, two average quarterbacks jockeying for position on the roster and Jets fans' loyalty.
To Bills and Patriots fans—enjoy the victories. Most importantly, enjoy the show.
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