It's hard to put any worth on the NFL preseason, but through two games, the New York Jets' offense has been downright ugly. Yes, Tim Tebow deserves criticism, which he has gotten in bunches, but so does everyone else.
So does Mark Sanchez, so does the offensive line, so do the receivers, so do the coaches, so does that one guy in the crowd, and that other guy working the concession stand—so does everyone.
Don't think for a second this means I'm letting Tebow off the hook, because the enigmatic quarterback was seriously bad. Like, steal-the-cookies-out-of-the-cookie-jar bad. Like, cut-someone's-brakes bad.
The second-coming did lead the Jets on an impressive 14-play, 68-yard drive to start the second half, but he continually missed throws that should have been completed.
For example, leaving a throw to a wide-open Stephen Hill in the end zone painfully short (see 35-second mark of the following video) or sailing a throw onto the sideline in what can only be described as an attempt to break up a Darrelle Revis TV interview that was going on.
In the end, Tebow was 5-for-14 for 69 yards. Oof.
The wonderment of the man known as Tebow clearly works both ways. So many times last year he got what most people thought was too much credit whenever his Denver Broncos won a football game. Now that the reverse is happening, he's getting too much criticism.
Call it the Tebow Factor. He is the reason for why everything happens. Good or bad.
But let's try to be practical here for a second. Tebow is, in the end, a backup quarterback. You didn't see the Colts blaming their offensive woes on Kerry Collins last year. Or the Rams blaming Tom Brandstater. Or the Jaguars blaming Luke McCown.
You get the idea.
Who is most to blame for the Jets' early offensive struggles?
Instead, why not blame the first team? Mark Sanchez—you know, the starter—was pretty bad on Saturday night, too. He completed nine of 11 passes, but he mostly just (kind of) managed the game, tallying 59 yards, one interception and zero points.
Or you could blame the atrocious offensive line, which was led by Wayne Hunter, the left tackle who gave up four first-half sacks, highlighting a unit that has been absolutely unable to protect its quarterbacks.
So while Tebow is the easiest to blame, remember that his impact on this team is far smaller than plenty of others.
As much as ESPN will tell you differently, there are more important players on this Jets team who have been just as bad and as much of a part in making this offense look like the worst in the NFL.