Tim Tebow: Jets Must Increase QB's Role vs. Steelers in Week 2

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 26:  Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets plays against the Carolina Panthers during their preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 26, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The New York Jets did not need Tim Tebow in Week 1, but he can be very useful in the difficult matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

In last week's game against the Buffalo Bills, Tebow only had five carries for 11 yards in limited playing time. Meanwhile, the rest of the team was nearly flawless as they coasted to a 48-28 victory.

The success of the traditional offense forced the backup quarterback to remain on the bench. Mark Sanchez completed 19 of his 27 passes for 266 yards and three touchdowns. That was his third multi-touchdown game against the Bills in his short career.

When the offense is running as smoothly as it did last week, there is no reason to kill the momentum with a Wildcat package.

However, things will likely be more difficult against the Steelers in Week 2. While Pittsburgh struggled to defend Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in its opening game, the addition of safety Ryan Clark will make a big difference. With him, this is basically the same unit that led the NFL last year in both yards and points allowed.

If the Jets offense struggles early, expect to get more touches from their not-so-secret weapon. Tebow will not only give the run game an extra dimension, but he has the ability to beat the Steelers with the pass as well. In his last game as a starter, he led the Broncos to a playoff win over Pittsburgh with a career-high 316 passing yards.

In that game, head coach Mike Tomlin basically dared Denver's quarterback to throw deep by stacking the box and leaving the deep middle of the field relatively open. If the Steelers repeat this strategy, it could give the Jets a chance to score in a way that they simply could not with Sanchez on the field.

Tebow was brought to New York to play football. The fact that his presence gives Sanchez extra motivation is only a side effect. The Jets need Tebow's playmaking ability as a weapon on offense when the team cannot get it done in other ways. 

That scenario will present itself often on Sunday against the Steelers. Expect the beleaguered quarterback to get his opportunity to shine with double-digit carries and a few passing attempts. 

If he is successful, it can be the beginning of a very good season for the entire organization.