Tim Tebow: Why Tebow Hurts Jets More Than He Helps
More Tebow or less Tebow? All Tebow or no Tebow at all? What in the world should Rex Ryan do?
All I can say is, the longer the Jets' head coach refuses to budge from his stance on New York's quarterback situation, the faster the team's hopes of reaching the postseason will continue to dwindle.
Look, the AFC is an absolute mess after five weeks of football. Despite a 2-3 record, the Jets are only a game behind the 3-2 Patriots for the AFC East lead and just a half-game back in the early hunt for the second wild-card spot.
The Jets are a far cry from being a Super Bowl contender, especially with Darrelle Revis and Santonio Holmes gone for the year. But that alone does not spell doom for this team.
The NFC will likely continue to dominate its inferior counterpart (15-6 through Week 5 against AFC opponents) throughout the year, and though the Patriots are usually a sure bet to finish the season on fire (eight-game win streaks to close out 2010 and 2011 seasons), a playoff spot can be had if the Jets play their cards right.
Just not if they continue their current way of thinking.
Remember, before Tebow-Mania made its way to the Meadowlands, it was all Sanchez, all the time. Has it been the most effective recipe for success? No, not at all. But once upon a time (or so it seems) it worked enough for the Jets to ride their defense into consecutive AFC Championship games.
Last year was a different story, and the team may not be in a much better state now than it was in 2011, but trying to incorporate Tebow into the offense in sporadic fashion isn't doing anyone in green any good.
Through five games in 2012, Sanchez has a career-low completion percentage of 48.6 and a passer rating (66.6) that is far below the paltry number he typically produces. Just when you see him start to move the ball, No. 15 comes marching on the field to "confuse the defense" for a play.
Only it isn't confusing anyone, except for maybe Sanchez.
Tebow has been a part of exactly 12.1 percent of the Jets' offensive snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. He's accounted for exactly nine yards passing and 57 yards rushing through five games.
Hardly a significant impact.
Actually, the 6'3", 236-pounder has been an effective short-yardage running back at times. So why not use him in that role? I'm only half-serious, of course.
It's not necessarily that the combination can't work, I just don't believe that the Jets' coaching staff knows how to properly utilize the two together. And despite what Sanchez may say, I'm not convinced he isn't distracted by Tebow's presence.
Look, Sanchez is not a franchise QB. Neither is Tebow. The Jets made a disastrous decision to give Sanchez an extension this spring and only compounded the problem by bringing Tebow on board. Sanchez lacks even the slightest bit of pocket awareness and has a seemingly unbreakable habit of unloading the football into unfavorable situations under duress.
Not exactly coveted qualities.
But, he's there. The Jets are invested in Sanchez, and, as hard as it is to say, they have to run with him. No Tebow. No Wildcat. None of it. Dump the hopes of your season into Sanchez's lap as if it's your only shot.
Because, really, it is.
If the Jets cave in to Tebow-Mania and start him at QB, the season goes down in flames. Scrap the Tebow experiment and run with Sanchez, and the result may not be any different.
But at least you'll know you went down by sticking with the plan that was in place before Peyton Manning hit the free-agent market and Tebow became trade bait.
The loss of Revis was devastating, and Holmes' injury isn't much easier to live with. That said, Jeremy Kerley is emerging as a solid receiving option, while TE Dustin Keller, perhaps the team's biggest red-zone threat, is on the verge of returning for the first time since Week 1.
If the Jets can patch up their porous run game, defenses won't be able to pin their ears back and force Sanchez into ill-advised decisions so consistently. He can make the necessary throws to move this offense, provided his pass protection doesn't break down.
How often should the Jets use Tebow the rest of the year?
Now, two of their next three contests are home games against the Colts (2-2) and Dolphins (2-3), with a bye coming in Week 9. The final four games of the season are Jacksonville (1-4), Tennessee (1-4), San Diego (3-2) and a Buffalo team they destroyed in Week 1.
There are opportunities for this season to become something other than a complete disaster. But you have to be willing to change.
Ryan and the Jets were willing to change their approach to incorporate Tebow into the game plan, therefore it shouldn't be difficult to yank him out of it.
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