Tim Tebow: Why Inserting Popular Quarterback Won't Save New York Jets

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 12, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 08:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets warms up against the Houston Texansat MetLife Stadium on October 8, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The New York Jets are a sinking ship, and even Tim Tebow can't prevent them from capsizing.

Fans have been clamoring for the former Denver Broncos quarterback to become the team's starter since he was first acquired in a trade. The list of those on the Tebow bandwagon include those who know little about football, like Christopher Boykin from MTV's Rob & Big.


I know that Sanchez had a pretty decent game but I really felt Tim tebow could have pulled off that win tonite!

— Christopher Boykin (@BigBlack) October 9, 2012


It also includes people who know even less about football, like ESPN's Skip Bayless


Rex won't, but if he swallowed his 300 pounds of pride and started Tebow on Sunday he could save the season and maybe his job.

— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) October 9, 2012


Despite what all of these prognosticators believe, the problems with the Jets go much deeper than making a switch at quarterback.

After being a strength for many years, New York's run defense is one of the worst in the league. In fact, the team has allowed 172.4 rushing yards per game—fractions of a yard fewer than the league-worst New Orleans Saints

The numbers would look similarly bad against the pass, but teams don't feel the need to throw the ball with so much success on the ground. The Kansas City Chiefs are the only team yet to have a bye that have seen fewer pass attempts by opposing offenses this year. However, you can be certain that the opposition would be successful through the air if they went that route, especially without All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis. 

It would take an elite quarterback to overcome the deficiencies on defense this season, and the Jets have none on their roster.

Mark Sanchez has the third-lowest among qualified quarterbacks with a 66.6 quarterback rating due to completing a league-low 48.4 percent of his passes and throwing as many interceptions as touchdowns. If he keeps it up, he would be the first regular starter to complete less than half of his passes since—you guessed it—Tim Tebow.

Tebow supporters would lead you to believe that the third-year quarterback has an innate ability to win close games. He helped push the Broncos into the playoffs as a starter last season with the help of six-straight wins in the middle of the season. Still, he finished with a pedestrian 7-4 record as a starter and needed less than 20 points to win five of those games.

Even with a top quarterback, the Jets have no one to catch the ball. The only experienced targets—wide receiver Santonio Holmes and tight end Dustin Keller—have been sidelined by injuries. What's left is an array of younger players and veterans tossed from other teams. The Monday Night Football game against the Houston Texans highlighted the team's struggles with a number of drops across the board.

Both Sanchez and Tebow have won playoff games in their careers, but their respective supporting casts were much better than what they have to work with now. Neither has proven they can win without help.

It is likely that Tebow will eventually get the start and excite millions. Unfortunately for the Jets, it won't make much of a difference.