To say that Tim Tebow's New York Jets career has gotten off to a slow start would be an understatement. It has been virtually non-existent up to this point, though that really should change on Sunday against the New England Patriots.
When the Jets acquired Tebow from the Denver Broncos, a lot of people assumed that he would be platooning with Mark Sanchez, getting 10-15 snaps per game and helping the stagnant running game for Rex Ryan's offense.
Ryan is already teasing the idea of seeing more Tebow, though not at his usual position of quarterback.
With McKnight, Powell banged up, Tebow could be used as RB. "A possibility," Ryan said. #Jets— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) October 18, 2012
Instead, while Sanchez continues to run out there each week with a completion percentage below 50 percent, Tebow has been relegated to a glorified version of mop-up duty.
In six games this season, Tebow has thrown three passes, run the ball 13 times and has played on special teams when asked.
As Steve Politi of the Newark Star-Ledger wrote, Tebow has, in many ways, become a forgotten man on the sidelines, even though the camera can't resist showing you his face after every Sanchez incompletion.
The Jets acquired Tebow this summer with all that fanfare, sent him out in front of a few dozen TV cameras as if he were the face of the franchise, and promised the world that his role in the offense would be nothing short of revolutionary.
Six weeks in, he’s been a much-hyped afterthought, and now owner Woody Johnson is promising to keep him for the full three years of his contract.
The Jets, despite what some in New York would have you believe, have not completely fallen apart this season. They are 3-3 with a game against New England this week that could put them into first place if they are able to win.
The offense, which will not be facing a team with a soft middle like the Indianapolis Colts, will need something special to keep up with the high-octane Patriots. New England will be looking for some measure of redemption after last week's awful fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks.
Last week was a step in the right direction for the Jets, though the Patriots' defensive line is much bigger and more physical than anything the Colts threw at them. They need a spark somewhere to be able to keep this game close.
Tebow is not going to be the savior for this offense every week, but in the right circumstances, he can be useful. The Jets either just haven't figured out what they are or don't want to overuse Tebow to get the media talking even more, but this is the week to give him more than five snaps in a game.
For all the problems the Jets have had, they are not out of the playoff race by any means. Tebow doesn't have to be the entire offense, but he shouldn't be an afterthought, either. This is the time to cut the reins off and let him go in the wildcat system.