No, Tebow didn't take over for Mark Sanchez, but the way the Jets lost exposed flaws that Tebow's super intangibles can't disguise. The offensive line still can't effectively provide lanes to get the running game on track, and their pass coverage—aside from Antonio Cromartie—is underwhelming.
The worst part about this loss wasn't centered around any specific thing the team didn't do. The heart-breaking aspect was in realizing how hard the team played only to come up short.
No one can criticize the Jets' effort in this game. They battled back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to take the lead. The Patriots needed an awesome exhibition on how to run the two-minute drill from Tom Brady to force overtime.
Yet, in the extra session the offensive line gave no room for Shonn Greene, and they allowed pressure that ultimately lead to the game-deciding sack and fumble by Sanchez.
That's just the way this particular loss played out. The next loss will be defined by some other shortcoming. Such is the plight of a football team that doesn't have the talent to play their coaches' system on either side of the ball.
The Jets played inspired football. Tebow couldn't have raised the level of intensity for this team, and that is his specialty.
That only gets you so far. Ultimately it comes down to talent.
The Jets are void of high-level pass-rushers to apply the type of pressure Rex Ryan craves, and the O-line doesn't consistently win battles at the point of attack. Thus they can't establish a running game, and Sanchez can't comfortably work in play-action.
That used to be his specialty, but he hasn't looked good in that situation this season. Case in point, the wounded duck he lofted up in the second quarter was off a play fake. He had rookie Stephen Hill open, but Sanchez under threw the ball terribly, and Alfonzo Dennard picked it off.
We could blast Sanchez for this interception and the two costly fumbles, but we could also rip Hill for not fighting for the ball when he saw the pass was under thrown. We could also come down on the rookie for the third-down drop he had in the fourth quarter.
With this team, blame can go any number of places every week. When you have that type of dynamic, one player isn't going to change things. Changing the quarterback won't do the trick, and not even if that quarterback is Tim Tebow.
The Jets will stumble to a 7-9 or 8-8 record this season. If the AFC doesn't improve, that could very well land them in the playoffs. However, it won't make them better than mediocre.
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