New York Jets: How Tim Tebow Can Help Jets Make Playoffs

William SmithCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2012

Tebow hasn't been given a chance to help the Jets.
Tebow hasn't been given a chance to help the Jets.Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Believe it or not, the New York Jets have a legitimate shot of making the playoffs, and Tim Tebow may be the final piece in getting them there.

Considered a laughingstock on offense, the New York Jets are finding ways to win, are 6-7 and are winners of three of their last four games. The offense has been far from pretty, as Mark Sanchez looks like anything but a franchise quarterback.

The Jets pass defense has been outstanding, second-best in the league, surrendering only 196 yards per game despite the absence of star cornerback Darrelle Revis.

However, the Jets have reestablished their commitment to the run game in recent weeks, running the ball well with the two-headed attack of Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell. Most recently, Greene and Powell teamed up for 39 combined carries for 155 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a 17-10 win over Jacksonville

Enter Tim Tebow. To this point, the world's most well-known backup QB has not played since Nov. 18 as he has been healing two fractured ribs suffered back on Nov. 11 against Seattle. On the season, Tebow has just 39 passing yards, 87 rushing yards and no touchdowns. 

So why try to utilize Tebow now, when the experiment has produced nothing but failure and distractions to the team?

Despite the recent success of Greene and Powell in the backfield, the Jets still struggle in short-yardage situations.

In 2nd-and-short situations, the Jets are just 4-of-8 (50 percent), and in 3rd-and-short situations, the Jets have converted 10 of 17 attempts (58.8 percent). 

With Tebow in the mix, it would give the Jets a legitimate back to pick up the one or two yards necessary for a first down.  While Greene is a big back at 226 pounds, Tebow is 236 pounds and has proven in the past that he can handle short-yardage situations to keep the chains moving. 

While Tebow will be active for Monday Night Football against the Tennessee Titans, it appears he won't be running any Wildcat offense. Rather, if Sanchez is injured, Tebow would come in and run the conventional offense for the Jets.

Even though the Jets may not use him with the Wildcat, they still would be well served giving him carries in short-yardage situations.

If Sanchez goes down or is ineffective in prime time or at any point in these final three games, it would be wise to turn to Tebow. With the season on the line, the Jets likely have to win out to have a chance.

The schedule is very favorable, however, with the Titans, Chargers and Bills remaining, all winnable games.

Turning to Tebow if Sanchez struggles would be the right thing to do because they simply haven't given him much of a chance this year. He struggled in practice and in the preseason, but that doesn't necessarily mean he will struggle in games.

Heck, he looked awful on plenty of occasions in a Denver Broncos uniform, but he also led Denver to an AFC West crown and an incredible playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

If there's one player for whom you have to discard how he looks in practice, it's Tim Tebow. Sure, you want him to develop the mechanics and skills necessary to look like Peyton Manning throwing the football, but that may be a lost cause. 

Tebow has the talent necessary to help an inept Jets offense that struggles to put points on the board. He is only a year removed from being the starter for the Broncos. Some of his throws may make fans cringe, but can it really be any worse than what Sanchez has done up to this point?

Plus, he has proven he can win big football games, no matter how ugly they look.

Sanchez has a much greater potential for turnovers and scorn from a fanbase who can't stand seeing him underwhelm. Tebow may not offer exceptional play, but he is less likely to make backbreaking mistakes that will cost his team a chance at victory. 

The Jets are winning in spite of Sanchez. Putting Tebow in the mix at QB or in certain running situations will only help a mediocre offense that lacks reliable weapons.