Kyle Orton was named the starter because he gave the Broncos the best chance to win, according to John Fox. That was ultimately Orton's downfall because it became evident that he didn't.
Although Orton didn't play great, he wasn't really awful until the first half of the Chargers game. Fox pulled Orton because he couldn't move the ball and was 6-of-13 for 39 yards.
Although Tebow did put the Broncos within a Hail Mary of winning the game against the Chargers, the Broncos are horrible on so many levels that measuring Tebow on his ability to win games is absurd—as it was with Kyle Orton.
There is no question, that a huge part of the reason for playing Tim Tebow, was the pressure from the fans. And as long as the fans at Mile High keep cheering for Tebow even after the Broncos loose games, it will be hard for Fox to bench Tebow.
Deion Sanders said, "Tebow gives hope."
And as long as Tebow gives the fans hope, it will be tough for Fox to bench Tebow.
There have been commentators arguing that the Broncos front office are hoping that Tebow will fall flat on his face and bust, hoping that it will silent the fans, or at least have the fans cheering for the front office instead of Tim Tebow.
What should be Tim Tebows measuring stick ?
Cam Newton has given the fans and the Carolina Panthers hope of a better future, even if the team loses. He does it because he awes with the magical passing numbers and his ability to score TDs with his feet.
Tebow is not going to light up Mile High with 400-plus yards of passing. Where Tebow excels is in his ability to make big plays with his feet and arm. With the limited stats we have, he would be a top 10 QB in the NFL measured in average yards per play and the ESPN QB rating system have him ranked fifth out of all QBs in Week 5.
Tebow is mostly criticized for his lack of accuracy and his completion percentage. But is that really such a big deal? When he does complete a pass or make a play with his feet and he racks up enough yards to make up for the incompletions, what's the big deal?
Scoring doesn't seem to be a problem either. In the second half last week, Tebow passed and ran for a TD. In his three starts in 2010, he averaged 25 points a game (Orton averaged around 21 in 2010).
The one thing that kills any QB are INTs and fumbles, just ask Orton. But that doesn't seem to be a problem for Tebow. However, Tebow's stats are especially vulnerable to turnovers because he relies a lot on the big plays.
The Measuring Stick
So what will it take to satisfy John Fox and convince John Elway? Is Tebow's status with Fox and Elway so low, that it will only come down to wins and losses? With the 25th ranked defense can you really expect Tebow to win more than a couple of games?
What can a franchise really expect from a second-year QB, playing on a team that is ranked 25th on offense and defense?
Orton was the starter because Fox thought he gave the Broncos the best chance to win.
What is Tebow's measuring stick?