Tim Tebow Has Benefited from Soft Schedule, Has Yet to Be Tested

Hal NicholsCorrespondent IDecember 4, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 4: Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos scrambles with the ball as Jared Allen #69 of the Minnesota Vikings gives chase in the fourth quarter on December 4, 2011 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Broncos defeated the Vikings 35-32. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Tebowmania is on my last nerve. As the anointed one continues to get credit for his team barely sneaking out wins against a host of teams that are golf course-bound come January, I continue to shake my head. Are NFL pundits so mindless as to not be able to grasp the concept of strength of schedule?

The very idea that one level of performance might get you a win against Team A, yet get you blown out by Team B appears to be rocket science, but is totally over the heads of the collective sports media.

Putting aside how utterly asinine it is to credit a QB and a QB alone with "winning," here is the gauntlet of teams that Tebow has "beaten:" Miami, Oakland, Kansas City, New York Jets, San Diego and Minnesota. Not a single team listed there has a ceiling higher than "first-round fodder" in the NFL Playoffs.

In four of those games, the Denver defense held bottom feeder QBs to less than 14 points, making the degree of difficulty for the the Denver offense about as low as it gets. The two games where Denver scored more than 20 were against the awful Vikings defense today, and against the Raiders, where Carson Palmer gave them short fields repeatedly with interception after interception and Eddie Royal took a punt back to the house.

Against a Detroit Lions team with a solid defense and an explosive offense, the Broncos got absolutely dismantled to the tune of 45-10. That's the kind of score lines we would be seeing if Tebowmania actually had to encounter a decent team or two outside of their own soft division.

The only defenses that would make an offensive coordinator lose any sleep are New York (who suffered from having Mark Sanchez be their quarterback) and Oakland (who suffered from having Carson Palmer be their quarterback).  

The lone game for the Tebow-led Broncos where they have had to play a team with both and offense and a defense was the aforementioned Lions game, and it wasn't pretty.

And Tebow isn't the only overrated part of the Broncos resurgence. The defense hasn't exactly been lining up against Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees or Tom Brady. They've seen Matt Moore, The Prodigal Carson Palmer, Matt Cassel, The Sanchize and the suddenly-inept Phillip Rivers.  

Today, a Christian Ponder-led, Adrian Peterson-less Vikings put up 32 on them. So yeah, save the back patting for those guys too. They've had it almost as easy as Tebow has.

In the standings, wins are all that matter in the NFL. But in analysis, one must actually take the time to examine those results if one desires to be any more informative than W-L record on a piece of paper. The TeBroncos simply have not had to play and A-Level teams. The one B-Level team they played demolished them at home.

So what we are left with is some squeaker wins against average or worse teams. Nothing to see here; move along.

When the Broncos beat a team that has a legitimate shot at making noise in January, I will re-evaluate. Until then, Tebowmania is just a bunch of noise.