Update: The NFL.com report referenced in this article turned out to be untrue. The Jets have decided to name Greg McElroy starter ahead of Tim Tebow.
Tim Tebow’s powers as a mystical savior are about to be put to their greatest test. If he can take the mathematically eliminated New York Jets to the playoffs, he really is The Chosen One. And there is something seriously wrong with the NFL playoff format (or our understanding of mathematics).
Tebow may have willed the Florida Gators to a National Championship in 2009 and delivered the Denver Broncos to the playoffs (and a dramatic overtime victory over the Steelers) last year, but he won’t be taking the Jets to the Promised Land in 2012. He’s about to get a serious upgrade to his status on the depth chart, though. According to a report from NFL.com’s Marc Sessler, Tebow is about to be named the starting quarterback for the Jets.
This comes on the heels of a disastrous four-interception, five-turnover game by soon-to-be-former Jets starter Mark Sanchez on Monday Night Football. The Jets were defeated 14-10 by the Tennessee Titans and were officially eliminated from post-season contention in the NFL. In a play that sums up the Jets’ season, Sanchez fumbled the snap with under a minute to play and the Jets pressing for the go-ahead score.
“Too little, too late” will say many critics, arguing that Tebow should have been installed as the Jets’ starter long ago — back when the team still had a chance to go on a run to the playoffs. It’s a fair point, as it was clear weeks ago that the Jets were among the worst teams in the league and that Sanchez would not and could not lead them to success in the playoffs. The Jets got a few flukey wins, though, and found themselves in the race for a Wild Card spot. Stubborn head coach Rex Ryan refused to move away from Sanchez as long as the team was in contention.
Frankly, many of those who’ve watched the Jets play this year would likely refute the notion that naming Tebow starter weeks ago would have saved anything for the hapless team. Tebow may not even be capable of saving his own perceived value among NFL front office executives at this point. He’s been used very sparingly by the Jets this year and has never looked like anything close to the wizard that created “Tebow Time” hysteria with inexplicable late-game heroics last year in Denver. Was he just a bad football player all along and were those Broncos wins accidental? It looks like the answer to both questions might be yes.
Inserted into last night’s game for a first-half series, it was painfully evident that Tebow still cannot call proper audibles, read a defense post-snap or make accurate throws. The Titans blitzed Tebow relentlessly and he was completely unable to exploit the weaknesses in the secondary. He looked like a player undeserving of being on an NFL roster, let alone starting.
Now, the football world has two weeks to see what Tebow can do as the full-time quarterback of the Jets. These two weeks will likely determine if he ever gets the shot to start for an NFL team again.