Tim Tebow: Widely loved but overrated

We are hitting the middle of the NFL season this weekend, and it has already brought a ton of surprises. Teams that were expected to be championship contenders, like the Philadelphia Eagles, have started out slow, and teams were expected to perform badly, such as the San Francisco 49ers, have excelled so far. Even with many playoff teams competing for their lives in Week 7, one game dominated the headlines. The two teams that were competing only had one win between them, yet it seemed like everyone’s eyes were on this game. Why? Because the legendary Tim Tebow was making his first start of the 2011 season for the Denver Broncos.

Broncos fans had been calling for Tebow to start in place of the former starting quarterback, Kyle Orton, since the beginning of the season. However, head coach John Fox decided to go with Orton, a 2010 Pro Bowler, for the first seven games of the season, with little success. With the pressure on Fox, he decided to name Tebow, the former Florida Gator star and two-time national champion, as the permanent starter for the rest of the year.

For the past two years, Tebow has been one of the most controversial players in the game, starting from the day he was drafted. Many experts, such as ESPN’s Todd McShay, known to be one of the premiere analysts in college football, have repeatedly claimed that Tebow has no shot at being a successful quarterback in the National Football League, based on his flawed mechanics and inability to throw the football well on the run. However, pro-Tebow arguments state that he is a proven winner, one who has the “it” factor that it takes to win in the NFL. Those who have spoken with Tebow say that he is down-to-earth, is a great leader, and will do whatever it takes to win. Not to mention his extremely religious attitude, which makes him an extremely low-risk player when it comes to off-the-field issues.

Fast-forwarding to the game, Tebow led his Broncos to an epic 18–15 win in overtime. However, the final result does not tell the real story. Throughout the first three quarters, Tebow literally could not hit water if he fell out of a boat. Multiple times he missed wide-open receivers to whom any other starting and potentially backup QB in the NFL could have thrown. Not only that, he often could not make basic QB reads, leading him to spend too much time in the pocket. The stat sheet shows this, as Tebow was sacked seven times by the woeful Miami Dolphins defense, one of the worst pass-rushing teams in the league before this game.

While watching the game, I was repeatedly amazed that Tebow was even on the roster of any NFL team, let alone on the field as a starting QB. He would often run around in aimlessly in circles, and it was inevitable that he was going to get sacked. For three quarters it was a disaster.Then came the fourth quarter, where Tebow proved his fans correct for a time. He somehow found the ability to throw, and he led the Broncos to an amazing fourth-quarter comeback in which they scored 15 points in less than three minutes. Although it took a lot of luck to win the game, including a successful onside kick, Tebow supporters will point to his ability to win games as the reason why the Broncos won. However, Tebow supporters fail to recognize that Tebow did not win the game for the Broncos. In fact, the defense did, with a key strip-sack of Dolphins QB Matt Moore at Miami’s own 35-yard line, where the Broncos took over. Looking to move the ball a little bit closer, Tebow was unable to move the ball just one yard, and the Broncos had to rely on a Matt Prater 50-plus-yard field goal in order to win it in overtime. Not to mention they were playing against what is arguably the worst defense and team in the league.

All in all, there was an unimpressive win over a poorly playing team, where the QB did more bad than good. I don’t understand why anyone thinks that Tebow is a good player, let alone a franchise QB, but we will find out in the next few weeks.