By Dan Zeigarnik, Patriots Daily Staff
Considering that the mighty Curtis Painter has just been benched in favor of UConn’s very own Dan Orlovsky, and that Vegas has taken the already ridiculous 21 point line off the board and is no longer taking bets on the game, I will take a stab at the national conversation. Now, don’t get me wrong there is always trap games and the Pats need to come in focused and ready to play, but other than that there isn’t really much to say.
However, there is plenty to say about the sainted one, Mr. Gospel Choir Himself, the one-and-only Tim Tebow. Despite the fact that everything in America has been politicized including, unfortunately, religion, I will try to be as fair to him as possible and focus on the on-the-field performance.
He was an amazing high school quarterback. He was an unbelievable college quarterback. He is clutch in the fourth quarter and had countless of comebacks including several in this year in the NFL. Everyone knows these facts and they are not up for dispute.
Along with his history or success, comes his style of play which is plainly visible to anyone who watches him. He is built like a running back, he runs like a running back, and most amusingly, he throws like a running back.
Now does that mean that he doesn’t have the physical, mental and mechanical tools to succeed in the NFL? Of course not. The quarterback position is a cerebral one and making the right adjustments before the snap and the ability to make your reads quickly is the biggest differentiator between the haves and the have-nots. So is Tebow going to be a successful quarterback in this league? He very well might be, but his impressive 5-1 record since taking over the starting job is much less predictive than everyone has let on to be.
Since Tebow took the helm:
- Week 1: Defeated a god-awful Dolphins team in Overtime
- Week 2: Lost emphatically to a decent Lions team 45-10
- Week 3: Beat an Oakland team that had Carlson Palmer still shaking off the rust. He threw six interceptions in his first two weeks
- Week 4: Beat Chiefs in a close game where Matt Cassel suffered a season ending injury. Also, the Chiefs were already a bad team and with Palko leading them have become a laughing-stock. They are currently in a four game skid, with no end in sight. Looking at their schedule, they will probably lose the rest of their games and finish 4-12.
- Week 5: Beat a Jets team that is doing its best Eagles impersonation. Since week one they haven’t beat a single playoff team. Their two wins against the fading Bills and the Chargers don’t count.
- Week 6: Speaking of San Diego, they are in the middle of a 6 game skid and are ready to give Norv Turner the very belated boot.
If the Patriots played a schedule like this, everyone would be saying how it doesn’t matter much. In fact, they are saying it right now about the Patriots remaining cupcake games which include Denver. Looking forward to the rest of the Broncos games, they are playing the Vikings, the Cutler-less Bears,New England, Bills and Chiefs. With a schedule like that they could easily finish the season out 4-1 and land a spot in the playoffs. Now, it’s pretty improbable that in the last 11 games of a season a team would only get two worthy opponents (New England and Lions). However that is exactly what happened to Denver.
So if they get blown out by the only two legitimate playoff teams that they faced, does that make them a good team? I, therefore, submit that Tebow’s performance has to be put in context. Can he become a good Quarterback in the NFL? Sure he can, but it’s not because he can beat a Raiders team that is starting a player just signed off the streets at quarterback and don’t have Darren McFadden. Let’s see how he does against New England in two weeks and decide then.