Posted Fri Nov 4th by E. Halsey Miles
To everyone who read my article on Monday and took away “Tebow is the only problem with this team,” you are reading something somebody else wrote. That article was about Tim Tebow. It would take three or four times the text to talk about the problems on the entire team.
But given the state of the media surrounding the Denver Broncos right now, Tim Tebow deserved an article all to himself. This article is about why Tim Tebow deserves an article all to himself.
The Tebow supporters are very quiet right now, and rightly so. There is very little in his play that can be defended — the only useful thing to be said is “Give him more time,” and you’ll note that I didn’t suggest that we pull him right away. BUT! One more performance like Sunday and I’ll be riding the “Bench Him Bandwagon” with a mug of salty beer and a hanky.
Instead, the Tebow supporters who are not simply wisely waiting for him to have a stellar performance and shove my words down my throat at a later date are now finding anyone and everyone else they can blame so that it isn’t all Tebow’s fault. Comments around the web show that those loyal to Tim Tebow are blaming Mike McCoy, Joh Fox, Orlando Franklin, Zane Beadles and the entirety of the defense (possibly save Von Miller but definitely including Champ Bailey) for Tebow’s woeful play.
Well, I’ve got news for you.
It isn’t ALL Tebow’s fault, that’s true. But we can’t hold Tebow blameless and we can’t even say he deserves less blame than any one else on the team.
To those who blame Mike McCoy more than Tim Tebow: I believe you are wrong. McCoy is trying hard to work the offense around Tebow’s strengths. They’re running a spread offense. They’re in the shotgun over 75% of the plays, a marked change from Kyle Orton. They’re running the kinds of routes that Tebow was successful with in college.
Those who blame John Fox for Tim Tebow’s problems are simply wrong. He turned to Tebow a lot faster than I thought he would. Fox is trying hard to take what he has and win with it. John Fox is going to go with the player he thinks gives the best chance to win. And after a performance like the last two weeks, any quarterback NOT named Tim Tebow would be looking pretty hard at the bench and getting used to the idea of riding it. Actually, Tebow probably is too, because he’s a good guy and he knows how the world works.
Those who blame any single player for Tim Tebow’s problems are wrong. None of those players are responsible for Tebow being able to see, target, throw and hit an open receiver. The closest we can say is that Franklin is responsible for keeping him upright long enough to do that.
Those who think the O-Line is so bad Tebow doesn’t have time to play, you are very wrong. Pro Football Spotlight is posting some very good articles rating the O-Line play on MHR. They’re doing okay. Not awesome, but they’ve improved steadily over time. They’re out there doing a workman’s job trying to make plays.
Those who think the defense is so bad that it’s their fault the offense couldn’t score are demonstratably wrong and then some. This was just as true last season with Kyle Orton: The defense is put at a serious disadvantage when the offense goes 3 and out over and over again. Three and out should be the exception not the rule. Going three and out vastly increases the chances the other team will get points on the next drive. It increases the number of snaps your defensive players have to make. It puts more pressure on your defense, because it’s on THEM to win the game for you. And it eventually demoralizes your defense if they get scored on but your offense can’t. As someone in the comments said, if the defense had pitched a shutout, we still would’ve lost with the points given up by Tebow himself.
Football is a game of perfection. A demoralized defense will not play a perfect game, and things will quickly escalate.
The defense is mediocre. Of that there is no doubt. You cannot expect them to put up a performance like the Ravens. A mediocre defense should expect, given a competent offense, to give up 20-27 points per game. The offense has to be able to match that, or a lot of games are going to be lost.
For the record, against a very good offense, our mediocre defense gave up 31 points. Given the time of possession hole they were put in, I think they actually did okay. Are they good? No. But if our offense was remotely competent, we could be competitive.
And I’d feel pretty good about going 8 and 8 right now. Makes me miss the days of Shanahan, where 8 and 8 was considered terrible.