Tim Tebow must start the season as the Denver Broncos starting quarterback. I don’t think there are many people who could disagree with that. Whether he won or lost against the Steelers today, Tebow earned his spot as the team’s rightful starting quarterback.
The bottom line still isn’t wins. It’s how Tebow gets those wins. Today, Tim Tebow’s starring role against the Steelers was not accompanied by an Oscar worthy performance from luck (god?) for best supporting actor. Tebow time wasn’t reserved specifically for the 4th quarter as the Broncos’s won this game in a manner that John Elway could be proud of who seemed genuinely happy today. I know, right?
Tim Tebow showed the organization they need to stick with him. Even the fiercest critics, such as myself, of Tebow’s stumbling and bumbling inspector Clouseau-like (see my tweet) style of play have to concede this one to the real chosen1. It would be crazy of Denver, at this point, not to publicly show a great deal of confidence with regards to Tim Tebow’s status as the starting quarterback going into next season.
He has clearly improved virtually all facets of his game. That is something no one can ignore.
However, is it enough?
In spite of everything we witnessed against the Steelers, one strong week following a number of poor weeks isn’t going to completely change my mind. Yeah, what a shocker.
The supporters continue to support while the critics continue to criticize.
Tebow still misses open receivers. Late in the 4th quarter he had a chance to put his team into game winning field goal range but on 3rd down with just over a minute remaining he neatly stepped up in the pocket only to badly miss the open receiver running free across the middle of the field. It wasn’t the lone time in the game he missed a receiver by a fair margin. He may have thrown for over 300 yards but it was done on only 10 of 21 passing, with just 1 of those passes being dropped.
Tebow still stands in the pocket for much too long. He hasn’t learned how make his progressions and read a defence with ease. If his primary receiver isn’t there, Tebow must scramble. Can he learn to read defences? Does he have to learn how to read defences?
The only people who flip-flop more than Mitt Romney does may be the football analysts commenting on this Tebow conundrum. Nevertheless, his inability to show he can consistently play as well as he has against the Steelers and Raiders leaves me no choice but to carry on with my scepticism.
Consistency is a must in the NFL. Roller-coasters are fun, but after a while you start to get sick of them. America will never get sick of talking about Tebow. The Broncos, on the other hand, will put up with his inconsistency for only so long.
Tebow deserves the opportunity to succeed in the NFL next year. He should be the unquestionable starter. His performance against the Patriots shouldn’t make any difference to where he stands next season. While he ought to be number 1 on the depth chart in 2012, the Broncos can’t put all their eggs in their holy basket.
To place their full faith in an inconsistent, inaccurate quarterback constantly exposed to injury, despite his thick 245 pound frame, after a clutch playoff performance would also be crazy. Focusing their complete energy in surrounding Tebow with the best personnel for an option offence could blow up in their face if Tebow fails or gets injured.
Tebow has given the Bronco’s a lot more to think about. And to think, a Raiders win last weekend might have put the final nail in Tebow’s starting quarterback coffin. Now, it’s full steam ahead for the Tebow train.
I’m just not jumping aboard. Not yet.
You can follow Chris on twitter @paintstheblack or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org