Tebowmania has come to the Big Apple and has taken the football world by storm. Tim Tebow was shipped to the Jets in exchange for a fourth and a sixth-round pick. With all the speculation brewing in the media of a potential quarterback controversy in Gotham we must ask ourselves: Is Tebow a better quarterback for the New York Jets, than incumbent Mark Sanchez?
The answer is simply, no. While Mark Sanchez was not a good quarterback last season, he was significantly better statistically than Tebow.
Sanchez threw for more touchdowns than his previous two seasons, but he also ranked 28th in completion percentage. Sanchez had numerous games in which he was anemic and didn’t look a starting quarterback, let alone a franchise quarterback.
Twenty-eighth in completion percentage? Tebow must have been better than that right? I mean the guy is a winner, and winner complete passes… Wrong.
For as bad as Sanchez was this past season Tebow was significantly worse. Tebow finished dead last among quarterbacks in completion percentage at 46.5%. The Tebow led Broncos offense didn’t exactly set the world on fire. Actually it was quite the opposite, finishing twenty-fifth in the NFL in points scored.
To put that percentage in perspective, think about it this way. When Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore was under pressure this season, he amassed a 46.5% completion percentage. That is on plays deemed as “under pressure.”Moore is not a great quarterback in this league and is considered a fringe NFL starter — though he did show improvement as the season went on. Including all passes, Moore completed 60.5% of his passes which is a respectable number. 46.5% is an absolutely horrendous number.
The Denver offense led the league in three-and-outs. That stat proved to be a direct correlation to the collapse of their defense. In the beginning of the “Tebow Era” the defense was able to carry the team through three quarterbacks before the magic happened. As the season went on they wore down. The Jets are an older defensive unit, it’s safe to say they would have a similar collapse.
The main argument by Tebow supporters is the intangibles and the ability to win. People forget that Sanchez led the Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship game appearances. Neither year were the Jets a top two team in the AFC, but yet the intangible “win” factor aided Sanchez in playing efficient football in the playoffs and winning four playoff games, all of which were on the road.
Why is Tebow a terrible fit for the Jets? The Jets have a locker room that has been described as “disarray” by cornerback Darrelle Revis on ESPN on Wednesday. Some players, namely Santonio Holmes, have doubted the ability of their starting quarterback. The first thing Tebow will do in training camp is split the locker room. Not intentionally of course, but the Jets are a team of big ego’s and the Sanchez doubters will certainly buy into giving Tebow a chance.
Tebow has proven that he is inept in a traditional pro-style offense, therefore the offense would have to be molded similarly to the job Mike McCoy did in Denver last season developing a spread-option attack.
The Broncos didn’t have ideal personnel for the system, but they had certain pieces to make it work. The Jets do not. Do people honestly think Holmes (who is truly the only “weapon” the Jets have in their receiving corps) will give maximum effort when he is asked to block on 70% of snaps?
Part of what made the spread-option successful in the run game for the Broncos was their zone blocking scheme. The spread-option calls for zone blocking to open holes for the backs. The Jets employ a power man blocking scheme — now more than ever with Tony Sparano at the helm.Power blockers would get in the way more than clear paths for the backs.
The ideal way for the Jets to employ Tebow would in short yardage and goalline situations where he could use his size to impose his will on defenses. If the Jets ever come to a situation when Tebow is pressed into extended action I predict that they will be disappointed.
New York fans will NOT be as patient with his ineptitude as the fans inDenver. Look at Sanchez, in the beginning of last season fans were quick to come to his defense, this season they’re questioning far more than defending.
I don’t foresee any significant impact for Tebow in the AFC East, a division known for strong defenses. The Patriots are far and away the best team in the division and have only improved this offseason. The Bills are on the rise after signing Mario Williams and Mark Anderson to sure up the pass rush and showing a good deal of promise in the first half of the 2011 season. The Dolphins appear to match the Jets in terms of ineptitude, but had the sixth-ranked defense last season.
Tebow will aide the Jets in short yardage and as a decoy, but I’m not sold on their offensive talent nor their coordinator.
In my personal opinion the Jets do not have a franchise quarterback on their roster, and next season they will be looking to draft one in the first two rounds.
If the Jets want to have any chance at making a playoff push this season Sanchez has got to be their quarterback. They need to add depth at running back and add a legitimate threat at pass rush. Schematically they can only commit so many players to rushing the quarterback with out hurting themselves in other places. They need to return to their formula that led them to two AFC Championship appearances: run the ball, play good defense, and allow Sanchez to manage the game and limit turnovers.