Otto Greule Jr
The Jets could use some Tebow Magic™.
It's no secret that I am highly skeptical of Tim Tebow's ability to be a successful NFL quarterback. It's not because I think Tebow is a bad guy. It's not because I think ESPN overrated him in college (which I do). It's not because I don't believe in God. I do. I just believe more in the forward pass when it comes to the NFL.
If you want to be dominant in the NFL, you need to throw the football well. It's the way the rules are set up. It's how teams find success in this era. Adrian Peterson averages 5.8 yards per carry right now. Mark Sanchez averages 5.6 yards per pass attempt. Let that sink in. The best running back in the league is only a fraction more productive when he touches the ball than the worst quarterback. Sanchez averages over a half yard more per throw than Chris Johnson, Doug Martin, Lesean McCoy, Ray Rice, Marshawn Lynch, Matt Forte, and almost every back in the league average on the ground.
If you depend on the run game, your scoring drives take longer. That means you have less turns with the ball. That means lower scoring games. When there are less possessions, games are close. Sometimes it allows an inferior team to stay in the game, and that team gets a lucky bounce or a bad call that wins the game.
If you constantly play that way over the course of a 16 game season, you are bound to lose at least a game or two to a team that is not as good as you. It's really, really hard to win a Super Bowl that way.
That's why I don't view Tebow as a franchise quarterback. His success is based on his running ability. He is almost hopeless as a passer. Any team he quarterbacks is probably never going to be dominant because of his inability to throw successfully. The Jets are not going to be a Super Bowl team with him.
But it is time for the Jets to play Tebow. You might question this in light of what I said above. Yes, I believe it, but the inverse is true also. Right now, the Jets are not on the cusp of being a dominant team. In fact, they are a bad team.
Tebow is a talented runner. He could instantly transform the offense into one that is at least more adept on the ground. The Jets would not put up a lot of points, but they could rest their defense by putting together longer drives. They could limit the amount of touches the other team gets. This would create low scoring games where the Jets might get a lucky bounce and pull out a win against superior competition. As tempting as it is to look forward on the schedule and declare a game winnable, every single opponent left is doing the same thing when they see the Jets right now.
Playing a run-centric way when you are good might mean you play more close games against inferior teams. It also means you play more close games against superior teams when you are bad. Tebow is by no means a long-term solution. Frankly, it probably won't work. But that remarkable run last year in Denver showed that sometimes you can get lucky for a stretch. The status quo has no such odds.