Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Is Tebow the worst Quarterback in the NFL?

After his heroics against the frankly rubbish Miami defence two weeks ago, Tim Tebow was brought crashing down from the heavens with a bump after coming up against the increasingly intimidating Detroit Lions defence. 

Predictably, the press screamed for blood, re visiting all the old arguments about Tebow's unsuitability to be a QB in the NFL, but I have a nagging thought in the back of my head. Is it really all his fault that they are losing? 

The weight of the world on his shoulders

It was apparent in the game last week against Miami that Tebow was struggling to find chemistry with his receivers and the extra week didn't solve any of the problems. He constantly overthrows or underthrows his receivers and has trouble anticipating receiver’s breaks downfield.  

The issues with is throwing motion have been well documented and even after a year with NFL coaches trying to fix his technique Tebow still drops the ball below his waist in a long winding up motion, which Detroit took advantage of to the tune of two fumbles.

Lions Defensive End Cliff Avril knocks the ball out of Tebows hand

He also has a tendency to pull the ball down and run if no receivers break open downfield and shows a lack of poise in the pocket, wheeling away to the sidelines to try and extend the play. 

The Lack of a Supporting Cast

The players that make up the rest of the Broncos aren’t exactly what you would call elite level and in trading away Brandon Lloyd the Broncos lost their number one receiver and Tebow’s favourite target.

If a QB is struggling he can usually go to his Tight end to release the pressure on him, however the Broncos are very thin on talent at the position with Daniel Fells leading a group that has accounted for nineteen catches between them all season.
The running game has been able to take a little of the pressure off the passing game with all three running backs combining for 700 yards. They have also accounted for 4 touchdowns through the air.

On the other side of the ball the Broncos defence is very middle of the road and features a secondary full of ageing veterans past their prime with a habit of giving up big plays at inopportune moments.

Can’t Fight the System

One of the more interesting parts of Denver’s offence is the transformation it makes when it reaches the goal line. Suddenly Tebow is in the familiar shotgun with the offence spread out either side of him, just as he was in Florida. What is even more interesting about this is that Denver tend to score in these situations, using Tebows bruising running style to punch the ball in.

However Denver tend to remain very vanilla on offence away from the goal line, putting Tebow under centre and giving him deep drop pass plays from under centre. So why not adopt the spread style offence Tebow is used to running, does the talent on the team limit their options that much?  It's almost as if the Denver coaches want him to fail because he is a relic from the McDaniels era.

Compare Tebow with one of the big success stories of the NFL season, Cam Newton with the Carolina Panthers. The conversion of Cam Newton from college spread QB. Cam Newton is surrounded by talent with Steve Smith playing up to his elite level, two experienced tight ends in Jeremy Shockey and Greg Olsen and a run game that can threaten opposing defences. Rookie head coach Ron Rivera

This week we get to see Tebow and the Broncos take on the Oakland Raiders in a hotly contested AFC West Divisional game. Will John Fox think outside the box and implement an offence that suits the Mile High Messiah, or will we continue to see Tebow struggle to pick up the nuances of a complicated NFL offence?

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