Filthy showing so far
Like a Band-Aid, right?
My face is twitching as I pen (key?) this. I'm officially part of the problem.
You feel regret, remorse and disappointment in shameful moments like this. When you fight against something for so long, copping to the evil force stands as a painful mental flagellation.
Sadly, I'm now inflicted with the nationwide media plague known as Tebowmania.
But it's (sadistically) justified. The New York Jets need to do something. Tim Tebow is that something.
Since his 266-yard, three-touchdown surprise in Week 1 versus a highly susceptible Buffalo Bills defense, Mark Sanchez holds a 43.6 completion percentage (44-for-101) with two touchdowns and three picks. His 306-yard Week 3 affair took place on 45 attempts. Volume too frequently masks mediocrity.
The backfield has regressed by more than a few steps, likely, at least in part, because of the transition from their previous zone-blocking focus to Tony Sparano's gap emphasis. Shonn Greene has proven he needs help from his offensive line, system and game plan to succeed. He doesn't find or hit holes with authority and needs a heavy workload to produce even slightly useful fantasy statistics.
Bilal Powell is a bit shiftier but hasn't had a real chance to meaningfully attempt to alter this offensive culture.
Oh, and this defense can't stop the run, either.
Even worse, the Jets lost their closest thing to a No. 1 receiving target with Santonio Holmes' season-ending foot surgery. Rookie wideout Stephen Hill (hamstring) is also dinged and reeks of "inconsistent downfield threat." Jeremy Kerley has shown flashes as a midrange target and has somewhat of a connection with Sanchez, but he's not a dynamic playmaker. Dustin Keller (hamstring) has been MIA. Jeff Cumberland? A nice depth piece but not a season-saver.
Owner Woody Johnson is reportedly starting the cattle calls for the southpaw to take the every-down snaps. Overreaction? Maybe, especially given their investment in Sanchez, which in part must've been a monetary apology for the front office's dalliance with Peyton Manning.
In Sanchez's defense, he works best off the play-action pass, and his ground support hardly gives defenses a reason to flood to what would look like a running play. But the fact he relies on that as his primary means of moving the ball downfield shows how much he lacks in general skills.
Outside of QB2's special teams work, Rex Ryan and the rest of the staff values Tebow's intangibles.
(I'm really sorry.)
But are we already forgetting the change-up a Tebow-led O threw at the NFL least year? When the Denver Broncos altered their offense midstream last year to suit Tebow's strengths, they created momentum, even if it was quite ghastly most games. At least it gave them a singular offensive identity that, when at its peak of stability, makes Tebow a winner.
(Seriously, I apologize.)
Gang Green's O lacked that clarity under Brian Schottenheimer last year and hasn't yet experienced it under the watch of ground disciple Sparano, who, lest you forget, has experience with wildcat and other tricky QB tricks. He could probably craft something close to what Denver did with the spread-option attack.
Theoretically, it would open up more running lanes for the Jets' toters as defenses would have to account for No. 15's legs (not so much for his arm). Greene would have no choice but to run forward through what should be better gaps, or so they'd hope. To involve the wideouts more, they'd have to run more quick slants, screens and the type of short patterns that made Demaryius Thomas occasionally successful for Denver late last year.
Going to Tebow Time would ideally slow down the pace, keeping their opponents off the field as much as possible to avoid putting too much responsibility on a Darrelle Revis-less defense.
Will the Jets have the gall to flip the switch holding a 2-2 record? Getting crushed by an elite San Francisco 49ers defense isn't unfounded; they're quite good and have done the same to many excellent offenses.
New York's tally and 2-0 AFC East record don't say they're in danger, but their on-field product says they'll struggle to remain competitive. Is their commitment to Sanchez more important than their immediate future? Most will argue it is. But even though he's been on the cusp of a Super Bowl before, sticking with Sanchez doesn't give them what they paid for: a franchise slinger that can carry games on his own without the help of his cast mates.
Sure, the league is closer to figuring out the Tebow O. On paper, however, a Jets switch to Tebow - at least with a platoon closer to 50-50 in snaps - makes sense and would give slightly more hope to the rumble game. It'd be a near death knell, on the other hand, for the receiving targets (maybe not as much for the tight ends).
Tebow himself wouldn't be more than a low-end QB2 that's most valuable as a bye fill-in. Unfortunately, "ugly wins" still don't count in fantasy leagues.
As for Tebow's real-life value, I apologize to the sports media world, but dangit, the idea is growing on me.
Sorry. Save me. Please.
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Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.