Tebowmania may have officially hit rock bottom last Sunday. If you’re only as good as your last game Denver is in trouble, and have somehow been cheating trouble for quite a while. In last week’s 7-3 loss to the Chiefs Tebow was 6-22 for 50 yards with an interception. The Broncos, losers of three straight, finished 8-8, won the division, and get to host the Steelers today because everyone else in the AFC West was more mediocre than they were. With the over the top adoration that came when things were going well, so must come the scrutiny when things don’t go well. League parity and the law of averages prevail.
Tebow did come in and play a part in revivng Denver’s season. But so did the schedule. Denver only played four playoff teams all season, two of those were right out of the gate in weeks 1 and 2. Kyle Orton split those, going 1-1 against the Bengals and Packers. They started 1-4, as we all know. Tebow went 7-4 as a starter and you can’t take that away from him. The two playoff teams he faced, the Lions and Patriots, lit Denver up by a combined score of 86-33.
So Tebow basically went 7-2 against nine teams that weren’t very good. The things other quarterbacks get scrutinized for , Tebow seems to get a pass. Completion percentage and accuracy aren’t his strong suits. Now that that understatement is out of the way, let’s take a look. In the eleven games he started he completed 50% or better in only three of them. Twice he failed to reach the 30% mark. He found some ways to work some fourth quarter magic, and he had some clutch field goals go his way. But Denver was in position to win or keep it close in spite of Tebow quite often.
Romeo Crennel and the Chiefs had Tebow on lockdown all day. Dick LeBeau and the Steelers will make it seem like deja vu all over again. Pittsburgh is banged up, as is everybody, but Pittsburgh is dealing with a lot. Big Ben is still gimpy, Pouncey may not play, Mendenhall has been lost for the season, and Ryan Clark has been wisely sidelined for precautionary reasons. Despite all of that Pittsburgh is still way to much for Denver to handle.It’s a shame that they have to go on the road to play this game (see New Orleans at Seattle last year) but the playoff format is what it is. I don’t see Denver doing what the Seahawks were able to do. This will be the third playoff team Tebow faces and it’s his first ever playoff game. Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, Mr. Zone Blitz himself, has embarrassed and flustered many a elite quarterback and the thought of Tebow isn’t likely causing him to lose any sleep. We saw what happened when New England went to Denver. Pittsburgh, although much healthier at the time, beat New England. I’m just sayin’.
Tebow had his fun run this season and won his 7 games. But, like the hot shot minor league prospect who gets called up from AAA and bats .417 in his first 12 games, people figure you out. They get a book on you and throw fastballs up and in or first pitch changeups or whatever causes you the most trouble until you prove you can adjust to it and hit it. Defenses have adjusted to Tebow and this will be the best by far of all the defenses he’s seen. I don’t see him making enough adjusments.
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