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NFL Recap Week 16: Tebow's future, Brady let down, Broncos fever

Monday - 12/24/2012, 11:58am  ET

AP: 9d81518b-f3e3-4b6b-b879-b5d445788d98
This Nov. 11, 2012 file photo shows New York Jets' Tim Tebow on the field before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawksin Seattle. Rex Ryan acknowledged Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 that he had higher expectations for the seldom-used Tebow in the Jets' wildcat-style offense. And, so did the NFL's most popular and maligned backup quarterback. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Rob Woodfork, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - When Tim Tebow, one of the most polarizing figures in all of sports, was traded to the New York Jets last off season, it was widely considered a huge head scratcher.

Mark Sanchez, the former fifth overall pick, was entrenched as the starter and Tebow, fresh off of an improbable playoff run in Denver, was supposed to help carry the load despite holding the title of backup.

And in a situation that left little hope for a positive result, it's now ending badly.

It was inevitable that Sanchez would be benched. The Jets are 6-8 and sure to be home for the holidays, thanks in part to the fact that nobody's turned the ball over more than Sanchez the last two seasons. He's long been a shaky performer in the media capital of the world, and has never been on anyone's short list for the mentally toughest quarterbacks in the league.

What wasn't expected is the sight of Greg McIlroy leapfrogging Tebow to the starting gig. Yet that's what went down in Gotham mere hours after one of the most embarrassing losses in Jets history.

There's no doubt this was the right move. I know Tebow helped (note I said helped, not led) the Broncos to the playoffs in 2011. I know there's a perception that "all he does is win". I'm also well aware that he's a great kid who possesses great intangibles.

But let's be real, here. The kid can't pass. The number one entry on a quarterback's job description is being able to throw the ball accurately and on time. Tebow can't.

Tebow is, however, a box office draw. Which is why the only destination left that makes any sense is Jacksonville, Tebow's hometown and the market where the ex-Gator is obviously very popular. All signs point to a return home for Tebow, but that would be his last best chance at being a starting NFL quarterback.

If Jacksonville doesn't pan out, he'll probably have to make a trip north of the border (the Montreal Alouettes already hold his rights.)

Tebow is a good kid and a team-first guy, so there's a chance he'd be amenable to changing positions to stay in the NFL. But chances are this is the beginning of the end of him as a quarterback.

There's still a few NFL recaps left, though.

Falcons 31
Lions 18

Two things I suspected before the season became official in this game: Calvin Johnson is the best receiver in football (hard to argue now that he's got a league-record 1,892 yards this season,) and the road to the Super Bowl comes through Atlanta.

Redskins 27
Eagles 20

If this was Andy Reid's final home game as coach of the Eagles, it was a perfect encapsulation of his tenure in Philly: He got close, but it just wasn't good enough.

Saints 34
Cowboys 31 (OT)

Boy, I seem to remember somebody saying last week New Orleans would win this game. Who was that?

Titans 7
Packers 55

Tennessee knows the season doesn't end until next week, right?

Colts 20
Chiefs 13

One of the great surprises of the 2012 NFL season has to be the resurgence in Indianapolis. A team with a rookie QB, a suspect defense, and a coach who spent half the season in chemotherapy has every excuse to fail but the Colts have a double-digit win season instead. Remarkable.

Bills 10
Dolphins 24

If a Thurman Thomas tweet is the highlight of this game, that speaks volumes about how bad things are in Buffalo.

Chargers 27
Jets 17

Now that Norv Turner seems to be resigned to his near-certain fate, I'm done taking jabs at him. Man, the holidays have made me soft...

Oh, and Jets fans? If Greg McElroy is learning the QB position from the man he's replacing, then expect to see more 65.5 QB ratings in your future.

Bengals 13
Steelers 10

I felt Pittsburgh would have a down season, but I didn't have these guys as a sub .500 team in December. This might be the most disappointing team of 2012.

Rams 28
Bucs 13

Tampa lost their fifth in a row, and look like a safe bet to end the season with a 6-game slide. New coach, same result for the second year in a row.

Raiders 6
Panthers 17

With all the games with playoff implications, did anyone actually pay this game any mind?

Patriots 23
Jaguars 16

I'm still mad about this. I fulled expected Tom Brady to have one of those patented 400 yard, four TD games against a lousy Jacksonville team to help me win my fantasy playoff game. No dice.

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