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.
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.
Vikings 23 Texans 6
If Minnesota can go into Houston and win by three scores, you can’t rule them out to close out the season with win against Green Bay to lock up the final wild card spot in the NFC.
Browns 12 Broncos 34
Denver is a virtual lock to get a wild card bye, and they might even get a break and get home field advantage. I’m not backing off my Houston Super Bowl pick, but it’s hard not to look at the Broncos and think they’re the best team in the NFL.
Wanna talk about irony? Giants owner John Mara will watch teams owned by Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones play for the NFC East title in prime time after leading the charge to steal $36 million from the Redskins and Cowboys. Justice is served.
Niners 13 Seahawks 42
Unless RG3’s immense popularity carries the vote, Russell Wilson just won Offensive Rookie of the Year.