For the record, we will win this weekend. Why? Because we are better than Kansas City. That doesn’t mean I think we are a great team, Tebow is an NFL MVP candidate or that a win over the Chefs means we should make Super Bowl plans. I’ve never talked about the Super Bowl with this 2011 iteration of the Broncos because when you factor in talent, coaching, injuries, inexperience, luck, officiating and whatnot, we are presently a middle of the pack team coming directly off a season we were every bit as horrible as our 4-12 record.
The 2011 Bronco squad is team with well below average safety play. Below average (or better said) inexperienced WRs (Royal is below average, the rest = inexperienced). Tebow has obvious strengths obvious weaknesses and obvious inexperience. Our RBs stink once McGahee limps off the field and our TEs are often invisible in the passing game. We’ve got good kickers, a pretty good pass rush, a very good #1 CB, decent nickel DBs, decent LBs, decent O-line and an above average coaching staff. We start several breakeven players like Ayers, Marcus Thomas, Fells, Walton, Beadles and Goodman. In short, we are an average team in a below average division. That is the 2011 Broncos.
Tebow doesn’t make the 2011 Broncos a 13-3 team or a 4-12 team by himself. I’d rank Tim right in the middle of the 32 starting QBs on display this weekend. Right around Carson Palmer, Vick, Hasselback and Andy Dalton territory in terms of effectiveness. Tim has demonstrated significant improvement in his play over the last 10 weeks. His worst game was the one in Miami. I felt he made very little progress vs Detroit the next week. Then he was great vs the Raiders, effective in his weird role vs KC, mediocre vs the Jets, good vs the Chargers, fantastic vs the Vikings, solid vs the Bears, good against the Pats and he played poorly vs the Bills. Tim is 5-1 on the road including a road sweep of the AFC West. He hasn’t fared as well vs better teams in our four home games (2-2). Add it all together and he is 7-3; having a good season in totality (the full sample for you stats dorks). One could cherry pick the Vikings game and say Tebow is a franchisee QB or you could do the same with the Buffalo game and say Tebow sucks. Either way, you’re an idiot.
For that really full sample, Tebow played well in his near rescue of the home loss to San Diego. He also did better than expected in all three of his 2010 starts (so-so, great, good). Overall, Tim has shown abundant promise for a young QB with less than a full season of starts under his belt. He’s far ahead of QBs like Colt McCoy and Bust Gabbart. He is also ahead of Sam Bradford, whom regressed terribly in year 2 (McJedi!). Tebow is ahead of Mark Sanchize. Ponder too. Obviously Locker and Clausen as well. I’d rank Cam Newton above of Tebow and maybe put Dalton up there as well. That should murder the “McGeorge is a Tebow fan-boy” chants. I’m not going to tell you Tebow is the best young QB I’ve ever seen because he isn’t. But I’ve seen more than enough to be impressed with Tim. His ceiling remains high with significant growth already realized. Denver is winning with him under center in large part due to his play in the 4th quarter and overtime. I like QBs that perform well when the pressure is most apparent. Thus far, Tim has been far more hit than miss in such situations and that speaks highly of his present and future. It’s also why his W/L record is on the right side of .500
People are allowed to have stupid opinions. I gloss over these stupid opinions every day. Some morons believe we should just take a QB with our 2012 1st round pick. When I probe, they want Andrew Luck, Robert Griffith or Matt Barkely. At that point, I could delve into great detail about why they’re stupid, but it would be lost on them so I’m wasting less and less of my time on that pointless journey. We’ll be picking around 20th and any QB worth a 1st round pick at the 2012 draft will be gone long before we’re on the clock. Something tells me Cleveland’s two 1st round picks, Washington’s top 10 pick and high picks in other rounds, Miami ditto, KC ditto will be more coveted than our low 1st rounder, low 2nd rounder, etc. We can also explore the list of UFA QBs for next season. Should include Henne, Shawn Hill, Josh Johnson, Orton, maybe Cassel, Whitehurst, Flynn, McNabb and Del Homme. Pretty exciting right! (keep this on the DL, but Orton is the best one of that subpar collection). So whether the obtuse like it or not, Denver will have Tebow under center in 2012. I’m sure the dimwitted will whine about that endlessly, but they’ll whine regardless because that is their forte. Their core competency. Their gift to no one.
A real skeptic would approach Tebow with a strengths and weaknesses analysis that highlights the good and the bad. While I think Tebow will be a stud QB by 2013, even I did this analysis for you earlier by expressing my views on his games thus far. He’s had more good than bad, but he’s had enough bad for me to take note and to cause some concern.
This is where I get unpleasant. I know someone that is a BIG Bronco fan, but is also a hardcore atheist. He hates that Tebow is our QB and complains inconsolably about Tim's play when we lose, but it’s clear what really grinds his gears is the religion thing and probably the politics too. I mean, he still complains about Tebow even when we win??? If you guessed that he’s a fan of Bill Maher and considers himself an intellectual, you’d be correct. This person I know has a Masters degree and he is pretty smart. Many (but not all) people that fit into this box or one like it show a propensity to hate Tebow and be vocal about it. Hubris is a common trait amongst this horde. An admission of being incorrect is unacceptable so they’ll ride their theories and opinions into the ground without deviation. They are not skeptics although they’ll claim to be. They are just hateful, which they foolishly believe is masked by their perception of their own intelligence. But it’s not. Not even a little bit. And you can’t win an argument with this type of person because they are not arguing. Their mind is made up and won’t be changed. The haters don’t bother me as much as they used to. They are and will continue to be tools whether we win or lose this Sunday, whether Tebow pans out or busts. They are angry, whiny “insert your own word for effect" either way, just like a Bill Maher or a Rush Limbaugh (how’s that for fair and balanced?). I used to enjoy seeing the haters squirm after another Tebow victory, but that quickly lost impact when you ask yourself who cares how they feel be they bitter in victory or gloating in defeat.
Be excited for the game this Sunday. 2011 has been a great season with more to come. Our Broncos have improved instead of regressed for the first time in SIX seasons. Several of our young players are showing promise, some of the vets are getting a last moment in the sun, we actually have a few guys in their prime playing like it (Elvis, Bunkley, DJ and Kuper), instead of choking we’ve won a lot of close games thanks to grit, heart and leadership, the team chemistry is better, the desire is visible and the future is bright. Several years have come and gone since I’ve honestly said that last part. My fingers enjoyed typing this.