In 2011 under a majority of games with Tim Tebow as the starter the Bronco’s offense averaged 316.6 yards and 19.3 points a game. In 2012 under the Peyton Manning regime the Bronco offense is among the league’s best averaging 388.4 yards and 27 points a game.
Despite the contrast in offensive output the Tebow led Broncos looked more like a winning team then does an almost identical team with the exception of Manning under center. In comparison the defense of 2011 finished ranked 20th in the NFL allowing an average of 357.8 yards a game and 24.4 points. This season the defense is currently ranked 13th overall allowing 335.2 yards and 22.8 points a game.
How does this explain Denver’s 2-3 then? What is the x-factor that Tim Tebow brings to locker room? That is unknown, but as a football player myself, I know that mindset and attitude have a lot to do with how a team performs, and often how a game’s end result will look. I can remember times when a team was prepped to compete rather then win, or when coaches used terms like “worry about” or “can’t stop” in relation an opponent, and in game following those practice my team often lost.
After thinking about that for a minute, mindset can’t be the problem, because no one has ever questioned Manning’s leadership, and I am not daring to even compare Tebow and Manning in terms of who can lead a team. One guy has one playoff win the other guy has one Super Bowl ring; hence the off-field x-factor is non-issue.
In the NFL the spotlight is much bigger then any other level of football and fans are able to see into a team’s locker room. Maybe external forces surrounding the 2011 and 2012 team have impacted each. Last season the Broncos united around Tebow, and felt a sense of something special, attitudes changed, the media coverage of the team increased and fans were jumping on the bandwagon. It’s something like that; that a team could use as extra motivation to win games.
This season the fans continued to pile on the bandwagon after signing Manning, but some fell off here and there after a slow start from the Broncos. Some of that fallout includes the intense media coverage in Denver in the past year, which has dissipated quite a bit since. Manning by no means has missed a step though, he has the league’s 4th best quarterback rating at 101.2, has completed 66-percent of his passes for 1,507 yards and 11 touchdowns, and has only thrown 3 interceptions, (all interceptions came in one game).
So then, is it unexplainable why the Broncos are 2-3? In short, no. Their 3 losses have come from the Falcons, Texans, and Patriots, three teams with a combined record of 13-2. The Broncos 11 remaining opponents, which include two games a piece against division rivals Kansas City and San Diego, have a combined record of 15-34. Denver has an easier journey to the playoffs then most team have, and Peyton Manning will only get better the more he works with his new Denver coaches and teammates. I wouldn’t bank on Denver doing poorly; in fact I’d be bold enough to say the Broncos are going to make the playoffs.
Where does this leave the former Denver Bronco starter, now New York Jet backup?
Tebow had a chance to be either a Jaguar or a Jet, and the Jets gave Denver a better deal, in the off-season trade that sent him to the big apple. The Jets look like the Broncos of last year, just looking for someone to save their season. I’d put my money on 7 losses, in any “when does Tebow start pool”, because it leaves Tebow 1 game for error to lead to the Jets to at least .500. If Tebow doesn’t start, Jacksonville should make an all out effort to get their hometown hero.
Tebow needs to be a starter somewhere; he’s too much fun to watch and a waste of a player as a backup. No matter the Broncos predicament this season, nor the Jets, if Tebow never gets a start, 2012 is a season that will benefit the former Florida Gator. He’s getting to grow a player and improve on mechanics and no matter what anyone says, what he did in Denver can’t be taken away from his record of success.