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The Jets Join the Tebow Circus

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 06:  Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos prays before their game against the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum on November 6, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

So here's something we'd completely forgotten about: Tim Tebow scored his first career touchdown — in only his second career game — against the Jets. It was last year, October 17, when Kyle Orton was unquestionably the quarterback and Tebow was a little toy for then-coach Josh McDaniels to play around with. It was the fourth time Tebow had ever touched the ball in an NFL game. He's become a bit more of a thing since then.

The Jets get to take part in the three-ring Tebow madness tomorrow night when they travel to Denver, and it's really quite something how much oxygen a quarterback who just went 2-for-8 passing and played the whole game can take up. Of course, the Broncos were 1-4 until Tebow took over; they're 3-1 since he has been starting. Quarterback wins are an even more facile statistic than pitcher wins in baseball ... but it's undeniable that Tebow has energized the Broncos and made them a much scarier opponent than anyone would have thought a month ago.

The funniest part is that the man who had avowed against Tebow starting back over the summer — Broncos coach John Fox — is the one claiming he's perfect for the Broncos. Even though he sucks otherwise. Actually, that's sort of what he said.

"Do whatever the hell it takes," he laughed. "I mean, what the hell? You don't get points for style in this league. Let me tell you something: My man is really good in this offense. You know what I mean? If we were trying to run a regular offense, he'd be screwed."

That's fantastic. That's like an editor here at New York magazine saying, "Well, Will would be a terrible writer here, but thanks to our crack team of editors who clean up all his messes, it somehow works. But know that he truly is pretty bad." (It's possible editors here are saying this.) But whatever Fox and his coaches are doing — and they're implementing the zone-read option that worked for Tebow in Florida, mostly — it's working. Even though the guy threw eight passes last week, and completed two. The NFL is so weird this year.

The Jets theoretically should pound the Broncos; they're certainly more talented, and should be able to stack, oh, twelve defensive players in the box. But it's a short week after an emotional game, the Broncos are feeling all tough and invigorated and the whole country will be tuning in to see what Tebow does next. (Well, the parts of the nation who can get the damned NFL Network, anyway.) Tomorrow is more perilous than the Jets would like it to be, more than it probably should be. That's Tebow for you. Even if, you know, he stinks, apparently.

Not that Darrelle Revis is worried.

"We can't fall asleep back there in the secondary," Revis said. "It can get boring, especially when a team just keeps running the ball, series after series, play after play."

And just like that: The NFL Network announcers have their storyline, and so do the tabs. Revis vs. Tebow. What a weird NFL season.

Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images