Tim Tebow had the greatest game of his professional life, he dropped bomb after bomb on the best pass defense in the NFL, and most importantly he won his first playoff game. None of that means that he is a good NFL quarterback.
The Steelers and Dick LeBeau’s defense have long been vaunted as a creative, sneaky, disruptive defense. They were none of those things on Sunday. Instead the Steelers attempted to out-talent and out-physical the Broncos with their defense.
The Steelers essentially told Tebow that they were going to lock up his wide receivers with virtually no safety help.
Tebow took advantage of that because he had one receiver who was simply bigger, faster, and stronger than any single defensive back that the Steelers had. Demaryous Thomas, at 6’3 and 235 pounds, simply dominated Ike Taylor.
On the final play of the game Tebow completed a 20 yard pass to Thomas who beat Taylor off of the line. The next 60 yards were all Thomas. He stiff-armed Taylor and then simply ran away from him. While most defensive backs have the advantage of taking an angle on the wide receiver Thomas was too fast for the Pittsburgh defense.
It is widely accepted that quarterbacks get too much blame when things go wrong and too much credit when things go well. This is a perfect example of that. Tebow completed four passes to Thomas, who should really be considered the star of the game, for 204 yards. That means that Tebow completed six of his 17 other passes for 112 yards. That is not a stellar game, that is a typical Tim Tebow game.
The Broncos were lucky that the Steelers were so obstinate in leaving Taylor, who was having his worst game in memory, on Thomas long enough for the Broncos to pull it out in overtime.
Despite how it may sound, I am not trying to kill Tebow. He had a good game, but it was just that A good game. This isn’t something we are going to see again. It certainly isn’t something we are going to see next week against the Patriots.
Bill Belichick won’t allow Tebow to sit in the pocket and drop bombs down field against man to man coverage. Thomas is clearly far too talented to try to handle in straight man coverage and the Patriots won’t try to pull the same stunt that the Steelers did.
Tebow has done nothing more to show me that he will be a good NFL quarterback over the long haul, except that he is much more likely to look good if Thomas can dominate a game like that. With that said David Carr had games that he looked good in because of Andre Johnson. Obviously Carr is not a good NFL quarterback as he sits on the bench in New York. Tebow can still grow and develop and if I had to choose one person that could do it, it would be Tebow but the game against the Steelers didn’t show us anything that we didn’t already know about Tebow.