Saturday, August 14, 2010

Broncos Tebow: Corso Off By a Month

Will Tim Tebow be the Denver Broncos starting quarterback in 2010?

Most people seem to think it's a "when," not "if" proposition. The only question is at what point the Broncos' 2010 season is "over" (playoffs as an impossibility), because at that point, it would make no sense not to give Tebow as much experience as possible as the starting QB.

It's just one person's opinion, but Lee Corso said he thinks that Tebow will be starting by Week 6. That implies the Broncos will quickly be out of playoff contention -- like 1-4 after 5 weeks.

Let's see:

Week 1: At Jacksonville.
I think Denver wins this.
Week 2: Home vs. Seattle.
Another toss-up.
Week 3: Home vs. Colts.
Likely loss.
Week 4: At Tennessee.
Likely loss.
Week 5: At Baltimore.
Likely loss. (But I'll be there!)

So let's call it 2-3 as a best-case scenario, but even if the Broncos are 1-4 (or even 0-5), here's where I don't think Corso is right on the timing:

Week 6 is a home date against the Jets, as nasty of a defense as you'll find in the NFL this season. There is no way Josh McDaniels has Tebow make his first NFL start against Rex Ryan's Gang Green. (Corso likely didn't look at the schedule before making his prediction.)

Look ahead, though: Week 7 is in Denver against the woeful Raiders. Week 8 is in London against the mediocre 49ers. Both are winnable.

If the Broncos win both and appear to have regained some playoff momentum, I think McDaniels sticks with Orton -- provided Orton isn't injured along the way, which is never an impossibility.

But what if the Broncos stumble through those Week 7 and Week 8 games? After the London trip, the team has a bye week -- a perfect opportunity to make a change and install Tebow as the starting QB. As long as the season is all-but-over (at least in terms of playoff contention), why not?

That puts Tebow's debut as a starter at Week 10 -- November 14 -- a home game against the sorry Chiefs.

Week 10 -- following the bye week -- seems like a much more realistic option for Tebow's debut as the Broncos starting QB.

That said: I fully expect Tebow to play as early as Week 1 in Jacksonville, with increasing (and increasingly meaningful) snaps-per-game as he proves himself entirely effective in short-yardage, red-zone and goal-line situations.

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