The Broncos season is -- if the playoffs are your goal -- effectively over.
They have just been beaten by the worst team of the 2009 season, now on the upswing and ironically a team leaning heavily on a rookie QB, who has responded to the challenge.
I nominally understood why Josh McDaniels wouldn't play Tim Tebow earlier in the season -- although I have no idea why he wouldn't get Tebow more touches in innovative ways.
But at this stage of the season, it is time for Tebow to get more than a handful of touches. It is time to give him lots of snaps -- lots of series -- every game.
There is no downside of losing anymore. There is no scenario where Tebow might play badly and the team would get beaten, because the team is losing anyway.
This is the opportunity to give Tebow much-needed NFL seasoning, to expose him to running plays and facing defenses that will make him a better player in 2011 and beyond.
McDaniels may not survive the season. Cynically, he can hedge against losing his job from more losing by playing Tebow -- there would be little expectation of winning, and McD can point to "The Future."
As an added bonus, playing Tebow would give Broncos fans something to look forward to, something to cheer about, something to make their team relevant.
If they aren't going to make the playoffs -- and they aren't -- the Broncos can at least be interesting. And Tebow can continue to move up the learning curve as an NFL QB.
I hesitate to say "Start Tebow." I'd settle for "Play Tebow," where he gets 12-18 plays per game, with at least half of those being passing opportunities.
But if the eventuality of this season is "Start Tebow," then why not get there sooner rather than later? Regardless...
It's Tebow Time in Denver.