The New York Jets haven’t officially been eliminated from the playoffs and 10 NFL teams have a worse record than the 5-7 Jets.
But is there a more dysfunctional franchise than the Jets? And, yes, Tim Tebow is the reason. From the outside looking in, the Jets’ dealing with Tebow has made the owner, the general manager and the coach look like clowns performing in a circus.
They sign him with tremendous hoopla and strongly hint they have special plans for him, but Tebow has done little more than hold a clipboard. Why sign him? Was it simply a publicity stunt? If the owner exercised his power by ordering the signing of Tebow, why has he not insisted Tebow get on the field with the team struggling so much on offense? If Coach Rex Ryan has been defiant in not playing him, why does he still have a job? If Tebow can’t play, why hasn’t he been released?
Nothing about the Jets-Tebow story makes any sense.
The Jets circus comes to Jacksonville and no one knows if Tebow will take a snap against the Jaguars. He might not even be activated for the game because of a rib injury. Regardless, it’s a safe bet a lot Everbank Field seats will be filled by Tebow fans footing for their favorite son in his return to his hometown.
The biggest mystery is why the Jets won’t find out what they have in Tebow. Maybe he is as untalented as his many critics claim. Maybe he is that special player he appeared to be last season when he led the Denver Broncos to the playoffs (and a playoff victory at Pittsburgh) with a string of come-from-behind victories after he was finally given an opportunity to play.
I’m not suggesting the Jets or the NFL owe Tebow anything. The Jets owe it to themselves and their fans to see if Tebow can play in light of the team’s struggles, particularly on offense.
Ryan announced earlier this week that Mark Sanchez, benched in the third quarter last week, would be the starting QB. Ryan also said Tebow would be the backup, not Greg McIlroy, who led the Jets to their only touchdown in a 7-6 victory last week. (Wonder what McIlroy really thinks about all of this?)
Bottom line: The Jets circus rolls on.
Regardless, the odds-makers have established New York as a 2½-point favorite. That says more about what they think of the hapless Jaguars, who are 2-10 and headed for the worst season in franchise history.
Yeah, even the clowns from New York can win a road game against the Jaguars. Prediction: Jets 17, Jaguars 13.
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