(AP Photo: Bill Kostroun via WashingtonPost.com)
There were several lowlights for the New York Jets in their ugly 26-3 pre-season loss to the Giants tonight. Mark Sanchez’ general confusion and lack of production as the starting quarterback, or Wayne Hunter‘s impression of a turnstile in giving up 4 sacks are certainly at the top of the list for Rex Ryan and company.
But there was one play by Tim Tebow that epitomized one of the harsh realities Jets fans are going to have to come to terms with sooner or later: the guy just can’t throw the ball. For all the larger-than-life golden boy persona and nonstop ESPN coverage, Tebow has never had – nor will he ever have – an NFL-caliber throwing arm. He can make all sorts of things happen on the field with his legs, leadership, and even short-to-intermediate passes to (wide open) receivers … but you’ll never be able to count on him to make that difficult pinpoint throw in the clutch.
Starting the second half of tonight’s contest for the Jets, Tebow led his team into Giants territory on their best drive of the night, including several pass completions and one first down run. But facing 2nd and 20 from the 29-yard-line, Tebow had rookie WR Stephen Hill all alone in the end zone, thanks to a busted coverage by the Giants secondary. As he drifted to his right, Tebow never set his feet and uncorked a duck that landed well short of its intended target, bouncing harmlessly to the turf.
The Jets would end up settling for a field goal, and the Giants put the game away from that point forward. Granted, this is pre-season, so the result doesn’t really matter. But we’re talking about a throw that any professional quarterback needs to make. And its indicative of the type of play the Jets can expect to see out of Tebow … at least for 3-and-a-half quarters until Jesus takes over, that is.
You can find less-than-HD video of the play HERE, courtesy of @JimmyTraina of SI.com’s HotClicks … and coincidentally, The Onion posted a spot-on satire piece yesterday, titled “Ground emerges as Tim Tebow’s favorite target”:
“He just loves throwing it right to the ground,” Mangold added. “It doesn’t matter if the defense comes out in man coverage or an overload blitz. Tebow seems to know exactly where the ground will be and hits the wide-open turf every time.”