As if astride chariots of iron, the Kansas City Chiefs’ defense soundly defeated the Broncos in Denver yesterday. They did it by exposing Tebow, aka Jesus or “The Mile High Messiah” for what he is, an under-talented, over-hyped player. The fascination with this clown was prompted by his in your face religiosity coupled with his seemingly inexplicable football successes. The truth is there’s never been anything inexplicable about Tebow’s successes, and the Chiefs’ defense made that clear yesterday.
Tebow was a success in college with the Florida Gators because they were a running team, not a passing team. They required a QB who could run, not necessarily throw and that’s what they got with Tebow. He’s a big guy who can run well (for a QB) but can’t pass for shit. Still, his team would win despite his obvious inabilities as a QB (QBs have needed to pass the football well since some time between the end of leather helmets and the start of the AFL). Now the rational saw him and the Gators for what they were, a gimmick carried by a strong defense, but there’s far too little rationality in sports, as any sports fan knows. Sports are a hotbed for superstitions, from pregame rituals to playoff beards and everything in-between, so when you have a winning team helmed by an obviously flawed player, there must be some magical reason why they’re winning. Tebow provided that for the irrational with his over the top religiosity and let’s face it, when it comes to irrational superstitions, religion takes the cake.
But like I said, the rational saw him for what he was and expected him, if he were drafted at all by an NFL team, to go perhaps in the 5th or 6th round but another miracle happened. The Denver Broncos gave away 3 draft picks to move up and take him in the 1st round. Did the then coach, McDaniels, do it because he was deluded by the magic Jesus hype or his own arrogance in believing he can make even someone with such poor passing skills as Tebow into a passing star? Nobody knows, but of course the faithful saw it as a sign. In fact, it was probably the hand of their god making it happen because to throw away so much for such a player can’t be explained any other way.
So away goes the coach, McDaniels, and the new coach has to deal with him and the manic fans screaming for him to play. What do you do? Well, you attempt to do what Florida did because what else can you do? As Fox said, he can’t function in a conventional NFL offense so you have to ride that gimmick and they did. They won 6 straight games with it, which was even better than the last great gimmick, the Wildcat, but like the Wildcat, savvy coordinators eventually figure out how to deal with gimmicks and shut them down, and that’s what Romeo Crennel and the Chiefs did. After all, this is the one and only defense so far who came up with an answer for Rogers and the Packers.
Now New England and Buffalo certainly showed one way to defeat the Tebow gimmick, and that was put up a lot of early points. That forces your opponent to have to score a lot in a short period of time, made shorter if their defense can’t put an end to you adding more points and/or milking the clock for the rest of the game. Running takes time and Tebow can’t pass so that’s that, but what if you don’t score a lot of points? What then? Many of Tebow’s “miraculous” wins were over such teams, and he somehow would find a way to come back and win at the end. The faithful, of course, saw it as a sign of their god’s intervention, some even going as far as thinking maybe Tebow was the 2nd coming of Jesus. The truth was far less impressive, and it’s called the “prevent defense”.
“All a prevent defense does is prevent you from winning.” – John Madden
The inexplicable way a man who can’t throw a pass for over 50 minutes of a 60 minute game and then miraculously have that ability and lead his team to victory is easily explained by the prevent defense, a ridiculous “play not to lose” approach where you don’t pressure a QB and hang back off of receivers just making sure no one gets behind you to catch a TD pass. Don’t pressure my mother or in any way stop the person she’s throwing to from catching a pass and she’d put up a gaudy QB rating, too. So either by throwing wobbly passes to uncovered receivers or running through a soft middle, Tebow lead his team to victory after victory. No magic, just stupidity, but perhaps that was yet another sign. If the answer to stopping Tebow was so obvious yet no one did it, that must be his god’s work, right?
Well if that’s the case, then the KC Chiefs have become immune to the power of his god, like riders of iron chariots. They never went to a prevent defense, challenging all of his receivers with man-to-man coverage. Furthermore, they contained him in the pocket, not allowing him to run for what he can’t do with his arm. You could almost say the Chiefs went out of their way to put this Tebow magic nonsense to rest by only scoring 7 points of their own, laying it all on the shoulders of the Mile High Messiah to work his magic, if he actually had any. Clearly he doesn’t. But will that stop the Tebow mania? Will people finally stop making him their Jesus substitute? Will broadcasters finally stop talking about him as if he were magical? If they did though, then we’d need a new drinking game.
But you know how it is with irrational beliefs, people who indulge in them will do whatever they can to continue riding that high despite any dose of reality you give them to counteract it, so many will take the team winning the division despite this loss handed to them by Kansas City as yet another sign. I can only hope that the Steelers and everyone else in the NFL takes yesterday’s game as a clear sign as well, of how to dispel this so-called magic and put this gimmick where he belongs, as an interesting footnote in the annals of football history. Naturally I hope Denver keeps drinking the Jesus juice for quite awhile longer. With no viable QB, a gimmick offense, the loss of picks from 2010, and now this division win which moves them down the depth chart for draft picking order, provides them a tough schedule for next year and hopefully a national exposure as a joke next weekend when the Steelers maul them, this Chiefs fan is feeling all warm and bubbly inside. Is this how believers feel? If so, I can see the appeal.