Thank goodness we have Jeff Passan to ask the tough questions!

Come baseball season, I have a feeling we will be seeing a lot of Jeff Passan. I wonder why…

The whole article is kinda dumb, with tidbits like these…

On Sunday night, the Marlins gave Jose Reyes $106 million for the next six seasons. Between 2006 and 2009, the Marlins’ combined opening day payrolls were $104,160,000.

That may seem outrageous, until one uses the amazing tool know as division.
Marlins average payroll – $26 million
Reyes average salary – $17.7 million
It is a stupid comparison, we get it, the Marlins are spending a lot of money this offseason, write about something interesting. That isn’t all that absurd.

What’s that? You have…

3. Tim Tebow invaded our consciousness. Yes, this is still a baseball column, though it’s fair to delve into the news of the day when it can translate. And on Sunday afternoon, when Tebow was defying the laws of physics and aesthetics to help manufacture another win, I threw out a question on Twitter.

Who is the baseball equivalent of Tim Tebow?

Great, and I mean it, greeeeeeeeaaaaaaat question. Thank god for twitter.

I first suggested Dustin Pedroia because even though he doesn’t do things the normal way, he succeeds nevertheless. Thankfully, people on Twitter are much smarter than me and filled in the blanks.

Is this supposed to be a jab at Pedroia’s height or something? How does he not do things the normal way? Does we bat with one leg in the air? Perhaps he throws the ball and the glove to first base. I’m not really sure.

But now for the greatest thing of all time…

Part of the beauty in watching Tebow is the disparate things he means. To some, he is gritty and gutsy…

Now, if you read any Fire Joe Morgan in your lifetime, you know that the next person is either Darin Erstad or David Eckstein…

 which drew dozens of David Eckstein comparisons.

That is just awesome. I don’t know who should take this more personally, Tebow or Eckstein.

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Tebow + Mechanics + Below Average Wonderlic Score = Winning

James Walker thinks, Jets should be wary of Tebow, Broncos.

I, for one, am excited to find out why.

The New York Jets have Pro Bowlers on both sides of the football. This week, they play a Denver Broncos team with a losing record and a quarterback who completed just two passes last week.

There’s no reason to worry, right?
Pro bowls are voted on by fans who oftentimes get these kind of things wrong, that is why MLB’s All-Star game counting for something is idiotic (Ken Harvey, yes, that Ken Harvey, was once an all-star), so I’d put that as like a 2 on my 1-10 how confident am I in a team’s chances to win scale. The second part does make me more optimistic.

Not so fast.
*Franklin slams on the breaks*

Thursday’s meeting with the underdog Broncos (4-5) is a classic trap game for the Jets (5-4). Nothing has been easy all season for New York, which lost an emotional game just a few days ago to the New England Patriots.
You are alluding to a real reason that the Jets might lose, James! You are so close! And yet, you, Admiral Ackbar, choose to go with “a classic trap game.” I am just guesstimating here, but I’d say of all the “classic trap games” in history, the better team wins more often than not. Is that like a journalism “go to” when describing FOOTBALL! games?

The Broncos and Jets both played last Sunday, but the Jets played on Sunday Night, so they have had a little less recuperation, plus it is an away game for the Jets, that is the reason I think you were trying to get to, but your journalistic principles got in the way.

As the Jets try to move on from that loss, here are five reasons they should be wary of the upstart Broncos:
1. Their quarterback is Mark Sanchez, the most overrated quarterback in the league
2. It is an away game
3. They really aren’t going to lose.
Let’s see how many we match up on.

Reason No. 1: Tim Tebow is a winner
Jesus, here we go.

There are plenty of reasons to criticize Tebow. His throwing motion is as bad as there is in the NFL. His accuracy is spotty, and his footwork and pocket presence leave a lot to be desired.
Sounds like a pretty crappy quarterback if you ask me.

But no one can deny that Tebow is a winner. Since putting Tebow into the starting lineup, the Broncos are 3-1 and are within just one game of first place in the AFC West. Despite the many holes in his game, Tebow is a natural leader who finds ways to win.
Wins are a terrible measure of anything. Calvin Johnson was on the winless Lions, must be a bad WR. Tim Tebow wins 3 games and he is good enough to be an NFL quarterback.

Can someone please just come off the god damn Tim Tebow is winner shtick. (My yiddish is not very good, so I probably didn’t use that correctly, but you know what I meant). Everyone quarterback in the NFL was a good one in college and probably had their fair share of winning seasons. Ryan Leaf went 10-2 in his last season, Joey Harrington went 30-5 in his college career, et-freaking-cetera.

Has it occurred to anyone that the Bronco’s have won despite Tim Tebow? Let’s take a look at the team’s Tebow has beaten this year.

Winless Dolphins
Raiders starting a quarterback who just came out of semi-retirement
Chiefs who lost to the winless dolphins and also still have a point differential of -77

The Broncos have altered their offense to fit Tebow’s strengths as an athletic, running quarterback. Denver is using a read-option offense similar to what Tebow thrived in at Florida. Last week the Broncos ran the ball 55 times and had just eight pass attempts in a win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Overall, Tebow’s numbers are pretty good. He’s thrown for 605 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception. Tebow also has rushed for 320 yards and averages 6.7 yards per carry. These stats shouldn’t be overlooked.
Awesome, some counting stats and one rate stat. Now let’s look at some others. Net yards per pass attempt, <5. 11% sack rate. Ranked 37th in DVOA among quarterbacks (hint: there aren’t that many teams). 45.2% completion! Ho-ly crap he is terrible.

“I think every week we’re trying to come up with something different and it’s not necessarily the same thing,” Tebow said in a conference call this week. “We’re trying to just keep defenses off balance and however we can do that, we’re going to try to do that. I think that’s the name of the game, and then make good decisions, and I think that’s kind of our plan.”

The Jets will try to be the first defense to shut down Denver’s “T-bone” offense. Otherwise, Tebow could improve to 4-1 this season at New York’s expense.
There is a reason that the NFL isn’t based on running option plays every time, in the long run, it doesn’t work.

Reason No. 2: Patriots hangover, short week

The Jets put a lot of stock into last week’s game against New England. New York’s players were describing it as the AFC East championship. The Jets had a chance to take control of the division but were trounced by the Patriots, 37-16, which was a big emotional blow to the Jets.

Can New York recover in four days?
I don’t know, do you think the Broncos will be able to recover from their emotional win over the Chiefs in almost the same time? An equally valid question. And by valid, I mean, not valid at all.

The Jets have been inconsistent after playing the Patriots in the past. Including playoffs, New York is just 10-12 in games since 2001 after facing New England. There is an emotional and physical toll New York pays every time it plays its biggest rival.
I’m going to guess James didn’t bother to check that stat for other teams. I certainly didn’t, and I’m not going to, I just wanted to make sure that everyone knows this is dumb.

“They definitely did it on purpose to mess with the Jets,” Ryan said jokingly. “No, that’s not what happened. It’s just the way it is. These are games that if you win, you feel great that they’re on your schedule. If you lose, then it was terrible.”

In addition, the Jets have a big AFC East rematch next week against the Buffalo Bills (5-4). Both are battling for the wild card and have similar records.
Why does next week’s opponent matter? How many times to teams reiterate that they are focused on the current opponent? A million?

Tiebreakers will be on the line and it could be a playoff elimination game for one of these teams. But the Jets need to win Thursday to set up that scenario.
Another team that has to win to set up that scenario, Buffalo.

Reason No. 3: Jets are a bad road team

The Jets are an impressive 4-1 at home. But they have not been the same team this season on the road, where New York is 1-3. 

Rex Ryan usually has his teams ready to play away from MetLife Stadium. But surprisingly, that hasn’t been the case this season. The Jets beat the Bills on the road this year and suffered road losses to the Patriots, Baltimore Ravens and Oakland Raiders. New York has been outscored 109-89 in those four games.
Those three losses were to pretty good teams… Raiders were not starting a quarterback out of semi-retirement

This season, it’s hard to predict which Jets team will show up on the road. Will we see the physical and efficient Jets team from two weeks ago in Buffalo? Or will we see the sloppy, turnover-prone road team during New York’s three-game losing streak?
When the quarterback is Mark Sanchez, the answer, more often than not, is going to be the latter.

Reason No. 4: Mark Sanchez is struggling  (And also sucks)

Sanchez is on pace to set career highs for yards, touchdowns and completion percentage. But he hasn’t made the kind of strides the Jets expected in Sanchez’s third season.

Like New York’s offense, Sanchez has been inconsistent. Denver’s defense is in the middle of the pack at No. 18. But last week Sanchez struggled against New England, which is the league’s worst defense. He had two costly interceptions, including a pick-six in the fourth quarter to seal the game for the Patriots.

Sanchez, who is facing a lot of heat in New York, was asked to rate himself this week.

“At this point we’re 5-4. So, that’s how I grade myself,” Sanchez said. “I think, if anything, everybody in this locker room, we’re all just a little frustrated, and a little upset at this last loss, because we thought we could’ve put ourselves in a good position, but I grade myself at 5-4 and we’ll see how this season turns out.”
56.7, 1.6, 6.1. That is how a realistic person grades Mark. His completion percentage, touchdown to interception ratio, and net yards per attempt. An even more realistic person would use career numbers, but that is just harsh.

If Sanchez can struggle against New England’s defense at home, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility he could struggle against Denver on the road with little preparation time. Sanchez needs to be at his best Thursday night. 

Reason No. 5: Jets’ defense doesn’t always travel

This season, the Jets’ defense already has allowed 30 points or more in four games, doubling their total from last year.
Really?
2010 Defensive DVOA – 5th
2011 Defensive DVOA – 2nd

New York’s defense has shown flashes. But overall, it’s not the same dominant group that it was last year. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady dropped 37 points on the Jets last week.
Tom Brady threw three touchdowns, add the extra points and that is 21. Sark Manchez threw a pick six and there were some field goals.

The Jets’ defense also doesn’t travel well. The Oakland Raiders, Baltimore Ravens and Patriots all scored at least 30 points against the visiting Jets in three consecutive weeks from Sept. 25 to Oct. 9.
And the Bills scored 11, what is the point?

Despite their inconsistencies, the Jets are eighth in total defense. Denver is No. 22 in total offense.

“Just matching them up on paper, I think the Jets match up great against Denver’s offense,” said Matt Williamson from Scouts Inc. “The Jets can play so much man that I think they can put a lot of defenders around the line of scrimmage. I could see Ryan doing some very unique things.”

New York is expected to win this game. But if the Jets aren’t focused, Tebow and the Broncos could put a surprising dent in New York’s postseason hopes.
So let me get this straight. If the Jet’s win, you can say that you only said the Jets might lose, but you thought all along that they would pull it out. But if they do actually lose, you can say you called it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is called taking a stand.

Could this exact article not be written about every matchup?

I’ll take a stand. Jets win, 42-35, every touchdown is scored on a pick six. But the Jets still give up 30 points, so James lives to write another day.