By: Chris Korman | October 4, 2015 7:24 pm
Chip, you’ve still got Tim Tebow’s phone number, right?
Your offense is broken. It gained 320 yards in a 23-20 loss to the Redskins Sunday and managed to have the ball for all of 18 minutes and 52 seconds. Which left your defense to play far too many snaps prior to a final drive during which it was wholly incapable of handling …. Kirk Cousins.
Sam Bradford, the guy you traded for and dubbed the right QB to lead your vaunted offense, has been fine. He threw three touchdown passes and no interceptions. He looked less confused, in general, but still completed only 15-of-28 passes. Your team converted only four of 12 third-down attempts and had only 14 first downs compared to 25 for the Redskins.
Bradford was too often imprecise with his throws, even when he wasn’t under duress. Which was a lot: The Redskins finished with five sacks and numerous hurries. Your rebuilt offensive line just has not been good enough, and was the main reason Sunday that high-priced running backs DeMarco Murray, Ryan Matthews and Darren Sproles rushed for just 73 yards.
Your big people are getting beat up by other teams’ big people and it is not good for your average-sized people.
(Brad Mills, USA TODAY Sports)
There’s nothing novel about your offense right now. Not the speed of it or the design of the plays. Oddly, this is your influence spreading — and making your methods less effective. But you also don’t have the personnel needed to retain that reputation as a genius.
A major reason for that is that Bradford is absolutely no threat to run. Not with those knees. The read-option is gone, and so is the moment of hesitation it can create in even the most disciplined of defenses. You’ve become predictable. Last year you’d at least let Nick Foles or Mark Sanchez lumber forward for a few yards now and again; that hasn’t been the case with Bradford, whose athleticism seems to have survived multiple ACL injuries but not his bravado. He seems to understand he should stay put.
Bradford is good when he has time and his receivers find space, but he doesn’t often throw receivers open or squeeze the ball into tight windows. He also does little to create chaos for a defense, which means that defenses can concentrate on not allowing him to have time while also covering his receivers.
Tebow, who spent training camp auditioning for your team, is sort of the opposite. Give him time and wide open receivers and he’ll do a below-average job of completing passes. Have him run a little bit of Wildcat, though, and he can move the ball fairly well and sometimes that opens up pass plays for him.
(Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports)
You’re already resorting to trick plays — like the double reverse to Nelson Algohar that resulted in a fumble in the first half — to mask how bad the offense line is. Why not go ahead and consider the plan you mulled over in August, where Tebow runs 10 plays a game simply to give defenses something else to prepare for and worry about?
It made sense to give up on it when you did. Bradford was brilliant against basic defensive schemes shown to him in preseason games. It hasn’t translated.
The NFC East is wide open and full of flawed teams. You’ll probably stay the course and hope that a squad you hastily rebuilt comes together. It might. Bradford is going to get better. He finally showed an ability to throw deep Sunday, a huge development.
But moving the ball methodically is important in the NFL, and Bradford hasn’t shown the accuracy needed to do it consistently with the short passing game. The run game isn’t dynamic or powerful enough.
Follow your instincts and go against what common sense might dictate.
Bring Tebow back.