Up until last night’s preseason game against the New York Giants, Tim Tebow had given New England very little reason to keep him. The former Heisman Trophy winner was just 5-for-17 with 54 passing yards, no touchdowns, 1 interception, and a few other passes that could’ve been picked.
Given these numbers and the fact that he saw no action against the Detroit Lions in the Patriots’ third preseason game, many saw this as a telltale sign that he wouldn’t survive cuts. But maybe some opinions will change after how Tebow performed against the Giants.
Now let’s establish right away that this was no earth-shattering performance which foreshadowed a promising QB ready to take the reigns from Tom Brady. But it’s possible that he may have earned a spot on the 53-man roster after completing 6-of-11 passes for 91 yards and two touchdowns.
Playing the whole second half, Tebow connected with Quentin Sims on a 54-yard touchdown pass. The throw was a little high, but Sims found a way to pull the ball in and run another 38 yards into the end zone. This duo wasn’t finished yet because, with 6 seconds left in the game, Tebow found Sims for a 9-yard TD on a nice fade route. On this particular throw, the former Florida Gators star actually looked like a legitimate NFL quarterback.
However, there were also plays that weren’t so pretty. Tebow wasn’t always so quick to find his receivers, he held the ball too long, and was sacked four times early in the second half. He also tossed one pick after throwing down the sideline into coverage. This one mistake didn’t erase an otherwise decent performance, but it was an ugly throw nonetheless.
Now Bill Belichick and his coaching staff will pit the pros against the cons and decide if Tebow is worth keeping as a project quarterback. On most teams, Tebow would be kept since the majority of the NFL likes to have three QB’s on the roster. But Belichick has sometimes only kept two signal callers in the past, and it wouldn’t be a shock if he did so this time around too. Brady is the star while Ryan Mallet will no doubt be his immediate backup should an injury happen.
As for Tebow, he tried his best last night to convince Belichick that New England should keep a third QB. He’s also a very coachable player who’s willing to make sacrifices and do what’s asked of him. Plus he has a proven track as a winner, having won two national titles at Florida and boasting an 8-6 record as an NFL starter.
These factors will all be weighed going into this weekend, when Tebow and many other fringe players throughout the league find out if they made final cuts.