The Tim Tebow era could soon come to an abrupt halt if the Denver Broncos quarteback doesn't show signs of improvement during the Broncos' next game this Sunday.
That was the message coach John Fox gave to the media at a press conference on Monday. For now, though, Fox said he's sticking with the polarizing quarterback even after the Detroit Lions had Tebow praying for dear life on the ground instead of on one knee on Sunday in a 45-10 pounding at the hands of the 6-2 Detroit Lions.
Fox made it clear, however, that Tebow must quickly improve as a pocket passer to remain the starter beyond Week 9's game against division rival Oakland Raiders, who have the second best rushing attack in the NFL.
Tebow has completed less than 50 percent of his passes and been sacked 13 times in his two starts, including a win at Miami in which he played poorly for 55 minutes, despite leading the Broncos to a comeback overtime victory. He replaced an ineffective Kyle Orton at halftime against the San Diego Chargers on Oct. 9.
Tebow's mechanics and anticipation of receiver location have been the most troubling signs of struggle. He has been criticized for an elongated throwing motion, which results in him getting pounded in the pocket, and throwing erratically behind and in front of receivers, which indicates his anxiousness of the pass rush. And, although his scrambling ability can get him out of and away from the pocket amid a collapse of oncoming defenders, it hasn't done wonders for the big chunks of passing yardage needed to move the Broncos downfield for faster scores.
Against the Lions, Tebow threw for 172 yards and had 10 carries for 63 yards with a dismal quarterback rating of 56.8. More distinctly, however, he had two turnovers that were returned for touchdowns-cornerback Chris Houston had a 100-yard interception return and defensive end Cliff Avril turned a strip sack into a 24 yard return-and was sacked seven times-most notably by linebacker Stephen Tulloch who celebrated his sack by mocking the Tebowing craze right behind Tebow as he got up.
Tebow has a chance to solidify his starting job next week against a weak Oakland pass defense that ranks 25th in the league. The loss of Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Lloyd has in part hurt the passing game, no doubt. Nevertheless, Tebow has said he has trust in the present corps led by Eddie Royal and Eric Decker.
But, after next Sunday, will John Fox have enough trust in Tebow?