It’s not just bad, it’s historically bad. Following Sunday night’s 17-12 loss to the Carolina Panthers, the New York Jets became the first team since the 1977 Atlanta Falcons to go without an offensive touchdown in its first three preseason games. With frustration mounting and Jets fans patience running short, backup quarterback Tim Tebow was able to put things in perspective.
“I think you can be disappointed, yeah we wanted to score,” admitted Tebow of the Jets’ touchdown drought. “But, you’ve got to able to let it go. It’s a preseason game. You have to work on what you did bad and how you can get better and make sure that when the regular season gets here and we’re playing Buffalo, we can put the ball in the end zone, because that’s what matters.”
While New York’s loss column remains unchanged, the pride of its offensive unit was hurt by a third straight subpar outing. On New York’s final offensive possession, Tebow and company were knocking on the doorstep of the end zone, but his last-second fling went over the outstretched hands of 6-foot-6 tight end Hayden Smith. Even though the offense failed to punctuate its drives with touchdowns, both Mark Sanchez and Tebow moved the ball with regularity when they shifted to up-tempo mode.
“I think you saw some of that translate today,” said Tebow of the Jets no-huddle. “That first drive, with Mark, went really well. That was really fast-paced. You get to the ball, trying to get plays off in a hurry. I think when we went no-huddle there at the end, we moved the ball well too, we just ran out of time.”
Newly hired offensive coordinator Tony Sparano has been under fire for employing a ‘vanilla’ offense this preseason, electing not to showcase Tebow’s Wildcat set or any gadget plays until the regular season gets underway. Even though Sparano refuses to take the training wheels off New York’s offense, Tebow is confident they’ll be able to execute when the games matter the most.
“Sometimes in practice we’ve gone pretty hard, so that’s pretty close to a game, against a very good (Jets) defense,” said Tebow of only running Wildcat plays in practice. “That’s stuff I’ve done before, so I feel comfortable with it. I feel like I can do it at game tempo.”
With Sparano playing things close to the vest, the Jets will plan to unveil their new-look offense in the season opener against Buffalo. In spite of his team’s struggles in the preseason, Tebow remains confident in the offense’s ability to hang six’s up on the scoreboard.
“We’ll obviously have some new stuff when we’re game-planning and everything that goes in,” remarked Tebow. “I feel like some of the stuff we’ll be able to create on. We’ll just keep getting better every day and execute so that when the regular season gets here, we’ll find a way to put the ball in the end zone.”
Rick Laughland covers the New York Jets for Greenandwhitereport.com
You can follow him on Twitter @rlaughland
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