The Broncos' loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the first pre-season game proved that Tim Tebow is the best third-string QB in the National Football League -- but maybe not for long.
A Bleacher Report post offering 75 predictions for the 2010 NFL season argues that Tebow will start for the Broncos by game ten. But not for happy reasons.
Writer Hunter Prichard offers up four Broncos-related prognostications just shy of his list's mid-point:
33. Denver Broncos don't win more then five games.
34. Tim Tebow is the starting quarterback by Week 10.
35. McDaniels is fired at the end of the season.
36. Knowshon Moreno proves to be a large bust at running back.
Some of these scenarios are more plausible than others.
Like last season (when I thought the Broncos would only get four victories), most observers see a sub-.500 season in Denver's future. The most frequent win-number guess I've heard thus far: six.
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If that happens, Tebow could very well be under center by week ten, under the theory that he might as well get same game-time experience if the playoffs are already out of the question. And unless Moreno does more to justify his draft position this year than he did last, the B-word could well wind up around his neck.
Given that, the only one of these four attempts at soothsaying that seems unreasonable to me involves McDaniels's firing. I think he gets another year unless the Broncos have an absolute cataclysm of a season -- in the two-win range. And even I'm not pessimistic enough to think that'll happen.
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Then again, Prichard's other predictions put these into perspective. For instance, he thinks Kansas City will win the AFC West (they'll be improved, but not by that much), San Diego will miss the playoffs entirely (could be, but it's unlikely), and new Oakland Raiders hurler Jason Campbell will make the Pro Bowl -- seriously.
With that in mind, maybe Tebow will spend the lion's share of 2010 on the bench anyway...