Overtime: Denver swaps Tebow-mania for Mile High Manning

While they’re Tebowing in New York now, Denver just turned into a legitimate contender.

Witness the arrival of Peyton Manning, four-time MVP and the biggest name to ever hit the NFL free agency waters once the Indianapolis Colts jettisoned Manning onto the market on March 7, in Bronco orange and navy.

The reason the Colts gave up the face of their franchise? They figured they would try their “luck” in the draft in a few short months and rebuild through there.

After just over a week of hosting possible candidates for his new team, Manning decided to go with the Broncos and immediately turns a team that won the AFC West last season into legitimate AFC Championship contenders.

Yes, I am well aware that the Broncos don’t have exactly a seasoned core of wide receivers, a mediocre running game and play half their season in the thin, cold mile-high air in Denver.

Simply put: it is all irrelevant because Manning just rode over the hill gleaming in sunlight to take over.

Name me a Colts receiver who was not instantly better when the 11-time Pro Bowler started throwing the ball to him. Name me a better quarterback at picking apart defenses and keeping the opposition honest and open to run because of him. As for the weather, Peyton wins everywhere he plays, in all conditions.

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Of course, the start of one era meant another had to close. Yes, Tim Tebow is gone and let me be the first to congratulate you, John Elway and Denver Broncos, for finally getting what you wanted all along: a team not led by Tebow.

Nothing against Tebow, the man. He is a shining example of sportsmanship, great teammate and a fierce competitor. But as for Tebow, the quarterback: not so much.

Entertaining as his comebacks were last season, “Tebow Time” covered up the simple fact that Tebow was ultimately ineffective as a passer. His running ability may have shielded the fact that he had the worst passing completion percentage (46.5) and passing yards per game (123.5) amongst NFL starting quarterbacks.

Manning for Tebow? I’m sorry, there’s no argument that even the biggest Tebow admirers will make that will justify keeping Timmy over Peyton that wouldn’t be laughed and shrugged off.

So where does Tebowmania go now? My friends, there is no place like Broadway and the biggest media market for Tebow to take center stage.

Tebow was traded from Denver to the New York Jets and now will take a starring role in what is already the biggest soap opera in the whole league. Going from the Orange Crush to Gang Green also sparks a quarterback controversy no matter what the Jets say to quiet the rumors.

Mark Sanchez, the current starter for the Jets and recent recipient of a big and questionable contract extension, will have no leash when it comes to having bad games this upcoming season. The minute a loss is put upon his shoulder pads or the inevitable interceptions start flowing for Sanchez like the nearby Hudson River, the calls for Tebow will grow louder and louder.

Talk about a confidence booster for a quarterback who many critics said was playing scared last season when the Jets missed out on the Playoffs. He now has a saint as his backup and Sanchez will hear about it non-stop from here on out.

So, all in all, what should we take out of this carousel?

The Broncos not only made a huge upgrade at the quarterback carousel, but also will start to attract more and more players possibly. The arrival of Manning also comes at a time that Denver has cap space to bring in some more weapons. Mike Wallace, anyone?

Denver also says goodbye to the Tebow circus and watched it become the new attraction in New York.

The Jets, on the other hand, just opened their doors to more head scratching and jeers from the haters. But after all, has there been a more hated team in the AFC other than Rex “lets go eat a snack” Ryan and his three-time guaranteed-to-win-a-Super-Bowl Jets?

Act accordingly, I suppose.