Tebow in Denver: Get used to it

It’s probably safe to say that, despite the fact he completed just four passes in relief of Kyle Orton Sunday, the Tim Tebow era has begun in Denver. I’m not saying it’ll be a long-lasting era, but the Broncos gave the impression that they didn’t want to go to Tebow unless completely necessary. After all the pressure from their fan base, it’d be crazy to go back to Orton now.

In Tebow’s defense, he made some good plays in one half against a very good Chargers team. And with him in the game, the Broncos outscored San Diego 14-6. His numbers — 4-for-10, 79 yards and a touchdown — were slightly inflated by a 28-yard “touchdown pass” in which Tebow’s throw to Knowshon Moreno didn’t get back to the original line of scrimmage, but he was still a key part of two fourth-quarter touchdowns.

He’ll still have to change his game and refine his pocket passing to be an every-snap starting quarterback, and I’m not convinced he can do that, but what do the Broncos have to lose? Their fans, who pay these guys’ salaries, want Tebow, and the team isn’t good regardless. Might as well see what he can do in 2011 and then regroup in the offseason. With their bye coming up, the Broncos now have two weeks to reshape the offense to suit Tebow. I’d be shocked to see anyone but Tebow under center when they take on the Dolphins in Week 7.

What the hell just happened in San Francisco?

I figured the Bucs would hit somewhat of a wall on the west coast coming off a short week, but 49ers 48, Buccaneers 3? A young Tampa team fell completely on its face against the Niners. The offense was scary flat and the defense was dominated by Alex Smith and Frank Gore.

Credit the 4-1 Niners — they’re playing exceptionally under Jim Harbaugh and they have the talent to win playoff games. But I’m more concerned about the Bucs than I am excited about the 49ers. Gerald McCoy suffered a potentially serious ankle injury Sunday, and Josh Freeman has already equaled his interception total from 2010. The last time the Niners beat a team that badly: 1987.

Time for the Jets to panic?

They didn’t get blown out by the Patriots, and let’s face it: you’re supposed to lose in Foxboro. Everyone does. The final score doesn’t worry me, but how can the Jets let BenJarvus Green-Ellis rush for 136 yards against them? The run defense has gone to hell this year, and it’s tough to tell why the front seven has fallen off of such a cliff.

New York has now lost three straight games. In that stretch, they’ve surrendered a total of 498 rushing yards. And this is a team that ranked third in the league against the run in 2010. Mark Sanchez has been slumping and the running game has been ineffective, but Sanchez and Shonn Greene performed quite well on Sunday … and the Jets still lost quite handily.

So maybe the Jets just aren’t that good? Maybe, but their three losses have come in three road games. They’ll have a chance to save their season with back-to-back games against Miami and San Diego at MetLife Stadium. If they continue down this path over that stretch, it’ll officially be panic time.