Blog Entry

Prorating Tim Tebow's statistics + Experts Chat

Posted on: December 5, 2011 3:56 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 1:01 pm
Is Tim Tebow really an MVP candidate? But, no, seriously, is he? Join us Wednesday at 1:00 pm ET to discuss it with our experts, and check out Tebow's prorated stats below.

Posted by Will Brinson

On our most recent podcast, my colleague Ryan Wilson attempted to convince me that the Tim Tebow haters had disappeared. And while even the most rabit anti-Tebites* have agreed he's doing something special, there are still plenty of people who won't believe.

Whatever, I addressed that in Sorting the Sunday Pile. Instead, I thought it might be kind of interesting to take Tebow's 2011 season, now approximately eight games long, prorate it across a full NFL season, and see where he stands.

A couple caveats apply first. One, when I started doing this, I had in mind that Tebow's season might line up with David Garrard's 2007 season, but Tebow's already out-rushed Garrard. And two, prorating stats is obviously not precise, because performances vary and no single player is going to produce the exact same statline over the course a second set of eight games that they produced over the first.

But still, Tebow's work -- 75 of 158 passing for 1,054 yards, 10 touchdowns, one interception and 468 rushing yards -- since taking over basically encompasses a half season. Double it and we get some theoretical production if he started. That would give Tebow more than 2,000 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and 900 rushing yards.

Those are decent -- and more importantly, odd -- numbers for a quarterback, so I figured I'd plug those landmarks into and see all the different quarterbacks that accomplished the feat. I was pretty surprised when this came back:

Player Year Cmp
Att Yds Cmp % TD INT RSH YDS
Randall Cunningham 1990 271
465 3,466 58.3 %
30 13 942
Michael Vick
2006 204
388 2,474 52.6 %
20 13 1,039
Tim Tebow
2011+ 150
316 2,108 47.5 %
20 2 932

Worth noting: Vick went 7-9 with the Falcons that year, while Cunningham went 10-6 with the Eagles. Both guys started all 16 games -- Tebow only has seven starts across his current statistical season. (Oh, and as Wilson points out, Cunningham is now an ordained minister. Coincidence? I think not.)

Tebow's theoretical season, it turns out, puts him in some pretty stout company when it comes to mobile quarterbacks. Obviously he's not on pace to throw up some sort of "Tom Brady 2007" season, and his completion percentage clearly needs work. And maybe if he's improving it, his rushing yards will decline.

The lesson isn't that he's as good as Randall Cunningham or even Michael Vick circa 2006. The lesson is just that Tebow's compiling stats and playing quarterback in a manner that's effective enough to put him in the same category as some talented quarterbacks if he was so do it over the course of a full season.

+ Prorated
*H/T: Kramer, natch

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Since: Oct 5, 2006
Posted on: December 7, 2011 1:43 pm

Prorating Tim Tebow's statistics + Experts Chat

Interesting I guess; as other posters have pointed out, stats are misleading, easily manipulated and interpreted by how they are approached.  Don't disagree that Aaron Rodgers probably deserves MVP, or that Brady is too having a solid year as the player he is.  But in both their cases (as it is anywhere) , it is the team around them -- blocking, running, catching passes.  And the case with Indy and Peyton certainly bodes well for the argument that QB is the MVP of a team.  But it is still just perception.

What Tebow has done, against a backdrop of both being perceived as a potential draft bust before he was even drafted and of a team that essentially at the time of starting him this season was a busted season (remember the logic, might as well plug this guy in, give him experience and see if he can play, because this is a losing season), is to put the Broncos on the board as a potential play-off team.  What I'm saying is, why should the rest of the Broncos players care that much or be motivated at all?  Yet, he is leading them.  An argument can be made that he inspires teammates to play.  That is MVP stuff, too.  It certainly is leadership.

Obviously it helps that the Chargers imploded below expectations.  The schedule doesn't look that daunting, aside from the few teams (Packers, Lions and Patriots) they'd be expected to lose to.  And the games are close; so luck factors, too.  Packers just beating the Giants showed clutch leadership by Rodgers at the end; but, also that other teams can get close and some luck, too.  And Tebow seems to be getting better weekly...  let's see how he does against New England.  If a 2-5 season becomes an 11-5 season, and Tebow remains central in that mix...  maybe MVP is reasonable.  Make a deep run in the play-offs or (hysterically) win it all -- slam dunk.

Yet it is all entertaining.

Since: Feb 11, 2008
Posted on: December 7, 2011 1:22 pm

Prorating Tim Tebow's statistics + Experts Chat

Special is taking a 1-4 team, benching the #1 QB, trading the #1 wr, and handing the ball to a QB who ranked #3 on your depth chart. Then watching the kid "who can't play QB" lead a team to a 6-1 record and from last to first place in the AFC-West. That is what's special...


Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 1:21 pm

Prorating Tim Tebow's statistics + Experts Chat

How about an article on why Manning should be the MVP?   Considering, the simple truth is that, the Colts can't even win ONE game without him.  Yes, that would be a waste of time as well as this article.

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: December 7, 2011 1:14 pm

Prorating Tim Tebow's statistics + Experts Chat

I agree 100%. Experts my A$$, articles like this are garbage.

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: December 7, 2011 1:10 pm

Prorating Tim Tebow's statistics + Experts Chat

It's crappy articles like this that causes people to hate Tebow. The media causes this mess. Just leave him alone nd let him play and stop writing absurdities like him being the MVP. He did noty write this or suggest it, so don't hate the man.

Since: Feb 26, 2007
Posted on: December 7, 2011 12:47 pm

Prorating Tim Tebow's statistics + Experts Chat

I can't believe I actually wasted my time reading this article...

Has Tebow been Denver's MVP? One could argue, yeah, but I agree with the previous poster in saying that McGahee has been just as valuable to the Broncos' success as Tebow has. I feel it's kind of an insult to the rest of the team and the coaching staff to credit all of Denver's success to one single player. I know Tebow is a humble guy so he doesn't feel that way himself, but the rest of the team has been crucial in Denver's rise to the top of the division as well.

The clear winner is Rodgers, followed by Brady then Brees. If there was a "Top 100" list for MVP, then Timmy might be on it, but to seriously think that he will be in the final discussion for the league's Most Valuable Player is absurd.
Tebow will have the last laugh on all of us when he wins the Super Bowl this year

This is type of delusional thinking that gets me mad... If you really think that Denver could beat a team like Pittsburgh, you're insane. The only teams I see Denver matching up against in the playoffs are Cincy and maybe Houston.

Since: Aug 18, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 12:25 pm

Prorating Tim Tebow's statistics + Experts Chat

Ah gag, please do not entertain this nonsense.  Aaron Rodgers is the clear winner, but Drew Brees and Tom Brady deserve it astronomically more than Tim Tebow.  Actually, probably 20 players deserve it more than Tebow including one on his own team, Willis McGahee.

Since: Nov 25, 2006
Posted on: December 7, 2011 12:21 am

Prorating Tim Tebow's statistics over a full year

I think with Tebow you have to just look at the bottom line - the Broncos are winning football games with him at QB.  Denver has a gameplan that is working right now so why change it??  I don't think they

There's no doubt that he is not the only reason for their success because they are playing very good defense and running the ball well.  During their 5 game winning streak they are scoring 24.6 PPG and averaging 205 rushing yards per game.  Add a defense that is allowing 18.4 PPG and that is recipe for success.  

It should also be noted that the Broncos have only turned the ball over 3 times in the last 5 games so they aren't beating themselves.  

Odds are very good that the Broncos will run the winning streak to 6 games this weekend.   And the only tough team left on their schedule are the Patriots.  I see no reason the Broncos can't finish with 10 wins and the AFC West crown. 

Since: Apr 24, 2010
Posted on: December 6, 2011 10:54 am

Prorating Tim Tebow's statistics over a full year

Players come along
occasionally that cannot and should not be defined by statistics. Their talent
is less concrete than that. They have a life-spark that wins football games –
as Ad Davis always said: “Just win, baby!”

It is pointless to examine
and compare stats. It is futile to debate “is this the long term answer?” or
“the answer for their future?” Senseless to ask “how far can he take them?”

Just get on the surfboard and
ride the wave until you inevitably reach the shore wherever that may be.

Just go with it.


The rest of the offense, the
defense, and even special teams are playing better with him as ‘leading man’.
Critics are quick to point out that defense; special teams and the running game
are winning games – not Tebow.

Again: they ALL play BETTER
with HIM as the team’s ‘leading man’ – the critics just don’t get it because
you can’t put it into a nice square box with a ribbon on top. Nobody gets it
because it IS hard to fathom. You spell winner T-E-B-O-W and you spell Tebow
W-I-N-N-E-R. It is what it is and it ends when it ends.

Since: Jan 19, 2007
Posted on: December 6, 2011 10:01 am

Prorating Tim Tebow's statistics over a full year

Rodgers throws a lot more passes and throws passes into much tighter windows than Tebow would dare try. Rodgers knows he will complete far more of those risky passes than Tebow would complete. So Tebow wisely tucks and runs, or throws the ball into the ground at the receiver's feet. Tebow's INT rate is lower (.6% vs. 1.2%) but Tebow also cannot pass for many yards and TDs if he doesn't throw the ball, or if he doesn't try to fit a pass into tight windows from time to time. His final drive against the Jets was amazing, but he has to add more of this to his body of work to turn the remaining naysayers to his side.

Tebow has been a great story, and it's been a blast to watch him silence most of his critics. But let's not start comparing Tebow to Rodgers and Brady and other elite QBs. Let's see him throw 30 passes a game and 400+ passes a season and see what his stats are. How many players have had great stats for 7 games and then everything changed dramatically? Let's look at his stats after 11 games and see if they don't drop as the stakes get higher. In fighting for a playoff spot in the final weeks, and playing a good team in the playoffs, the Broncos are going to be in situations that require more risk-taking. This is when they will no longer be able to hide from his 48.3% completion rate. He can ditch a pass in the ground rather than try to fit it into a tight window all he wants, but on crucial 3rd and 4th downs, he will have to take greater risks, and we'll see if he can fit his passes into those windows. Will a team in the playoffs give him the opportunities the Jets gave him to win the game? I doubt it.

I'm rooting for the Broncos to win the division. I hope Tebow can keep winning. He is on a tightrope that hinges on his defense coming up with huge plays, no turnovers, and being in the game for one final drive. You can't rely on all those things happening every week. It just feels like their fortunes may change on a dime, but maybe not. They are playing good football, and as long as that defense keeps playing well, they will have a chance in every game.

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