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 Pro-Football-Reference.com and see all the different quarterbacks that accomplished the feat. I was pretty surprised when this came back:
||Att||Yds||Cmp %||TD||INT||RSH YDS|
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.
*H/T: Kramer, natch
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.