OpinionDecember 3, 2011

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Is Tim Tebow an Awful Quarterback? - 8 comments

By Joseph Malizia

Tim Tebow is a very polarizing athlete. Some people love him and some absolutely hate him. I’ll kick this off by saying, I’m a Tebow fan. The dude has been remarkably successful this year. So much so, that I’m going back to church. Heck, it works for him!

I readily admit that Tebow is not a good passer. In fact, he stinks. Consider his 45.5% completion percentage as a starting point. Tebow ranks below such dreadful quarterbacks as Curtis Painter, Christian Ponder, Blaine Gabbert, Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford. His 81.1 quarterback rating does not even fall into the top 32 quarterbacks listed on NFL.com’s stats page. He does have eight passing touchdowns to only one interception, but to tout that is essentially focusing on one blossoming tree in a forest of dead ones. In sum, Tebow does not throw the ball well, and given he had a full year to develop in 2010, it isn’t likely that he will make great strides in this area.

However, is Tebow an awful quarterback? To answer this question, let’s take a look at what the position requires. Beyond being able to complete passes, quarterbacks must be the leaders of their teams. They must have confidence, the intelligence to understand the defense and make good decisions, physical size, and the quickness and allusiveness to avoid the pass rush. Tebow ranks awfully high in each of these other areas.

Additionally, Tebow has intangible qualities, which are what make him special and different from other quarterbacks in the league. Consider his 5-1 record as a starter this year. While the defense has been outstanding and each of the wins should be classified as a total team effort, when plays needed to be made, Tebow made them. In fact, in those five wins, Tebow engineered three 4th quarter comebacks, including two overtime victories.

Denver’s win against Miami was especially impressive as Tebow took over with 5:23 left in the game. He led his team to score two touchdowns and a two-point conversion — the game tying points being converted with only 17 seconds left in the game. Tebow then led the Broncos to win on a Matt Prater field goal in overtime.

Against the Jets, Tebow again demonstrated the ability to win under pressure when he led his team to drive the ball 95 yards and score the game-winning touchdown. Tebow’s 20-yard scamper closed out the Jets and perhaps silenced a few critics.

Tebow may be a horrible passer, but it is hard to argue that he isn’t an elite play-maker in the NFL. He performs under pressure, inspires teammates who love and follow him and makes big plays that are often the difference in the football game. When the game is on the line and the ball is in Tebow’s hands, the Broncos win. He will never be a Hall of Fame quarterback. He may even become a career backup in 2-3 years. But right now you have to respect his abilities and performance.

Litz has been playing fantasy sports since the late 80s - back when it was all referred to as rotisserie and as commissioner, kept track of the leagues with a USA Today and a pencil. It's a passion of his during the NFL season. Thanks to the Fantasy Cafe for providing a forum for enthusiasts like us to get together. You can find Litz posting in the Cafe forums as joejlitz.
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8 Responses to “Is Tim Tebow an Awful Quarterback?”

  1. User avatar scottaa1 says:

    Would you two like to be left alone? :D

    all kidding aside, I like that Tebow is getting W’s and gaining popularity. He brings a feel to the NFL that I normally associate with college football (I meant that in a nice way). And he seems to be more on the positive side of role model. No felonies/prison/self-inflicted gunshot wounds is a plus these days.

  2. User avatar DraftDodger says:

    Fan perspective: He’s exciting, he’s winning; he’s a great QB en route to becoming an elite QB.

    Media perspective: He’s newsworthy! Whether he wins or loses, we win reporting on him. Hail Tebow!

    Opposing defenses: I don’t know how the #@!* he does it, but he beats us. He’s freakin’ magical!

    Teammates: He makes us look good; we make him look good. It’s all good.

    Management: Um, what do we have here? (A little voice says, “Pssst, a merchandise gold mine!”)

    Coaches: “We’d like the X’s and the O’s to work out the way we draw them up, but what the heck, we’re winning.”

    I agree with the OP on how good Tebow is, and actually have more faith in him. I think we’ll get a good look at what he can be against the Vikings, and I do think he can improve tremendously in the passing game. He was no slouch in that department in college, and after he settles in a bit, we’ll see his passing game take a steep upturn. He’s the real deal, and unlike similar quarterbacks in the past who never received much of a shot in the NFL, Tebow is getting the chance to prove himself.

  3. User avatar dgan says:

    This is your classic “too much credit, too much blame” issue. The defense is allowing 10 fewer points per game. McGahee is tearing it up. I’m sure Kyle Orton’s record would have been better had the rest of the team been playing the way it is now. So is Tebow, who leads the league in 3-and-outs, winning these games? Or is it simply Denver is winning?

    Does he have intangibles? No doubt. Can he run? Yeah, he’s like Peyton Hillis but at QB. Looks weird but he gets the job done. So the real question for people is not really about Tebow himself. It’s whether or not you believe this offense can work in the NFL for an extended period of time.

    Miami’s huge success a few years ago with the Wildcat decreased almost on a weekly basis after about 8 games. The following year, it had almost no success and was quickly scrapped the following season. Defenses are smart.

    So the question is not, “Is Tebow a good running QB”. Culpepper, Cunningham, and Young were. But so was Pat White, Kordell Stewart, and Eric Crouch. It’s, “Is an offense that can’t throw the ball going to work for the next 10 years?” My answer is no, which is why I don’t think Tebow will be long as a starting QB unless he makes serious strides in the passing game.

  4. I watched the first NFL games of this afternoon with the author of this article and was frustrated that he gave T. Tebow so much credit. After watching the Broncos struggle with one of the worst defenses of the league today (Vikings), you cannot give Tim Tebow all of the credit when the defense of the Broncos, and even some luck, should be given the credit of Denver’s winning streak. Tebow’s 10 for 15 and 202 yard effort should not gain any fanbase on this website. Tim T is a fantasy football bust for serious players that look at stats and not ‘feel good’ vibes as they make decisions. If I were (I am definitely not, since my brother is) a Broncos fan, I know that I have something special for the W column, but I am not confident that Tim Tebow is a long term solution for Denver.


  5. User avatar joejlitz says:

    @22Ds common sense:
    Hey Joey!

    First – it’s not “luck,” when Tebow wins. It’s divine intervention.

    Second – Tim T is not a fantasy bust for serious players. You would know that, but your team is only 6-6 and fighting for a playoff berth ;)

  6. User avatar joejlitz says:

    Oh yeah – and he is now 6-1. Take that, Orton! :)

  7. User avatar joejlitz says:

    He does it again. Hohum. This is getting routine.

  8. User avatar Kareighuis says:

    Wanted to say- in the 3rd paragraph, second to last line, the word should be elusiveness, no allusiveness.

    The line I agreed with the most was at the beginning of the last paragraph- “Tebow may be a horrible passer, but it is hard to argue that he isn’t an elite play-maker in the NFL.” I wouldn’t call him horrible, cause he sometimes hits his target, but I wouldn’t call him an elite playmaker, either. Tebow struggles passing (sometimes immensely), but you can’t ignore his NFL-level playmaking ability.


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