Monday, November 28, 2011

Tim Tebow Is a Witch

Photo: Roger Smith, Flickr Creative Commons

Tim Tebow is a witch. There’s no other explanation for the fact that the Denver Broncos were 1-4 before Tebow took over the starting position and are 5-1 since he became the starter despite a drop in offensive production. Tebow doesn’t really seem to deserve the credit for the team's recent winning ways. He’s averaging 130 yards passing per game and has a 45.5% completion percentage this season. For those unfamiliar with American football stats, that’s horrible. True, the guy makes a difference with his running ability, but he's not really blowing up the rushing stats either. The Broncos are only averaging 20 points a game, and that’s only because of the anomaly of the Oakland game when they put up 38 points. The rest of their games with Tebow they’ve only managed to score between 10 and 18 points. In a stretch of six games with 5 wins, they’ve had four games where the offense only scored one touchdown. They've won three of those games.

The laws of reality make this combination of wins and offensive ineptitude impossible, and it’d be ridiculous to think that Tebow’s excessively public displays of religiosity are the cause. If God were really the reason the Broncos are winning, Christianity would have to be a farce where the deity in charge cares more about a sport largely confined to the United States than he does about millions of people in the world struggling to find enough to eat.

The only other explanation is that Satan is involved, meaning that Tebow is a witch who wins through black magic. The devil would surely love to make it seem like God cares more about football than starving children, after all.

Of course, that’s the only explanation only if you ignore a few other facts. First, Tebow’s only real redeeming quality as an NFL quarterback is that the guy has only thrown one interception in the seven games in which he’s attempted a pass this year. In the five games Orton started, he threw seven picks, which means he put significantly more stress on the defense and threw away scoring opportunities. Part of this is due to play calling. The Broncos are throwing a lot of short passes and not asking Tebow to throw a lot even then. It is a little surprising that with his lack of accuracy that he's not thrown more picks, but maybe he has enough sense to know when not to throw at all.

Still, the Broncos scored more easily with Orton at the helm. And don’t give me any crap about Tebow being a clutch player who scores when it matters. Clutch is a bullshit term and it means the guy is either loafing for more than 75% of the game when he produces nothing, only to come alive in the final couple of drives, or that he’s just not that good and gets lucky at the end of games, probably because defenses play too soft against him with silly prevent defenses. A good player doesn't have to step it up at the end of the game because he's been playing as well as he can the entire game.

The real reason the Broncos are winning has nothing to do with the offense at all. The only reason Tebow is even in a position to win a game in the fourth quarter after producing nothing for most of the game is that the defense is crushing the other teams lately. Except for letting Detroit score 45 points, the defense has been solid, only giving up 20 points per game on average in the last six games, a stat that includes that Detroit debacle. In the first five games before Tebow, they were giving up 28 points a game and that's without a Detroit-style blowout.

Of course the level of competition plays a part as well. While Orton was starting, only one team the Broncos played had a losing record (San Diego). The combined record of their first five opponents is 35-20. In the games with Tebow as a starter, they’ve faced three teams with losing records and all six opponents combine for a record of 31-35.

That’s right. The Broncos aren’t winning because of Tebow. Instead, they’re winning in spite of his lack of production due to a combination of great defense and a weakening of the schedule. Let’s see how he does against Chicago and New England before we crown his ass as Denny Green would say. Until then, I’ll just assume Tebow is the Antichrist.


Julie said...

Interesting assumption but keep in mind that mediocrity will get you further than you think it should.

I also assume that a lot of success is knowing when not to take on the go-big-or-go-home mentality. Vick would have been a much more accomplished QB during his tenure in Atlanta if he hadn't failed so often. He would try to be great and those few successes kept him trying to live up to it when a more consistent game would have been better. It just doesn't make for amazing highlight reels.

Jacob said...

I'm fully willing to give Tebow credit for not taking too many risks. He rarely fumbles, almost never throws interceptions. He doesn't give the other team too many extra chances to score themselves.

Keep the game close and Tebow's lack of mistakes put him in a good position, but he can't keep the game close. He's not good. The defense has to seriously limit the other team or he has no chance.

That being said, I think it's silly to credit him for Denver's winning ways. He's probably about as important to the offense as McGahee, the running back. Both rarely makes mistakes, but neither one produces enough to win a game if the defense lets the game get away from them.