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Published on 11/29/2011 at Tue Nov 29 15:57.
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Tim Tebow

Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow celebrates a 2-point conversion during the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011, in Miami. (AP Photo/Hans Deryk)

Is it magic that sees Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos riding a four-game win streak? Or is there statistical substance behind what some see as smoke and mirrors?

Kerry Byrne of breaks down the numbers in this phenomenal piece for Sports Illustrated.

Tebow is no statistical circus freak winning in spite of himself. Tebow’s Broncos are winning because he consistently outperforms the opposing quarterback when you take into account all aspects of production: passing, running, sacks, total touchdowns, interceptions and fumbles. In fact, he consistently outperforms them by a wide margin.

Byrne goes on to reveal some very interesting numbers about Tebow’s success in finding the end zone and not forfeiting turnovers.

If Tebow can extend these trends beyond this small sample size, he’ll take the Broncos far indeed. He’s certainly earned that chance.

Tebow’s success due to production and protection, not magic [Sports Illustrated]

  • Anonymous

    Good piece.  I had run across it already.  My only gripe: could the authors have picked a stupider name to keep repeating over and over, and on a related note, has any stat gimmick ever sold itself so damn hard?  Sheesh, I get it, you’re special already.  Also, why do I have a sudden urge to get a Coors Light?

  • Vill Robinson

    The piece takes a worthwhile hypothesis — Is Tebow as bad as the pundits say? — but doesn’t really prove anything. Even if you believe in Real Quarterback Rating as a metric, you need to compare Tebow’s RQR vs. other PEER quarterbacks (no, John Elway doesn’t count) over similar periods of time. A small sample size is fine if you’re comparing it with like sample sizes over the same period; he didn’t do that here.

    Worse, the piece makes only passing reference to the role of the D during the current streak. Yes, Tebow not turning the ball over helps keep the other team out of the end zone, but for goodness sakes just LOOK at what the D has done during the 5-1 run. First 5 games of the season, D gave up avg. 28 PPG; last 6 games, 20 PPG. True, combined records of the teams played in past 6 games is only 24-31 but any realistic assessment of the “Tebow Streak” has to include fact the D is keeping the other teams out of the end zone. 

  • Strawdog

    Passer Rating, Total Quarterback Rating, Real Quarterback Rating are all useful but…sick em’ Timmy works for me.  

  • Anonymous

    Agreed plus the “real qb rating” does not account for putting your team in a position for a McGahee to score from 5 yards out or the number of times the offense went 3 and out.  A high touchdown percentage only makes you a great QB if you’re regularly hanging 40 points on your opponents.

  • flbronc

    i see where you are coming from.  however on studying the formula, it does somewhat take our defensive performance when comparing the qb’s we play against the week we play them.  if you look at the rating over a season, you’d lose the gauge of our defense.  but by looking at it only the week we play them, their low numbers are directly correlated to our good defense.

    by comparing tt to the opponents qb, it takes into account how many times the opp qb is sacked, the yardage he is allowed (subtracting yds lost on sacks), the td’s he is allowed, int’s and qb fumbles.  those are all statistics that our defense has a direct impact on. and in our wins, all of those statistics have been in our favor, and put our opponents rating in the 60’s.

  • Virginiabronco

    May I suggest the only stats that matter right now are we are just one game back for the division lead and one game back in the wild card hunt.