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Published on 01/17/2012 at Tue Jan 17 12:20.
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Quarterback Tim Tebow completed less than 50% of his passes last season. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Nobody is about to deny that Broncos second year quarterback Tim Tebow has accuracy and consistency issues. With that said, his inaccuracy problems may be a bit overblown.

We all know that every few passes, Tebow will send a pass off course of his target, much to the dismay of Broncos fans.  Whether it’s overthrowing a running back out of the backfield or throwing a ball at a receiver’s feet, Tebow seems to have 5-10 extremely inaccurate passes every 20-30 attempts.

Starting in eleven games last season, Tebow only completed 46.5% of his passes, a stat which is unheard-of for professional quarterbacks.  Why the low completion percentage?  Several reasons are listed after the jump:

  • When Tebow does not properly set his feet before throwing, his passes are not accurate. I think this is his biggest passing fault.  That is Quarterbacking 101.  However, footwork can be corrected over time, and Tebow has shown progress.  With a full off-season to work on his footwork, that issue could start to disappear for Tebow.
  • Tebow’s long wind-up throwing motion has been criticized and blamed for his inaccuracy problems by many observers.  This issue would be much harder to fix than his footwork, but it appears to have gotten a little better over the course of time.
  • Tebow’s fear of failure leads him to have a fear of interceptions; and for a young quarterback, he does not throw many.  However, that fear also results in many passes being overthrown or sometimes into the ground.  This is not a theory. It is revealed by film and Coach John Fox confirmed it in an interview last November.  When Tebow begins to throw and then sees a defensive back closing in, he’ll redirect his throw mid-release, which results in an in-completion.
  • When his receivers drop passes, it doesn’t help.  According to Pro Football Focus, Broncos receivers Demaryius Thomas (13.51%) and Eric Decker (16.98%) owned the 77th and 84th-best drop rates of catch-able passes last season.  Many of Tebow’s attempts weren’t pretty, but there were various times last season when one of his receivers dropped a very catch-able pass.
The notes above are not excuses or critisism, but merely facts.  Tebow has accuracy problems, and many of them can be corrected.  During the off-season, Tebow will work his tail off to become a more polished passer.  Will it help?  We’ll all find out next season.
  • MeOMy

    I’d like to point out that a lot of his passes are deep throws that tend to have a lower completion percent. A lot of the shorter high percentage completion passes are timed passes which Tebow has not been able to do. If you look at his completion rate on the long ball only, it is pretty good.

    I don’t feel McDaniels had any intension of starting him until at least his 3rd year and he never had a chance to learn how to throw the shorter passes in the off season due to the lockout. I think next year you will see him attempting these throws a lot more. I also think/hope it will result in him throwing more interceptions. This will all be a part of his learning process. You can’t learn if you are afraid of making mistakes.

    He if can learn to consistently throw a screen pass he is going to be a very scary QB to face.

  • Yelofm

    When is somebody going to man up and talk about the offensive line. How can Tebow be a pocket passer if there is no pocket made for him? Franklin was a joke against the Patriots. The rest of the line was no better. Wake up everybody!

  • Yelofm

    If Tebow had to pass protection and receivers that the Patriots have, he would be the league MVP!

  • Yelofm

    If Tebow had to pass protection and receivers that the Patriots have, he would be the league MVP!

  • Jon

    I believe on the contrary that Denver has one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. Franklin (like many rookies) had several bad games. But overall, I thought Franklin and all of the offensive line did a heck of a job.

    Most of the times Tebow as sacked, it was because he held the ball way too long, IMO.

  • AdamMackWright

    Brandon Lloyd talked about it (and i think Eddie Royal mentioned it as well) but catching a ball from a lefty is apparently a tough thing to adjust to if you’ve caught passes from righties your entire ball-catching life. Seems to make sense, but it’s on the WRs to get that fixed.

  • Phlyer

    A 46.5% completion percentage isn’t as bad as it may sound, considering that some other highly respected QB’s had fairly low (by today’s standards) career numbers, like: Terry Bradshaw (51.9); Don Meredith (50.7); Joe Namath (50.1); George Blanda (47.7) and some others even less than Tebow’s.  Add in the fact that this was his first full year as an NFL QB without a good pre-season training period and I’d say he did pretty well.  Also, let’s not forget that there’s more to being a good QB than passing.  If Tebow can continue to exert outstanding leadership and complicate the opposition defensive problem with his superior rushing, he doesn’t have to have the best passing stats.

  • Officer O’Malley of the FBI

    Something never mentioned is throw-away. With his style, that toss out of bound when the end around doesn’t go, is a good portion of his incomplete passes.  Granted, if they ended up in the hands of a receiver, it would be much better, but every incomplete should not be marked up to his ‘bad passing’.

  • Anonymous

    No, dude.  It’s as bad as it sounds.   

    You cannot compare Tebow’s numbers with guys who played in an era when DB’s could basically assault receivers and QB’s were blasted w/ impunity.  It’s a completely different game. 

    George Blanda’s rookie season was 1949 for christ’s sake.  

  • Anonymous

    Might want to reword that paragraph on Decker and DT.  They’re actually the 77th and 84th best drop percentages.  They’re eighth and 15th respectively in drop percentage.  

    Plus, it’s the only legitimate excuse you’ve got on here.  ;)

  • Anonymous

    Herc, you are by far my favorite commenter on this site.  You tell it how it is and you don’t hold back on anything.  With that said, I think your hatred for Tebow on a personal level blinds your judgement of him as a player.  The dude has many things going for him and yes he does have a lot of things to work on,  but the kid has a ridiculous work ethic and he will fix a lot of these problems.  If he is still committing the same errors come next season, I will be the first to admit that everything I say is a giant mouth fart. 

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Thanks.  However, my eyes are wide open.   

    He’s had plenty of time to correct his problems.  Footwork?
    Throwing motion?  Being “scared” of throwing picks?  If he hasn’t figured that stuff out yet, he’s not likely to ever figure it out…no matter how hard he works.

    Besides, he’s worked on his footwork.  He’s tried to re-vamp his throwing motion.  The problem is he gets in the game and regresses to what he knows.

    Tebow is what he is, man.  He’s exceedingly tough, a good leader, an exceptional runner and a poor to awful  passer.  Which, despite what some of the people on here will tell you, is the single most important part of being an QB in today’s NFL.  

    I don’t think hard work will get him to the level he needs to be at to be successful in the long term.  He’s been working hard his whole life.

  • Jar1950

    But herc, what you are missing is this: there has been a “herc” at every stage of Tebow’s career and he has confounded them all. If he were as poor a player as you say he is, why would the nation tune in to watch him play? You are confounded.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t buy that.  

  • Anonymous

    His superior rushing was on the decline and it was his second full year as an NFL QB unless you’re suggesting he was playing another position his rookie season.

  • Anonymous

    Why does the nation tune in to watch American Idol?  

  • Josh Temple

    I don’t either.  I would like Jerry Rice to chime in on this considering he caught from Montana and Young.

  • Jon

    In practice, it always takes me a few passes to adjust from one quarterback to another (all right-handy).  Every quarterback puts a little bit of a different spin on the ball, but I don’t think whether he’s a right-handy or a lefty has anything to do with it.

    If it does, I assume it would only take a few passes to get used to it, anyway. And since Tebow, Lloyd and Royal were (and are) first team players, the receivers would have gotten plenty of chances to get used to Tebow’s throws.

    That’s just my take.

  • adw1611

    I’d like to point out that, especially during the Pats game last week, half the time the offensive line did essentially nothing to protect Tebow. The few times that he got off passes without pressure from every single side of him, he made fairly good passes. If the Broncos were to replace anything on their offense, it shouldn’t be Tebow, it should be the line.

  • MiKey55

    Whatever happens to Ryan Harris. I thought he got cut by Philly? I think he would be a good pick up to bring back as depth. Or even start at right tackle and move Franklin to left guard. Clady Franklin Waldon kuper Harris.

  • JS

    Im a Tebow supporter and I agree the line did a horrible job in the Patriots game, but come on man really? The line has done a good job protecting Tebow the majority of the year, and is one of the youngest units in the league. They will only get better, trust me. Line coach Magazu is amazing with lines so expect them to kill it next year. Tebow needs time and the receivers need a new coach. They lack the ability to get separation a lot of the time and those dropped passes that hit them in the hands are ridiculous. I see too much talent in the wr corps for that to be happening.

  • Eric Schulz

    Brandon Lloyd plays football in the NFL. He led the league in receiving one year. I think he *may* know something about pass catching. Perhaps even more than you, jdkchem.

  • Eric Schulz

    I guess either you don’t know what “full” means, or you think an NFL season lasts 9 games.

  • Eric Schulz

    But when did Unitas put up the record for most consecutive games with a TD? Perhaps they actually knew how to throw a football before the ’90s.

  • Eric Schulz

    The offensive line looked good b/c teams were afraid to pass rush b/c they were afraid of Tebow’s ability to hurt them scrambling. When they decided to pass rush, the o-line crumpled like papier mache.
    Also, He held onto the ball too long sometimes, granted, but he’s no Roethlisberger.