In case you haven’t heard, the Denver Broncos have found their Messiah. His name is Tim Tebow, and he appears to have higher powers behind him. His team continues to pull off miraculous fourth quarter charges, and he has a knack for playing his position at a middling rate until just the right moment, when he makes a big throw or runs for a key first down. But, the question remains, is he really actually good?
Well, that depends on which metrics you use. On the one hand, Tebow has a God-awful completion percentage of 48.9 percent for his career, and he’s even worse in this, his second season, at 48.5 percent. He has a weak arm, and his winning drives generally take plenty of time because of his inability to tightly throw strikes to the sidelines or deep down the field, so he severely limits Denver’s options in the passing game. On the other hand, he has a Quarterback Rating of 83.9 this season, 83.4 for his career, and was at 82.1 as a rookie in minimal reps. Mike Vick, who has consistently received praise over his career as a “game changer,” has had only one season as a full-time starter with higher ratings that any of those numbers. Add in the fact that Tebow has thrown only two interceptions this year in 198 attempts and added 25 rushing first downs without losing a single fumble (again, he’s been a bit lucky by putting the ball on the ground four times and not losing a single one), and you’ve got a pretty solid NFL quarterback.
The truth is, Tebow’s pretty good at football. He’s not a great quarterback, and he’ll likely never be one. But in the right system, such as the multiple-read, option attack Denver has instigated, and with a dominant defense like the one he has wearing the same uniform right now, he’s good enough to win more than he loses. But, that’s probably his ceiling, so the Broncos have a slim margin for error. With a league filled with dominant passers, it will be hard for Denver to win a Super Bowl any time soon.
Tebow’s pretty decent, but he’s not the answer long-term if the Broncos want some serious hardware.