Tebow has full season under his belt

January, 15, 2012
1/15/12
11:00
AM ET
The Denver Broncos’ AFC divisional playoff loss at New England was Tim Tebow's 16th NFL start.

Thus, the 2010 first-round pick has started the equivalent of one full NFL season.

There were many ups and downs for Tebow during the 16-game run, in which he led Denver to a 9-7 record. Denver was 4-14 in 2010 and 2011 without Tebow as its starter.

Tebow’s statistics in his 16 starts were a mixed bag.

While Tebow needs to work on his accuracy and consistency, he has done a good job not throwing interceptions. He has thrown for 2,835 yards and 19 touchdowns while being intercepted nine times.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Tebow’s first 16-game numbers compare favorably to the first 16 games of two Hall of Fame quarterbacks with whom he is often compared — John Elway and Steve Young. The Elway comparison is relevant in that Elway played for Denver and is now the Broncos’ main decision-maker. Young, like Tebow, was a left-handed quarterback who made plays with his feet.

Elway threw for 2,448 yards, 10 touchdown passes and was intercepted 21 times in his first 16 games. Young threw for 2,722 yards, nine touchdown passes and had 16 interceptions in that span.

Does this mean Tebow is on a Hall of Fame pace? Of course not, but it shows that he did some good things — and that he isn’t the first quarterback in history to have his early-career trials and tribulations.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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