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Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Mike Sando's MVP Watch

By Mike Sando

Tim Tebow
The Denver Broncos are 5-1 this season with quarterback Tim Tebow in the starting lineup.
Great efforts to more fully appreciate quarterback contributions should, in theory, reward Tim Tebow for leading the Denver Broncos to repeated victories despite weak passing stats.

The opposite has been true.

Tebow ranks 31st out of 35 qualifying players in Total QBR, the ESPN stat measuring how quarterbacks affect win probability across a wide array of categories. Brian Burke of Advanced NFL Stats, a founding father of such metrics, recently tried hard to find additional ways to appreciate Tebow's contributions, but it was an uphill fight.

"The best case you can make for Tebow is that, in his wins, he's usually helped his team slightly more than he has hurt it," Burke concluded.

Tebow has never appeared on our weekly MVP Watch list.

But with four consecutive victories and a 5-1 starting record, Tebow must be doing something right in the context of what his team needs from him. And so I wondered what it would take for Tebow to become a viable third-tier MVP candidate -- someone worthy of consideration after the rock-solid candidates topping the list each week.

If Tebow were to continue on his current course and the Broncos were to win the remainder of their games to finish 11-5, would that be enough?