Manning's upgrades for the Mile High city

March, 8, 2012
3/08/12
1:51
PM ET
ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reports that the Denver Broncos are one of the 12 teams that has reached out to Peyton Manning.

Here are two reasons, using Next Level statistics, why Manning would be a significant upgrade over Tim Tebow.

Since the start of the 2008 season, 60 quarterbacks have attempted at least 200 passes that traveled less than 15 yards in the air. Denver’s Tim Tebow is 124-230 on such throws. That’s a completion percentage of 53.2, which ranks 59 out of 60 quarterbacks. (Only Derek Anderson has a lower percentage, 53.2.) Manning’s completion percentage of 74.4 is the best in the NFL.

And while there’s no doubt which QB is more mobile, Manning is quicker than Tebow in one important category. From 2008-10, Manning dropped back to pass against four or fewer pass rushers 1,399 times and was sacked just 21 times. Tebow, in 1,106 fewer drop backs, has been sacked 24 times.

One factor that might work against Manning is the Broncos have been better when they run the ball more than they throw it. With Kyle Orton the last two seasons, the Broncos dropped back to pass more than 65 percent of the time; however, they were just 6-15 in games started by Orton. In 2010-11, the Broncos were 8-6 with Tebow as their starting QB, throwing just over 46 percent of the time.

In 2010, Manning took every snap for the Colts, and he threw the ball 63.8 percent of the time.

John McTigue

ESPN Stats & Information
• NFL researcher and analyst with ESPN's Stats & Information group

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