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Tebow's skills not enough for Patriots

8/31/2013

Andrew Weber/USA Today Sports

Tim Tebow is likely headed somewhere else after being cut by the Patriots.

The New England Patriots have cut Tim Tebow, according to Adam Schefter. If Tebow clears waivers, he’ll be a free agent and can sign with any team.

Let’s recap some of the statistical storylines for Tebow as he tries to connect with another NFL team before the opening week of games.

Rough preseason

Tebow was 11-for-30 for 145 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions at quarterback this preseason. Among the 82 quarterbacks with at least 30 pass attempts in the preseason, his 37 percent completion rate ranked last.

Since entering the league in 2010, Tebow ranks last in the NFL in completion percentage at 47.9 percent. He is the first quarterback with at least 300 attempts to complete less than 48 percent of his passes in his first three NFL seasons since Akili Smith from 1999 to 2001.

What Tebow brings to the table

Tebow has played his best late in games during his brief NFL career. His Total QBR over the first 3 quarters is 28.8. In the 4th quarter and OT, it’s 56.9.

Although he didn’t start a game in 2012, Tebow led five game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime in the 2011 regular season, tied for the second most behind Eli Manning. Tebow is 9-7 in 16 career starts (including postseason) and has led a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter or overtime in seven of those games.

Tebow also has value when he runs. Among those quarterbacks with at least 50 rushes in the last three seasons, Tebow leads them with 1.75 yards after contact per. His 146 designed rushes are second-most by a quarterback, trailing only Cam Newton’s 169.

Weaknesses

Tebow has the fourth-lowest Total QBR (34.3) since his rookie season in 2010 among 40 QBs with at least 600 action plays, better only than John Skelton, Brandon Weeden and Blaine Gabbert.

Tebow is often criticized for not making decisions quick enough in the passing game. Over the last two seasons, Tebow leads all quarterbacks in average time in the pocket (3.46 seconds) and average time before pass (4.61 seconds).

Tebow’s deep pass attempts (his average target depth is 12 yards downfield, highest in the NFL) are a part of what keep his completion percentage so low. Over the last three seasons, 34 percent of his passes were gauged to be off-target.

Though Tebow is noted for his running ability, he’s been unable to avoid sacks. He’s been sacked on 10.3 percent of his dropbacks, the second-highest rate of any quarterback over the last three seasons (Kevin Kolb ranked first, 10.4)