Saturday, October 22, 2011
The Tebow Show premieres Sunday
By Daniel Riccio
Ron Chenoy/US Presswire
Tim Tebow looks to lead the Broncos to a win in Miami on Sunday.
Tim Tebow makes his first start of the 2011 season for the Denver Broncos on Sunday afternoon in Miami, in what could be one of the most anticipated games between teams with a combined record of 1-9 in recent NFL history.
It’s no secret that Tebow is not the ideal quarterback for today’s pass-happy NFL and does not fit the prototype of a pocket passer. He has thrown 22.8 percent of his total career pass attempts outside the pocket, the highest rate among all current starters in the NFL since he entered the league last season.
Passing usually isn’t the best option for him when he is flushed from the pocket, as he’s completed just one-third of his passes, the third-worst rate among quarterbacks with at least 20 attempts outside the pocket since 2010.
However, his strong rushing instincts and dual-threat skills when he escapes the pocket make Tebow a valuable offensive option, especially in the red zone.
Of his 10 red zone rushes, six have resulted in touchdowns, and all three of his red zone completions in his career have gone for scores.
His career Total QBR of 83.1 in the red zone matches that of Tom Brady’s mark since 2010, and is the seventh-best of all quarterbacks with at least 20 action plays in the red zone since the start of last season.
Tebow also has shown the ability to thrive late in games. His Total QBR of 68.1 in the fourth quarter and overtime is fifth-best among players with at least 50 action plays since 2010. Kyle Orton, who was benched this week in favor of Tebow, has a total QBR of 37.7 in the fourth quarter and OT since last season.
It’s no surprise that his legs have been key to his success in the final period. Of the total 7.0 EPA he’s accumulated in the fourth quarter and OT, 5.6 have come on scrambles. That’s the fifth-highest scramble EPA total since 2010, despite having just one-third of the action plays of the quarterbacks ahead of him.
Remembering that Total QBR takes into account all plays that a quarterback makes to affect the outcome of a game including passing, rushing, sacks and turnovers, Tebow couldn’t be in a better position for his first start of the season. The Miami Dolphins have allowed an opposing Total QBR of 74.3 this season, the worst mark among all NFL teams.
While Sunday may not be the ultimate test of how competitive the Broncos can be under Tebow, a homecoming of sorts against one of the worst defenses in the NFL should present a good opportunity for Tebow to succeed in his first start this season.
For exclusive video, stories and blogs about quarterbacks from every level of competition, check out ESPN's "Year of the Quarterback" page.