Friday, December 02, 2011

What to make of Tim Tebow

Let me start by saying that much of the criticism of Tim Tebow makes me extremely uncomfortable. The defense of Tebow generally brings about a response that is akin to evangelical atheism. Bashing Tebow for his forthright religious nature is, to me anyways, the same as a missionary bringing Christianity to the pagans. The methodology and message are very different, but the subtext is the same -- You and the way you live your life are stupid and wrong. It makes me squirm when anyone even discusses his faith and the way he practices it. So that said, I will focus instead on what I like to focus on: The game and the statistics therein.
First, I disagree with the idea that quarterbacks should be given credit for wins. I say this even as a fan of the Colts, who are winless without Peyton Manning. Football is the ultimate team sport, and it's a discredit to the rest of the team to focus the attention all on one player. I feel like the quarterback win is akin to the pitching win. Sure, the pitcher and quarterback have a lot to do with the team's ultimate success, and are likely to touch the ball almost every play, but to win, other people need to come through on offense, and the defense needs to play well.
Statistics in football and baseball are fundamentally different. Statistics in baseball generally go to show individual success, and can demonstrate how much luck has to do with that success. In football, statistics are primarily cause and effect. Stats are much more easily contorted based on the way a team runs an offense, for example. The truest way to evaluate players is the eye test, almost entirely the opposite of baseball. The eye test says Tim Tebow just isn't a good traditional quarterback.
The defense the Broncos have put forth has been very good since he came on board. A lot of this has to do with the fact that the Broncos slow the game down with their running game, but a lot of it also has to do with their two rookies on defense (Von Miller and Quinton Carter) coming of age. It's a GOOD defense, plain and simple. The offense isn't turning the ball over any more, and you can certainly give some of the credit for that to Tebow. But it's not like he's an accurate quarterback, completing less than 50% of his passes. Donovan McNabb completed 60% in his haggard time with the Vikings. The Broncos coaches, who also deserve credit for the way they are running their offense, have built their offense around the run. He has had 2 games with over 21 attempted passes, the first was an overtime game, the second was a 45-10 loss to Detroit. He doesn't throw interceptions because he doesn't THROW.
Tim Tebow is certainly a positive influence in a clubhouse that has had it's share of tumult over the past 5 years or so, from the murder of Darrent Williams, to Brandon Marshall's antics and Brandon Lloyd's grousing this year. The Broncos have also established an offense that doesn't screw things up for the defense, based around Tebow's skill set. If the Broncos didn't have a good defense, or a good offensive line, where would Tebow be?
I'll give credit to Tebow for being a hard worker, a positive influence and a talented player, but I won't go so far as to say he is the reason the Broncos have turned their season around.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home