COMMENTARY: Tebow, a better bet than Manning ( TKS Cartman )

DAN CAPLIS

The facts show that Tim Tebow is off to a better start as an NFL quarterback than many of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. Through his first 16 starts, Tebow won more games (9) than Peyton Manning (3), Troy Aikman (3), Steve Young (3), Aaron Rodgers (5), Matthew Stafford (6), Sam Bradford (7), Eli Manning (7), John Elway (8), and Drew Brees (8). Tebow accomplished that with a team that was 1-4 before he took over, and had won only 7 of its last 24 games.

 In his first 16 starts, Tebow led his team to a playoff victory. None of these other greats did that. In fact, it took Peyton Manning, one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, five full NFL seasons to lead his team to a playoff victory.

In his first playoff game, Tebow threw for 316 yards in a winning effort — against the best defense in the league.

It is so difficult for an NFL quarterback to throw for 316 yards or more in a playoff victory that Ben Roethlisberger has never done it. Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers have each done it once. Tom Brady, John Elway and Joe Montana each did it twice. Eli Manning did not throw for that many yards in a playoff game until this season. And those other quarterbacks had some of the best receivers in the NFL. Tebow is also near the top in another important measure of an NFL passer, which is the number of touchdown passes per pass attempt. In his first 16 games, Tebow averaged an impressive one touchdown pass for every 23 pass attempts (1-23). The same as Peyton Manning. Better than Steve Young (1-46), John Elway (1-36), Drew Brees (1-34) and Tom Brady (1-36). And just slightly behind Aaron Rodgers (1-21), Matthew Stafford (1-21), and Eli Manning (1-21).

Even more important is the fact that Tebow threw very few interceptions per pass attempt. Just one pick for every 43 pass attempts (1-43). That’s twice as good as Peyton Manning (1-21). Much better than Elway (1-19), Stafford (1-26) and Eli Manning (1-29). Better than Brees (1-34), Brady (1-36), Rodgers (1-39) and Bradford (1-40). This fact is particularly important, because ESPN contends that the chance of a team winning an NFL game goes down 20 percent with each interception a quarterback throws.

Through 16 starts, Tebow has a far better touchdown pass-to-interception ratio (17 touchdowns-9 interceptions) than Peyton Manning (26-28), Brees (15-15), Stafford (28-23), Bradford (18-15), Elway (10-19), Aikman (12-25) and Young (9-16). Tebow’s rate is also better than Eli Manning’s (21-14), and the same as Aaron Rodgers’ (23-12).

According to these key factual measures of an NFL passer (wins, touchdown passes, interceptions, playoff performance) Tebow is off to a better start as an NFL passer than many of the great passing quarterbacks in NFL history.

Tebow’s critics do not speak of these facts. Instead, they harp on the style of his passes and his completion percentage (46 percent). That is illogical. Results are more important than style. And completion percentage is far less important than wins, touchdowns, interceptions and playoff success. That is proved by the fact that Tebow has far more wins, and a much better touchdown and interception ratio, than many quarterbacks who have a higher completion percentage.

Peyton Manning is a certain Hall of Fame quarterback and a man of great character and integrity.

But the facts also show, at this point, Manning is not a more effective quarterback than Tebow. Last season, Tebow started 13 games. When you compare those 13 starts to Manning’s last 13 starts, the results are almost the same.

Over their last 13 starts, Tebow and Manning have the same winning record — 8-5. Each threw one touchdown pass for every 23 pass attempts. Tebow threw only one interception for every 51 passes. Unfortunately, Manning threw one interception for every 33 pass attempts. Tebow won one playoff game and lost the next. Manning lost his only playoff game, 17-16, to the Jets. Since Manning played these last 13 games, he has reportedly undergone three neck procedures and has not played for 14 months.

Tebow also brings the critical advantage of mobility to the field, which Manning does not. Over their last 13 starts, Tebow ran for 681 yards and 6 touchdowns. Manning ran for 23 yards and 0 touchdowns. Manning’s lack of mobility may explain some of the difficulty he has encountered in the playoffs during his storied career.

While it is undisputed that Manning is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, he has only won one first-round playoff game since 2006. He has lost in the first round of the playoffs seven out of the 11 times his team has made it that far. He is 1-3 against New England in the playoffs, averaging 9 points a game in those losses.

None of these facts are intended as a criticism of Manning. They are simply proof of the undeniable fact that injuries and age take their toll on even the greatest quarterbacks. And no quarterback who has won a Super Bowl with one team has ever won a Super Bowl with his next team.

So the assumption that the Broncos would automatically be a better team right now under Manning is not supported by the facts. The facts show that Tebow is, by comparison, a great young quarterback with most of his career in front of him. Manning is a Hall of Fame quarterback with most of his career behind him. And over the course of their last 13 games, Tebow and Manning performed at approximately the same level.

It would be highly illogical for the Broncos to replace Tim Tebow with Peyton Manning. Such a decision, no matter how well-intentioned, would likely undermine the franchise for years to come.


Dan Caplis is a Denver attorney, journalist and co-host of the “Caplis and Silverman” show on AM 630 KHOW.

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16 Responses to “COMMENTARY: Tebow, a better bet than Manning ( TKS Cartman )”

  1. jp says:

    This guy knows his football and the broncos.. One thing i disagree .. Manning was not brought in because of good intentions… Elway would not accept a qb that was not brought in by himself.. And he could not stomach someone that is a bigger star than he is.. After two one and outs and a superbowl choke the broncos are heading for the pit.. Funny how he laid the blame on FOX

  2. ck says:

    This guy is someone who does his homework and has “THE FACTS”…GREAT READ!
    Thanks for posting Buzzy and Cartman.
    Think Tebow should read this, but he probably already knows he can beat the “so-called” competition!!:D

  3. brandi says:

    I take it this article is a few years old.

    John Elway is John Elway. He can say he wanted two Super Bowl Championships and retire Peyton as the Greatest of All Time. But in John’s mind, he”s the quintessential Quarterback.

    I first wrote Elway was going hard after Peyton 3 months before the Colts released him. But the word at the time was there was serious thought of a kind of Tim’s Florida Freshman year kinda thing with his having a key role and development time both. Peyton didn’t want Tim around.

    Even well placed rumors are still rumors. And maybe any interest Elway had in Tim was just another side of his own ego. “Look at me. See? I even turned Tim Tebow into a great QB.”

    But I still lay most of this on Joe Ellis’s feet. Pat Bowlen said “That was a good season. I wanted a great one.” Nothing could have been more absurd. First, from where that Team started and where it was headed that WAS a great Season. Second who would have ever expected a great Season given they just came off the Season with the most Losses in Broncos history? Elway is Elway. He’s half ego and the other half mouth. And he was brand new in that job. With Bowlen’s mental state at the time, it was Joe Ellis’s job to be the grown-up in that organization. Something born out by the fact he now officially runs it completely.

    After calling Tom one of his three “Game changers”…game changers meaning turning the franchise, not just the Team, around…Joe may have failed at his job. I don’t think anyone in Denver thought the Jets would do to Tim what they did. Maybe if they’d had the benefit of seeing into the future Joe or someone would have stepped in and kept Tim in Denver. We’ll never know.

    We’ll also never get a true history of the Tebow Oddyssey in the NFL because nobody who write about the NFL has any interest in that. They’d have to admit what a completely lost league it is.

    • jp says:

      Excellent insight..i didnt know about ellis or bowde
      N declining mind.
      It was a crazy situation.. Then add elway ego and jelousy
      Guarantee erot and co do not want tebow
      To do well with the eagles

    • Sage says:

      Bowlen was thoroughly senile by then, so I don’t loose sleep over his foolishness.

      But Brandi do you know or recall how frequently Elway jetted to see Luck play in Stanford in 2011?

      Do you know of any rational reason for sending the NFL’s best hands (Brandon Lloyd) to the Cardinals for a 7th round pick, as soon as Tebow took the starting job? The only plausible explanation is, “suck for Luck.”

      Elway just couldn’t feel good about a legend who he didn’t select, let alone one that would eclipse his Broncos’ legacy. Take what Elway says with a grain of salt. He wants above all to look good in the media.

      • jp says:

        I always wondered about the llyod trade.. Now i know
        Always thought it was wierd with elot coming down to the sidelinrs during t time to get in on the gloand then shaft tebow next year he had to wwaste a no one for a backup.. I think the broncos
        Will be mediocre this year and if tebow
        Resurects the city of denver will boot elrot

      • brandi says:

        Brandon Lloyd explained himself what happened.

        I don’t know if anyone can find it. But the morning of the Pittsburg Playoff Game one of the Denver SportsTalk Radio stations had a 3 hour or so Pre-Game and their special guest was Brandon. If someone could find that and post it I think folks would find it interesting.

        Brandon was very honest and said alot of things that I don’t think most people would have expected.

        First, on the Trade. Brandon was the instigator of that. He had no interest in staying in Denver and told John he was leaving after the Season and would prefer to be traded. So Elway got what he could and got rid of a guy who didn’t want to be around.

        Here’s the kicker. He was very clear it wasn’t because of Tim. He knew from talking with Fox and the Coaches Denver was going to a more run-oriented scheme and Brandon was in a “contract year.” He was all about his own personal stats so he could use it to leverage a better deal for himself and his family. He didn’t shy away from it at all.

        But his comments about Tebow are what would have blown people away. He said Denver was where they were entirely because of Tim Tebow and the biggest problem the Broncos had was that others weren’t pulling their weight. That many of the Broncos Players just assumed Tim would Win the Games for them and that others needed to step up and give Tim more help.

        • Sage says:

          Thanks for responding. That’s good info, some of which I didn’t know.

          Well, Brandon didn’t give Tebow much help either. 🙂

          I have a hard time imagining Elway or any other GM letting a top receiver walk just for asking, except under unusual circumstances, such as locker-room distraction. To me, Lloyd being dealt was just one of a tall stack of cards against Tebow, which makes his good performance all the more persuasive.

  4. BuzzyBuzzard says:

    I posted this back when Elway was tring to get Manning

    I think the Denvers Fans will remember Tim Tebow

    3 Reasons Why Peyton Manning And The Broncos Will Fail In 2012
    The schedules have been released and if you are a Broncos fan, it looks daunting.

    But the nation is lifting its spirits, because Peyton Manning has arrived. Logic dictates that if a quarterback like Tim Tebow could not only get this team to the playoffs but help them win a game, imagine what a real quarterback could do.

    The nation, however, is about to find out that this is faulty logic. Consider this…

    1) The Broncos running back, Willis McGahee, benefitted a ton from the switch to Tim Tebow. Tebow was incredibly erratic. Defenses ended up focusing more on him running than on McGahee. Just look at the numbers. In the first four games, McGahee ran for 256 yards. But in the following four games, while Tebow was the quarterback, he ran for 364, more than a hundred yards more. The strong running numbers McGahee put up in 2011 were a mirage. These numbers will return to their former level after the Broncos return to a more conventional offense. It should also be noted that McGahee missed a game for each of the quarterbacks in the first half. Should this trend continue, Denver will once again have a slightly better than average running back who is only there on occasion.

    2) Yes, but… Peyton Manning! We have Peyton Manning! There are some things about Peyton Manning that, in all the excitement, everybody forgot to check on.

    A) To start with, with the exception of 2009, Peyton Manning’s quarterback rating has dropped every year since 2004.
    B) The last time Peyton Manning came into a team for the first time and took over was his rookie year : He went 3 -13 and that was with Marshall Faulk and Marvin Harrison in their primes. With all due respect, who do the Broncos have who is even close?
    C) The last time Peyton Manning was a full-time quarterback, the Colts played six teams with over .500 records. They went 2 – 4. But it is not so much that they lost, but the way they lost that is the most revealing.

    First, they played the Giants. The Colts won 38-14. But Peyton Manning was 20/26 for 255 with 3 TDs and 0 INTs. Next was Kansas City. The Colts won 19-9. But this time Peyton Manning went 26/44 for 244 with 0 TDs and 1 INT. Don’t see the pattern yet?

    Against the Eagles, Peyton Manning had 51 pass attempts. He threw 1 TD and 2 INTs.
    Against the Patriots, he had 52 pass attempts. He threw 4 TD and 3 INTs.
    Against the Chargers, 48 pass attempts, 2 TDs and 4 INTs.
    Compare that to the Jets, he had 26 attempts, 1TD and 0 INTs

    The point is that Peyton Manning has become a game manager. If you ask him to direct an offense and disperse the ball to other players, he looks like Peyton Manning. If you ask him to throw it anymore than 35 times a game, he turns into Kyle Orton. Which do you think the Broncos are more likely to ask for? Make no mistake, unless drastic changes are made to bolster the running game, they are going to get Kyle Orton.

    3) Here are some obscure things nobody’s thought about. With this schedule to start the year, the Broncos will start 1-5 going into the bye week. Peyton Manning has always been the golden boy. He has never had to endure any real criticism. Now he is likely going to have to endure some real fan anamosity. How is he going to react? We can all guess, but it will be a completely new experience for him. There is also the issue of the four surgeries to his neck. It may feel OK now, but how is it going to feel when the muscles and tendons start to freeze up? How is it going to affect things like range of motion for the head and reaction time? And all of that also assumes nobody dares to do something like sack him.

    People tend to look for the best in superstars careers. Its called “the halo effect.” This is not to say Peyton can’t be successful, but it is going to take a while. In the meantime, there will be suffering in Denver. People are looking forward to the end of the season with playoff implications in their hearts. But for the 2012 season, the Denver Broncos will finish 6-10 if they are lucky. This will only happen if they find a way to recover from a 1 and 5 start.

    This May turn out to be wishfuk thinking But you never know.
    GBPT2

    • Sage says:

      I’m not a Manning fan, since he forced Tebow out of Denver.

      And I can’t root for Denver. Yet I do think that the Broncos with Kubiak and Manning have a fighting chance to be champions this year or next. Given that it’s late in Manning’s career, it might not happen. But Kubiak’s running game comes from Alex Gibbs’ zone blocking scheme, and I’ve never seen it fail.

      Before being ousted, Shanahan (and Kubiak) beat Belichick’s Patriots about 6 out of 7 games. The only loss was with 3rd-string Danny Kannel playing. This running scheme works. Manning will benefit a lot.
      Buzzy Says : PM dont care much for a run first game But it will help him with his passing as the defence will be one on one But look out for INTs where the Saftey breaks on the Ball.

      • Sage says:

        Ironically, the key times this running scheme has failed have been against Manning’s Colts. Somehow the Colts’ arial power and defensive line were just too much for the Broncos.

      • ck says:

        Sage: My sentiments exactly regarding Mr. Pizza a.k.a. PM!

  5. jp says:

    Sage brandi ck and co are are hands down the most knowlagable commentaters around so i feel a little foolish disagreeing..Mannings bust against the colts reached a new pinn icle over his usual playoff busts… In other words i think he is finished kubiak is not a wizard miracle worker..sd and kc are improving.. I can see the possible situation of the broncs not in the pplayoffs.. Which reminds me think what a power the volts would be if their coa ch who did wonders with tebow would have had the guts to get t

    Buzzy Says : Dont think McCoy was as pro Tebow as Fox was or he would not be running the west coast offence Fox said once that Tim taught them all the spread option.
    Tim would probely be with FOX now except for their GM thinks like Caldwell on about 20 teams there is a Tebow Boycott.

    • jp says:

      Buzzy Volts underachiever QB Rivers could never run a spread type offence like T does. Another example of mgmt. herd mentality that ck sage and brandi documented with GM’s across the NFL about the kind od QB you need but never win with

  6. jp says:

    Im in chgo..forte with t wold turn into a top one or two back in the nfc.. I dont think he is a twenty carry back that fox wants… Chgo thinks t is a joke..you are right about their gm…i pick the bears four and twelve..with t nine and seven to ten and six

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