Tim Tebow backers like to say that the guy is a “winner.” They overlook his poor passing stats and say that he gets it done when he needs to. While this is true, the more practical observer notes that Tebow doesn’t generate many points until the end of games. Even more importantly, those who call Tebow a winner may overlook the other factors that have led to Broncos wins.
For instance, what does Tim Tebow have to do with Willis McGahee breaking long touchdown runs against the Raiders? How did Tebow influence Eddie Royal’s punt return for a touchdown in the same game? And was it Tebow who held the Jets to only 13 points? While Tebow had no impact on the punt return, he has actually helped the Broncos defense despite being an offensive player.
Allow me to explain.
Because the Broncos run the ball so frequently with Tim Tebow at quarterback, they use up more time when he’s on the field. Even if they go three and out, their possession takes more time than say a three and out from Kyle Orton that features two passing plays. The more time that elapses on Denver’s offensive possessions, the fewer times it allows the opposing team an opportunity to score. Additionally, by protecting the football (as he’s done very well), Tebow prevents opposing teams from having extra possessions. It’s very simple math, and the numbers back it up.
In Kyle Orton’s four starts, the Broncos averaged 11.25 possessions per game, while the opposing team had 12. The opposing team also possessed the ball 31:33 while the Broncos had it 28:26 on average.
In Tim Tebow’s five starts, the Broncos have averaged 13.6 possessions per game, while the opposing team has had 13.2. Denver has also possessed the ball an average of 31:36 minutes compared to 29:55 for its opponents (the total is higher than 60 because Denver went to overtime against Miami).
Denver has won the time of possession battle in four of Tebow’s five starts, compared to just once with Orton at QB. In the wins over the Raiders and Chiefs, the Broncos really dominated the ball.
While it may seem strange to say an offensive player helps the defense, it is an accurate statement for Tim Tebow. By simply possessing the ball for long periods of time, and not turning the ball over, he gives the opposing offenses less opportunities to score points, thereby helping his defense.
Here is a full look at the statistical breakdown: