When the New York Jets traded for Tim Tebow, they were not trading for the “quarterback,” they were trading for the “athlete.” There is no question Tebow is a spectacular athlete and he is a tremendous physical specimen, but that is all that he is. Tebow is a glorified running back that only creates a controversy because of his last name. Sanchez is more experienced and an all around more proven/talented quarterback than Tebow. Let’s look at the stats that really matter.
FOR THE RECORD: I am well aware that Tebow started fewer games than Sanchez last season, so I will be judging and comparing him based on how he performed in those games. If you think this is an unfair comparison, then I suggest you do not read on. Keep in mind, there is no perfect way to compare these two quarterbacks, but my article and Stanley’s article are as close to it as you are going to get.
Tebow vs. Sanchez: Quick Glance
Last season, when Tebow got his first legitimate shot to be an NFL starter, he accumulated a Quarterback Rating of 72.9. Mark Sanchez’ was 78.2.
Tebow’s completion percentage was 46.5%. Sanchez had a completion percentage of 56.7%.
Sanchez threw for 26 touchdowns. Tebow threw for 12 touchdowns.
Sanchez threw for over 3,300 yards. Tebow threw for 1,700 yards.
Sanchez had more completions last season (308) than Tebow had attempts (271).
It is worth noting that Tebow did throw 12 fewer interceptions than Sanchez.
So that is the two quarterbacks compared in just a few categories that show that Sanchez performed at a higher level in the passing game than Tim Tebow last year. Now let’s get a little more in depth and look to disprove all three claims in the argument of “Tebow over Sanchez.”
1. Tebow Scores:
Last season, Mark Sanchez threw for 26 touchdowns. Tim Tebow only threw 12.
What’s that? Tim Tebow scores rushing touchdowns you say?
Last season, Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow each had 6 rushing touchdowns. Sanchez did this on 85 less carries too.
Sanchez obviously scores at a higher rate than Tim Tebow does. He also gives the Jets a legitimate downfield threat. When Tebow is in the game, he makes the running game worse because the defense crowds the line of scrimmage. If Sanchez is in, the defense has to respect the play-action, and this allows the team to be more dynamic.
2. Tebow Takes Care of the Ball
This argument can technically be validated by statistics. After all, Sanchez threw for 18 interceptions and Tebow only threw 6. BUT, if you take a closer look at it, you’ll see there is more to this fact than meets the eye. Tebow had more fumbles than Sanchez (13 to Mark’s 10). Also, Tebow cannot keep a drive alive, which I consider a major part of “taking care of the ball.” Tebow ranked 32nd in the NFL last season in Percentage of First Downs Completed with 28%. The only QB worse than Tebow in this facet was Blaine Gabbert.
Also, in Total First Downs completed, Sanchez ranked 13 in the NFL with 171. Tebow ranked 32nd once again with only 76 first downs. The only QB worse than Tebow in this facet was Curtis Painter.
Any time you are trying to justify a quarterback to be a starter, and he is in the ranks of Curtis Painter and Blaine Gabbert, something is wrong…
3. Tebow Wins Games
This is quite possibly my favorite argument to listen to. Skip Bayless sings praises to Tebow being a winner!
“Tebow won 6 games in a row!”
Yes, let’s casually forget the week before he started this winning streak when he lost to the Lions 45-10.
“Who cares Tyler, he won six straight games!”
Let me clear one thing up. When a player plays absolutely terribly for three quarters, then plays one or two good drives in the fourth quarter, HE did not win the game. The Broncos won the game and deserve the credit for putting him in a situation to win. The best example of this would be the Chicago Bears game last season.
Tebow did not score one point until there were 2 minutes left in the game. Then, Matt Prater nailed a 59-YARD FIELD GOAL to tie the game. Also, the only reason the Broncos got the ball back was because Marion Barber ran out of bounds to stop the clock when the Bears had the lead! This is important to note because no other professional running back in the NFL would ever do this. In overtime, Prater then kicked a 51-YARD FIELD GOAL to win the game. If you want to talk about clutch, talk about Matt Prater.
“Okay, I’m starting to see your point now Tyler. But Tebow is still a winner…right?”
Wrong! In Tebow’s last 5 games, he went 1-4, including a game against the Chiefs where he put up only 3 points against an injury plagued defense. He then went to the playoffs where the Broncos admirably beat the Steelers, but then lost to the New England Patriots in an embarrassing fashion with the final score being 45-10.
“…But New England is good at home in the playoffs…”
Mark Sanchez beat them in New England in the playoffs…
See what I did there?
So you see, Tebow gets a lot more credit than he deserves. I am not entirely sure why he gets so much attention but I hope that my article reminds you that Tebow is a solid player, but not a good quarterback.
I am not saying that Sanchez is the best quarterback in the NFL, but when compared to Tim Tebow’s stats and experience, there is no doubt that Sanchez gives the Jets the best chance to win.
*Disclaimer: * As a Jets season ticket holder, I am completely unbiased. I only want to see my team win. If Tebow started and went 16-0, I would be the happiest fan and take back everything I have said. That is just not realistic though and intelligent football fans realize that Mark Sanchez gives the New York Jets its best chance at winning.
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