So I was following along in the game thread in the Tennessee game, and I did what maybe I shouldn't have done - I complained about something Orton did in that game. Admittedly, there was plenty to complain about, but I did it anyways. I (and many others really) have made no secret that I don't think Orton is anywhere in our future, and thus I don't think he's worth starting. Many disagree with me, and that's fine. However, one that that happened in that game thread is that I was accused of being a Tebow fan rather than a Broncos fan. This annoyed me at first, but then I decided I wanted to try to take an objective look at things to see if maybe the accuser (whose name I honestly cannot remember, FWIW) had a point. So let's dive into some statistics after the jump (don't worry, it's pretty simple and easy stats).
I'm going to talk about player A and player B - who are both QB's. It won't be too hard for anyone with sharp eyes to figure out what player or games these stats are referring to, but suspend your disbelief for about 5 minutes and try to look at things as objectively as possible. I'm going to look at the most recent 3 regular season games for each player and compile all relevant stats, and then I'll write up some other notes that are "influencing factors" that tell parts of the story that are not accounted for in hard stats. Then I'll take a stab at drawing some conclusions. Here we go, player A's stat-line for his most recent 3 regular season starts at QB
(note: I went through box scores and removed all TD's scored by S/T - so "points scored" is literally only points scored by the offense. Also, both players went 1-2 in these 3-game stretches.)
Player A's most recent 3 starts
Game 1: 304 yards passing, 24/46, 1TD/1Int, 13 yards rushing, 13 points scored
Game 2: 195 yards passing, 15/25, 2TD/0Int, 0 yards rushing, 24 points scored
Game 3: 173 yards passing, 24/39, 2TD/2Int, 0 yards rushing, 14 points scord
Player A 3 game split statistics:
672 passsing yards, 63/110, 5TD/3Int, 11 yards rushing => 683 yards total offense, 5 total TD's
-57% completion percentage
So there you have the basic stats for Player A. Even though game1 has the most yards, he probably had his best game in Game2, where he threw 0 interceptions, had his highest completion percentage, and most importantly, put up the most points. Game2 was the game where his team won, not coincidentally.
So now, let's look at Player B's most recent 3 starts:
Game 1: 138 yards passing, 8/16, 1TD/0Int, 78 yards rushing, 1 rushing TD, 23 points scored
Game 2: 308 yards passing, 16/29, 1TD/1Int, 27 yards rushing, 1 rushing TD, 24 points scored
Game 3: 205 yards passing, 16/36, 2TD/2Int, 94 yards rushing, 1 rushing TD, 28 points scored
Player B 3 game split statistics:
651 pasing yards, 40/81, 5TD/3Int, 199 yards rushing => 850 yards total offense, 8 total TD's
-49% completion percentage
Conclusions from stats alone:
1. Passing yards, passing TD's, and Ints are (more or less)equal for both guys
2. Player A had a better completion percentage
3. Player B had a much higher yards per attempt and completion, given he passed much less and had almost the samenumber of yards
4. Player B was also a major threat on the ground - leading his team in rushing in 2/3 of those games. Neither player got much support from RB's on the ground.
5. Player B put up noticeably more points, and when adding his rushing yards, had noticeably more total offense.
6. The only statistic where Player A clearly wins is completion percentage. The rest of the statistics are either equal or favor Player B - total points especially where Player B put up 8 more points/game.
Other factors that aren't reflected in the stats
1. Player B had arguably the easiest matchup in his game2 (worst passing D in the NFL), however he also had the toughest matchup in his game3 (best passing D in the NFL).
2. Player A's 3 games came in his 3rd year in that offensive system. Player B's 3 games came in his first and only 3 starts of his entire career.
3. Player A got a fairly good defensive effort in all 3 games, and Player B played from behind in all 3 games.
4. Both players played for the same team.
5. Player A's one win came in a game where his team led nearly all game and nearly suffered a come-from-behind loss.
6. Player B's one win came in a game where his team trailed 17-0 at halftime in his second career start on a 3-11 team (record before the game).
As you may have figured out, Player B was Tim Tebow in his only career starts. Player A was Kyle Orton in the first 3 weeks of this season. My point here is not to use this data alone to say "IT'S TEBOW TIME BOYS" - that's not my point at all. My point is that it's really, REALLY hard to look at this data and argue that we cannot bench Kyle Orton because all the guys behind him suck. Honestly, the only data point where Orton won here was Cmp%, and anyone who has watched rookie QB's know that Cmp% and Ints tend to be the area where they struggle most and have the most room for improvement. Sure, Kyle Orton may be absolutely lights-out in low-pressure training camp in tshirt&shorts, but his game-day stats don't reflect that. Sure, Tebow may be the "least pretty" guy in training camp, but his game-day stats reflect that there's something else there. If someone wants a MORE fair comparison, they could compare Tebow's 3 games to, say, Orton's first 3 career starts, but I don't even think that's necessary here.
Do I think Tebow is the Savior of this organization? I have NO idea honestly. He might flop and flop hard, and it wouldn't necessarily shock me. However, I KNOW for a fact that Orton is not that guy either - we've had 2, going on 3 years that have made that pretty clear. So let's try to get a bigger sample size than 3 rookie starts for Tebow and THEN draw conclusions on if we need to draft a QB next year. Let's face reality here. We are going to be drafting high again next year. I want to know if we need to draft a QB or one of the many other positions that need to be addressed. That's my opinion, and it's certainly not the only valid one.
However, my greater point is this. I want the Denver Broncos to succeed and win Super Bowls. I don't think we can do it with Orton, and history is on my side here. The stats I showed seemed to suggest we could MAYBE do it with Tebow, but the sample size is not big enough to determine if that's realistic or not. Therefore, I am in favor of playing Tebow rather than Orton. Now, look at all that objective evidence compiled above and tell me. Does that make me a Tim Tebow fan? Or does that make me a Denver Broncos fan?