I wanted to attack this and get a better idea of these numbers by looking at any starting QB that has seen significant starting time since the year 2000. Specifically, I looked at the completion percentages of these quarterbacks from their first starting year to their second starting year. In other words, how much did they improve or digress in this specific category from year 1 to year 2 as a starter. Why do this? Well for all intents and purposes, Tim is going from a years worth of starts to his second full year. My only parameter was that each QB had to have at least 5 starts from year one to year two. Follow me after the jump and let's take a look at the results.
|QB||COMP 1||ATT 1||% 1||COMP 2||ATT 2||%2||DIFFERENCE|
There are a total of 45 quarterbacks, 44 of which have seen significant starting time since 2000. One is a historical comparison, but we'll get to that later. Of these 44 modern day QB's, a total of 19 of them showed some level of digression in completion percentage from year 1 to year 2, and 25 of them showed some level of improvement in completion percentage from year 1 to year 2.
Breaking this down further, of the QB's that digressed, 37% of them had their completion percentage decrease by 3% or less, 37% of them had their completion percentage decrease from 3-5%, and the remaining 26% percent had their completion percentage decrease from 5-8.4%. Because we expect Tebow to improve his completion percentage and not digress, let's move on from these numbers to the QB's that showed a positive improvement.
Of the 25 QB's that improved, 32% of them showed an improvement from 0.5-3%. 24% of them showed an improvement from 3-5%. Interestingly, 48% of the QB's that improved completion percentage from year 1 to year 2 improved from 5-13%.
Last year, Tim Tebow had a completion percentage of 46.5%. The only other QB's on this list that posted a sub 50 percentage in year 1 are Eli Manning and J.P. Losman. Eli Manning increased his percentage by 4.6 percent in year 2 while Losman increased his by 12.9%. Needless to say there's not a lot of data to compare QB's who started off in the 40's in year 1, so let's do this. Let's take each category of improvement and extrapolate Tim Tebow's numbers into projections for year 2. Looking back, Tebow had 261 pass attempts in 11 games, which means that he attempted about 24 passes per game. Not knowing the run/pass breakdown for the future, let's use the round number of 400 pass attempts as our baseline (this equates to 25 pass attempts per game)
Here's where things get interesting. Remember earlier when I alluded to a historical reference? Well if you weren't too lazy to look through the chart, you realize I was speaking of John Elway. Now for those of you that hate comparisons across eras, tough, go whine somewhere else. For the purposes of this research, I'm only looking at numbers and the reason why I included him was because John Elway had a completion percentage of 47.5 in year 1 and increased by about 9 % to 56.3 in year 2. Why this comparison is interesting is simple: A menial increase for Tim in the 3% range isn't really an improvement, an increase of 5% gets him on the good side of 50%. The reason I think an an increase in percentage of 8-9% for Tebow is attainable is because the numbers would break down like this:
A 9% increase next year would equate to 36 more completions next year. For each game, that would mean an increase of 2.25 completions, which if you think of nothing more than about 2 more completions per game, a 9% increase doesn't seem too daunting a task for Tebow.
There's been a lot of information as well as speculation in this post. If I was asked what an acceptable expectation was for Tim Tebow in order to view his 2nd full season as a starter as a success, it would be an increase in completion percentage from 46.5%-55.5%. Using his averages from last year that means about 3000 yards passing, about 20 TD's and 11 INT's. That is a good start. There's no way of telling if he can consistently break 60%, and for Tim and all the other things he brings to the offense, might not be necessary. Time will tell, we'll all know soon. Until then, this is my story and I'm sticking to it.