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Some Clarification is in Order: Orton, Tebow, or Both?

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So Tim Lynch recently inspired me to do some research with his recent article about Orton and Tebow. Now the basis of his post wasn't what inspired me, it was his title, A Two-Headed Beast, and some of the following discussion that started my mind working. Many people think of this as Orton versus Tebow, but why not make it Orton and Tebow?

What do I mean by this? Well the statistics of Orton versus Tebow have been debated countless times here on Mile High Report, and fans see it as one against the other, but many forget that last season we saw what they could do together, and I want to take a look to see if it was more effective, less effective, or about the same in a number of categories.

Let's get studying!

Preview and Method:

So in this study we are going to look at the offense when only Orton lead the team in the red zone, when only Tebow lead the team in the red zone, and when both saw playing time in the red zone. So let's break this down then

Orton-Only Games:

- Jacksonville
- Seattle
- Indianapolis
- Tennessee
- Baltimore
- Oakland (Game 1)
- San Diego (Game 1)
- St. Louis
- Kansas City (Game 2)
- Arizona

Tebow-Only Games:

- Oakland (Game 2)
- Houston
- San Diego (Game 2)

Orton-Tebow Games:

- NY Jets
- San Francisco
- Kansas City (Game 1)

Now we will be looking at these three categories from a number of different angles. Here's the list:

- Total Games
- Win Percentage
- Points per Game
- Red Zone Success Rate (For this study we are looking at drives that ended in a touchdown rather than just a score).
- Average Margin of Win/Loss per Game (This take points for and points against and combines them to get a total differential that is then used to create an average. Say we play two games, we lost the first by 10 points but won the second by 4, we have a difference of negative 6 points, or -6,, so the average margin would be -3 points.)

Now there is one remaining factor and that this is a really small sample size, but the results do make a very powerful point.

The Data:

Stats Just Orton Just Tebow With Tebow in RZ
Games 10 3 3
Win Percentage 2-8 (25%) 1-2 (33%) 1-2 (33%)
Points per Game 18.4 25 28.3
RZ TD Success Rate 43% 53% 77%
Average Margin of Win/Loss -11.8 -10.6 +2.7


While this has been a shorter article than usual, it was something that just came to mind that I wanted to look at. So lets review the table. It's pretty clear at this point that Kyle Orton is better between the 20's, heck it's a mocking point for many. His accuracy, lack of turnovers and smart reads get him to the red zone a lot, and Tim Tebow proved last season he's the better of the two in the red zone, with his legs and arm. So the data just supports the idea that using both was more successful. While we had the same record with just Tebow and with the Teborton combo, we were more competitive with both, scored more points per game, had had over 20% more success scoring touchdowns in the red zone.

So when people say it's bad to change your QB during a game, they might be right at times, but not in our case in the red zone. Orton between the 20's and both of them in the red zone saw us have our greatest success last season. So fellow Bronco fans, Orton staying isn't the end of the heck, but having both him and Tebow get playing time during a game doesn't hurt us, actually it's the best option for us. Now remember that Tebow doesn't have to come in every time we enter the red zone, but using him at least once per game saw an improvement. The threat of Tebow helps Orton's already solid RZ performance.

This study took me from being a Tebow man to being a Teborton man, we were just plan better with both. Add in we get the benefit of Orton's skill and knowledge while Tebow gets more playing time to develop. So let's not make this Tebow versus Orton, let's make it Tebow and Orton.