If you have an Internet connection or a soul, you’ve probably heard by now that the Denver Broncos, led by evil/nefarious/dastardly vice-president John Elway, have discarded Tim Tebow like yesterday’s church mailing in favor of some crotchety upstart named Peyton Manning, or Payton, or something like that.
We decided to analyze the move to figure out how big of a mistake Denver made.
Manning: 208 games played. 64.9% completion percentage. 54,828 yards passing. 399 touchdowns. 198 interceptions. 2.02 TD/INT ratio. Career QB rating: 94.9
Tebow: 23 games played. 47.3% completion percentage. 2,383 yards passing. 17 touchdowns. 9 interceptions. 1.89 TD/INT ratio. QB rating: 75.1. (Also, rushing: 887 yards, 5.4 yards/rush, 12 touchdowns.)
ADVANTAGE: TEBOW. So many fewer touchdowns and yards accrued means that there’s all that many more left for him in his career. That’s how this works, right?
Manning: led the Colts to the playoffs in 11 of his 13 seasons. Appeared in two Super Bowls; won Super Bowl XLI. Constantly made mediocre players like Brandon Stokley and Marcus Pollard look like Pro Bowlers. Admired and respected by the entire world outside of New England. Might be playing in 2012 with a strand of linguini in place of his neck.
Tebow: Heisman trophy winner, NCAA national champion, and arguably the best college football player of all time. Led the Broncos to the playoffs in first full season as quarterback, including five fourth-quarter comebacks. Only virgin player in the NFL.*
ADVANTAGE: TEBOW. Sure, Manning had a good ten years or whatever. But anyone can lead a team to the playoffs when they’re good at football. It takes a real athletic genius to dominate when he happens to be terrible.**
**For more on this, see GQ’s “The Year of Magical Stinking,” which chronicles Tebow’s… creative approach to winning games. It’s very flattering.
4. CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE
Manning: featured in the Saturday Night Live Digital Short “United Way,” which is maybe the funniest appearance by an athlete on SNL.
Tebow: inspired a meme called “Tebowing” that became annoyingly ubiquitous. Was the subject of an unfunny SNL skit. Opposed abortion.
ADVANTAGE: TEBOW. Tebow didn’t even need to appear on SNL himself. Also, when’s the last time you saw someone “Manning-ing”? That’s right, never.
6. ANALYSIS OF UPCOMING 2012 SEASON
Peyton as a Bronco.
UPDATE: Here’s a drawing of Peyton Manning as a Bronco, based on our illustration of Peyton Manning as a Bronco, by writer Tao Lin, courtesy of Wall Street Journal sportswriter Jeremy Gordon. Thanks, Tao and Jeremy, for making the world a better place.
Tebow as a Jaguar. (As of right now, Tebow’s still on the Broncos. But there’s reason to believe that Jackonsville, which has had difficulty in recent years selling tickets and generating excitement for the team, will make a play for Tebow, who is hugely popular in Florida because of his legendary career at the University of Florida.)
ADVANTAGE: TEBOW. He makes a fierce Jaguar.
9. WINNER: TIM TEBOW
I think our one-to-one comparison made it clear that, though Peyton might have Tebow beat in petty areas like on-field performance, charisma, and effectiveness as a football player, Tim’s still got the edge. Can we explain it? No. Can you explain how he won all those games last year? No.
Let’s just crown Jacksonville the 2012-13 Super Bowl champions right now.