Commentary

Quick Reads: Tebow's silver lining

Tim Tebow has played better in fourth quarters this season; does it show us anything?

Originally Published: October 24, 2011
By Vince Verhei | Football Outsiders
Tim TebowScott Cunningham/Getty ImagesTim Tebow played well in the fourth quarter Sunday. Unfortunately, his team was down 38-3 already.

Tim Tebow wasn't the worst quarterback of Week 8, but he was the worst passer. Although Tebow chipped in with a handful of first downs as a rusher, he finished with only nine first downs through the air, at a cost of seven sacks, three fumbles and an interception.

Most of his good plays came in the fourth quarter. It was the second time in two weeks that Tebow has stunk up the joint for 45 minutes before turning things around in the final frame. The first time came against the winless Miami Dolphins, so Tebow's play overcame a small deficit and fell under the category of "heroics." This time, the Broncos were playing the playoff-contending Detroit Lions and facing a huge deficit, and Tebow's late-game efforts could be labeled as "stats padding."

Call it what you will, but Tebow's performance has clearly improved late in games. In the first three quarters of his two starts, Tebow has completed 34 percent of his passes for 3.6 yards per pass, with nine sacks in just 38 dropbacks. In his two fourth quarters (and one overtime), those numbers improve to 57 percent, 6.2 yards per pass and four sacks in 41 dropbacks.