Numbers Never Lie: Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow is completing just 45.5 percent of his passes this season, but he’s tallied 11 touchdowns (passing and rushing) and has thrown just one interception.

The Broncos are 5-1 since he became the starter.

Sounds like the perfect case study for ESPN2’s Numbers Never Lie (weekdays at 3:30 p.m. ET).

NNL co-hosts Michael Smith and Charissa Thompson recently combed through the data:

4 – Career game-winning drives by Tebow
28 – Tebow’s rank in win probability added this season (via
5 – Denver’s NFL standing in time of possession since Tebow became the starter this season
30 – Denver’s rank in time of possession before Tebow became the starter

“That’s the most fascinating element of Tim Tebow,” said Jamie Horowitz, ESPN coordinating producer.

“One set of numbers suggests he stinks and validates everything the skeptics say. But another set of numbers support all the Tebow believers and suggest he is the singular reason the Broncos win.

“The decidedly ambiguous numbers are exactly why we created Numbers Never Lie. There is nothing more interesting — and perplexing — to debate.

To read more about Tebow, see this AFC West blog post and latest edition of Page 2’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback.


  1. I understand the premise of NNL, but if you’re going to skew the numbers to make a point it makes the show unwatchable. In a similar Tebow session between Michael Smith and Charissa Thompson, Thompson was trying to make a point that Tebow should go to the Pro Bowl. She compares his stats to Vince Young’s stats in his Pro Bowl year of 2009. She states that Young had 10 tds (passing) to 7 ints, while Tebow has 11 tds (passing and rushing) to 1 int. Young had 12 tds when you include his rushing tds. It’s not a big difference to the point of the argument, but when the show is called Numbers Never Lie, it’s important to make sure the numbers that aren’t lying are actually correct.


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