Pro Bowl 2012: Why Tim Tebow Deserves To Go Over Philip Rivers
Statistically, Rivers has had his worst year as a full-time NFL starter. He shouldn't be judged against himself, but it would be completely justified if Tebow replaced Rivers.
One can look at Tebow's numbers and make a case against him, but after taking a deeper look at his situation, things aren't as black and white as they may seem.
There are a whole host of factors that would have made a selection to the Pro Bowl for Tebow legitimate.
And when choosing between Tebow or Rivers for a Pro Bowl selection, the former should have been picked for the trip to Hawaii over the latter.
When looking at the two quarterback's interceptions on the season, Tim Tebow has clearly kept the ball more safe when passing than Philip Rivers.
Tebow has throw 12 touchdowns with six interceptions, while Rivers has thrown 24 touchdowns with 19 interceptions.
Many of Tebow's interceptions came when the game wasn't on the line either. His interceptions, for the most part, were when the Broncos were down by a bunch of points and he was forced to only throw the ball (against the Detroit Lions and the Buffalo Bills).
Rivers interceptions often came at the most inopportune times. Rivers had the chance at a last drive comeback victory on more than one occasion, but he has tried to force the ball or made horrible decisions (although some times a wrong route by a receiver can make it seem like a bad throw).
Rivers is obviously the better passer of the two with a more prolific offense, but this season, he hasn't been very efficient.
Some will point to Tebow's 11 fumbles this season (he does hold the ball longer and try to make plays with his feet making him more fumble-prone), but they need look no further than River's nine fumbles on the year.
Tim Tebow should be judged as a quarterback, but he adds another dimension to the position that few others do. He can run the ball. Tebow is the 28th ranked rusher in the NFL.
Tebow hasn't throw for nearly as many yards as Rivers (even factoring in that Tebow has played less games). Tebow has just 1,669 passing yards in 10-and-a-quarter games, but being a Pro Bowl quarterback isn't only about how many yards one throws for.
Tebow has scored six rushing touchdowns this season and run for 644 yards which is testament to his versatility and toughness.
While the Denver Broncos aren't scoring as much as the San Diego Chargers are per game, Tebow has been even more dangerous than Rivers in the red zone because of his rushing ability.
Rivers might have the edge when it comes to passing yards and passing touchdowns, but Tebow has rushed for more yardage and run for touchdowns (yet neither should alone qualify one or the other for a Pro Bowl selection).
Rivers has the nod when it comes to being a traditional quarterback. However, Tebow has brought a uniqueness to the position which shouldn't be overlooked.
Who They're Throwing to
Philip Rivers has a group of fantastic receivers to throw the ball to.
Malcolm Floyd has produced in the 11 games he has played in, and Rivers' primary targets, Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates, are among the elite players in the NFL at their respective positions.
It isn't that Rivers can't do more with less. He can. Last season, Rivers was working with second string guys and had a career year, but Tebow's lack of a surrounding cast should be taken into consideration.
Tebow's primary targets, unlike Rivers', are younger players with little experience.
Erick Decker was a rookie last season and had just six catches before the season started.
Demaryius Thomas, also a rookie last season, had only 22 catches before an ankle injury all but ended his year (he played in Denver's last game).
Denver's most targeted tight end, Daniel Fells, has some experience catching passes, but he only has 18 receptions on the year and isn't much of a receiving threat.
Hands down, Rivers' supporting cast is much better (and his offensive line has allowed less sacks and hits on the quarterback as well).
Wins and Losses
At the end of the day, the Denver Broncos have a chance to clinch the AFC West or gain a wild-card playoff berth, while the San Diego Chargers have been eliminated from playoff contention.
Tim Tebow took over for the Broncos when the team had a 1-4 record. Not much was expected out of Tebow or his fellow teammates after such a bad start.
Since then, the polarizing quarterback has helped guide the team to seven wins in ten games and a 8-7 record.
Some things are outside of a quarterback's control, but Philip Rivers should share a large portion of the blame for the Chargers' subpar season. For some positions, a Pro Bowl selection shouldn't focus on a team's record, but for a quarterback, wins and losses should be weighed heavily.
Tim Tebow and the Denver offense have been backed up by solid defensive performances and stellar special teams play in Denver's seven wins under Tebow, but for how he has played when the games have rested upon his shoulders, he deserves a ton of credit.
The Clutch Factor
Tim Tebow has gotten it done on the field when it has mattered the most.
Rivers has shown himself to be clutch at times in the past, but he hasn't this season.
A crucial piece in accepting the argument that Tebow should have been selected over Rivers to the Pro Bowl is that Tebow's play in the fourth quarter means much more than his play in the other three quarters.
During stints,Tebow has looked abysmal. He has overthrown open receivers and seemly offered the Broncos little chance at victory.
Yet Tebow has turned it on late in games and orchestrated come-from-behind win after come-from-behind win.
The rest of his team deserves just as much credit for Tebow's clutch victories. They have had to perform late in games as well, but when looking at Tebow's clutch factor versus Rivers' this season, it isn't even close.