Tebow and Peyton: Not so different?
Everyone knew that when Peyton Manning replaced Tim Tebow as the quarterback of the Denver Broncos, the team would be going through a complete offensive makeover. Where Tebow's offense featured read options, designed quarterback runs, and simple passing plays, Peyton's offense is based heavily on pre-snap reads and complicated pass patterns that require precise delivery of the football. Peyton does his damage by outsmarting opponents and putting throws where only his receivers can catch them, while Tebow does damage with unpredictability and exceptional athleticism.
Despite their differences in playing styles, these two quarterbacks have had similarities in other areas based on their time in Denver.
Tebow's fourth quarter heroics are well documented and recognized by anyone who watched a single minute of NFL coverage during the 2011 season. You may think that the Broncos were down and out, but when the fourth quarter came around, Tebow would pull off something miraculous and get his team a victory.
Peyton has been following that same sort of blueprint as a Bronco as well. In their opener against the Steelers, the Broncos scored only 14 points through the first three quarters and found themselves down 19-14 with less than 10 minutes to play. Peyton then led his team to 17 straight fourth quarter points and a victory.
In their loss to the Falcons, the Broncos scored seven points in the first three quarters, then put up 14 in the fourth quarter, coming up just short in a 27-21 defeat.
Against the Texans, the Broncos had 11 points (nine from the offense) at the conclusion of the third quarter, then put up 14 more by the end of the game, but once again came up six points short.
Finally, the Broncos scored seven points in the first three quarters against the Patriots, and their 14 fourth quarter points were once again not enough to get the victory. They lost 31-21.
The scoring distribution seems quite Tebow-esque, doesn't it? The only difference is that Peyton is coming up short of victories, while Tebow managed to get wins.
On top of that, Peyton has two wins as a Bronco - over the Steelers and the Raiders. It just so happens that Tebow was 2-0 against those teams last year, as well. His win over the Steelers came due to crunch time heroics - just like Peyton - and he beat the Raiders by multiple touchdowns - just like Peyton.
This isn't to say that the Broncos would be better or worse with Tim Tebow instead of Peyton Manning. There is literally no possible way for a mortal human being to know how the Broncos season would be going if Tebow was still under center for them. What is interesting, however, is that Peyton's early-game struggles and late-game heroics are very similar to that off Tebow, and the only two teams Peyton has beaten, Tebow has beaten within the past year. Go figure.