Mark Sanchez, left, and Tim Tebow. Photo Credit: ESPN
Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez are two of the most embattled quarterbacks in the NFL today. And after yesterday’s trade, they’ll be battling each other to become the starting quarterback of the New York Jets. So, let’s break it down: who should be, at least at first glance, the front runner (and possibly the eventual winner) in the Jets’ quarterback competition? The newly acquired Tebow? Or Mark Sanchez, the player the Jets have invested a first round pick and tens of millions of dollars in?
By the numbers:
Mark Sanchez: 47 games started, 9,209 yards passing, 55 touchdowns, 51 interceptions, 55.3 completion percentage. 27-20 career record, 4-2 career playoff record.
Tim Tebow: 14 games started, 2,383 yards passing, 12 touchdowns, six interceptions, 47.3 completion percentage. 8-6 career regular season record, 1-1 career playoff record.
Sanchez throws with more velocity, but Tebow can throw it farther, so this trait is a bit of a wash. However, Tebow’s willingness to do just that (throw it downfield) gives him the edge here. He’s not afraid to air it out and bomb it deep, forcing defenses to cover all areas of the field (something the Pittsburgh Steelers learned the hard way.
Both quarterbacks have horrendous track records when it comes to this area. Sanchez has a career completion percentage of 55.3; Tebow’s comes in a notch below that at an abysmal 47.3. Sanchez’ career passer rating is 73.2, Tebow’s is just a hair above that at 75.1. Sanchez has essentially a 1:1 touchdown to interception ratio (55 scores against 51 picks), Tebow’s is actually a healthy 2:1 (12 touchdowns, six interceptions).That point is, neither of these guys are going to be assaulting Drew Brees’ passing records anytime soon, and you can’t really give either quarterback an edge in this category.
While Tebow is known as a dual threat quarterback, this category is closer than one would think. Tebow has a lot more rushing yards, but that’s because his game is predicated on taking off with the ball. Both Tebow and Sanchez has 12 career rushing touchdowns. However, if you look at rushing average, Tebow’s the clear winner. His 5.4 yards-per-carry would rank amongst the best running backs in the league right now.
There’s no doubt about this one- Tim Tebow has some of the best intangibles in the game. The Denver Broncos were never out of a game in 2011 when Tebow was starting. He has an uncanny ability to make the right play at the right time, he’s person of strong faith and personal conviction, and the team seemed to rally around him and his leadership. Mark Sanchez, on the other hand, appears to get rattled easily in games, and spent most of the 2012 offseason doing damage control over comments about his own perceived entitlement and lack of leadership.
While neither quarterback is really all that good, the Jets will benefit from a quarterback competition. Mark Sanchez has been a decent starter, but has not lived up to expectations. Tim Tebow has shown he can win in the NFL, and will push the incumbent Sanchez to at least play better in an effort to fight to keep his job. But with players on the Jets questioning Sanchez, and his development as a passer can best be described as glacial, The Jets would probably benefit from having a hard-working leader like Tim Tebow as their starting quarterback.
Winner: Tim Tebow