From Sportscenter lead-ins to magazine covers, preseason slow-motion jogs in the rain to postgame prayer traditions, Tim Tebow is the unquestioned league leader in exposure per victory (Matt Flynn is second in exposure and first in money earned per victory). Sure, he doesn’t really possess any physical tools, but who cares, “all he does is win”.
Please. He has not lost a start since January of 2012. He also has not made a start since then. Alex Smith, on the other hand, is winning on a weekly basis, yet is flying under the radar as far as national spotlight is concerned. He continues to carry the title of “the guy taken first in the Aaron Rodgers draft” or “the guy who was limiting the upside of a talented San Francisco 49ers team”, but let’s face it, he has been “the guy leading the best team in the NFL.”
First, let’s compare the two “winners”. Tebow went 8-5 in his “magical” season (most people choose to forget that he lost four of his final five starts while as a member of the Denver Broncos), an impressive mark given his team’s early-season struggles. Smith, however, has a 29-6-1 mark over his last 36 starts, including eight in a row this season for a Kansas City Chiefs squad that won just two games a season ago. You tell me which is more impressive.
In addition to having more success in terms of victories, Smith has a decided edge in statistical production. Not only has the Chiefs signal caller nearly completed more passes this season (169) than Tebow has for his three-year regular season career (173), he also boasts a touchdown to interception ratio that is 69 percent higher.
Smith doesn’t require your franchise to compromise the rest of the team by requiring a change in offensive philosophy to succeed. He’s been killed for not taking shots down the field, but 90 percent of teams in the NFL would gladly take a conservative (but consistent) quarterback who refuses to make the big mistake.
We’ve seen Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger win Super Bowls without huge numbers, so why do we refuse to get ahead of the game and praise the job Smith is doing with the Chiefs?
You know what a “true winner” does? He starts football games, something Tebow is not currently doing. Please appreciate what Smith is doing in a league where offensive efficiency is as stressed as ever, as he is what the press has made Tebow: a quarterback who does exactly what it takes to win every single week.
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