Tim Tebow and Tom Brady: Opposite in every way? Maybe not.
Scripture-quoting Tim Tebow and the Broncos take on the Patriots' Super Bowl-winning golden boy, Tom Brady, on Saturday in an 'Odd Couple' NFL matchup of epic proportions.
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Tebow, with his erratic play-action scrambles and unorthodox throwing style, falls so far outside that mold that he can only be measured against himself. It is a style that has brought him adulation. An ESPN poll recently pegged him as America's most admired athlete.Skip to next paragraph
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Brady was picked in the 6th round, Tebow in the 1st. Brady is a pocket passer who throws with the accuracy of a SEAL sniper. Tebow is a running back who hits less than half his passes. In eight of 12 starts, Tebow attempted as many passes as Brady completed.
Brady's nearly 40,000 yards and 300 touchdowns in 12 seasons are nearly unrivaled. Tebow, in his first season, managed a 46.5 completion percentage, 12 touchdowns, six interceptions, seven fumbles, and 2,383 yards.
“I think both of those guys are winners but two totally different guys – totally different guys,” Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch said this week.
But for the difference in playing and personal style, and lifetime stats, there are some compelling analogies between the two players. For one thing, they both exceeded expectations as rookies, earning their wings as underdog clutch players.
In Brady's first campaign with the Patriots the team hovered near .500 in the regular season – just like the Broncos this year. That year the come-out-of-nowhere Brady beat the Oakland Raiders in his first-ever playoff game by 16-13 in overtime. He was helped by the now-famed “tuck rule” that gave the Raiders a penalty that allowed the Patriots to hold onto a key possession to set up a field goal.
In that game, Brady threw for 312 yards and one interception, without a touchdown.
In last week's win over the Steelers – Tebow's first playoff game – the young QB threw for 316 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, all after losing his last three regular season games. One of his TDs is now simply known as “The Pass,” the 80-yard Demaryius Thomas TD, which will go down in the game's annals.
At the end of the day, the two men have different things to prove. Brady wants another championship ring, eager to toss off the failure of his past few playoff appearances. Tebow wants to silence the naysayers who believe he's not a franchise quarterback, and to possibly replicate Brady's feat of capping his rookie season with a Super Bowl ring.
All of the hype and analysis will finally coalesce into the ultimate comparison of the two quarterbacks on game day in Foxborough, Mass. They have both already proved that anything is possible, if you believe.