Well, the godless atheists of Harvard have scientifically proven there is a God after all. Unfortunately, they may think it is The Tim Tebow instead of The Supreme Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Tebow serves, but hey…it’s a step.
A Statistical Analysis of the Miracles of Tim Tebow by Harvard students Chris Bruce and Andrew Mooney says:
Using Jeff Sagarin’s ratings for the last 5 weeks, which take into account strength of opponent and location of the game, the Broncos would have been expected to win 1.9 games over that 5 game stretch. So, it appears that Tim Tebow has (miraculously?) pulled an extra 2.1 wins out of thin air.
Shockingly the common wisdom that the Denver defense has dramatically improved not only is debunked, the Harvard boys suggest it enhances the concept of a “miracle”
The only thing that has improved is the defense, and it hasn’t been by much – Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) for Denver’s defense, a measure of the effectiveness of a defense, has gone from an average of 9.5% to 8.7% (lower numbers, including larger negative numbers, are better in defensive DVOA). Given all of this, you would expect the Broncos’ probability of winning to drop even further – had they exhibited that performance over the first 5 games, their expected winning percentage would have dropped to about 20%. Tebow’s success, then, sounds more and more like a miracle.
The math can be found on the links but listen to this description how they compared the game stats for the 2-4 record under Orton with the 4-1 Tebow stats:
The Kyle Orton era in 2011 was a rather unfortunate one for Denver. Given their points scored and points allowed, a Pythagorean expectation would predict them to win only 36% of their games, and with some close losses, they unsurprisingly fell to 1-4. After starting Tebow and winning 4 of 5, you might expect that the team’s performance had improved drastically, but that’s actually not the case. Tim Tebow’s Expected Points Added over his 5 games is more than 13 points below Kyle Orton’s.
THAT has got to suck if you’re Kyle Orton. The article goes on to say that the Bronco’s are putting up their BEST numbers at the exact time they need them - (essentially the end of the 4th Quarter.)
What IS interesting is the phenomena of winning much better than your stats. It turns out (for now) Tebow is in elite group of only 10 quarterbacks who attempted at least 100 passes including:
- Aaron Rodgers
- Tom Brady
- Drew Brees
- Eli Manning
- Matt Ryan
- Vince Young
The interesting thing is that all ALL of these 10 quarterbacks, eventually leveled out where they WON exactly what their stats predicted they would. (Vince Young example above).
Now I’m kidding about these kids being “atheists” and discussing God. Harvard was originally started as a seminary for pastors to spread the word of God. Who knows? If Tebow breaks their long term projections of “coming back to earth” – maybe Jesus will too!