By request, here is how Denver quarterback Tim Tebow's performance breaks down by quarter. It's nothing short of amazing. He's a very poor performer until halftime, at which point he turns into a mediocre player. But then, in the fourth quarter, he comes alive.
Tebow has broken into positive territory in WPA for the season, including the blowout against DET, but has yet to do so in EPA.
The two tables below list Tebow's Expected Points Added (EPA) and Win Probability Added (EPA) by quarter for 2011 through week 14.
|Qtr||Pass EPA||Run EPA||Total|
|Qtr||Pass WPA||Run WPA||Total|
First of all, we can see that, on net, it's his passing and not running or scrambling that's winning games in the 4th quarter. But the most amazing thing is the dramatic difference in performance
Why the incredible splits? Is it intangible 'clutch' leadership? If so, why does it not manifest itself until the end of games? And why does it vanish in OT? Is it simple luck--random variation? 'Splits happen', as Doug Drinen once wrote. Just as some players have crazy good numbers on turf or at night, some might happen to have better numbers in one quarter of the game. Or could it be something more tangible?
Perhaps opposing defenses are playing too soft with their 4th quarter leads. Maybe Tebow himself plays too tight until the necessity and urgency of trailing in the 4th quarter allow him to play with abandon, a theory that is bolstered by the disappearance of the Tebow magic in OT.
Often, when we see large aberrations like these, the cause is a mix of factors. That's my hunch. It's some combination of all the above.