Tim Tebow and running quarterbacks

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In my Thursday column, I write about Tim Tebow, the Broncos’ iconoclastic quarterback. Tebow has the conventionalists in a tizzy because he doesn’t always throw the ball very straight. But he does manage to “get the job done,” as his defenders are always reminding us. Indeed, Denver is 5-1 this season when he starts – and as a result, has wormed its way into the AFC West race.

While studying Tim’s unusual-looking stats – in particular his 22 carries (vs. 18 passes) Sunday against the Chargers – I came across something interesting:

Since 1960, an NFL quarterback has had 15 or more rushing attempts in a game 10 times. In every instance – every last one – the QB won the game. (To qualify, he also had to throw at least two passes.)

Does that mean a lot? A little? Is it just a statistical curiosity? I don’t have the answer to any of those questions. But it suggests that a quarterback who might better with his feet than with his arm – as Tebow is at this stage – isn’t necessarily an impediment to success. It also helps, of course, to be backed by a strong defense like the Broncos’; after all, in only one of Tim’s starts this year has he generated more than 18 points.

Anyway, here are the details on those running quarterbacks:

Rushes  Specifics

22  Tim Tebow, Broncos vs. Chargers, 2011 (gained 67 yards, 0 TD). Won, 16-13 (OT).

19  Bobby Douglass, Bears vs. Packers, 1973 (100 yards, 4 TD). Won, 31-17.

18  Al Dorow, N.Y. Titans vs. Bills, 1960 (72 yards, 1 TD). Won, 17-13.

16  Bobby Douglass, Bears vs. Giants, 1974 (66 yards, 1 TD). Won, 16-13.

16  Billy Kilmer, 49ers vs. Lions, 1961 (103 yards, 2 TD). Won, 49-0.

16  Tom Matte, Colts vs. Rams, 1965 (99 yards, 0 TD). Won, 20-17.

15  Jack Concannon, Eagles vs. Steelers, 1966 (129 yards, 1 TD). Won, 27-23.

15  Bobby Douglass, Bears vs. Eagles, 1972 (75 yards, 2 TD). Won, 21-12.

15  Michael Vick, Falcons vs. Giants, 2004 (104 yards, 0 TD). Won, 14-10.

15  David Woodley, Dolphins vs. Bills, 1981 (52 yards, 0 TD). Won, 16-6.

Notes: Douglass, whose name appears on the list three times, might be the Quarterback of Yesteryear who most closely approximates Tebow. He was a big guy like Tim (6-4, 225) – and a 43-percent career passer… . Dorow (1954-56) and Kilmer (1971-78) played at one point for the Redskins. Billy’s 16-carry day for Niners was out of the shotgun formation, which was considered revolutionary at the time. They didn’t stay with it long, though… . Matte is the halfback who was famously pressed into service at quarterback when the Colts’ other QBs got hurt at the end of ’65. He even quarterbacked in the Western Conference playoff game against Vince Lombardi’s Packers (but lost 13-10 in overtime)… . The most rushing attempts in a game by Redskins QB in the last 50-odd years is 14 by Ralph Guglielmi vs. the Giants in 1960. Guglielmi gained 26 yards in a 24-24 tie. It was one of the highlights of the team’s 1-9-2 season… . In recent years, the most rushes by a quarterback against the Redskins is 11 by Ryan Fitzpatrick (29 yards, 1 TD) during his Bengals days in 2008 and Donovan McNabb (125 yards and a TD) when he was with the Eagles in 2000.

Source: pro-football-reference.com.


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About the Author
Dan Daly

Dan Daly

Dan Daly has been writing about sports for the Washington Times since 1982. He has won numerous national and local awards, appears regularly in NFL Films’ historical features and is the co-author of "The Pro Football Chronicle,” a decade-by-decade history of the game. Follow Dan on Twitter at @dandalyonsports –- or e-mail him at ddaly@washingtontimes.com.

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