With “Manziel Mania” running rampant in Cleveland like “‘Johnny Football” across SEC fields over the last two years I started thinking about Manziel’s career in college and it led me to think about another heralded SEC quarterback named Tim Tebow.

Manziel vs Tebow Photo

Like Manziel, Tebow ran and threw the ball and brought excitement to the college football world both on and off the field.  Like Manziel, people questioned whether Tebow’s style of play could make it in the NFL. Was he a good enough passer? Could he play under center and read defenses? Could he understand to be successful in the league he would have to run less and throw more? Then I started wondering why will “Manziel Mania” be any different than “Tebow Mania”? What gives “TMZ Johnny” a better chance to make it over “Genuflecting Tim”? Will he last longer in the NFL than the three years that Tebow played? If so, why? Are these comparisons fair?

So I decided to go back and look at the first two years that both Tebow and Manziel started at quarterback at their respective colleges in the SEC. There are a lot of similar results that link these two together, and I think fairly raises the question, why will Manziel, drafted 22nd in the first round by the Browns in 2014  make it in the NFL, when Tebow, who was drafted 25th in the first round by the Broncos in 2010,  only lasted 3 years?


(Remember these are stats and facts from the first two years as a starting quarterback only)

TIM TEBOW                                                                          JOHNNY MANZIEL

6’3 – 236 pounds                                                                         5’11 – 205 pounds

Played in the SEC at Florida                                                   Played in the Sec at Texas A&M

Gesture – “Tebowing”                                                               Gesture – “Getting Paid”

1st sophomore to win the Heisman                                        1st freshman to win the Heisman

Won 1 National Title                                                                    Did not win a National Title

Won 1 SEC Title                                                                            Did not win an SEC Title

2-Time first team All-American                                                1-Time first team All-American

2-Time first team All-SEC                                                         2-Time first team All-SEC

1st year as a starter 32TD passes                                          1st year as a starter 26TD passes

1st year as a starter 23 rush TD’s                                         1st year as a starter 21 rush TD’s

Total TD’s in first year (53)                                                       Total TD’s in first year (47)

1st year as a starter 3,286yrds passing                       1st year as a starter 3,706yrds passing

1st year as a starter 895yrds  rushing                        1st year as a starter 1,410yrds rushing

1st year total yards 4,181 yards                                            1st year total yards 5,116 yards

First 2 years as a starter 62 TD passes                        First 2 years as a starter 63 TD passes

First 2 years as a starter 35 rushing TD’s              First 2 years as a starter 30 rushing TD’s

Total TD’s in first 2 years (97)                                              Total TD’s in first two years (93)

Total INT’s thrown first 2 years (10)                         Total INT’s thrown in first 2 years (22)

66% completion percentage first 2 years                  69% completion percentage first 2 years

Total passing yards first 2 years (6,033)             Total passing yards in first 2 years (7,820)

Total rush yards first 2 years (1,568)              Total rush yards in first 2 years (2,169 yards)

Total yards in first 2 years (7,601)                                Total yards in first 2 years (9,989)


Both played with heart, desire and passion at the college level. Both were great leaders on the field. But after looking at the numbers and information provided above, is there anything that really stands out as to why Johnny Manziel has a chance to be a better quarterback in the NFL than Tim Tim Tebow? I’m not saying Manziel will. I’m not saying he won’t. I’m just presenting you with comparable information and stats for the two players and would love to hear your reasons why you believe one way or another. Let me know here at or on Twitter @TheKennyRoda.

Filed under Blog Posts, Feature Articles


  1. Justin says:

    I think it’s only fair to make the comparison after Johnny Manziel has started a season. Let’s see how Johnny fares in the NFL when he’s playing with the big boys. We all know how Tim Tebow did, helping to lead a losing Bronco team out of their 1-4 abyss and helped lead a re-energized team seemingly overnight to within two games of the Super Bowl — captivating the entire country in the process. I have my doubts that a smaller younger Manziel will achieve the same. Time will tell.

  2. Rob says:

    Maybe I’m missing something, but just watching them play sort of answers this question. I didn’t want Johnny, but there is no comparison between him and Tebow when it comes to passing the football.

  3. Diana says:

    Thank you for this article. I say UNFAIR!

    My hubby and I have had this same discussion and we agree with Je’rod Cherry, Tebow was blackballed from the NFL by owners because of his open display of faith.

    Of course, the skids were greased by a media of “experts” who claimed Tebow couldn’t play because of those horrible mechanics! Yet all the kid did was WIN! And how was that rewarded? By getting shipped off to the dysfunctional Jets where the final nails were pounded into his coffin. ( I think Bill tried to buck the system when he brought Tebow to the Pats but even he could not withstand the pressure.)

    Someone over the weekend called Johnny Manziel and “Evil Tim Tebow” and doesn’t that just about sum up this crazy world we are living in these days? We celebrate the dark and curse the light. We call good evil and evil good.

    The “circus” around Tim Tebow was unwanted and a distraction. Johnny has “buzz” and is a celebrity QB who has made the Cleveland Browns relevant again. Huh?

    Time will be the judge of all things Manziel and Tebow but I think this weekend showed that, if nothing else, Manziel has Tebow to thank for paving the way.

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