The NFL has begun its fan voting for the 2011 Pro Bowl, and Denver Broncos QB Tim Tebow is reportedly in 4th place the AFC right now, trailing Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk outlines the remaining barriers to a Tebow Pro Bowl showing:
The final roster, which will include three quarterbacks, will be determined by a combination of the fan voting, a vote of the players, and a vote of the coaches. Whether and to what extent the players and coaches believe in Tebowmania will determine whether he ultimately earns a spot on the team.
Florio goes on to note that 4th place would be as good as 3rd place in the AFC quarterback race because New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady often excuses himself for health-related issues, so Tebow could make the Pro Bowl as the fourth QB.
Tebow, who has started six games so far in the 2011 season, became the Broncos' starting quarterback after Kyle Orton proved ineffective through the first five games. According Football Outsiders' advanced football statistics, Tebow is one of the league's worst passers, ranking 30th of 39 qualified quarterbacks (Orton is ranked 29th). However, his prolific and clutch running game has ranked him as the 4th-best rushing QB in the NFL (behind Michael Vick, Cam Newton, and Josh Freeman, who all run much less) and the best rushing QB in the AFC.
Fortunately for the Broncos' FO's stats are more predictive than descriptive, and Tebow appears to be improving his passing game as the season continues.