Quick, who is last in the league in turnover margin?
Detroit? Buffalo? San Francisco?
If you guessed the Raiders, you almost got it. They are tied for 24th. And it’s always a legitimate guess to place the Raiders as the worst in any category.
But how many of you guessed the Baltimore Ravens?
That’s right. The Ravens are officially minus-7 on the year in turnover differential. Dead last in the league.
And yet this is a team that is 3-1. So what do we make of this turnover stat?
(Note: Each Saturday we bring you a tasty late-night Broncos snack. The Kool-Aid is optional, but we’re drinking enough for everyone.)
Man shall not live by the spread alone.
If you’ve paid any attention to the media this week, you’ve probably seen tomorrow’s game billed as the league’s best passing offense versus the league’s best passing defense. While this is technically true when viewed through the prism of total yards per game, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to see Kyle Orton chucking the ball at 20-yard clips or Brandon Lloyd battling along the sideline for deep balls.
You’ve probably also heard that the Broncos absolutely must establish some sort of running game in order to have a chance in the game. This is equally untrue. Statistically speaking, passing the football has always (unless we go back 6 decades) had a significantly higher correlation coefficient to winning than running the football. Moreover, today’s passing game, if done properly, has the ability to replace the run a lot of the time.
In today’s NFL, running the football is truly secondary to the pass. Still, the run has some importance, if, for nothing else, to keep a defense from simply guessing pass on every play.
But if the Broncos aren’t going to challenge the Ravens deep and they aren’t going to establish the run, how are they going to beat the Ravens?
Sometimes stats aren’t as important as tendencies and patterns. This week’s tendency can be expressed as the number 104.
This is the personnel package the Titans love early in the game. I saw it in all 3 of their games this year. It consists of 1 running back, 0 tight ends, and 4 wide receivers. For most teams, this is a personnel package that screams pass. Not so for the Titans. They love to use the package early in the game to give the defense a passing look. But in reality, they are handing off to Chris Johnson.
It’s a great package for Tennessee because it creates a lot of space for Johnson. And Chris Johnson in space is deadly. The defense has one of two choices. They can play nickel. Or they can stay in their base formation and add another responsibility for the safety (usually on the strong side of the formation). Either way, the package forces the defense to stretch out horizontally across the field. And this benefits Chris Johnson.
Caught you, Broncos fans.
You were up jonesing for a late-night Broncos snack, weren’t you?
Well, open the fridge and indulge yourself. Here at Fat Man, we don’t mind. You can even add some extra chocolate syrup if you’d like.
For our friends who read us in Europe, good morning!
Here are 7 reasons the Broncos will beat the Titans tomorrow. Why 7 reasons? Because I couldn’t think of 57 (Tom Jackson’s numbers), so I went with Elway’s. Call me lazy.
Why am I so sure they will beat the Titans? Truthfully, I’m not so sure, but being a fan is fundamentally, at its core, supposed to be fun. And losing isn’t any fun. So, until further notice, the Broncos are winning.
Now, here are your 7 reasons:
Here’s a number you’ve probably not heard mentioned leading up to today’s game against the Colts: 158.
That’s the number of times the Colts targeted tight end Dallas Clark in 2009.
To put that number in perspective, you’ll recall that the Broncos were often criticized last year for throwing to Brandon Marshall almost exclusively—154 times. Although Peyton Manning attempted 30 more passes than Kyle Orton last year, the number of passes thrown in the direction of Dallas Clark was immense.
Manning and Clark have already decided to attend the afterglow party as well in 2010. Clark has been targeted 20 times in 2 games, putting him on pace for a similar number of targets as last year.
If you haven’t heard, Peyton Manning likes Dallas Clark. He likes him quite a lot.
This week I’m bringing you another stat you’ve probably not heard about leading up to today’s game with the Seahawks, or as my friend Doug Lee lovingly calls them, the Sea Chickens. Personally, I’m a big fan of economy, so I’m partial to Sea Chicks.
If you spent any amount of time last week following the Sea Chicks, you probably heard the media focus on what the San Francisco 49ers didn’t do as opposed to what the Sea Chicks did right. Certainly you’ve heard all about how Mike Singletary blamed his team’s headsets for a lot of the mistakes the 49ers made. Or maybe you heard Alex Smith whine about the plays not getting to the huddle efficiently (headsets, it seems, actually throw interceptions these days).
Seattle ran the ball 23 times, and from the coverage of the game, it sounded like Seattle’s running game was paltry. The stats back that assessment up, as Seattle averaged only 3.3 yards per play.
Fool Me Once. Shame On You.
Fool Me Twice. Shame On Me.
Fool me Thrice. Shame on the defensive coordinator.
Don “Wink” Martindale, here’s a stat you’ve not heard mentioned this week. The Jacksonville Jaguars ran the ball up the middle 250 times in 2009. That put them at #1 in the league in rushing attempts up the middle (the Broncos were 10th, with 135 attempts). On those 250 attempts, they averaged a very respectable 4.27 yards per attempt.
Hello again, friends. Welcome to Lighting Up The Scoreboard. I hope you enjoy it, and your feedback, as always, is appreciated. I finally remembered to turn up the volume on the voice track, and found time to put together some music that I like okay, for the beginning.
There's not really a lot to add today in the way of text. I'll be tweeting on Sunday (@TedBartlett905,) and my column Shallow Thoughts & Nearsighted Observations will appear her Tuesday morning, for those who aren't as familiar with MHR. Thanks for visiting us; I hope you enjoy the video, and I appreciate your feedback, as always. Go Broncos!!
Hello and happy Saturday, friends. I'm getting excited for the Broncos chances to start the season 3-0 on Sunday, and I hope all of you are as well. Once again, here's Lighting Up The Scoreboard. I got the production time down to about 4 hours (from 9 and then 6 1/2,) so that's moving in the right direction. I also figured out and corrected the color problem, which was due to a bad S-Video cable. I hope you enjoy the video, and I'll see you on the other side of the jump.