Here’s why stats are dangerous in the wrong hands

Neat little trick from Jeff Legwold today. He came up with a premise that the Broncos have given up too many big plays of late, and his column was titled thusly:

Broncos defense prone to yielding "explosive plays" in recent years

In classic Legwoldian, he writes that "most teams" consider 10-yard rushes and 20-yard completions to be "explosive plays." Not sure if he polled the league's coaches, or what, for that one.

Here's his proof that the 2011 Broncos were guilty of the charge levied by his title:

Last season, the Broncos surrendered 59 rushing plays of at least 10 yards in the regular season — only five teams allowed more in 2011. They surrendered 46 pass plays of at least 20 yards.

Sounds terrible, right? 46 pass plays of 20 or more yards must be really bad. Perhaps we should look that up. will suffice.

Oh, what?

Dennis Allen's Denver defense tied with the Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions for the eighth-fewest 20-yard pass plays allowed?

Wow, and four teams tied for second-best with only 43 of those plays allowed each (three fewer than Denver).

How about that?

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

Stats That Don't Lie