STDL: Broncos’ metrics get healthier during bye

What's that old saying? A week off makes the metrics grow fond? Something like that...

Following Denver's Week 7 bye, they remain atop Brian Burke's efficiency rankings, and are now ranked number one in offensive efficiency (up from fourth). Their defensive efficiency ranking has slipped from third to fifth.

Broken down by unit, the Broncos rank fourth in passing, are tied for seventh in rushing success, and are eighth in pass defense, and tied for seventh in run defense.

As for offensive turnovers, Denver ranks sixth-best in interceptions and second-to-worst in fumbling (of course), and they're still only middle of the pack in picking off passes, despite having done so four times against San Diego.

Nine of Denver's remaining ten games are against teams ranked 20th or worse according to Burke, with Carolina (12th) the only exception.

Pro Football Reference

The Broncos moved up a slot in PFR's Simple Rating System, to seventh from eighth, by virtue of Seattle slipping below them. They rank sixth in Offensive SRS, and 14th according to Defensive SRS.

Denver's Strength of Schedule figure has actually improved, from 15th to 10th, but all of their remaining opponents, including Carolina, rank 20th or worse according to SRS.

Neil Paine has been weighting SRS toward more recent results, and that methodology has Denver sixth-best overall.

Pro Football Focus

Denver remains fourth-best according to PFF's grades, with New England and Seattle switching places in the second and fifth spots. They are graded fifth in offense, fourth on defense, seventh on special teams, and 24th in penalties.

Seven of the ten remaining games are against teams graded 20th or worse, with Tampa Bay, Cincy, and Baltimore still ranked 12th through 14th.

Conclusion

It's obviously not a surprise that having a week off didn't substantially impact Denver's ranking according to the advanced metrics.

As for their upcoming opponent, the Saints rank 30th according to Burke's data, 22nd in SRS, and 24th by PFF's grading.

The current lines in Vegas reflect this, giving Denver a six- or seven-point edge, among the largest spreads of the week. Burke's probabilities would suggest that line is a bit low, calling the Broncos an 87% favorite - the most lopsided matchup of the week.

If all goes according to form, we'll be looking back at an easy Sunday night win for the Broncos, and a 4-3 record.

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

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