STDL: Broncos still pretty good, despite 2-3 record

Welcome to the Week 6 edition of the Stats That Don't Lie. So far, we've been tracking the Broncos' ranking via the metrics of Brian Burke's efficiency ratings and PFR's Simple Rating System (SRS).

Starting today, we'll add in PFF's grading system, so that we're accounting for what the tape says as well.

As we expected, Sunday's loss at New England did little to harm Denver's standing relative to the ANS and PFR metrics.

For the third week in a row, the Broncos are the third-most efficient team in the NFL according to Burke's data. They have edged lower in terms of both offensive (from sixth to seventh) and defensive (from fifth to seventh) efficiency, trailing the Niners and Texans; the Falcons fell from second to fourth.

Denver ranks as better than average in all categories except for offensive fumbles (of course), and defensive interceptions, with Von Miller the latest to drop a potential pick-six.

According to SRS, Denver has dropped from a tie for seventh-best into a tie for ninth-best along with the Packers (+5.8). Oddly, Denver's Strength of Schedule figure took a hit, and is now eleventh in the league, down from seventh.

PFF grades Denver as the fourth-best team overall, at +100.2; San Francisco, New England, and Seattle are the top three teams by their measure.

Broken down by unit, the Broncos rank fifth in offense (eleventh in passing, sixteenth in rushing, second in pass blocking, and ninth in run blocking), seventh in defense (third versus the run, thirteenth in pass rush, 24th in coverage), and first in special teams. Across offense and defense, PFF ranks Denver as 22nd in penalties.

As for the Broncos' Week 6 opponents, the San Diego Chargers, the metrics are much less kind. Burke's efficiency numbers have them 20th overall, while SRS and PFF both have them at 19th.

These Chargers are not as good as their 3-2 record would suggest.

A look at common opponents would bear this out, what with San Diego only beating the Raiders by one score (22-14) while Denver boatraced Oakland (37-6). Denver lost at Atlanta by a single score (27-21), while the Falcons trounced the Chargers in San Diego (27-3).

Yes, it's a road game, it's a division rival, and the Broncos have struggled in San Diego, having emerged victorious from just four of their last eleven trips to the Whale's Vagina.

But barring anything unusual*, Denver should take care of business on Monday night, just as Ted predicted they would.

Let's hope we'll meet here again in a week's time, with the Broncos in a first-place tie with the Chargers, and an early edge in the head-to-head tiebreaker.

* Things like turnovers and big special teams plays are always hard to predict. We could note this every week. Perhaps we will, from now on.

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

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