The Stats That Don’t Lie - Week 10: Tebow in the Sky with Diamonds

Imagine there's no Hillis
It's easy if you try
Al Davis still below us
Above us playoff sky...

You may have remembered--just for a flash--on Sunday that the Broncos have a running back named Knowshon Moreno, who ran for 106 yards.

Another silly thought (a reverie perhaps?) probably entered your mind, too: the Broncos can still win this division.

Yes, it's true.  With 7 games to go, the Broncos can technically win this thing.  

The stats, though, have other ideas.

Broncos Offense Through Week 10

Team Yards / Game Yards / Play Rushing Yards / Game Rushing Yards / Play Passing Yards / Game Passing Yards / Play Interception Rate Sacks / Pass Attempt
DEN 373.3 5.71 76.8 3.2 296.6 7.6 1.42% 5.98%
NFL 339.4 5.34 111.3 4.12 228.1 6.64 2.90% 6.25%
Differences 33.9 0.37 -34.5 -0.92 68.5 0.96 -1.48% -0.27%
Rank 5 7 32 32 2 2 2 14
Team

 First Downs / Game       

 Punt Return Avg       Kickoff Return Avg        3rd Down Pct       4th Down Pct       Red Zone Pct       Goal to Go%       Points / Game      
DEN 20.4 10 25.2 38.52% 25.00% 50.00% 80.00% 22.6
NFL 19.2 9.5 23.1 38.42% 47.58% 50.83% 68.03% 21.9
Differences 1.2 0.5 2.1 0.10% -22.58% -0.83% 11.97% 0.7
Rank 10 13 8 17 28 17 5 14

What do all of these numbers tell us?  The Broncos' passing offense, already hitting teams harder than a hard day's night, now watches the running game creep to life.  Although Denver is still ranked 32nd both with respect to yards and yards per play, they have improved their yards-per-play average to 3.2 yards.  After the Jack-The-Ripping they got from the 49ers in Week 8, that number was 2.9.

If you were wondering who is ranked 31st, it's Detroit at 3.43 yards per play.  So one more game like the one we saw against the Chiefs, and the Broncos will probably find themselves out of the cellar.

A few other stats of note.  The Broncos improved in 3rd-down efficiency, the red zone, and goal-to-goal efficiency.   All of this can be attributed to an increased effectiveness in the running game and Tim Tebow in the sky with diamonds.

As we've seen all year, the Broncos are doing just fine in pass protection (sacks/pass attempt) and limiting interceptions.  In addition, Demaryius Thomas continues to improve what was a horrible kickoff return average as little as 4 games ago.

Broncos Defense Through Week 10

Team Yards / Game Yards / Play Rushing Yards / Game Rushing Yards / Play Passing Yards / Game Passing Yards / Play Interception Rate Sacks / Pass Attempt
DEN 372.9 5.81 143.1 4.43 229.8 7.55 1.82% 4.74%
NFL 339.4 5.34 111.3 4.12 228.1 6.64 2.90% 6.25%
Differences 33.5 0.47 31.8 0.31 1.7 0.91 -1.08% -1.51%
Rank 25 27 30 25 19 29 29 26
Team   First Downs / Game        Punt Return Avg        Kickoff Return Avg        3rd Down Pct        4th Down Pct        Red Zone Pct        Goal to Go%       Points / Game    
DEN 20.7 11 25.2 41.96% 50.00% 67.86% 73.68% 28
NFL 19.2 9.5 23.1 38.42% 47.58% 50.83% 68.03% 21.9
Differences 1.5 1.5 2.1 3.54% 2.42% 17.03% 5.65% 6.1
Rank 26 24 25 27 15 29 23 29

Despite beating the Chiefs, the numbers on defense haven't improved much.  This is how things go, as good friend Ted Bartlett noted, when you play a soft cover 3 for most of the game.  Even a guy like Matt Cassel can throw for 400 yards against it, and he did.  So I'll cut the Broncos some slack.   

The Broncos did improve their sack rate and their rush yards allowed per attempt, however, so that's great news.  I expect both of these numbers to improve through the season as Wink Martindale dials up more zone blitzes.  

If there's a got-to-get-you-into-my-life stat that needs to improve next week on defense, I think we'd all agree it's the red zone.  Phil Rivers needs to be denied touchdowns. 

Why the Broncos Won't Win the AFC West

Currently the Broncos are minus-3 with respect to turnover margin.  Good for 20th in the league.   Tomorrow never knows, but that number needs to improve drastically.  They've only given the ball up 13 total times, but with the defense's lack of pressure, it hasn't meant much.

Why the Broncos Will Win the AFC West

All of these numbers are only going to get better as Denver gets healthier.  That and I think Joe Mays is standing at your door--right this moment--ready to knock you out.  

You might say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.

The Non-Traditional Stat That Caresses You Like a Broncos Cheerleader

As Fat Man reader Chibronx has been screaming all year, Brandon Marshall is not an elite receiver.  According to our friend Brian Burke at Advanced NFL Stats, his Success Rate is 46.5%, his Catch Rate is 58.5%, and his Expected Points Value (EPV) per play is -.03. Yes, my Broncos friends, this is correct.  When you throw the ball to Brandon Marshall, you're not just getting some very un-polished route running.  You're getting what is the equivalent of losing points.  

The Beast?  Nope, just the least.

But you've still got to pay him like an animal.


If you like to see The Dude slack off 24/7, you can always find him on Facebook and Twitter. Or you can email him at: tjthedudejohnson@gmail.com. He assumes you are following It’s All Over, Fat Man! on Facebook and Twitter, but if you are not, that’s nihilistic.

I’m glad we had this talk.  Now, vaya con Dios, Brah.

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