Breakdown: Denver Offense
Denver Offense: Key Rushing Statistics
1st: Time of Posession
1st: Rushing First Downs.
2nd: Rushing Yards
2nd: Rushing Average per carry
3rd: Rushing TD's
Comments: Denver's Rushing Offensive statistics are unquestionably fantastic and confirm what most everybody already knows, that Denvers rushing attack is probably the best in the league. When you are 1st in First Downs and Time of Possession you are in control of the game. The fact that they are 2nd in Rushing Yards and Yards per carry confirms Denver's dominant running game. Even in the 3 games that Denver lost this year they rushed for 70, 191, and 131 yards respectively. The 70 yard output came in the first game of the season against Miami in Miami. Denver gets a complete Mulligan for this as the field temp was over 100 degrees and it was the first game of the year. It is my belief that Miami has the greatest home field advantage in all sports when playing at home in the month of September.
In all of Denvers other games, all wins, they were held to a low of 96 yards by Baltimore.
The conclusion here is that no one has really stopped the Denver running game all year. This is unquestionably the strength of the team and has been for the past 8 years or so. If the Patriots can hold the Broncos to under a hundred yards they win the game. The problem is that the Patriots or anyone else are unlikely to do that and need to find another way to win this game. The Patriots need to somehow force Denver to throw the ball by getting out to an early lead and thus limit Denvers rushing attempts. The Patriots have had the best rush Defense in the league over the last 8 games and stopping the run is the biggest key and biggest battle in this game.
Denver Offense: Key Passing Statistics
18th: Passing Yards Per Game
10th: Yards per Attempt
20th: Passing TD's
15th: Completion %
8th: QB Rating
2nd: Passing INT's
25th: Passing Attempts
Comments: Statistically speaking, Denvers passing offense has been extremely efficient. While they are 25th in attempts (opportunities to compile other statistics) they rank significantly higher in all categories. This efficiency is also reflected in the 10th place ranking in Yards per Attempt. These statistics say that Denver tends to make the most of their opportunities.
Jake Plummer has thrown 29 or more passes in 8 of the Broncos 16 games. 3 of those games were losses, 2 were games decided by 3 points or less, 2 were blowouts, and 1 was a game where the Broncos fell behind early to the Bills. The other 8 games where Plummer threw for less than 29, the Broncos won. 29 attempts seems to be the number where Denver's Offensive dominance starts to come out of balance. Look for this number of attempts in the game, if Plummer has to throw more than 29 times the Patriots are in the game or will probably have the lead in the fourth quarter. The one thing that Denver's pass offense has going for it is that they will be playing against an improved yet untested Patriots secondary that may still be vulnerable, especially on the outside where receivers can isolate against single coverage.
Denver Offense: Key Misc. Statistics
22nd: 3rd Down Conversion %
22nd: 3rd Down Attempts
Third down conversion % is a mix of success in running and passing. The teams with the best 3rd Down Conversion % (like Indy, Cincy, KC, SD and NE) tend to be better passing teams and in general are more balanced in terms of rushing and passing attempts. Other good rushing teams with bad 3rd Down Conversion % include Pittsburgh, Chicago, NY Giants (all teams that are clearly run first mentality). However, Denver's rushing attack is so efficient, they skip right over 3rd downs and pick up 1st downs on second down plays as evidence by their 22nd ranking in 3rd down attempts, never needing to get to third down. For a team with so many yards, they have a low 3rd down attempt number, cleary evidence of an efficient offensive attack that doesn't put itself in many 3rd down situations. Also, it is pretty logical to assume that if it is 3rd and 5 or less, Denver is most likely to pick up a first down with their outstanding rushing attack. When 3rd down and long situations arise, say anything 3rd down and 6 or more, that is when the Patriots absolutely have to stop Denver and get the Defense off the field. This is the Patriots chance to get Denver's offense off the field. The problem is stopping the Broncos enough on 1st and 2nd down consistently enough to put them in 3rd and long situtations. The Patriots won't be able to do it every set of downs but if they can do it with some frequency they are likely to have some success against the Broncos Offense. If there is a weakness in the Broncos Offense this is it. I was very surprised to see the Broncos at 22nd in the league in 3rd Down conversion (a stat that Belichick consitently mentions as a key to the success or failure of a game.)
I doff my cap to you, McDonut.
If you continue this kind of exceptionally factual analysis ... next i'll knuckle my forehead.
In your earlier thread on the Denver D, i asked for a similar treatment of their O. I would say that what you deliver here is still more useful ... and more compelling ... than even that good effort.
With material like yours available, no one who reads PatsFans threads with any regularity ... has any need to read the newspapers or watch tv sports yaks.
I hope others can critique your work here ... but this quite exceeds my capacity to criticize.
I'm more optomistic towards the Patriots' ability to stop the run, but we'll find out. Like you say, if they can hold them to less than 100 yards then I don't think Jake can bring them back.
Great insight! As a Broncos fan who digs for every nugget of information about the team, I never put many of those numbers together. Good work. This is my take on things. The Pats will key in on the running game. Shanny knows this and may attempt to establish the run with the pass. The patriots run -D is just too good to come straight at. I've seen this before. He doesn't ever just abandon the running game but will sometimes choose to bring it in later depending on the defense he see's. I've been watching some of the press conferences with Shanahan and I've got to say that he looks tired. Probably not sleeping much. That's because Belechick has a way of anvailing completely new game plans which have never before seen the light of day and then making the other team/coach look ridiculous. Should be a great one.
There is a good article on the Herald today
(http://patriots.bostonherald.com/pat...ticleid=121012) on Wilford and Nolan.
It was painful watching him owned the last time.
He has been better, but against Nolan, who knows? His biggest test yet.
I think Belichick was genuine when he praised the Broncos' well-balanced
" And none of them, Belichick said Wednesday, is the Broncos.
"We've given up fewer big plays the last five or six weeks, but this will be a really good test. None of the teams we've played are Denver. Nothing against them, but they're not Denver," he said. "An offense like Denver's can play any way they want to play. They want to march it down the field, but if you want to jump up there and get aggressive, they can hit you for a big play, too."
I really think our D, not O is the key to this game. TB and company will
get some production, may be ~16 - 20 real points (not garbage-time point
like the last game, which was 17).
Can our D hold the Bronc to <17 or 20? That's what I would loose sleep on.
I want to see us getting the ball 1st, Tom Brady going no huddle, 2-min drill
marching down field and getting a 6. Put them on their heel, take the pressure
of the D for at least the first few series.
I want to repeat what I've said in other threads that for some reason both Anderson and Bell are averaging 3.9 YPC since, and including, Week 9. I'm not saying their running game suddenly is average as it's been dominant for a decade. But it is worth nothing that they haven't been as good the last half of the season, that's just the way it is. And only one of the games that includes these numbers was one that didn't matter.
Here are the splits :
Anderson first 8 games 4.5 YPC, last 8 games 3.9 YPC
Bell first 8 games 7.0 YPC, last 8 games 3.9 YPC
I would expect that Denver will, early in the game, take a couple long shots downfield to test our secondary and help set up the running game. Shanahan is one of the best coaches in the league, and (unlike someone like Mike Martz) knows that the Pats will attack Denver's strength, which is running offense. Expect the Pats to bring out various run-blitzes up the middle.
I also agree that if the running game is contained, Denver is in trouble. Plummer is a decent QB, but is not expected to do a whole lot, as mcdonut16 demonstrates. Further, if we get the ball for 30 minutes, I think we will win. Denver clearly needs to limit the amount of time Brady has the ball, because our passing offense matches up well with Denver.
In the end, this should be a great, close game. Prediction: Pats 20, Denver 17.
If there was a positive for the Patriots in the first game against the Broncos this year, the Broncos were only 3-11 on 3rd Down conversions. 27.2 % If that was a season long percentage that would be good for 31st in the league. As I stated before in my main post I thought that 3rd down conversions were the Weekness of Denvers Offense.
In the first half, when Denver was using all their bullets they went 0-3 in 3rd down conversions.
3rd and 11 at DEN 1 (9:04) J.Plummer pass to T.Bell to DEN 7 for 6 yards (C.Brown).
3rd and 15 at DEN 36 (3:24) J.Plummer pass incomplete to C.Adams.
3rd and 8 at DEN 24 (6:07) J.Plummer sacked at DEN 16 for -8 yards (sack split by D.Klecko and W.McGinest).
3rd and 11 at NE 42 (12:54) J.Plummer pass to R.Smith to NE 21 for 21 yards (R.Gay).
3rd and 1 at NE 2 (10:39) M.Anderson up the middle for 2 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
3rd and 5 at DEN 21 (8:26) J.Plummer pass incomplete to R.Smith (R.Colvin).
3rd and 3 at DEN 27 (4:37) T.Bell left tackle to DEN 22 for -5 yards (M.Vrabel; R.Colvin).
3rd and 1 at DEN 29 (13:37) K.Johnson up the middle to DEN 30 for 1 yard (M.Beisel; D.Klecko). Play Challenged by NE and Upheld. (Timeout #1 by NE.)
3rd and 3 at DEN 39 (5:18) J.Plummer pass incomplete (T.Warren).
3rd and 11 at DEN 49 (:34) J.Plummer kneels to DEN 48 for -1 yards.
After looking at all of the 3rd downs in the game the Broncos only converted on one 3rd and > 1 yard, a 21 yard pass to Rod Smith against an injured Randall (now on IR) Gay. The two other conversions were 3rd and 1, one of which was good for a TD and one that was so close Belichick had it reviewed.
I'm telling you if the Patriots can get the Broncos to 3rd down, they will shut down the Broncos offense, because the Broncos struggle for whatever reason on 3rd downs.
rockhopper - kewl screen name - interesting interpretation of Shanny's TV appearances. Velly interesting indeed.
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