Breakdown: Denver Defense

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mcdonut16, Jan 10, 2006.

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  1. mcdonut16

    mcdonut16 Practice Squad Player

    Denver D: Key Rushing Statistics

    2nd: Rush Yards Per Game
    32nd: Rush Attempts against
    15th: Rush Yards Per Carry

    Comment: Solid Run D but not as good as 2nd in the league stats appear. Yards Per Carry indicates average performance against the run, when you can run against the Broncos all game. Denver had a lead or was tied at halftime in 15 of the 16 games, they had a lead at the half in 11 of the 16 games, and a lead at the start of the 4th qr 14 times out of 16 games. Teams gave up the run as Denver was ahead in most games and Denver had the least amount of rushing attempts against them in the entire NFL. Lots of credit for Denver's rush Defense, goes to the Denver Offense for getting out to quick leads in the vast majority of their games, thus limiting the number of rushing attempts against the Defense.

    Of the 4 other Defenses in the NFL that are in the top 5 in Rushing Yards Per Game, all 4 are also in the top 5 in Yards Per Carry. Denver is 15th in yards per carry. Denver is the statistical exception here, so I think my theory that "Denver's offense is their best run defense" holds true to an extent. This is certainly not a weakness for the Broncos, it just not the strength that it's made out to be.

    In the 3 games that Denver lost, they gave up 151, 97, and 168 yards rushing. They can be run on if the score and flow of the game allows for it.

    Denver D: Key Passing Statistics

    29th: Pass Yards Per Game
    1st: Passes Attempted Against
    3rd: Pass Completion %
    4th: Pass Yards per attempt
    4th: Opposing QB Rating
    17th: Passing TD's allowed
    28th: Sacks
    6th: INT

    Comment: In general, the pass defense is better than indicated by stats. Broncos had the most passes attempted against them in the league so that explains the horrible 29th: Pass Yards Per Game ranking. Also, low Pass Completion % indicates quality coverage, although they were likely in a lot of prevent pass coverages, probably lowering this ranking in reality when Denver is in base pass or run coverage. INT ranking is also inflated because they had the most pass attempts against them and therefore the most opportunity for INT's.

    The Glaring statistic here is that Denver is 28th in the league in sacks. Considering they had the most passes attempted against them in the league, they had the most opportunities for sacks. Also with their 3rd place ranking in Pass Completion %, possibly indicating good coverage, you would figure that their would have been the opportunity for some coverage sacks. This makes them probably the worst team in the league at putting pressure on the QB. This is likely the biggest weakness on the entire team and should be exploited, especially by Tom Brady who when given time can be deadly. I am also theorizing that Denvers high rankings in Opposing QB ranking and Completion percentage, were do to low percentage attempts as the other teams were pressing to try to keep up their scoring with the Broncos.

    Denver D: Key Overall Statistic

    3rd: Points Against

    Conclusion: Overall the most important statistic of all is Denvers D is 3rd in Points Allowed. Denver has an excellent defense that can play with anybody. I found it very interesting that Denver's D had the most passes attempted against it, but had the least amount of rush attempts against it. This imbalance in attempts against, skews the overall efficiency of the Broncos D. The key here is not to let the Broncos get out to an early lead, where the run has to be abandoned. There lack of sacks indicates inadequate pass rush, which should give the Patriots time to attempt some deep passes to loosen up Denver's run Defense.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2006
  2. CheerforTom

    CheerforTom Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Wow, good stuff dude. That's impressive.

    One comment: don't you think that you can look at some of their stats in pass defence the other way around? Like can't their lots of yards given up in the air lead to most pass attempts by other teams?

    I'm hardly criticizing, though, just commenting. You don't see this stuff from most NFL analysts, great job!
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2006
  3. T-ShirtDynasty

    T-ShirtDynasty Moderator

    Eeeeeeeeeeeexcelent work. Thank you kindly for the effort.

    This part is very interesting and will be rolling around the back of my head as I watch the game. Thanks again.
  4. mcdonut16

    mcdonut16 Practice Squad Player

    I just found some statistical anomalies and tried to come up with theory's, supported by other facts and statistics.

    Statistics by themselves mean nothing. You have to weed through them find to find something closer to the truth.

    These are my theories, and I would love to see additional opposing and supporting theories backed up by intelligent analysis.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2006
  5. flutie2phelan

    flutie2phelan Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    Way to go, mcdonut!

    This is a big aid to understanding.

    Excuse me for being greedy, though: how do you see their offense?
  6. mcdonut16

    mcdonut16 Practice Squad Player

    Thanks for your kind comments. I will try to do a Breakdown on Denver's Offense sometime in the next day or two. I am football 24/7 this time of year and this coming weekend is the best weekend of the year.
  7. Bronco Freak

    Bronco Freak Banned

    Great analysis, but allow me to retort.

    Our offense scores, so they abandon the running game as you say. But to stop a team from scoring, you gotta stop the run early. I'm about 90% sure we haven't given up a TD on the opening drive all season!!
    We do that exceptionally well. We will put 8 men within 2 yards of the LOS at times. And it works, so when we need to stop the run, we shut it down completely, having Champ out there makes a huge difference. Vs the Pats, I don't think this will be neccessary, unless you go 2 TE's and run to Grahams side with effectiveness. We also rotate the hell out of our DLineman, to keep them fresh.

    You also noted we don't get alot of sacks. But I am pretty sure we lead the league in QB pressures. They throw it away alot, its all good. 3 and out is a 3 and out.

    Remember, we shut DOWN your offense for 3 quarters early this season, what excuses do you pats fans have for that???

    This time Champ will be there all night long!!!
  8. JJDChE

    JJDChE 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    Denver is actually last in attempts per sack, averaging only one sack per 22.89 opponent pass attempts.
  9. mcdonut16

    mcdonut16 Practice Squad Player

    Where are your statistics to support that Denver lead the league in QB pressures, but was almost last in the league in sacks. Thats totally illogical if you can statistically support that. Don't forget, the Broncos did have the most opportunities for Sacks and QB pressures. If you had the most attempts you should have the most successes. Pressures are great but they are not sacks and my guess is that the teams with the most sacks also have the most pressures since in fact you can only sack the QB if in fact you are pressuring him.

    Also I do not make excuses for the Patriots losing earlier this year to the Broncos. The Broncos are a very good team and they walloped the Patriots. I only promise you that the team you see on the field this time will play alot better.

    Our personel will be quite a bit different this time.
  10. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi Supporter

    #12 Jersey

    We would take you more seriously if you didn't talk like an *******.
  11. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi Supporter

    #12 Jersey

    The good YPA against and the lack of sacks are very confusing. Yes, sacks and QB pressure aren't the same but I suspect there's usually a stronger correlation than having good pressure but being almost last in the league in sacks. Especially when the Broncos are high in the league in pass attempts against. Do they just rush 4 and cover, allowing the short stuff like we do against Denver ? It is hard to believe they could be an aggressive defense, have lots of pass attempts against and, yet, be 28th in sacks.
  12. mcdonut16

    mcdonut16 Practice Squad Player

    Check your stats before you blow out hot air. Buffalo scored a TD on their opening drive. That was the only TD the Broncos allowed on the opening drive all year (there were a couple field goals ) which is impressive, but you cheapened this fact with your sloppy attention to detail.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2006
  13. pats1

    pats1 Moderator Supporter

    What excuse do we have for that?

    Amos Zereoue had most of the carries! He's been off the team for quite awhile now.

    Our defense was also a shell of what it is now, getting the Pats down early and keeping the Broncos offense on the field, not being able to stop the run, which lead to the inability to pressure the QB, which lead to the ability for the passing game to be opened up.

    Now, applying the Pats run defense that has utterly derailed running games, they should, and have, been able to pressure the QB MASSIVELY, working off the run, and have shored up the secondary in the mean time to seal everything up. The result? Opponents haven't been able to score at all.

    The offense has also been a great help. Instead of running to set up the pass, it really seems to have passed to set up the run. Some of the more idiotic analysts will sit there all day and talk about Corey Dillon not putting up big numbers, but they're completely missing the fact that the Patriots have spread the field and drawn 5 or 6 DBs out there, and kept a balanced, unpredictable attack of Faulk and Dillon effective yet not spectacular runs along with a highly-varied passing attack including Ben Watson, Deion Branch, David Givens, Daniel Graham, and Troy Brown (Andre' Davis and Tim Dwight on some trick plays) that has exploited mis-matches. When the defense goes to compensate for an exploited mismatch, the Patiots simply just go to another. If the defense isn't putting pressure on Brady, they'll attack your seams with the quickness of Watson and Branch. If they are putting pressure on Brady, the most calm and collected QB in the league, the best in the playoffs, and the one with the most pocket mobility and awareness, he'll simply step up and toss it to one of the sure-handed, playoff-tested and proven receivers, be it Troy Brown, Kevin Faulk, David Givens, or Daniel Graham.

    Did we have the HEALTHY (see: Patriots injury report for Denver game: 4 players OUT, 14 players QUESTIONABLE, 1 player probable, 1 Tedy Bruschi on the PUP, and 1 Rodney Harrison on the IR) personnel and nearly as much cohesiveness and team chemistry that has always reared its head in the playoffs for the Patriots back in October?

    The simple answer is no.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2006
  14. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson Veteran Supporter

    Judging a team, or especially a unit by statistics in the NFL is a sure way to end up with incorrect conclusions.

    There are way too many variables. First, you have only 16 games for a sample. Look at baseball after 150 or basketball after 70, and you still see teams play differently than their stats.

    Add to that in the NFL, everyone is not playing the same teams. While competition can average out, and everyone looks at strength of schedule, when you are looking at a unit, the quality of team means less than the style of team they faced.

    On top of that a teams own offense affects its defense, and vice versa. Do you think it is a coincidence that many of the 'ahead of their time' QBs who threw the ball all over the field had bad defenses? Or that the best defenses of all time where teams with good running offenses? Example. Trade the Pittsburgh defense of the 70s with the Miami defense of the 80s. There is no way in the world the Miami defense would have been as bad playing with the Pitt running game instead of Marinos boom or bust offense. Likewise, Marino never would have put up the numbers he did, if he had Pitts defense, but that defense would not have been considered as good, given the offensive style of the 80s Fins, because they would have been forced into many more diffiuclt situations due to turnovers, short fields, or short breaks on 3 passes and out. (No matter how well you throw it, if you throw it a ton you have lots of short drives)

    On top of all of that are the game conditions, the score of the game, that you face.
    Look at the Denver defensive rankings. Do you really believe they wouldnt be significantly worse if they had the Jets offense? Would their offensive numbers have been as good if they had the San Francisco defense?

    Change some of those variables and the exact same players, playing the same way could be near the bottom in run D and near the top in pass D.

    Also, NFL statistic are not comprehensive. How are you 2nd ranked against the run when the typical run play you defended was done very averagely? How are you 29th against the pass, when the average pass play you defended was above average?

    Most importantly there are no statistic numbers in the NFL that take into account the wide difference between identical numbers. Example:
    25 rushes for 140 yards.
    Team A allows 10 runs of 4 10 runs of 5 and and 5 runs of 10.
    Team B allows 20 runs of 1, 4 runs of 10, and one run of 80.
    Who was better? They surely werent the same.

    30 attempts, 20 completes, 190 yards.
    Team A allows 4 completions of 2 yards, 12 of 10 yards and and 4 of 18.
    Team B allows 15 completiuons of 2 yards, 4 of 20, and 1 of 80.
    Who was better? They werent identical.
    We havent even factored in whether the 2 yards completions were on 3rd and 1 or 3rd and 12. We havent factored in whether the completions were on 3rd down conversions and the incompletes were on 3rd down conversions.
    We havent factored in whether Team A Allowed those 16 10+ completions to result in 5 TD drives, and the other 14 passes that gained 8 yards were after the game was over, or if team B was ahead 31-0 then allowed the 80 yarder for a TD followed by 4 straight 20s for another and a 31-14 win.

    In a league where 50% of the plays favor the offense, and 50% favor the defense adding them all together, ignoring score, situaiton, and whether an 11 yard gain was a TD or came on 3rd and 15 waters down their meaning.

    For example, does the Patriot run D stats when Seymour and Bruschi were out mean absolutely anything if they are playing? Well, what if the bad stats without them came from teams who's strength was running to the side of the ball they don't play? And the next team up has the same strenght? Wouldnt that mean the other 9 players mean more than those 2 in THAT game?

    The end result is statistic do not win games. Wins create statistics. Very rarely does any team put up good stats in every area. Does the cumulative total of the stats they put up over a season when they won mean anything more than HOW they won, rather than what would cause them to lose? i.e. win cause of great pass D, have a lead and get run on in the prevent does not equal bad run D.

    The real bottom line is how a team plays together, but moreso, it is how they play on the 10-15 critical plays in a game that decide the outcome.
    You can have all the offensive stats you want, but if you cant convert 3rd down when you need to win, too bad. You can have great defensive stats when you lead 30-0, but if you are playing a top team in a tough game, and take the field in a decisvie drive, they mean very little.

    The primary thing that has separated the Patriots from the league over the last 5 years is that they are far and away better than anyone on those 10-15 critical plays that decide a game. You can be worse on the other 80 if you win those. We will find out Saturday, then in the AFCC, then in the SB if they still possess that quality. Stats will not give you that answer.
  15. mcdonut16

    mcdonut16 Practice Squad Player

    I don't see any other way of rationalizing there low sack number, with the most passing attempts (opportunities for sacks) for anything other than a lack of pass rush. Even if they only rush 4 guys every single time they should have more sacks than they do based on the number of opportunities they have had.
  16. mcdonut16

    mcdonut16 Practice Squad Player

    Andy, I am not trying to totally judge the Broncos or any teams by statistics alone. Statistics are one of the things we can use to form an opinion. I tried to create theories based on statistics and supported by statistics rather than spitting out some ridiculous thread like "Yeah the Broncos suck and Willie Mac is your Big Daddy".

    It also could be argued that most national writers and pundits spit out opinions and theories with absolutely no basis whatsoever. Statistics are facts and they do tell a story. It's not the complete story but they can at least attempt to make an intelligent argument and hold up a theory.

    Statistics can in fact predict chances for success. They don't ultimately predict success everytime, but they at least put success within a standard deviation.

    I present in case FOX's Aikman Rankings, and Cold Hard Football Facts Quality Standings, and,, as statistical attempts that accurately predicted the Patriots Superbowl wins the last few years.

    I am attempting to make an intelligent analysis. Take it for what it's worth and get off your high horse.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2006
  17. oldrover

    oldrover 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    #50 Jersey

  18. mcdonut16

    mcdonut16 Practice Squad Player

    The Patriots this year are a statistical anomaly. Comparatively they do suck statistically, and what team goes from the worst Defense in the league the first half of the season, to the best Defense in the second half of the season. The Patriots would have crashed a computer trying to predict a probability of another SuperBowl.

    Take statistics with a grain of salt as I said, they don't take injuries, weather conditions, etc into consideration, but they allow you to at least intelligently analize a situation.
  19. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    I would love to see this sort of break down for the Pats. Just to get a good comparison.
  20. CheerforTom

    CheerforTom Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    That's also solid proof as to how there's more to life than a team's record. I've had many an argument (with a Broncos fan, coincidentally), that just because one team has a better record than another doesn't make them a better team, or even more successful so long as each makes the playoffs.
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