Denver Broncos “quarter”-season snap count review with some extra stats – offense

Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Because, uh-huh, uh-huh, you like it…

At this point in the season the Denver Broncos are currently without WR2, WR3, TE2, one of our starting ILBs and one of our starting OLBs. That’s quite a bit of lost production to replace with backups. I’m going to break it down by position group starting with the offense.

The offensive line has been stable at tackle and center but our starting guards have both missed time with injuries.

Both Netane Muti and Quinn Meinerz have started at least one game during the first five.

Our pass protection has been terrible according to pro-football-reference.com. Their advanced passing stats show that Teddy Bridgewater has been pressured the second most often among starting quarterbacks in the league – on 32.1 percent of his dropbacks.

Rk
Player
Tm
Cmp
Att
Yds
Sk
PktTime
Bltz
Hrry
Hits
Prss
Prss%
Scrm
Yds/Scr

1
Russell Wilson
SEA
90
125
1196
13
2.2
30
22
13
48
32.40%
10
7.4

2
Teddy Bridgewater
DEN
104
149
1180
11
2.4
55
27
16
54
32.10%
8
7.1

3
Kirk Cousins
MIN
133
191
1396
9
2.3
65
34
20
63
30.90%
4
10.0

4
Trey Lance
SFO
25
48
354
3
2.6
15
9
6
18
30.00%
9
9.0

5
Tyrod Taylor
HOU
31
44
416
1
2.1
14
7
6
14
28.60%
4
14.0

6
Sam Darnold
CAR
120
183
1366
14
2.4
48
22
21
57
28.10%
6
7.0

7
Davis Mills
HOU
59
96
669
11
2.2
29
10
9
30
27.80%
1
2.0

8
Jacoby Brissett
MIA
103
158
858
12
2.4
39
22
14
48
26.50%
11
4.9

9
Jared Goff
DET
131
196
1303
14
2.4
46
21
22
57
26.30%
7
7.0

10
Carson Wentz
IND
113
173
1322
12
2
43
13
25
50
25.80%
9
7.1

11
Justin Fields
CHI
37
72
458
14
1.9
22
4
6
24
25.80%
7
7.1

12
Zach Wilson
NYJ
98
171
1117
18
1.9
45
23
8
49
25.30%
5
4.4

13
Josh Allen
BUF
114
183
1370
5
1.9
25
22
21
48
24.50%
8
6.8

14
Mac Jones
NWE
135
190
1243
11
2.3
63
10
27
48
23.50%
3
7.0

15
Justin Herbert
LAC
139
207
1576
9
2.3
50
18
25
52
23.20%
8
7.4

16
Jalen Hurts
PHI
118
182
1365
10
2.4
57
27
12
49
23.10%
20
7.7

17
Jameis Winston
NOR
70
116
892
9
2
31
9
12
30
22.40%
9
9.1

18
Derek Carr
LVR
131
205
1605
15
1.9
54
20
15
50
22.10%
6
3.8

19
Ryan Tannehill
TEN
110
173
1251
20
2.3
52
3
21
44
21.90%
8
14.4

20
Ben Roethlisberger
PIT
124
195
1286
11
2.1
39
15
19
45
21.60%
2
6.5

21
Jimmy Garoppolo
SFO
78
118
925
6
2.2
31
9
12
27
21.10%
4
4.0

22
Trevor Lawrence
JAX
104
175
1146
8
2.4
38
20
12
40
20.70%
10
6.9

23
Kyler Murray
ARI
124
165
1512
10
2.3
30
24
4
38
20.50%
10
7.8

24
Aaron Rodgers
GNB
107
163
1241
10
1.8
24
11
14
35
19.80%
4
2.8

25
Lamar Jackson
BAL
112
167
1519
13
2
47
15
11
39
19.50%
20
9.4

26
Daniel Jones
NYG
101
157
1282
8
2
49
15
12
35
19.30%
16
6.9

27
Patrick Mahomes
KAN
135
195
1490
7
1.7
27
19
14
40
18.10%
19
8.2

28
Baker Mayfield
CLE
97
145
1240
13
2.4
38
15
3
31
18.10%
13
5.0

29
Joe Burrow
CIN
104
145
1269
14
1.8
30
7
8
29
17.90%
3
6.7

30
Matt Ryan
ATL
141
204
1332
8
1.9
45
9
20
37
17.20%
3
9.3

31
Taylor Heinicke
WAS
102
159
1208
5
1.9
26
13
10
28
15.30%
19
6.5

32
Matthew Stafford
LAR
117
172
1587
4
2.4
45
8
13
25
14.00%
3
5.7

33
Tom Brady
TAM
149
225
1767
9
2.3
47
13
11
33
13.80%
5
7.6

34
Andy Dalton
CHI
37
50
270
4
1.5
17
3
1
8
13.80%
4
9.5

35
Dak Prescott
DAL
122
165
1368
8
1.7
57
6
10
24
13.30%
7
6.1

Given the amount of pressure he has been under from opposing defenses, his performance has been quite amazing. For comparison, Dak Prescott has only been pressured on 13.3 percent of his dropbacks.

The playing time has been pretty evenly split for our two starting running backs.

Damarea Crockett has only seen offensive snaps in our one blowout win. The running game has been fairly solid through the first five games. The Broncos are currently eight in yards per carry and that is not as buoyed by the 70 touchdown run as it once was (still the longest run of the season by any team). If you remove every teams longest run, the Broncos only fall to twelfth.

Rk
Tm
Att
Yds
TD
Lng
Y/A
YDS-LNG
AVG-LNG

1
Cleveland Browns
175
938
12
52
5.36
886
5.09

2
Dallas Cowboys
163
864
6
47
5.30
817
5.04

3
Philadelphia Eagles
113
582
5
27
5.15
555
4.96

4
Kansas City Chiefs
126
641
3
24
5.09
617
4.94

5
Jacksonville Jaguars
122
647
6
58
5.30
589
4.87

6
Baltimore Ravens
152
744
6
35
4.89
709
4.70

7
Tennessee Titans
172
839
8
60
4.88
779
4.56

8
Seattle Seahawks
116
520
5
33
4.48
487
4.23

9
Buffalo Bills
156
702
7
46
4.50
656
4.23

10
Detroit Lions
119
515
4
26
4.33
489
4.14

11
Los Angeles Chargers
127
542
5
21
4.27
521
4.13

12
Denver Broncos
130
593
3
70
4.56
523
4.05

13
Indianapolis Colts
133
571
3
38
4.29
533
4.04

14
Chicago Bears
149
634
6
41
4.26
593
4.01

15
San Francisco 49ers
144
610
6
38
4.24
572
4.00

16
Minnesota Vikings
134
569
1
48
4.25
521
3.92

17
New Orleans Saints
156
629
5
23
4.03
606
3.91

18
Arizona Cardinals
151
640
8
54
4.24
586
3.91

19
Washington Football Team
135
544
5
27
4.03
517
3.86

20
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
103
410
4
21
3.98
389
3.81

21
Cincinnati Bengals
126
495
3
27
3.93
468
3.74

22
New York Giants
120
479
5
46
3.99
433
3.64

23
Los Angeles Rams
128
490
4
29
3.83
461
3.63

24
Atlanta Falcons
123
455
2
17
3.70
438
3.59

25
Green Bay Packers
126
503
3
57
3.99
446
3.57

26
Carolina Panthers
147
539
7
26
3.67
513
3.51

27
Miami Dolphins
95
352
3
24
3.71
328
3.49

28
Pittsburgh Steelers
101
368
3
25
3.64
343
3.43

29
New York Jets
104
370
3
17
3.56
353
3.43

30
New England Patriots
109
400
3
35
3.67
365
3.38

31
Las Vegas Raiders
121
393
4
31
3.25
362
3.02

32
Houston Texans
128
399
3
29
3.12
370
2.91

Avg Team
131.4
561.8
4.7
36
4.28

The Broncos are currently the worst team in the league at converting on third down. They have converted on only 18 of 63 attempts – 28.6 percent. In terms of total third down conversions, they are tied with three other teams at 18, but have more chances hence the worst conversion rate. Conversely the Chiefs are converting at a sick rate of 58.8 percent on their third down attempts.

One reason the Broncos have been so bad at converting on third down is that we have the second longest average yardage needed on third down at 8.0 yards. Only the Vikings have been worse.

The Broncos have averaged 8.4 yards needed on 2nd down and 8.0 yards needed on 3rd down this year. Only the MIN offense has been worse. pic.twitter.com/YT35AydTbx

— Joseph Mahoney (@ndjomo76) October 11, 2021

Twenty-four of the Broncos 63 3rd downs have been 10 or more yards needed (38%). On the flipside the Broncos have only had 13 third and short (3 or fewer yards needed) situations. One positive note is that nine of the Broncos eighteen third down conversions have come on third and long (7 or more needed).

The tight end group has seen an increased usage of Noah Fant after the loss of Albert Okweugbunam.

Unfortunately we have not really used any of our tight ends as receivers in the red zone where they all should be weapons. I would have liked to see Fant targeted with one of those end of the game goal-to-go passes last game. A fade to 5’8” Diontae Spencer was exactly what the Steelers wanted us to do. With three taller receivers on the field (Sutton, Patrick and Fant are all 6-4), why would we be throwing to the smallest receiver we have in the endzone with the game on the line?

Losing Albert O. has also meant significantly less two and three tight end formations from our offense. During the past two games, Pat Shurmur has reverted to what we did in 2020, which was three WR sets as our “base” offense. If you count Andrew Beck as a TE, our TEs combined to play 123 offensive snaps in week three. The team only had 67 offensive snaps, meaning that our normal formation was two TE. Compare that to the 78 total TE snaps on offense that we saw against the Steelers where the offense ran 60 plays.

The Broncos currently rank 29th in red zone touchdown percentage with a TD rate of 42.1%. Only the Giants, Patriots and Colts have been worse. The Saints are scoring touchdowns on a crazy pace of 92.9 percent of the time when they reach the red zone (13 of 14).

Our WR group has been plagued by injuries and currently only has one healthy guy who the league valued coming out of college – Courtland Sutton. The rest of the healthy group is either seventh round picks (David Moore and Tyrie Cleveland) or undrafted guys (Tim Patrick, Kendall Hinton and Diontae Spencer).

With the loss of both Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler, Kendall Hinton has become WR3. I love Hinton’s story, but he’s not a threat to opposing defenses the way that either Jeudy or Hamler are. The only speed threats that we currently have at WR are Spencer, who has not proven he can catch deep passes in the NFL, and Moore, who is still learning the playbook after we grabbed him from the Las Vegas Raiders practice squad. I expect either Spencer or Moore to be released once Jeudy is healthy. Hinton has proven he can handle the punt return duties and frankly he has proven he is a more reliable target in the passing game that Spencer.

It would appear that both Spencer (game three) and Moore (game four) got shots at being WR3 until Jeudy is back, but Hinton won the job.

Leave a Comment