Numbers – Broncos vs. Chiefs

Normally the formula for a winning effort on defense is to make an opponent one-dimensional.

The Broncos do that to themselves, and it made little difference against a Chiefs defense that still couldn’t stop them. The numbers look somewhat impressive, holding the Broncos to runs of 3 yards or less on 32 of the 55 runs they made. That’s a success rate of 58.2 percent.

But there can be little doubt that the Broncos pushed the Chiefs front seven defenders around at will for most of the day.

The Broncos passing attack . . . what can you say. The Broncos completed no passes in the first half and led 10-0. They completed two of four in the second half for 69 yards. The touchdown came on a perfectly thrown ball by the so-called imperfect Tim Tebow.

But riddle me this: would you rather have a fantasy-league stat machine running your offense or an awkward looking “just-win-baby” leader who despite all the shortcomings is 3-1 and has his team on the verge of being relevant for the first time in years?

Enough of that talk. As ineffective as the defense might have been, holding an opponent to just 17 points should be enough to win most of the time. The Chiefs offense was even more inept.

DEFENSE

Opp. Rushing 

Runs/Yds* 

3-less 

4-plus 

Big play

Def. Succ.* 

Avg. 

Broncos 

55-244 

32 

23 

5 

31 

4.71 

* For purposes of Tim Tebow, all scrambles are considered rushes. The only play that did not count in the average was the kneel down at the end of the game.

Passing 

Total 

Less than 7 

7-10 yards 

10-plus

Avg/Att* 

Broncos 

2-8-69-1T-0I 

8.63 

Chiefs sacks by down

Game 

First 

Second 

Third 

Total 

Passing situation* 

Broncos 

0 

Season 

*Passing situation defined as second- or third-and-long (more than 6), two-minute drill or second half when down by more than two scores.

Turnover ratio by game

Game 

Chiefs 

Opponents 

 
 

Interception 

Fumble 

Interception 

Fumble 

Ratio 

Buffalo (L) 

-2 

Detroit (L) 

-5 

San Diego (L) 

+1 

Minnesota (W) 

+1 

Indianapolis (W) 

0

Oakland (W) 

+4 

San Diego (W) 

Miami (L) 

Denver (L) 

OFFENSE

You don’t need to know more than this – on the Chiefs first pass play, Matt Cassel had to scramble for 9 yards. On the second, Brandon Albert was flagged for holding. On the third Cassel was sacked for a 4-yard loss. In the past three games Cassel has been sacked or had to scramble 25 times. Counting scrambles as a pass play gone wrong that is a sack or scramble once every 4.4 called pass plays.

Big plays were no existent in the passing game. Dwayne Bowe was held to 17 yards – no catch longer than 10 yards. Steve Breaston gained just 33 yards, and Jonathan Baldwin had just one catch for 15 yards. After a promising start, Baldwin has caught just two passes for 27 yards the past two weeks. He has been targeted on 10 attempts.

The only bright spot was Dexter McCluster, who was effective running (for the first time in a long while) and had two catches of more than 10 yards. McCluster, running mostly out of the shotgun formation, had five runs of 6 or more yards.

The Chiefs rushing attack, not counting the quarterback scrambles, gained just 110 yards in 21 carries. That unacceptable for a team that wants to – and needs to – be a running team. Jackie Battle’s 6.8-yard average is an illustration of how misleading the average came be. He gained 34 yards on a carry. On his other eight attempts he gained an average of 3.4 yards per attempt. It’s a healthy average per carry – and considering how inefficient the pass protection was should have carried the load even more than it did.

PASSING

Passing 

Total 

Less than 7 

7-10 yards 

10-plus 

Avg/Att* 

Cassel 

13-28-93-1T-0INT

2.74 

Palko

5-6-47-0T-0INT

6.7 

Total 

18-34-140-1T-0INT

4.43 

* Includes sacks and subsequent minus yardage and scrambles and plus-yardage

Receiver 

Target 

Catches 

Yards 

Big plays 

Bowe 

17 

Breaston 

33 

Baldwin 

15 

McClain 

McCluster 

48 

Pope 

18 

Totals 

33 

18 

140 

 

Opponent’s sacks by down

Game 

First

Second

Third

Fourth

Passing situation* 

Broncos 

1

Season 

5

19 

17 

Chiefs rushing

vs. Dolphins

4 or more

3 or less 

Big runs 

Winning plays 

Battle (9-61) 

4

Jones (4-4) 

1

McCluster (8-45) 

5

Total (24-134) 

10

11 

10 

* Scrambles by Matt Cassel and Tyler Palko are included in the total, but are pass plays gone wrong instead of runs.

BIG PICTURE

The loss was very damaging to the Chiefs title (hold the laughter) hopes. The only chance of making it to the playoffs at this point seems to be winning the AFC West and winning all tiebreakers. The Chiefs lost their chance to sweep the Broncos. Right now all four teams in the West are 2-2 in the division.

AFC WEST  Vs. AFC East  Vs. NFC No.  Other  Vs. AFC West 
Raiders 5-4  L/Bills (R)
W/Jets (H)

L/Patriots (H)

At Dolphins 

At Vikings
Vs. Bears

At Packers

Vs. Detroit 

W/Texans (R)
W/Browns (H) 
W/Broncos (R)
L/Chiefs (H)

L/Broncos (H)

W/Chargers (R) 

Chiefs 4-5  L/Bills (H)
L/Dolphins (H)

At Patriots

At Jets 

L/Lions (R)
W/Vikings (H)

At Chicago

Vs. Packers 

W/Colts (R)
Vs. Steelers 
L/Chargers (R)
W/Raiders (R)

W/Chargers (H)

L/Broncos (H) 

Chargers 4-5  L/Patriots (R)
W/Miami (H)

L/Jets (R)

Vs. Bills 

W/Vikings (H)
L/Packers (H)

At Bears

At Lions 

At Jaguars
Vs. Ravens 
W/Chiefs (H)
W/Broncos (R)

L/Chiefs (R)

L/Raiders (H) 

Broncos 4-5  W/Dolphins (R)
At Buffalo

Vs. Jets

Vs. Patriots 

L/Packers (R)
L/Lions (H)

Vs. Chicago

At Minnesota 

W/Bengals (H)
L/Titans (R) 
L/Raiders (H)
L/Chargers (H)

W/Raiders (R)

W/Chiefs (R) 


3 Responses to “Numbers – Broncos vs. Chiefs”

  • November 14, 2011  - Chuck says:

    Bob; “Inept” is a very good choice of words for this offense. Go back thru all 9 games and it still is true for most all of them. This offense just doesn’t put up many points in most games.


  • November 14, 2011  - Niblick says:

    I guess for all the Cassell detractors, they are going to get their wish. Haley just confirmed he is going to have hand surgery and will be out this week. He didn’t say it, but he could be out the rest of the year. I hope Palko can at least be decent. This season has just turned into a disaster. I know Cassell is probably below average but when things were going well-running game, blocking etc, he seemed to be fairly good. I’m basing it primarily on last year.


  • November 14, 2011  - Johnfromwichita says:

    It isn’t all Cassell’s fault. This is the same Cassell as last year. He didn’t, on Sunday, drop all of those passes. He didn’t let the Broncos live in the Chiefs backfield. The real problem is the line. Can’t block for running and can’t block for passing. Your line can’t block you have a problem. Could Brian Waters made that much difference? If so, maybe Herm Haley has a problem. Dude, shave.




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