This defense wasn't just bad. In fact if you examine it right down the line, this was the worst defense in franchise history in almost every single meaningfull category. Many of the lows blew the previous lows right out of sight.
Most points given up since 1963:
448 or 28 ppg. Allowed 24+ points 10 times. (We won every game when we held opponent to under 24 points)
In the modern era (when the season expanded to 16 games in 1978)
Turnovers created: 13 for the year! The previous low was 20 set 3 times.
Interceptions: 6 interceptions. I repeat 6 interceptions the entire season. second worse was 12.
Yards allowed: 5992 worst in franchise history
Yards per Play: 6.1 worst in franchise history
Sacks: 26. Our 2 sacks tonight helped us finish 3rd to worst in franchise history! Our best statistical category
Completion %: 66.7 worst in franchise history
QB rating: 98.3 worst in franchise history
Yards Per Carry: 5.0! (4.982) worst in franchise history
Here are some interesting stats:
Jay Cutler is 17-20 in his career as a starter for Denver.
In Cutler's 37 starts we have given up 23 or more points 25 times and our record is 6-19 in those games.
Jay Cutler is 11-1 as an NFL starter when his team gives up less than 23 points. The only loss coming to Green Bay in Overtime.
-In 2008 the average NFL team scored 22 points a game.
-In 2007 the average NFL team scored 21.7 points a game.
-In 2006 the average NFL team scored 23.6 points a game.
-If we can merely get a defense somewhere near average in points allowed, we will have a close to elite NFL team.
-IF we can get a defense that is near average in creating turnovers (it will have the domino effect of running game +efficient offense) that will give our offense more scoring opportunities we will be an elite team.
ACHIEVABLE GOALS FOR 2009
-Move into the low 20's in points, yards and turnovers created. That will allow the offense more opportunities and breathing room at the same time. The net result of which is a more balanced offense and a team that is capable of more explosive plays and efficiency. The offensive balance created by near average defense allows for flexibility in all areas of the field.
It's pretty exciting. We went from a slightly above average offense last year into an elite one this year. Clearly we ignored the defense in the off-season . By simply moving into the low 20's on defense and special teams, plus not having a freak injury year at RB, it's pretty safe to assume we are a 11-14 win team.
It's not that tough of a formula. And we are one off-season away from bieng able to compete in the playoffs for a SB every year under this blueprint/core.