FanPost

Red Zone Play-by-Play -- What Just Happened?

     There has been a tremendous amount of discussion and analysis of Denver's Red Zone statistics, questions about what went wrong, discussion about Cutler locking in on Marshall way too much, etc. etc.  Once again, in reading through these wonderfully researched articles the curiosity bug once again bit me.  I found myself asking, "What just happened?"


   Rather than rehashing the cumulative statistics of the Broncos Red Zone performance in 2008, I found myself looking at the play-by-play records posted on the Denver team page at cbssportsline.com.  I concentrated solely on plays which occurred inside the opposing team's Red Zone.  I chose to look at what the Broncos did in the Red Zone during each quarter.  I also chose to look at what individual players did in the Red Zone.  I will not be quoting yardage or points, but rather runs, times targeted with a pass, and completions by players.  I did not find what I expected to find.  Here is a summary of Denver's 2008 plays in the Red Zone.

     The following information is included for each quarter: Number of possessions, Result of each possession (if it was a score, who scored and was it a run or pass), Runs in the Red Zone, Targeted in the Red Zone, Completed in the Red Zone, a general summary for each quarter, and some observations at the end.

1st Quarter
#1 TD (Pittman run) -- Runs: Hall 1, Pittman 2
#2 TD (Jackson pass) -- Runs: Pittman 1; Targeted: Marshall 1, Stokley 1, Jackson 1; Completed: Stokley 1, Jackson 1
#3 TD (Stokley pass) -- Runs: Pittman 1; Targeted: Stokley 2; Completed: Stokley 2
#4 TD (Royal pass) -- Runs: Torain 1; Targeted: Jackson 1, Royal 1; Completed: Royal 1
#5 TD (Torain run) -- Runs: Torain 2; Targeted: Royal 1; Completed: Royal 1
#6 TD (Hillis run) -- Runs: Hillis 1; Targeted: Marshall 1; Completed: Marshall 1
#7 FG -- Runs: Hillis 2; Targeted: Scheffler 1, Marshall 1; Completed: Scheffler 1
#8 TD (Hillis run) -- Runs: Hillis 1; Targeted: Royal 1; Completed: Royal 1; Other: Royal's catch award upon reversal    of call on field via challenge
#9 TD (Pope pass) -- Runs: Young 1; Targeted: Marshall 1, Pope 1; Completed: Pope 1
#10 TD (Cutler run) -- Runs: Cutler 2, Pope 1
#11 FG -- Targeted: Marshall 1, Stokley 1, Bell 1; Completed: Marshall 1

Summary:
11 Red zone possessions
9 Touchdowns
     5 by Runs: Hillis 2, Pittman 1, Torain 1, Cutler 1
     4 by Passes: Jackson 1, Stokley 1, Royal 1, Pope 1
2 Field Goals

14 Runs: Pittman 4, Hillis 4, Torain 3, Cutler 2, Hall 1, Young 1
16 Targeted: Marshall 5, Stokley 4, Royal 3, Jackson 2, Scheffler 1, Bell 1, Pope 1
10 Completed: Stokley 3, Royal 3, Marshall 2, Jackson 1, Scheffler 1, Pope 1

Other items of note: Royal received credit for 1 catch via reversal due to challenge

2nd Quarter
#1 FG -- Runs: Pittman 1; Targeted: Royal 1, Scheffler 1, Stokley 1; Completed: None; Other: Completion to Royal negated by illegal formation
#2 TD (Pittman run) -- Runs: Pittman 2
#3 TD (Scheffler pass) -- Runs: Pittman 1; Targeted: Jackson 1, Scheffler 1; Completed: Scheffler 1
#4 TD (Scheffler pass) -- Targeted: Scheffler 1; Completed: Scheffler 1
#5 TD (Marshall pass) -- Targeted: Stokley 1, Marshall 1; Completed: Marshall 1
#6 FG -- Runs: Young 2; Targeted: Stokley 1
#7 TD (Marshall pass) -- Runs: Young 1; Targeted: Marshall 1; Completed: Marshall 1
#8 FG missed -- Targeted: Stokley 1, Marshall 2; Completed: Stokley 1
#9 Fumble -- Runs: PIttman 1; Targeted: Marshall 1; Completed: Marshall 1
#10 FG -- Runs: Young 1; Targeted: Graham 1, Scheffler 1, Marshall 1; Completed: Marshall 1; Other: Scheffler pass negated by Offensive Pass Interference Penalty
#11 TD (Hillis run) -- Runs: Hillis 1
#12 FG -- Other: Ball spiked to stop the clock
#13 TD (Marshall pass) -- Runs: Bell 2, Cutler 1; Targeted: Royal 1, Marshall 1; Completed: Royal 1, Marshall 1; Other: False Start penalty
#14 FG -- Runs: Young 1; Targeted: Bell 1, Marshall 1; Completed: Bell 1
#15 INT -- Targeted: Scheffler 1; Other: Scheffler incompletion result of replay ruling

 

Summary:
15 Red Zone possessions
7 Touchdowns
     2 by Runs: Pittman 1, Hillis 1
     5 by Passes: Marshall 3, Scheffler 2
5 Field Goals
1 Missed Field Goal
1 Fumble
1 Interception

12 Runs: Pittman 5, Young 3, Bell 2, Hillis 1, Cutler 1
16 Targeted: Marshall 6, Scheffler 4, Stokley 3, Royal 2, Jackson 1
8 Completed: Marshall 4, Scheffler 2, Stokley 1, Royal 1

Other items of note: Royal had completion negated by Illegal Formation penalty; Scheffler pass completion negated by Offensive Pass Interference penalty; Ball spiked to stop clock; Scheffler completion over turned by replay ruling


3rd Quarter
#1 TD (Pittman run) -- Runs: Hall 1, Pittman 1; Targeted: Young 1
#2 FG -- Runs: Pittman 1
#3 TD (Stokley pass) -- Targeted: Stokley 1; Completed: Stokley 1
#4 FG -- Runs: Hillis 2, Cutler 1; Targeted: Marshall 1
#5 TD (Hillis run) -- Runs: Pope 2, Hillis 1; Targeted: Marshall 1, Pope 1
#6 FG -- Runs: Hillis 2; Targeted: Royal 1, Graham 1; Other: Defensive Pass Interference penalty
#7 TD (Hillis run) -- Runs: Royal 1, Hillis 1; Targeted: Scheffler 1, Hillis 1; Completed: Hillis 1
#8 INT -- Runs: Hillis 2; Targeted: Royal 1; Completed: Royal 1; Other: TD run by Hillis negated by Offensive Holding penalty
#9 FG -- Runs: Bell 1; Targeted: Stokley 1, Jackson 1; Completed: Jackson 1
#10 TD (Cutler run) -- Runs: Cutler 1; Targeted Stokley 1; Completed: Stokley 1
#11 DOWNS -- Targeted: Marshall 1, Bell 1, Stokley 2; Completed: Stokley 1

Summary:
11 Red Zone possessions
5 Touchdowns
     4 by Runs: Hillis 2, Pittman 1, Cutler 1
     1 by Pass: Stokley 1
4 Field Goals
1 Interception
1 Turnover on Downs

16 Runs: Hillis 8, PIttman 2, Cutler 2, Pope 2, Hall 1, Royal 1, Bell 1
17 Targeted: Stokley 5, Marshall 3, Royal 2, Young 1, Pope 1, Graham 1, Scheffler 1, Hillis 1, Jackson 1, Bell 1
6 Completed: Stokley 3, Hillis 1, Royal 1, Jackson 1

Other items of note: Drive kept alive by Defensive Pass Interference penalty; TD run by Hillis negated by Defensive Holding Penalty

4th Quarter
#1 TD (Young run) -- Runs: Hillis 1, Young 1
#2 TD (Pittman run) -- Runs: Hall 2, Hillis 1, Pittman 2; Targeted: Jackson 1; Completed: Jackson
#3 INT -- Targeted: Scheffler 1, Graham 1; Completed: Scheffler 1
#4 TD (Royal pass) -- Runs: Pittman 1, Young 1; Targeted: Marshall 2, Royal 1; Completed: Marshall 2, Royal 1; Other: Blown call by a referee negates fumble; 2 point conversion on pass to Royal
#5 Fumble -- Runs: Hall 1; Targeted: Scheffler 2, Russell 1
#6 FG -- Runs: Young 1; Targeted: Royal 2, Young 1; Completed: Royal 1
#7 FG -- Runs: Pittman 1, Hall 1; Targeted: Graham 1
#8 TD (Graham pass) -- Targeted: Marshall 1, Graham 1; Completed: Graham 1
#9 TD (Graham pass) -- Runs: Pittman 2; Targeted: Royal 1, Graham 1; Completed: Royal 1, Graham 1
#10 TD (Hillis pass) -- Targeted: Hillis 1; Completed: Hillis 1
#11 TD (Marshall pass) -- Targeted: Marshall 2; Completed: Marshall 1
#12 TD (Graham pass) -- Runs: Bell 2, Hillis 1; Targeted: Hillis 1, Scheffler 1, Graham 1; Completed: Hillis     1, Graham 1; Other: Offensive Holding penalty, False Start Penalty
#13 TD (Marshall pass) -- Targeted: Marshall 2; Completed: Marshall 2
#14 INT -- Targeted: Bell 1, Marshall 1
#15 DOWNS -- Targeted: Stokley 3, Graham 1; Completed: Graham 1

Summary:
15 Red Zone possessions
9 Touchdowns
     2 by Runs: Young 1, Pittman 1
     7 by Pass: Graham 3, Marshall 2, Royal 1, Hillis 1
2 Field Goals
2 Interception
1 Fumble
1 Turnover on Downs

18 Runs: Pittman 6, Hillis 4, Young 3, Hall 3, Bell 2
27 Targeted: Marshall 8, Graham 6, Scheffler 4, Royal 4, Hillis 2, Jackson 1, Russell 1, Bell 1
16 Completed: Marshall 5, Graham 4, Royal 3, Hillis 2, Jackson 1, Scheffler 1

Other items of note: Fumble negated by blown call by ref; 2-point conversion by pass to Royal; OffensIve Holding penalty; False Start penalty

 

Things that stand out:

1)The Broncos averaged less than 1 Red Zone possession per quarter per game.


2)Denver averaged just over 3 Red Zone possessions per game.


3) Red Zone possessions were relatively even distributed across the quarters, though the majority were in the 2nd and the 4th quarters.


4)Red Zone scoring was best in the 1st quarter (11/11 or 100%) and worst in the 4th quarter (11/15 or 73%).


5)Run/Pass plays were relatively balanced during the 1st 3 quarters (14/16, 12/16, 16/17), but skewed in favor of passes during the 4th (18/27).


6)Completion/Targeted ratio was best in the 1st quarter (10/16 or 63%) and worst in the 3rd quarter (35%).


7)The 4th  quarter was the worst for Red Zone possessions ending in turnovers (missed FG, Int, Fumble, Downs) with 4/15 (27%).  The 1st quarter was the best with 0/11.

8)Marshall was the most targeted receiver in the Red Zone (22 throws to), followed by Stokley (12), Royal (11),Scheffler (10), Graham (7), Jackson (5), Bell & Hillis (3), Pope (2), Young & Russell (1).


9)All of the throws to Graham occurred in the 2nd half.


10)Royal has the highest completion percentage (73%), followed by Hillis (67%), Jackson (60%), Stokley (58%), Graham (57%), Marshall and Pope (50%), Scheffler (40%), Bell, Young & Russell (0%).

11)Sheffler never scored in the Red Zone in the 2nd half while Graham only scored in the Red Zone in the 4th quarter.

12)Not counting Prater's FG, Hillis was the leading Red Zone scorer with 6 touchdowns, followed by Marshall (5), Pittman (4), Graham (3), Cutler & Scheffler (2), Torain, Young, Jackson, Stokley, Pope & Royal (1).

I am sure there are other patterns and facts that can be gleaned from looking at Denver's play selections within the Red Zone and I look forward to seeing what other people take away from this information.

This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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