Total points allowed by quarter:
First quarter - 40
Second quarter - 55
Third quarter - 58
Fourth quarter - 70
The first quarter is skewed a lot thanks to the Raiders game, but the fourth quarter numbers do not lie, as the Raiders didn't score at all in the fourth quarter:
Fourth-quarter game-by-game breakdown:
Jacksonville - 7
Seattle - 7
Indianapolis - 7
Tennessee - 0
Baltimore - 14
New York Jets - 14
Oakland - 0
San Francisco - 21
We all know the story of the Jacksonville game and McBean's two face mask penalties to set up a late touchdown to take the lead, and that's where you'd like to see your defense give up a field goal at least. There was a point in the Seattle game where it looked like they were going to make a come back against Denver's defense, but Dawkins made a nice interception and Hasslebeck made the mistake of challenging Champ on a fourth down pass. The defense folded late against the Colts on Manning's completion to Collie on a third and 15 play. The Tennessee game was a great defensive display all around, and many were praising Martindale. Then things began to fall apart on the defense...
Baltimore beat up the Broncos, scoring early and often. The defense came back against the Jets on an Orange Sunday and played with passion, but once again, failed in the fourth quarter as they gave up 14 points and a crucial pass interference penalty at the end of the game to take the lead. Oakland - not going to say anything about that game. The Broncos' D played very well through three quarters against the 49ers and collapsed once again in the fourth quarter.
Obviously the entire blame can't be pinned on the defense -- even though it can somehow be pinned on Orton or McDaniels -- but it's hard to come away with a victory when teams are averaging 27.8 points a game against you (23 without the Raiders game).