Broncos Horse Whisperings-Week 15 Edition

Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas of the Broncos catches a touchdown pass in the 4th quarter against the Chicago Bears on December 11, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Bears 13-10 in overtime. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

The 8-5 Denver Broncos will play host to the 10-3 New England Patriots this Sunday in a matchup of two 1st place teams. The weekly Media guide has been released so we can check out the Meadow Muffins and Bear droppings from last Sunday's game against Chicago. We will also revisit some player achievements and view a few charts while we're at it.

First and Ten

  • The Broncos and the Bears combined for zero 1st-half points, the 8th time that has ever happened in team history. The Broncos have a 6-2 all-time record in games tied 0-0 at the half.
  • Three weeks in a row now, Matt Prater has kicked the game winning Field Goal on the final play. He beat San Diego with a 37-yard kick in overtime in Week 12. At Minnesota, he booted a 23-yarder as time expired in the 4th quarter in Week 13, and then on Sunday. Matt finished off Chicago with a 51-yard Field Goal in overtime. He has four game-winning kicks on the season, which is tied for 2nd most for a single season in team annals.
  • Denver set a franchise record with its 3rd overtime victory of the season.
  • The Broncos have reeled off six wins in a row to tie for the 4th-most consecutive wins in a single season in franchise history, becoming one of only three teams in NFL history to win at least six consecutive games after starting a season 2-5 or worse.
  • Linebacker Von Miller tied Rulon Jones Broncos rookie sack record with his 11.5th sack of the season on Sunday. Those 11.5 sacks in his first 12 career games rank 3rd in NFL history behind Leslie O’Neal (San Diego, 1986 – 12.5) and Julius Peppers, who had 12 sacks with Carolina in 2002.
  • The Broncos ran their multi-sack streak to 12 games. They took down Bears Quarterback Caleb Hanie four times on Sunday. DJ Williams had two Sacks and Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil had one each. The 12 game streak is the longest in the NFL.
  • Denver is tied with the undefeated Green Bay Packers (13-0) for the most wins (6) in the NFL since Week 9.
  • The Broncos entered the 4th quarter of Games 8-12 within three points of their opponent, marking just the 3rd time in NFL history a team has recorded such a stretch. They are the only team to go undefeated in those games.
  • Now in their 6th decade of professional football, the Broncos are one of just four teams to record three 90+ win decades since 1960 and the only organization to do so in each of the last three decades.
  • Denver has outscored their opponents 72-64 in the 3rd Quarter.
  • The Broncos’ 306-game scoring streak is the longest active streak in the league. The streak began on Monday Night Football with a 16-13 overtime loss at Seattle on Nov. 30, 1992 and is the 2nd-longest such streak in NFL history.


Second and Four

  • The Broncos’ 306-game scoring streak is the longest active streak in the NFL (dates back to 1992) and ranks 2nd all time in league annals.
  • Owner/CEO Pat Bowlen is in his 28th season as owner of the Broncos in 2011, and his club’s 263 regular-season wins rank 2nd in the NFL (1st in AFC) during his tenure.
  • The Broncos’ five Super Bowl appearances under Bowlen are the 2nd most in the NFL since he purchased the team in 1984.
  • The Broncos own the NFL’s best overall home record of 219-84 (.723) since 1975 and have posted a league-best 5 undefeated home schedules in the 16-game regular-season era since 1978.

OFFENSE

  • Quarterback Tim Tebow has accounted for 9 Touchdowns (7 passing, 2 rushing) and just four turnovers in 200 touches during Denver’s 6 game winning streak.
  • WR Eric Decker is tied for sixth in the NFL with eight receiving touchdowns in 2011.
  • RB Willis McGahee leads the Broncos with 920 rushing yards and is tied for the NFL lead with six individual 100-yard rushing games.
  • The Broncos have the league’s top rushing attack (156.2 ypg) after totaling 1,684 rushing yards (187.1 ypg) over its last 9 games. The most productive nine-game rushing stretch in team history.
  • Denver leads the NFL with 18 individual 100-yard rushers since 1995, totaling an NFL-best 135.3 rushing yards per game during that stretch.
MOST RUSHING YARDS PER GAME, 1995-PRESENT


Team Yds./G
Denver
135.3
Pittsburgh
130.2
Kansas City
125.5
Jacksonville
124.7
Minnesota
124.5


Tim Tebow owns the 3rd-highest 4th-Quarter passer rating in the NFL, having accounted for 56.7 percent of his yardage and 54.5 percent of his passing Touchdowns in the final period this season.


HIGHEST FOURTH-QUARTER PASSER RATING, NFL, 2011 (min. 50 att.)
Player
TDs INTs Passer Rating
Eli Manning, NYG
14 4 117.0
Aaron Rodgers, G.B.
9 4 112.6
Tim Tebow, Den.
6 1 111.0
Tony Romo, Dal.
9 2 103.9
Tom Brady, N.E.
10 4 100.5



DEFENSE

  • Elvis Dumervil ranks 3rd in the NFL in Sacks per game (.70) and has posted the 3rd-most 2+sack games (14) in the league since his rookie season in 2006.
  • LB Von Miller leads all NFL rookies and ranks 7th overall in the NFL with 11.5 sacks (77 yds.) this season despite missing Week 13 due to a thumb injury.
  • The Broncos are tied for 4th in the NFL with 37 sacks on the season and have totaled at least 3 sacks in five consecutive games.
MOST GAMES WITH AT LEAST A HALF SACK, BRONCOS (Since 1982)

Player Year No.
Simon Fletcher
1991 12
Von Miller
2011 10
Alfred Williams
1996 10
Simon Fletcher
1993 10


MOST SACKS BY A ROOKIE THROUGH FIRST 12 GAMES, NFL HISTORY (Since 1982)


Player
Year
No.
Leslie O’Neal, S.D.
1986 12
Julius Peppers, Car.
2002 12
Von Miller, Den.
2011 11.5
Mike Croel, Den.
1991 10
Derrick Thomas, K.C
1989 10
Hugh Douglas, NYJ
1995 10


Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams, who was the only player in the NFL in 2010 to lead his team in both tackles (119) and sacks (5.5), is one of five players in the NFL with at least 700 tackles and 20 sacks since his rookie season in 2004.

He has started at least 11 games in each of his first seven professional seasons with Denver while seeing time at the weakside, middle, strong side and inside positions. In 2011, he returns to the weakside linebacker position, which he manned during his rookie season in 2004 and again in 2008. D.J. also ranks sixth in the NFL in tackles (550) since 2007 according to press box statistics.

D.J. WILLIAMS, YEAR-BY-YEAR POSITIONS

Year
Position
GP GS Tackles
2004 Weakside
16 14 114
2005 Strongside
16 14 68
2006 Strongside
16 15 86
2007 Middle
16 16 170
2008 Weakside
11 11 103
2009 Inside
16 16 122
2010 Inside
16 15 119
2011 Weakside
10 10 75
Totals
117 111 857


SPECIAL TEAMS

  • P Britton Colquitt ranks 3rd in the NFL in net punting average (41.5) and is on pace to set the franchise single-season mark in that category, which is currently held by P Mike Horan (38.9; 1990).
  • Colquitt became one of just two players in NFL history to post a 50-yard gross average along with a 43-yard net average during a single month (min. 20 att.).
  • In four games in October, Colquitt punted 24 times for a 50.3-yard average (43.5 net) with 4 punts inside the 20 and zero touchbacks.
  • Denver is the only team in the NFL to rank in the Top 3 in Kickoff Return average (27.8 - 3rd) and Punt Return average (13.5 - 3rd).
  • K Matt Prater has converted 28-of-29 career Field Goals in the 4th quarter or Overtime.
  • Prater is the first player since K Chris Jacke (Ari., 1998, Weeks 15-17) to kick a game-winning Field Goal on the last play of the game in three consecutive contests. Matt has converted 4 game-winning Field Goals on the last play of the game to tie for the 2nd most in a single season in NFL history. He also owns the best Field Goal percentage from 50+ yards out (.750 / 12-of-16) in NFL history among players who started their career after 1970.
  • Prater has converted on 17-of-23 (.739) Field Goals this season and owns the 2nd-highest Field Goal percentage in franchise history (min. 50 att.). The 5th-year player has made 88-of-110 (80.0%) Field Goals as a Bronco.
HIGHEST CAREER FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE, BRONCOS HISTORY (min. 50 att.)


Player
Years
Md Att Pct.
Jason Elam
1993-2007 395 490 80.6
Matt Prater
2007-Pres. 88 110 80.0
David Treadwell
1989-92 99 127 78.0
Rich Karlis
1982-88
137 193 71.0
Fred Steinfort
1979-81
43 64 67.2


  • Prater tied his career long with a 59-yard Field Goal against Chicago in Week 14.
  • He owns three of the six longest Field Goals in franchise history, with his two career 59-yarders trailing only kicker Jason Elam’s NFL record tying 63-yarder against Jacksonville in 1998.
  • Matt has produced touchbacks on 40-of-57 Kickoffs this season to rank 2nd in the NFL with his 70.2 percentage.
  • He also ranks 2nd in the league with 107 touchbacks on kickoffs since 2008.
  • Prater has converted on two of the eight longest Overtime Field Goals in league history.
  • The Broncos kicker missed his 1st career Field Goal attempt in the 4th quarter or Overtime in Week 10 against Kansas City.
  • Prior to that miss from 41 yards against the Chiefs, he had made 22 consecutive Field Goals in the 4th quarter or Overtime to begin his career to rank 2nd in league history among kickers who started their career after the 1970 NFL merger.


The Broncos will go for their 7th win in a row on Sunday against the New England Patriots as they close in on clinching a playoff berth.

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