FanPost

Analyzing the Defense Broncos@Vikings: A Collaborative Effort

Hey everyone! By now you’ve probably figured out that I’m a stats junkie and love to analyze games and players through numbers as one perspective of how things are going. One of the great things about MHR and our community is that we share a lot of thoughts and ideas with each other as games are played and the season goes on. Well, I’ve partnered up with another MHR member to bring you guys a slightly different take on stats and analysis.

SD guy and myself have been shooting emails to each other, and one of the things that we want to do more in depth is analyze the defense. We started to think about the different possible plays and outcomes that can occur on a given play. This led us to developing a sort of ‘points’ system to evaluate our defense as a whole, and from drive to drive. This is a pretty new idea or a slightly different way to look at things, so it may need a little adjustment as we go forward. As far as this week goes, SD guy gave me the go ahead to post for the Vikings game, so here we go. Just remember even though I’m posting it, we both came up with this together and he deserves kudos as well! He will be working on the S.D. game going backwards and our hope is to come up with a constant way of evaluating our team as we move forward.

The points system:

Negative plays for the Broncos Defense:

TD ALLOWED

-7

2-PT CONVERSION

-5

FG ALLOWED

-4

BIG PLAY 20+ YARDS

-2

PENALTY +15/FOR 1ST DOWN

-2

3RD DOWN CONVERSION

-2

FIRST DOWN

-1

PENALTY

-1

Positive plays for the Broncos Defense:

TD SCORED

+7

SAFETY

+5

TURNOVER

+3

3RD DOWN STOP

+2

NEGATIVE GAINS

+2

OFFENSIVE PENALTIES 10+

+2

OFFENSIVE PENALTIES

+1

NO GAIN

+1

Methods behind our madness

We wanted to have a system where impact plays and more important plays are weighted with a larger value, either positive or negative. Obviously a defensive 5-yd penalty is not as detrimental as allowing points to be scored. No gains should have less value than plays that go for negative yardage etc. Notice that as we go from more routine plays to more impactful plays, the value increases with a TD being the highest value a play can register. These values help add to the overall value of the drive as it develops or is stuffed. Oh some of you might be wondering "Why the hell is a safety, two point conversion, and FG worth more than face value?" Here it is: A safety is worth 5 because of its point value (2), plus a turnover (3). After all, the opposing offense gets the ball after a safety and usually in pretty good field position because of the punt. A two-point conversion is worth 5 because of its rarity and inherit value. How many times do we see a 2 point conversion attempt let alone a conversion? Well I’ll tell you with the Broncos, it’s been twice, once against Miami, once against Minnesota. Both tied the game late, without those plays we probably lose. Remember clutch and more valuable plays are worth more points. So why a FG? As a scoring play its value is one point more to make up for other possible factors that would skew or trivialize its value. We want this to be as accurate as possible.

Another thing we wanted to do was to give more weight to a ‘Big play’. We all know what these are when we are watching games, they are momentum shifters and builders. So how do we go about giving them their proper value? Well, a play can qualify for more than one category. For example, a 20 yard TD pass on 3rd and 10 would qualify as a 3rd down conversion, a play of 20 or more yards, and a TD, bringing its overall value from 7 points to 11 points. Those of you that play fantasy football are used to this sort of thing because in a PPR league, a 70 yard TD reception by your WR will give you 14 points (6 for the TD, 7 for the yardage, and 1 for the reception) Well even though this is meant to be a much more serious analysis of what is going on, that is a good analogy to use.

This is cool stuff, stay with us!

So here it is, using the BroncoMike/SDguy system haha! Each drive is labeled and presented below in order as they occurred in the game. Each grid has two sections, the top one is the plays the Vikings offense made (this corresponds to their negative value), the bottom one is the plays the Broncos defense made (this corresponds to their positive value). At the end of it is a category called “composite score”. This is simply the score after the negative and positive plays are added up. In general terms, a positive number means our defense had success and a negative number indicates that our defense struggled. The higher the number each way kind of tells us to what extent they were or were not successful.

Drive

QTR

Penalty

-1

1st Down

-1

3rdDown

Conv.

-2

Pen+15/1st

-2

20+YD

Play

-2

FG

-4

2PT

-5

TD

-7

Negative Total

Composite

1/1st

I

-2

No gain

+1

Off Penalty

+1

Off

P+10

+2

Negative

Play

+2

3rdDown

Stop

+2

TO

+3

SFT

+5

TD

+7

Positive

Total

1/1st

I

I

I

I

+6

+4

Result: Punt

Drive

QTR

Penalty

-1

1st Down

-1

3rdDown

Conv.

-2

Pen+15/1st

-2

20+YD

Play

-2

FG

-4

2PT

-5

TD

-7

Negative Total

Composite

2/1st

III

I

-5

No gain

+1

Off Penalty

+1

Off

P+10

+2

Negative

Play

+2

3rdDown

Stop

+2

TO

+3

SFT

+5

TD

+7

Positive

Total

2/1st

I

I

I

I

+8

+3

Result: Vikings fumble near Bronco Redzone

Drive

QTR

Penalty

-1

1st Down

-1

3rdDown

Conv.

-2

Pen+15/1st

-2

20+YD

Play

-2

FG

-4

2PT

-5

TD

-7

Negative Total

Composite

3/1st

0

No gain

+1

Off Penalty

+1

Off

P+10

+2

Negative

Play

+2

3rdDown

Stop

+2

TO

+3

SFT

+5

TD

+7

Positive

Total

3/1st

I

I

+10

+10

Result: Mario Haggan pick 6

Drive

QTR

Penalty

-1

1st Down

-1

3rdDown

Conv.

-2

Pen+15/1st

-2

20+YD

Play

-2

FG

-4

2PT

-5

TD

-7

Negative Total

Composite

4/1st

0

No gain

+1

Off Penalty

+1

Off

P+10

+2

Negative

Play

+2

3rdDown

Stop

+2

TO

+3

SFT

+5

TD

+7

Positive

Total

4/1st

II

I

+6

+6

Result: Punt

Drive

QTR

Penalty

-1

1st Down

-1

3rdDown

Conv.

-2

Pen+15/1st

-2

20+YD

Play

-2

FG

-4

2PT

-5

TD

-7

Negative Total

Composite

5/1st

I

I

-5

No gain

+1

Off Penalty

+1

Off

P+10

+2

Negative

Play

+2

3rdDown

Stop

+2

TO

+3

SFT

+5

TD

+7

Positive

Total

5/1st

II

I

I

+6

+1

Result: Vikings FG on short field after Bronco turnover

Drive

QTR

Penalty

-1

1st Down

-1

3rdDown

Conv.

-2

Pen+15/1st

-2

20+YD

Play

-2

FG

-4

2PT

-5

TD

-7

Negative Total

Composite

6/2nd

I

I

-3

No gain

+1

Off Penalty

+1

Off

P+10

+2

Negative

Play

+2

3rdDown

Stop

+2

TO

+3

SFT

+5

TD

+7

Positive

Total

6/2nd

I

I

+4

+1

Result: Punt

Drive

QTR

Penalty

-1

1st Down

-1

3rdDown

Conv.

-2

Pen+15/1st

-2

20+YD

Play

-2

FG

-4

2PT

-5

TD

-7

Negative Total

Composite

7/2nd

II

III

I

I

-17

No gain

+1

Off Penalty

+1

Off

P+10

+2

Negative

Play

+2

3rdDown

Stop

+2

TO

+3

SFT

+5

TD

+7

Positive

Total

7/2nd

I

II

+5

-12

Result: Vikings TD

Drive

QTR

Penalty

-1

1st Down

-1

3rdDown

Conv.

-2

Pen+15/1st

-2

20+YD

Play

-2

FG

-4

2PT

-5

TD

-7

Negative Total

Composite

8/2nd

I

-1

No gain

+1

Off Penalty

+1

Off

P+10

+2

Negative

Play

+2

3rdDown

Stop

+2

TO

+3

SFT

+5

TD

+7

Positive

Total

8/2nd

I

I

+3

+2

Result: Punt

Drive

QTR

Penalty

-1

1st Down

-1

3rdDown

Conv.

-2

Pen+15/1st

-2

20+YD

Play

-2

FG

-4

2PT

-5

TD

-7

Negative Total

Composite

9/2nd

I

I

-5

No gain

+1

Off Penalty

+1

Off

P+10

+2

Negative

Play

+2

3rdDown

Stop

+2

TO

+3

SFT

+5

TD

+7

Positive

Total

9/2nd

I

-1

+4

Result: Vikings FG on short field after Bronco turnover

1st half positive plays for the Vikings offense: -38

1st half positive plays for the Broncos defense: +49

Composite Score: +11

Points Allowed: 13

What do the numbers tell us about the first half?

Well with an overall positive score, the Broncos defense did a great job of making plays and compensating for the ineptitude and mistakes of the Broncos offense. Even though they gave up 13 points on defense, they still have a positive score…Why? Remember big plays matter. In this half we had a pick 6 and fumble recovery that negated at least a FG by the Vikings offense. Not only that, but the Broncos defense held the Vikings to FG’s twice after being put in bad situations by the Offenses’ turnovers. Normally, the numbers would be more in line with the score, but rightfully so, the weight of the big plays tells another compelling story. One in which the Broncos defense stepped up and contributed points and stopped the bleeding. Overall this was a great half for the Broncos defense under the circumstances. Out of 9 drives, they only allowed one substantial drive, which in this case also resulted in a TD. Given the points that were left out there, we could have been behind at least 24-7 or even more. Onward!

Drive

QTR

Penalty

-1

1st Down

-1

3rdDown

Conv.

-2

Pen+15/1st

-2

20+YD

Play

-2

FG

-4

2PT

-5

TD

-7

Negative Total

Composite

10/3rd

I

I

-1

No gain

+1

Off Penalty

+1

Off

P+10

+2

Negative

Play

+2

3rdDown

Stop

+2

TO

+3

SFT

+5

TD

+7

Positive

Total

10/3rd

II

I

+4

+3

Result: Punt

Drive

QTR

Penalty

-1

1st Down

-1

3rdDown

Conv.

-2

Pen+15/1st

-2

20+YD

Play

-2

FG

-4

2PT

-5

TD

-7

Negative Total

Composite

11/3rd

II

I

I

I

-13

No gain

+1

Off Penalty

+1

Off

P+10

+2

Negative

Play

+2

3rdDown

Stop

+2

TO

+3

SFT

+5

TD

+7

Positive

Total

11/3rd

I

I

+3

-10

Result: Vikings TD

Drive

QTR

Penalty

-1

1st Down

-1

3rdDown

Conv.

-2

Pen+15/1st

-2

20+YD

Play

-2

FG

-4

2PT

-5

TD

-7

Negative Total

Composite

12/4th

I

-2

No gain

+1

Off Penalty

+1

Off

P+10

+2

Negative

Play

+2

3rdDown

Stop

+2

TO

+3

SFT

+5

TD

+7

Positive

Total

12/4th

I

I

+3

+1

Result: Punt

Drive

QTR

Penalty

-1

1st Down

-1

3rdDown

Conv.

-2

Pen+15/1st

-2

20+YD

Play

-2

FG

-4

2PT

-5

TD

-7

Negative Total

Composite

13/4th

I

I

I

I

-12

No gain

+1

Off Penalty

+1

Off

P+10

+2

Negative

Play

+2

3rdDown

Stop

+2

TO

+3

SFT

+5

TD

+7

Positive

Total

13/4th

I

+1

-11

Result: Vikings TD

Drive

QTR

Penalty

-1

1st Down

-1

3rdDown

Conv.

-2

Pen+15/1st

-2

20+YD

Play

-2

FG

-4

2PT

-5

TD

-7

Negative Total

Composite

14/4th

I

II

I

I

-11

No gain

+1

Off Penalty

+1

Off

P+10

+2

Negative

Play

+2

3rdDown

Stop

+2

TO

+3

SFT

+5

TD

+7

Positive

Total

14/4th

II

I

I

I

+8

-3

Result: Vikings FG

Drive

QTR

Penalty

-1

1st Down

-1

3rdDown

Conv.

-2

Pen+15/1st

-2

20+YD

Play

-2

FG

-4

2PT

-5

TD

-7

Negative Total

Composite

15/4th

0

No gain

+1

Off Penalty

+1

Off

P+10

+2

Negative

Play

+2

3rdDown

Stop

+2

TO

+3

SFT

+5

TD

+7

Positive

Total

15/4th

I

+3

+3

Result: Vikings turnover to seal the game

2nd half positive plays for the Vikings offense: -39

2nd half positive plays for the Broncos defense: +23

Composite Score: -16

Points Allowed: 17

What do the numbers tell us about the second half?

The composite score of -16 falls more in line of the 17 points that the Broncos defense allowed. Why? Less big plays. Outside of the Goodman pick at the end of the game, the Broncos struggled mightily and gave up huge plays and scoring drives to the Vikings offense. Out of 6 drives in the second half, 3 of them accounted for scores. Contrast that in the first half (when the Broncos D had a positive composite score) where the Vikings had 9 drives and only 3 accounted for scores (two being on short fields after the Bronco turnovers).

Final game analysis

POSITIVE PLAYS FOR THE VIKINGS OFFENSE: -77

POSITIVE PLAYS FOR THE BRONCOS DEFENSE: +72

COMPOSITE SCORE: -5 for the game

Points Allowed: 30

Pretty cool how the final composite score for the Broncos at -5 mirrors pretty well not only what happened, but the close outcome of the final score. Bottom line is that a defense can’t give up 30 points and expect to have a positive score. But the only reason that it isn’t out of hand is because it also made some very big plays at crucial times. True the defense gave up 30, but they also were directly responsible for 13 more off of turnovers, including the game-winning FG. OK MHR, that’s all for now, I’m going to post the Broncos offense for this game tomorrow. Thank you for reading, please feel free to ask any questions! It’s great to work with you on this SDguy!

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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