The Broncos D had been improving every week after getting schooled on 3rd and long to start the season. This culminated in a superb effort against the Faiders in which they were held to 0 for 6 on 3rd and long. Suffice it to say the the Pats offense is better than the Faiders. The Pats did to our D what the Steelers had done. Read on if you have a strong stomach; the numbers might cause you to lose your lunch.
After week four the D had improved to only allowing 41% conversion on 3rd and Long (24/58). Remember, I define "Long" as 7 or more yards to go on 3rd down. Against the Pats the Broncos allowed 5 of 7 to be converted. Here are the situations and the outcomes
|3rd and 8 at DEN 17||(Shotgun) T.Brady pass short middle to B.Lloyd to DEN 8 for 9 yards (C.Bailey).|
|3rd and 10 at NE 20||(Shotgun) T.Brady pass short right to W.Welker to NE 34 for 14 yards (R.Moore; C.Harris).|
|3rd and 14 at NE 11||(No Huddle, Shotgun) T.Brady pass short right to D.Woodhead to NE 36 for 25 yards (M.Adams; J.Mays).|
|3rd and 7 at NE 22||(No Huddle, Shotgun) T.Brady sacked at NE 19 for -3 yards (V.Miller).|
|3rd and 17 at NE 43||D.Woodhead left end to DEN 38 for 19 yards (C.Harris).|
|3rd and 12 at NE 18||(Shotgun) T.Brady pass deep middle to D.Branch to NE 43 for 25 yards (T.Porter).|
|3rd and 16 at NE 48||(Shotgun) T.Brady sacked at NE 44 for -4 yards (V.Miller).|
The two that stick in my head from yesterday were the two longest - the 25 yards bubble screen to Woodhead on 3rd and 14, and the 19 yard Woodhead draw play on 3rd on 17. Also note that on the two stops we sacked Brady.
Overall the D is credited with allowing 11-16 3rd down conversions (not counting the kneel-down). Both the numbers on 3rd and short or medium (6-9, 67%) and on 3rd and long (71%) are atrocious. Admittedly I am not counting the kneel-down to end the game (which was technically on 3rd and 12) as a stop on 3rd and long, but even adding that back in doesn't help the numbers much.
The D entered the game having improved all the way up to 41% overall on allowing 3rd down conversions. The poor performance against the Pats moved that number back up to 47%. We currently rank 4th worst in the league in the that category. The Texans are the best in the league allowing only 25% conversion on 3rd down. Despite surrendering 52 points to the Pats in week 4, the Bills only allowed the Pats to convert 4 of 11 3rd downs (37%).
Let's hope our D only allows the Sparklers to convert 42% (or less) on 3rd down - which is what they are currently doing - next Sunday.
On a side note the Broncos are number -6 in turnover DIFFERENCE (A minus B is a difference, not a differential). At -6 we are fourth worst in the league ahead of only the Cowboys and Eagles (-7) and the woeful Chiefs (-15).