FanPost

By the numbers: week 8, Washington

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Whew. I'm really glad we got our first loss out of the way. I had a bad feeling about this game. There were a number of folks who were writing some pretty ballsy posts about how we were going to crush the Colts. I always cringe when I see that type of thing because overconfidence often bites a person in the butt eventually. I began to get nervous the team was equally over confident. This was a great loss in that there will be many lessons for all three phases to be learned. I would expect us to be better going forward as a consequence. A few thoughts about the Indy game.

2

We had two drives (the 1st and 3rd of the game) where we gained 9 yds by Moreno on 1st down, nothing on 2nd down, and then nothing on a Moreno run up the middle on 3rd down. It made me wonder if McCoy was back calling plays. These 3 and outs were very costly for a number of reasons IMO. Firstly, we wasted our best runs of the night. Instead of developing the running game, we decided our running game wouldn't work because we failed on 3rd down. We needed a running game in this game and never got it going, despite getting 9 yards on our first two 1st down runs. We don't have a running back that can convert us a 3rd and 1 up the middle consistently (maybe at least try Ball? Or CJ?) so we need to be more creative. Moreno was awful in this game outside of those first down plays. Hillman had a nice run but then helped Indy insert the dagger late with his fumble. (And why the helter did HE get the ball in that situation?!)

Denver 85, Indy 64

This game was lost in the 2nd and 3rd periods. It's actually worth looking at the drive charts because this game was a great example of the importance of field position. We really sucked in this area. Each team had 8 drives in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. We had an average field of 85 yards and they had an average field of 64 yards. We were spotting them 20+ yards each time they got the ball (on average)! It is one of the unique characteristics about the game of football that other games don't have: you can change the length of the field for the opponent. Even the great PFM will struggle to win when he's playing on a field that's 20 yards longer than his opponent. If you take this into consideration, you have to appreciate how our defense played. They were at a huge disadvantage.

154

Indy only needed to move the ball 154 yards to score 4 TD. Their longest drive was 66 yards. My point here is that Indy scored so many points because of a short field, not because our defense was worthless. It wasn't like the Dallas game in that regard. Our defense was better in this game than it has been. Both Indy's running backs had their worst games of the season running the ball. We held Luck to a season low (tied with Seattle actually) 55% completion percentage. He simply had a much shorter field to work with all game long. Take heart Broncofanatics, our defense is improving.

6 yd penalty: Caldwell

IMO this was the biggest play of the game because of the string of consequences to it, though most people will certainly have forgotten about it. Let me set this up, 2nd Quarter, Von had just stopped Richardson for a loss on 3rd and 1 and Indy had to punt. McAfee bombed a 60 yard punt, then:

Holliday catches it at the 12 and returns it for 17 yards to the 29, but wait...Caldwell is called for holding, half the distance to the goal, so instead of the 29, we START AT THE 6! We lose 23 yards of field position!! Not only that, but now we are limited with what we can do from a playbook standpoint. We're backed up in the noise, and the pass rush gets released. Mathis dials up his strip sack on 3rd down and the game begins to slip away. That holding penalty was HUGE. It perpetuated the field position disadvantage and set up Mathis to do his damage. It was the turning point play that set the table for the turning point play! If we start at the 29, even if Mathis does get a strip sack on 3rd down there is certainly no safety.

9 vs 7

Speaking of the strip sack—it would have been much more preferable if Indy would have recovered that ball in the EZ for a TD instead of a SAF. The game would have had a completely different math to it. The fact that Indy scored the SAF likely led Fox to try for the 2 pt conversion later on. When we missed on it, we were in effect 3 points down, whereas had Indy gotten the TD off the sack/fumble directly, they wouldn't have the 2 and we'd have the XP on that TD instead. That 3 point swing would have made the math at the end entirely different. It would have also kept our defense off the field and given Manning more time earlier in the game to get going. But of course without Caldwell's holding penalty, this all would be a moot point. I will be surprised if another ST penalty has bigger ramifications this season.

-2

A minus 2 turnover ratio will lose you a lot of games, regardless of who you are playing. That has to change folks if we want to win a SB, history says so. More on that in future weeks...

Coaches get an F grade.

I had to wonder numerous times if our coaching staff had taken the week off. It seemed like they weren't at all prepared. It reminded me of the playoff game 2 years ago in New England. Awful.

I could go on and on about this game. Indy has a great, but "handsy" secondary. They are a good team, and took advantage of us being "out of it" like good teams do. We were out of sorts but almost came back and for that I'm thankful. Add 3 minutes to that game and I think we win it. Indy is probably the next best team in the AFC so it was a good test. We can beat them in the playoffs.

WASHINGTON

The "Actual" row is the current team stat after 7 weeks.

The "Expected" row is the average of the opposing teams' games.

The resulting "Difference" row suggests whether a team is out performing or under performing their opponents. Please note that on offense we want a positive number, on defense a negative one.

Offense

QB Rating

Yds/Rush

3rd D Conv. %

Turnovers

Points

Denver Actual

122.7

3.8

52.8

13

298

Denver Expected

91.4

4.1

39.8

10.7

175

Denver Difference

31.3*

-0.3

13.0*

-2.3

123*

Wash. Actual

83.4

5.1

39.2

10

152

Wash. Expected

91.2

4.1

38.4

12

147

Wash. Difference

-7.8

1.0*

0.8

2*

5

DEN

WAS

DEN

WAS

DEN

Defense

QB Rating

Yds/Rush

3rd D Conv. %

Turnovers

Points

Denver Actual

89.4

3.3

36.7

11

197

Denver Expected

81.8

3.9

36.6

12.4

148

Denver Difference

7.6

-0.6*

0.1

1.4

49

Wash. Actual

102.1

4.6

36

9

184

Wash. Expected

95.1

4.5

39.2

9.7

156

Wash. Difference

7*

0.1

-3.2*

.7*

28*

WAS

DEN

WAS

WAS

WAS

-Perhaps the most important stat here is QB Rating differential since it correlates with winning so directly (the last two weeks the team with the better rating has gone 26-2). We've got a big advantage here.

-Something to keep in mind is that Washington has played much better offenses so far than we have. They aren't bad on 3rd down, average against the run, but don't force many turnovers and spot their opponents about 4 pts a game more than expected.

-They are a good running team, gaining about a yard per rush more than expected. We match up well against the run however.

-Can we contain RG3? Are we going to allow them room to run around in the flat?

Denver is overwhelmingly favored in this game. Average the numbers above and you get Denver 47, Washington 31. It might be doable. Thanks for reading!

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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