Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Turnover Differential and Scoring

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There are many ways to look at the upcoming matchup to gauge and pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of each team as well as try and formulate some preliminary strategy. This one will take a look at net scoring by quarter along with turnover differential and scoring.

What I've done is mark after each quarter in each game how many points each team has been ahead (+) or behind (-). If the score was tied, you will see a "0". The purpose of this is to identify trends throughout the game. Along with it, I've gone though each game to identify the +/- (cumulative turnover differential for each game), and identify the net points off turnovers (both scored and scored against) along with defensive and special teams TD's, with a final net average over those categories.

Kansas City Chiefs

Game

1st Q

2nd Q

3rd Q

4th Q

+/-

Net P/TO

ST/D

Net

Jaguars

+14

+21

+21

+26

+2

+7

+7

+14

Cowboys

-3

-3

+1

+1

+2

+3

---

+3

Eagles

+4

+10

+7

+10

+5

+3

+7

+10

Giants

0

+3

+10

+24

0

+10

+7

+17

Titans

+7

+13

+3

+9

+1

-1

+7

+6

Raiders

0

0

+7

+17

+2

+10

+7

+17

Texans

+4

+4

+1

+1

+1

-3

0

-3

Browns

+6

+10

+3

+6

+1

+3

0

+3

Bills

-7

-7

0

+10

+3

+6

+14

+20

---

+3.1

+5.6

+5.8

+11.4

+17

+38

+49

+87 (9.6)

Seven of the Chiefs Nine games have gone to the 4th quarter with both teams within one score of each other. The Chiefs have held the advantage six of those seven games. At the end of four of these games, the Chiefs won the game by at least two scores. The Jacksonville and Giants games mark both occasions The Chiefs have been ahead by more than one score.

The Chiefs have never faced a deficit heading into the 4th quarter, and have never trailed in the 4th quarter. In fact the Chiefs have been behind at halftime only twice. They have never faced a two score deficit.

On average, the Chiefs have held a single digit lead going into the 4th quarter and then extended that lead to at least a two score victory.

The Chiefs are a fantastic +17 in the turnover differential. This is the #1 reason behind their success. The Chiefs will give up yards defensively, but they also offset this through turnovers and defensive scores. Off of those 17 turnovers, the Chiefs have netted 80 points. All but one of their defensive/special teams scores have come from a turnover (pick six, fumble return for TD etc).

Had the Chiefs not manufactured these points through turnovers, they would have lost two games with another two being tied at the end of regulation.

Denver Broncos

Game

1st Q

2nd Q

3rd Q

4th Q

+/-

Net P/TO

D/ST

Net

Ravens

-7

-3

+18

+22

0

+7

---

+7

Giants

-3

+1

+8

+18

+3

-3

+7

+4

Raiders

+10

+20

+16

+16

-2

-14

---

-14

Eagles

+11

+8

+29

+32

0

0

+7

+7

Cowboys

-7

+8

+5

+3

0

+2

---

+2

Jaguars

+14

+2

+9

+16

-1

+4

---

+4

Colts

-3

-12

-16

-6

-2

-12

---

-12

Redskins

+7

0

-7

+24

+1

+10

+7

+17

Chargers

+7

+15

+15

+8

-1

-7

---

-7

---

+3.2

+4.4

+8.5

+14.8

-2

-13

+21

+8(.88)

Twice the Broncos have gone to the fourth quarter behind. They are 1-1 in those games. They have also gone into the 4th quarter with with at least a two score lead four times, and an overall lead seven times. They have been within one score of their opponent going into halftime six times.

The third quarter has been the Broncos best quarter as they have managed to double their net lead.

In the turnover department, the Broncos sit at -2 which is amazing given their record and net points. It shows you just how efficient their scoring offense is. This is something Chiefs fans need to take note of--the Broncos are so good offensively that they can still win games despite losing the turnover battle.

Overall, those turnovers have netted opposing teams 13 points. The Broncos have been good about limiting the scoring opportunities of other teams while at the same time cashing in those opportunities when their defense has given them the opportunity. Something that has made their negative turnover differential a wash has been three TD's from defense and ST.

Trends

Both teams have taken leads into half time six times apiece. The Broncos have trailed twice with one double digit deficit. The Chiefs have trailed twice--both times by no more than one score. Both of these teams start relatively the same. They also shut down games in the 2nd half but at different times. The Chiefs are used to playing close until the 4th quarter when their defense has provided some timely turnovers and scoring to help them to victory. The Broncos pull away in the 3rd quarter by scoring points very quickly and in bunches.

My Thoughts

It is the consensus amongst Chiefs supporters that their team can hassle the Bronco offense and even create turnovers to swing the advantage to their side. The Broncos have proven that they are so good offensively that they can offset turnovers and mistakes. Am I saying the Broncos can play sloppy and mistake-prone? Absolutely not. The Chiefs defense will give up yards and there will be opportunities to score. So long as the Broncos do not make multiple costly mistakes that give free points to the Chiefs offense, they should be able to score enough to offset any production the Chiefs offense can muster on their own.

One of the keys to this game will not only be whether or not the Chiefs can cause enough turnovers defensively to level the playing field, it will be whether or not they can capitalize on this mistakes without any help from special teams and defense.

Probably the most startling stat are the 5.4 points per game the Chiefs have been able to lean on from Defense and Special Teams. Without that extra bit of help, you are looking at a team closer to 3-4 losses and some close calls against a rather pedestrian slate of opponents.

Case in point? The Chiefs were +5 against Philadelphia, one of those turnovers being a pick six, and they won by 10. In other words those other four turnovers led to three offensive points.

One other thing to keep in mind. The Chiefs have yet to trail in a game by two scores. We know the Broncos are resilient enough to have won games in that position, do you think the Chiefs could do the same? I'd love to find out Sunday night.

GO BRONCOS!!!

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