3rd and Long - Oh Brother

Peyton and Eli had round three. The older brother prevailed as he had in the first two meetings. The younger brother was defeated by a strong defense and a group of receivers that dropped passes and ran incorrect routes leading to INTs.


In the second game of the season and the second game without Champ or Von, the Broncos defense played well in almost every facet (except penalties). The Giants faced only eleven 3rd downs during the game, eight of them were 3rd and long (73%). The other three 3rd downs were 2, 4, and 6 yards. On their only 3rd and short, the Giants chose to pass (incomplete to Myers) instead of run. The Broncos D was consistently able to keep the Giants from gaining much on 1st down. This put their offense off-schedule and led to the high % of 3rd and long situations. The Giants were only able to convert one time on 3rd down (it was on 3rd and long though). Here are the 3rd and long situations from the game and the play results:

3rd and 9 at DEN 18 (Shotgun) E.Manning pass incomplete deep right to D.Wilson.
3rd and 10 at NYG 16 (Shotgun) E.Manning pass short left to B.Myers to NYG 23 for 7 yards (M.Adams, C.Harris).
3rd and 13 at NYG 8 (Shotgun) E.Manning pass incomplete short right to J.Jernigan (D.R-Cromartie).
3rd and 8 at NYG 17 (Shotgun) E.Manning pass deep right to H.Nicks pushed ob at DEN 49 for 34 yards (R.Moore).
3rd and 19 at NYG 17 (Shotgun) E.Manning pass short left to V.Cruz to NYG 25 for 8 yards (D.R-Cromartie).
3rd and 11 at NYG 31 (Shotgun) E.Manning pass incomplete deep left to H.Nicks (R.Moore).
3rd and 10 at DEN 45 (Shotgun) E.Manning pass incomplete deep middle to V.Cruz (T.Carter) [D.Wolfe].
3rd and 14 at NYG 45 (Shotgun) E.Manning pass short middle to V.Cruz to DEN 43 for 12 yards (C.Harris).

The solitary 3rd down conversion of the day - the 34 yard pass to Nicks on 3rd and 8 - came near the end of the first half when the Giants were driving to potentially take the lead. The Giants did not convert a single 3rd down in the second half of the game. Eli was able to complete 4 of 8 passes on 3rd and long, but three of those did not convert. For the season the Broncos are only allowing 27.3% conversion on 3rd down (9/33) which is currently good for 3rd in the league behind DET (14.3%) and KC (26.7%). The Broncos lead the league in last year with 31%. For the season on 3rd and long, the Broncos are only allowing teams to convert on 17.4% (4/23). For the season last year the Broncos only allowed 26.3% conversion on 3rd and long.


The 1 for 11 conversion on 3rd down matches some of the dominant 3rd down defensive performances from 2012. In 2012 the Broncos had 3 games where they only allowed one third down conversion (OAK at home, NO, @BAL) and one game where they allowed zero (@CAR). The key last year and this year so far has been holding teams to little or no gain when they run the ball on first down.

Back to the theme of giving up very little on first down. On first down runs through two games the Broncos are allowing 1.75 yards per carry. Keep in mind that the two longest runs against the Broncos this season (both against the Ratbirds) were on first down carries of 12 and 14 yards. Even with those the Broncos are giving less than two yards per carry on first down (24 carries for 42 yards). This includes 7 TFL and 4 stops for no gain. So 11 of the 24 first down carries against the Broncos in the first two games have gained nothing or lost yards. The front 4 have been eating greedy on first down and this has allowed the LBs to run free and blow some stuff up. Through the first two games our front 4 have owned the line of scrimmage.


On a side note, the Broncos have allowed a whopping 52 first downs in two games which is tied for 3rd most in the league (with Minnesota) and 13 of those first downs were by penalty. The 13 first downs allowed by penalty is the highest in the league by far (TB has 9) although a whopping 10 of them came against the Giants because one of the refs bet the over. Needing to blitz to generate pressure, as the Broncos have in the first two games, forces our coverage guys to play a lot of man. So far our man coverage has lead to a lot of penalties on our DBs. For comparison, GB has allowed no first downs by penalty through two games.


Next week the Broncos face a Faiders team with essentially a rookie QB. The Faiders have more rushing yards than passing yards through two games (397 to 343). Right now this appears to pit one of our strengths against theirs. The Broncos through two games are only allowing 2.03 yards per carry. Surprisingly, this is only good for second in the league as Cleveland is a tiny bit better, only allowing 2.02 yards per carry. The 40 runs against the Broncos is 4th fewest in the league through 2 games - Dallas, KC and Miami are all tied for 1st with 39 rushes against. Our 81 rushing yards allowed in two games is best in the league. The Washington Racial Slurs have allowed 402 yards rushing in two games - worst in the league. Let's see, a defense with Shanny as the HC allowing a boat-load of rushing yards...where have I seen that before? I think Shanny needs to trade for Cleveland's defensive line. It worked so well last time.

Go Broncos! Let's prepare to put another beat-down on the Jokeland Faiders.

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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