I'm gonna talk about out run D right now, because they deserve some serious kudos for what they have been able to do so far. The Broncos came into this game with the best run defense in the NFL. They left this game with the best run defense in the NFL - and it's not even close. The next best team in the league, the Browns, are now giving up 2.8 yards per carry. The Broncos are only allowing 2.3. The next best team in terms of total rushing yards allowed, the Cowgirls, has allowed 199 yards on the ground. The Broncos have only allowed 130. The best run defense of the past decade was the 06 Viking who only gave up 2.8 yards per carry and 985 yards total on the ground.
It's a big "if', but if we continue this pace, we will have the greatest run defenses in the history of the league. The Broncos are on pace to allow less than 700 yards rushing for the season. The 2000 Ravens, with that monster D, allowed 970 rushing yards on the season - that is the lowest total ever in the history of NFL for a season (14 or 16 game). The 85 Bears allowed 1319. The original Orange Crush allowed 1531 in 14 games. I doubt that we can maintain this pace, but I would not be surprised if this team finishes the season with a rushing yards allowed mark that is in the top 10 in the history of the NFL. The best team last season was the Bucs who only allowed 1320 yards on the ground. The Broncos finished 3rd in rushing yards allowed with 1458 (the Steelers were second). With 13 games left in the season, the Broncos could give up 100 rushing yards a game from here on out and still finish with fewer yards allowed on the ground that in 2012. To look at it another way, the Broncos gave up almost twice as many yards in one game last season (251 vs NE) as they have in the first three games of 2013.
Now, back to the topic at hand. The Faiders faced twelve 3rd down situations. 8 of them were 3rd and long. Here are the situations are the results:
|3rd and 17 at OAK 13||(Shotgun) T.Pryor pass incomplete deep left to B.Butler (K.Webster).|
|3rd and 10 at OAK 9||(Shotgun) T.Pryor pass short left to D.Moore to OAK 15 for 6 yards (T.Carter).|
|3rd and 7 at OAK 46||(Shotgun) T.Pryor pass short left to D.Moore to DEN 44 for 10 yards (M.Adams).|
|3rd and 12 at DEN 46||(Shotgun) T.Pryor pass short left to R.Jennings to DEN 45 for 1 yard (K.Webster).|
|3rd and 7 at OAK 23||(Shotgun) T.Pryor sacked at OAK 17 for -6 yards (R.Ayers).|
|3rd and 13 at OAK 17||(Shotgun) T.Pryor Aborted. S.Wisniewski FUMBLES at OAK 0, recovered by OAK-T.Pryor at OAK 0. T.Pryor pass incomplete short left to D.Moore.|
|3rd and 7 at OAK 24||(Shotgun) T.Pryor pass short left to D.Moore to OAK 40 for 16 yards (R.Moore).|
|3rd and 8 at DEN 8||(Shotgun) T.Pryor pass short middle to R.Streater to DEN 1 for 7 yards (C.Harris; M.Adams).|
They only converted 2 of the 8. Both were on catches by Moore on 3rd and 7 - the 10 yard catch in 2nd quarter and the 16 yard catch in the 4th. Unlike in previous games, we did not blitz much on 3rd and long and hence only had one sack on 3rd and long. The other 4 third down situations that the Faiders faced were 3, 6, 5 and 3 yards needed. The three conversions were on plays to Moore both on 3rd and 3 (the long pass play TD caused by the missed tackle, and a 17 yard pass in the 4th where we blew the coverage in the zone) and one to Rivera (20 yard completion in the 3rd quarter on 3rd and 5). Denarius Moore is the go-to guy for Pryor, with 4 of their 5 3rd down conversions coming on receptions by Moore.
The defensive game plan was to stop the run and force the Raiders into 3rd and long situations. Our D accomplished both of those things. Continuing a trend from the first two games we gave very little ground on first down running plays. Pryor had one run of 23, that came on a first down scramble from the shotgun (1st and 20). After that the defense only gave up 11 yards on 6 first down carries (one being a 1st and goal from the 1). So far on the season, the Broncos D has only allowed 76 rushing yards on 31 attempts on first down with 23 of those on one carry last night. All of our TFLs came on second down against the Faiders
On the season we are allowing our opponents to convert on 31.1% of 3rd downs overall and only allowing conversion on 19.4% of 3rd and longs. Both numbers are better than our defense' numbers from 2012. Our 2012 D led the league in 3rd down conversion % at 31.5%. If I had to guess I would say that we were close to the league lead in 3rd and long conversion % (26.5%), but I haven't found a stat site that tracks that for the whole league (please let me know if you have seen one that does).
Go Broncos! Let's enjoy the trouncing of the Faiders and get ready to ground the Iggles.