FanPost

Here's a few key tidbits no one is talking about

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

While MHR probably doesn't need another stat based post, there is one or two things that I'd like to insert into the conversation before Sunday. There have been a number of great posts but one thing worth considering that isn't being discussed much (that I've seen at least) is a comparison of these two teams' success outside of their home stadiums. Denver and Seattle are probably the two hardest places to play in the NFL, but neither team enjoys the home field in the SB, and consequently it might be worth looking at how each team performed on the road compared to how they performed with the home crowd looking on.

First we'll look at the defenses. The prevailing thought is the Seattle defense is one of the best ever, and the Denver defense is barely serviceable, likely only good enough because PFM is the QB. I'm looking at the following stats:

  • Pts Scored
  • Rushing Yards
  • Passer Rating
  • 3rd Down %
  • Turnovers

The "Difference" columns are a measure of the degree to which a team out performed or under performed against the opponent's average. This takes into account strength of schedule. For example if Denver ran for 100 yards against Oakland's defense, and all of Oakland's other opponents ran for 150, Denver would have a "difference" of -50, meaning they under performed expectations be 50. Negative numbers are bad (under performing) while positive numbers are good (over performing).

DEFENSE

Points Allowed

Difference

Rushing Y

Allowed

Difference

QB Rating

Allowed

Difference

3rd Down

Percentage

Difference

Forced

Turnover

Difference

Sea @ Home

9.2

17.3yds

27

3%

1.2

Sea on Road

7.4

-1yd

12.8

1.3%

.8

Hm (minus) Rd

-1.8

-18.3yds

-14.2

-1.7%

-.4

Den @ Hm

0

9.4yds

4.3

-.3%

-.1

Den on Rd

-4.1

19.7yds

-6.6*

-1.2%

.2

Hm (minus) Rd

-4.1

+10.3yds

-10.9

-.9%

+.3

Seattle's defense played better at home, in all categories. They still keep their opponents about a TD shy of what you'd expect. Seattle is a very average defense against the run on the road. Their stellar pass defense comes back to earth somewhat as does their 3rd down defense and turnover prowess.

Denver's defense gives up 4 more pts per game than expected on the road, but for some reason the run defense is better, keeping opponents almost 20 yards under what you'd expect. The pass defense road number is almost entirely due to the Dallas game, so the pass defense doesn't drop as considerably as it looks here. Denver is very close to average on 3rd down, and is very slightly better at getting takeaways on the road.

It appears that the home crowd is part of the key to the Seattle defense. One would expect the home crowd to especially help the defense, and in the case of both teams, but more dramatically Seattle, this seems to be proven by the numbers. One thing to remember however, is that the Seattle defense has further to fall than Denver's, because their home numbers are pretty darn impressive. Now we'll see what the offensive numbers look like:

OFFENSE

Points

Scored

Difference

Rushing

Yards

Difference

QB Rating

Difference

3rd Down

Conversion

Difference

Turnovers

Difference

Sea @ Hm

6.5

33.3yds

15.5

1.2%

0.4

Sea on Rd

1.4

29.3yds

12.3

-0.1%

0.6

Hm (minus) Rd

-5.1

-4.0yds

-3.2

-1.3%

+0.2

Den @ Hm

16.2

4.8yds

25.4

7.8%

0.2

Den on Rd

13.9

6.6yds

27.2

8.1%

0

Hm (minus) Rd

-2.3

+1.8yds

+1.8

+0.3%

-0.2

This is what I find quite interesting. I would certainly expect an offense to perform slightly less effectively on the road. Seattle's numbers are certainly not surprising in this regard. We can see that they still score a point better than expected while on the road, which is is 5 pts less than at home. They are still a very good running team on the road but there is a slight drop off. Wilson is very good on the road, but a little better at home. They are a very average team on 3rd down and they take care of the ball whether home or on the road.

Denver's offense basically doesn't change at all. If anything it improves slightly. The scoring drops a couple pts, but everything else improves if anything. The take home here, is that this offense is built and executed to be good on the road. This offense does not depend on altitude to wear out the defense in order to succeed. This will be important on Sunday.

Of course these numbers don't mean anything about what happens on Sunday, but let's use them to get an idea how these teams would stack up if their regular season performance is indicative of how they would perform. The following are the numbers for each team, which I then adjust using the methodology I talked about above. Again, this is only for fun, I'm not pretending that statistics have any sort of validity at all.

Pts

Per Game

Rushing

Per Game

QB Rating

Per Game

3rd Down%

Per Game

TO

Per Game

Seattle

Road Defense

15

108yds

72.4

36.2

2.3

Denver

Road Offense

Difference

+14

+7yds

+27.2

+8.1

0

29

115yds

99.6

44.3%

2

Denver

Road Offense

36

126yds

114.3

47.1%

1.6

Seattle

Road Defense

Difference

-7

+1yd

-12.8

-1.3%

.8

29

127yds

101.5

45.8%

2

Pts

Per Game

Rushing

Per Game

QB Rating

Per Game

3rd Down%

Per Game

TO

Per Game

Seattle Road

Offense

23

135yds

98.3

37.9%

1.1

Denver

Road Defense

Difference

+4

-20yds

+6.6

+1.2%

+.2

27

115yds

104.9

39.1%

1

Denver

Road Defense

27

94yds

90.7

38.2%

1.8

Seattle

Road Offense

Difference

+1

+29yds

+12.3

-0.1%

-.6

28

123yds

103.0

38.1%

1

This would suggest Denver in a nail biter 29-27. Manning is 2-3 when the opposing QB finishes with a better passer rating and 13-0 when he is better. Wilson is 3-1 when the opposing QB finishes with a better passer rating, and 12-2 when he is better. It should be one of the better super bowls. Our defense has been playing really well the last few weeks and if that continues, it should be Denver's night, but we really could have used Von, Vickerson, Moore, and Harris. Remember Von's Super Bowl guarantee? Go Broncos!

Preparation is key:

John Fox is 10-6 when given 2 weeks to prepare for an opponent.

Pete Carroll is 4-5.

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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