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Week 16 Horse Whisperings

(Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Welcome to another edition of Horse Whisperings. The Denver Broncos (8-6) will travel to face the Buffalo Bills (5-9) on Saturday looking to take another step toward capturing their first playoff berth since 2005. Denver needs a win against Buffalo and an Oakland loss or tie at Kansas City to win the AFC West Division and capture their first playoff berth since 2005.

  • Now in their 6th decade of professional football, the Broncos are one of just four teams to record three 90+ win decades since 1960 and the only organization to do so in each of the last three decades.
  • The Broncos’ 307-game scoring streak is the longest active streak in the NFL (dates back to 1992) and ranks 2nd all time in league annals.
  • Owner/CEO Pat Bowlen is in his 28th season as owner of the Broncos in 2011, and his club’s 263 regular-season wins rank 2nd in the NFL (1st in the AFC) during his tenure.
  • The Broncos’ five Super Bowl appearances under Bowlen are the 2nd most in the NFL since he purchased the team in 1984.
  • The Broncos own the NFL’s best overall home record (219-85 / .720) since 1975 and have posted a league-best five undefeated home schedules in the 16-game regular-season era (since 1978).
  • The Broncos reeled off six wins in a row in Weeks 9-14 tie for the 4th most consecutive wins in a single season in franchise history.
  • Denver is just the 3rd team in NFL history to win at least six consecutive games after starting a season 2-5 or worse.
  • Head Coach John Fox ranks 3rd among active NFL coaches with 86 overall wins since 2002, marking the 2nd time in his 10 years as a head coach he has recorded a winning streak of at least six games in a season
  • Denver made nine selections in the 2011 NFL Draft, including LB Von Miller at No. 2 overall, which marked the highest the club has ever selected.
  • Four of Denver’s draft choices (Miller,S Rahim Moore, T Orlando Franklin and TE Julius Thomas) started in Week 1 against Oakland, marking the most rookies to start a season opener in franchise history

Broncos scoring by Quarter

Qtr Broncos Opponent
1st 67 38
2nd 33 147
3rd 72 71
4th 114 63

In the 1st half, Denver has been outscored 100-185.
In the 2nd half and OT, the Broncos have outscored their opponents 192 - 158.


  • The Broncos, who were tied for 25th in the NFL with 86.8 rushing yards per game through the 1st four weeks of the season, have jumped to No. 1 in the league in rushing after averaging 193.6 yards per game on the ground in Weeks 5-15.
  • Denver, whose 1,936 rushing yards over their last 10 games represents the highest total in team history for a 10-game stretch, are on pace to post the 2nd-highest rushing total in team history for a single season.
  • Their 167 rushing yards in the 1st quarter on Sunday was the highest in franchise history. It is also the highest by the Broncos in any quarter since rushing for 187 in a quarter at Seattle on Nov. 26, 2000.

  • Quarterback Tim Tebow's 93 rushing yards on Sunday were the 4th-most by a Broncos QB in a single game (Norris Weese 120, in 1976). His two rushing touchdowns marked the 7th time in team history that a QB has run for two scores in a game.
  • Tebow’s 610 rushing yards on the season leads all NFL quarterbacks and mark the most by a QB in franchise history during a single season.
  • Tebow, who is 8-4 as an NFL starting QB, has earned six of his 8 career wins by way of a 4th-quarter comeback. That figure represents the most by a Quarterback in NFL history through his first 12 career starts.
  • His five 4th-quarter comebacks this year are tied with Giants quarterback Eli manning for the most in the NFL this season.
  • The 2nd-year QB, who was named Denver’s starter on Oct. 11, has led 18 scoring drives in the 4th quarter or Overtime in Denver’s last 10 games.
  • Tebow is tied for 3rd in the NFL with six games registering both a passing and rushing Touchdown since 2010.

  • Running back Willis McGahee owns six 100-yard rushing games this season to tie him for the most in the NFL. It also marks the most 100-yard games by a Bronco in a single season since RB Reuben Droughns had six in 2004.
  • Earlier this season, he became the 1st player since Arian Foster (Hou.,2009-10) to record three 100-yard rushing games in his 1st four starts with a team.
  • McGahee has 29 career 100-yard rushing games, which ties for 5th among active NFL players in that category.
  • With 10 rushing yards against Buffalo, RB Willis McGahee can join Ricky Watters (S.F./Phi./Sea.) as the only two players in NFL history to post a 1,000-yard rushing season with three different teams.

  • Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas finished with 7 catches for 116 yards against New England. That was his 2nd career 100-yard game.
  • Thomas leads all NFL players with 338 receiving yards in the month of December, having totaled 18 receptions for 338 yards (18.8 avg.) with three Touchdowns in 3 games this month.


  • Cornerback Champ Bailey’s 32 Interceptions rank 5th in the NFL since he joined the Broncos in 2004. His 50 career Interceptions are 1st among all active NFL Cornerbacks and are 3rd among all players since entering the league in 1999.
  • Safety Brian Dawkins, who joined the Broncos as an Unrestricted Free Agent on Feb. 28, 2009 after playing his first 13 seasons with Philadelphia, is in his 16th NFL season playing the Safety position—tied for most in league annals.
  • Dawkins is tied for 4th in NFL history with 36 career Forced Fumbles since the statistic was tracked starting in 1994.

  • Broncos Defensive End Elvis Dumervil has recorded at least a half Sack in 7 consecutive games to mark a career high and represent the longest active streak in the NFL.
  • Dumervil has registered the 3rd-most sacks per game (.71) since his rookie season in 2006 (min. 20 sacks). That figure ranks 8th in NFL history (min. 40 sacks) since Sacks were first officially recorded starting in 1982.
  • Linebacker Von Miller ranks 3rd in the AFC and 9th in the NFL (2nd among rookies) with 11.5 Sacks (77 yds.) this season. His total is tied for the most by a Rookie in franchise history (Rulon Jones).
  • Miller is also one of just 3 players with at least a half Sack in 10-plus games this season despite missing Week 13 with a thumb injury. That total is tied for the 2nd most in Broncos history since 1982.
  • Defensive Tackle Marcus Thomas is the 9th Bronco to lead or share the lead in single-game tackles for the team this season. He and Cornerback Chris Harris had 9 Tackles apiece against the Patriots.
  • Harris, a rookie college Free Agent from the University of Kansas, made Denver’s roster out of Training Camp to mark the 8th consecutive season a CFA has accomplished that feat with the team.


  • Punter Britton Colquitt is 3rd in the NFL in Net punting average (41.7) and has a chance to set the franchise single-season mark 38.9 currently held by P Mike Horan (1990).
  • Kicker Matt Prater has booted 3 game-winning Field goals in OT this year, tying for the most in NFL history in a single season.
  • This season, Prater has converted on 2 of the eight longest Overtime Field Goals in league history.
  • Matt owns the best field goal percentage from 50+ yards (.750 / 12-of-16) in NFL history among players who started their career after 1970.

The Cumulative average Field position to start a drive is the 27 yard line for the Broncos and the 28 yard line for their opponents.


3rd Down & 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11-14 15-19 20+ Rush Pass Half Total Pct.
Denver 9-12 7-14 7-13 6-15 7-19 3-14 4-20 3-9 2-10 6-21 2-18 3-15 0-3 26-68 33-115 32-94 59-183 32.2%
Opponent 16-23 8-11 3-11 5-14 6-14 3-16 10-17 6-19 3-12 2-17 3-22 1-11 0-4 21-50 45-141 35-101 66-191 34.6%

The Average Yards to Go:
  • Denver 7.4 (183/1359)
  • Opponents 7.4 (191/1408).

Denver 3rd Down Defense:
  • 13 Quarterback Sacks (67 yards), 3 Interceptions and 1 Fumble Recovery.
  • Opponent 3rd Down Defense: 13 Quarterback Sacks (70 yards), 4 Interceptions and1 Fumble Recovery.

2nd Down Efficiency:
  • Denver 91-289 (31.5; 1-4 yds: 31-57)
  • Opponent 112-320 (35.0; 1-4 yds: 44-69)


Player Rush Pass Rec. Total (3/4)
T. Tebow 30 66 0 96 (23)
K. Orton 2 54 0 56 (22)
W. McGahee 44 0 2 46 (8)
L. Ball 22 0 8 30 (7)
E. Decker 0 0 29 29 (10)
D. Thomas 0 0 19 19 (4)
B. Lloyd 0 0 15 15 (4)
M. Willis 0 0 14 14 (4)
D. Fells 0 0 11 11 (5)
E. Royal 2 0 8 10 (3)
K. Moreno 5 0 3 8 (1)
S. Larsen 3 0 4 7 (2)
J. Johnson 2 0 2 4 (1)
D. Rosario 0 0 3 3 (0)
V. Green 0 0 2 2 (0)

(3/4—First downs earned on third and fourth down plays.)

That wraps up this weeks Horse Whisperings. Happy Holidays to all of you and...

Go Broncos!