## Analyzing the Wild Card Round:Steelers@Broncos

Hey folks, it's been a minute since I've done one of these, but I wanted to revisit the game and analyze things using a point system that both SD Guy and myself have come up with. If you've never seen it before, no worries it's not complicated. Basically we came up with a system that assigned point values to plays that impact the game. These values become greater as the plays' value increases and vice versa. It is a way of evaluating not only individual drives, but individual performances---though that is a work in progress and SD guy has been working more on that aspect. So without further adieu, here are the plays and their individual point values:

Broncos Offense Positive Plays PTS
TD SCORED +7
2-PT CONVERSION +5
FG +4
BIG PLAY 20+ YARDS +2
PENALTY +15/FOR 1ST DOWN +2
3RD DOWN CONVERSION +2
FIRST DOWN +1
DEFENSIVE PENALTY +1

Broncos Offense Negative Plays PTS
TD ALLOWED -7
SAFETY -5
TURNOVER -3
3RD DOWN STOP -2
NEGATIVE GAINS -2
OFFENSIVE PENALTIES 10+ -2
OFFENSIVE PENALTIES -1
NO GAIN -1

The impact plays for our defense and their point values are pretty much the same.

Broncos Defense Positive Plays PTS
TD SCORED +7
SAFETY +5
TURNOVER +3
3RD DOWN STOP +2
NEGATIVE GAINS +2
OFFENSIVE PENALTIES 10+ +2
OFFENSIVE PENALTIES +1
NO GAIN +1

Broncos Defense Negative Plays PTS
TD ALLOWED -7
2-PT CONVERSION -5
FG -4
BIG PLAY 20+ YARDS -2
PENALTY +15/FOR 1ST DOWN -2
3RD DOWN CONVERSION -2
FIRST DOWN -1
DEFENSIVE PENALTY -1

It's not too hard to follow, don't worry about memorizing anything, just follow me after the jump and we'll get into it!

So what I like to do is break things down quarter by quarter offense and defense. For each quarter, you'll have a chart for our offense and defense that counts how many times a play occured that quarter. At the bottom, I add up all the points those plays accumulated both positive and negative and then put them together for a composite score. Positive scores are good, negative scores are bad, and the higher or lower those scores will tell us how successful or unsuccessful each drive and each quarter were for our offense and defense.

1st Quarter:

OFFENSIVE FREQUENCY CHART:
PLAY VALUE FREQUENCY PLAY VALUE FREQUENCY
DEF PEN. +1 NO GAIN -1 2
1STDOWN +1 OFF PEN. -1
3RD DC +2 OFF P+10 -2
PEN. +15/1ST +2 NEG. GAIN -2 1
20+YD +2 3RD D.STOP -2 1
FG +4 TURNOVER -3
2PTC +5 SFTY -5
TD +7 TD -7
TOTAL 0 -6
COMPOSITE -6

Drive 1: Three and out, punt (-3)

Drive 2: Three and out, punt (-3)

Pretty uneventful quarter for our offense, no positive plays or points

DEFENSIVE FREQUENCY CHART:
PLAY VALUE FREQUENCY PLAY VALUE FREQUENCY
DEF PEN. -1 1 NO GAIN +1 4
1STDOWN -1 2 OFF PEN. +1
3RD DC -2 3 OFF P+10 +2
PEN. +15/1ST -2 NEG. GAIN +2
20+YD -2 1 3RD D.STOP +2 3
FG -4 2 TURNOVER +3
2PTC -5 SFTY +5
TD ALLOWED -7 TD SCORED +7
TOTAL -19 +10
COMPOSITE -9

Drive 1: 8 plays, 53 yards, FG (-6)

Drive 2: 4 plays, punt (+1)

Drive 3: 12 plays, 57 yards, FG (-4)

Analysis:

Our offense struggled with back to back three and outs. While Pittsburgh was able to move the ball efficiently on 2 out of its first 3 drives, they were unable to get the ball into the endzone. Missed opportunities to have a bigger lead, when it's all said and done, Pittsburgh dominates the quarter yet just leads 6-0.

How did our team fare?

The offense had ZERO positive plays, while the defense allowed movement, but in a typical bend but don't break fashion kept the Steelers out of the endzone. In the end, the composite score for the offense was -6 while the composite score for the defense was -9 for a grand total of -15. If not for some key stops near our red zone, the game could have gotten ugly early. Let's move onto the 2nd quarter!

2nd Quarter:

OFFENSIVE FREQUENCY CHART:
PLAY VALUE FREQUENCY PLAY VALUE FREQUENCY
DEF PEN. +1 NO GAIN -1 3
1STDOWN +1 3 OFF PEN. -1 1
3RD DC +2 1 OFF P+10 -2
PEN. +15/1ST +2 1 NEG. GAIN -2 1
20+YD +2 4 3RD D.STOP -2 2
FG +4 2 TURNOVER -3
2PTC +5 SFTY -5
TD +7 2 TD -7
TOTAL +37 -10
COMPOSITE +27

Drive 3: 5 plays, 82 yards, TD (+10)

Drive 4: 4 plays, 73 yards, TD (+10)

Drive 5: (after Q. Carter INT) 4 plays, 16 yards, FG (+3)

Drive 6: 8 plays, 59 yards, FG (+4)

After entering the 2nd Q with a horrible track record of putting up points on offense, several huge plays help propel the Broncos to 20 points.

DEFENSIVE FREQUENCY CHART:
PLAY VALUE FREQUENCY PLAY VALUE FREQUENCY
DEF PEN. -1 1 NO GAIN +1 5
1STDOWN -1 2 OFF PEN. +1
3RD DC -2 OFF P+10 +2
PEN. +15/1ST -2 1 NEG. GAIN +2 2
20+YD -2 1 3RD D.STOP +2 4
FG -4 TURNOVER +3 1
2PTC -5 SFTY +5
TD ALLOWED -7 TD SCORED +7
TOTAL -7 +20
COMPOSITE +13

Drive 4: Three and out, punt (+4)

Drive 5: Quinton Carter INT on 3rd down (+7)

Drive 6: 4 plays, 17 yards, punt (+1)

Drive 7: 5 plays, 25 yards, punt (+1)

Analysis:

Four offensive possessions, four scores for 20 points. The only complaint looking back in hindsight, is that it could very well have been 28 points. We had a 3rd and goal from the 2 and couldn't punch it in, and another shot from the Steeler 10 yard line and had to settle for a FG. Defensively, just as good as the offense. We allowed zero Steeler points in the 2nd quarter, while coming up with a big turnover, and a bit of luck. Legursky snaps the ball over Ben's head on 3rd down pushing them out of FG range.

How did our team fare?

The offense had a positive to negative play ratio of 13-7, but man the positive plays were huge netting the offense a score of +27 for the quarter. The defense also had a great ratio of 12-5 positive to negative play ratio, and came out +13 for the quarter. Altogether, the Broncos offense and defense rated out at +40 during the 2nd quarter, and +25 for the 1st half. The score? 20-6 Broncos! On to the 2nd half!

3rd Quarter:

OFFENSIVE FREQUENCY CHART:
PLAY VALUE FREQUENCY PLAY VALUE FREQUENCY
DEF PEN. +1 NO GAIN -1 4
1STDOWN +1 4 OFF PEN. -1
3RD DC +2 1 OFF P+10 -2 1
PEN. +15/1ST +2 2 NEG. GAIN -2
20+YD +2 3RD D.STOP -2 2
FG +4 1 TURNOVER -3
2PTC +5 SFTY -5
TD +7 TD -7
TOTAL +14 -10
COMPOSITE +4

Drive 7: 7 plays, 42 yards, punt (+1)

Drive 8: 12 plays, 64 yards, FG (+3)

DEFENSIVE FREQUENCY CHART:
PLAY VALUE FREQUENCY PLAY VALUE FREQUENCY
DEF PEN. -1 NO GAIN +1 2
1STDOWN -1 1 OFF PEN. +1 1
3RD DC -2 2 OFF P+10 +2
PEN. +15/1ST -2 NEG. GAIN +2
20+YD -2 1 3RD D.STOP +2
FG -4 TURNOVER +3
2PTC -5 SFTY +5
TD ALLOWED -7 1 TD SCORED +7
TOTAL -14 +3
COMPOSITE -11

Drive 8: 11 plays, 87 yards, TD (-11)

Analysis:

The offense sustained long drives on both of its' drives this quarter. Fox decided to punt from the Pittsburgh 38 rather than try a 55 yd fg. This decision came with a 20-6 lead and he was just playing field position. Another missed opportunity in the Redzone due to Matt Willis' offensive interference penalty meant that after two promising drives, the Broncos only came away with 3 points. Defensively, that drive never should have happened PERIOD. The backwards pass that was recovered by Doom was nullified by an idiot ref blowing his whistle. The Broncos could have made a stop on 3rd down, no doubt....they never should of had to though. The only thing that will help this issue in my belief is for Refs to start getting fined for stupid mistakes such as this.

How did our team fare?

The offense moved the ball well and chewed up the clock BUT only came away with 3 points and a composite score of +3. The defense got dealt a raw deal and subsequently surrendered a TD for a composite score of -11. As a team, the Broncos had 11 positive plays and 12 negative plays for a total score of -8. After this quarter the score was Denver 20-13 (the FG drive had a majority of the plays in the 3rd Q so it was counted in the 3rd Q, though the actual points came on the board in the 4th.

4th Quarter/OT:

OFFENSIVE FREQUENCY CHART:
PLAY VALUE FREQUENCY PLAY VALUE FREQUENCY
DEF PEN. +1 NO GAIN -1 2
1STDOWN +1 2 OFF PEN. -1
3RD DC +2 1 OFF P+10 -2
PEN. +15/1ST +2 NEG. GAIN -2
20+YD +2 1 3RD D.STOP -2 1
FG +4 TURNOVER -3 1
2PTC +5 SFTY -5
TD +7 1 TD -7
TOTAL +13 -7
COMPOSITE +6

Drive 9: 5 plays, 36 yards, McGahee fumble (-1)

Drive 10: 5 plays, 20 yards, Punt (-2)

Drive 11: 1 play, 80 yards, TD (+9)

DEFENSIVE FREQUENCY CHART:
PLAY VALUE FREQUENCY PLAY VALUE FREQUENCY
DEF PEN. -1 NO GAIN +1 3
1STDOWN -1 5 OFF PEN. +1 2
3RD DC -2 1 OFF P+10 +2
PEN. +15/1ST -2 NEG. GAIN +2 4
20+YD -2 3 3RD D.STOP +2 2
FG -4 1 TURNOVER +3 1
2PTC -5 SFTY +5
TD ALLOWED -7 1 TD SCORED +7
TOTAL -24 +20
COMPOSITE -4

Drive 9: 7 plays, 61 yards, FG (-6)

Drive 10: 7 plays, 55 yards, TD (-9)

Drive 11: 7 plays, 27 yards, Turn over on downs (+11)

Analysis:

McGahee, you have to hold on to the rock man!!! Up 23-16 and driving into Pittsburgh territory for a possible game clinching score, the Broncos give the ball away. On the second offensive drive, Tebow misses DT over the middle which would have been a first down. Luckily, after allowing the Steelers to score on its' first two possessions of the 4th quarter, The Broncos D halts a potential game winning Steeler drive, sacking Big Ben on 4th down.

On a personal note watching theis game with my brother, I felt the lowest of lows when the Steelers tied the game and started marching toward a win. After we headed to overtime, there was some relief that at least we still had a shot to win. What came next was hard to believe in the moment. Ah great they're going to run the damn ball again on 1st down....wait, OH MY GOD HE'S OPEN!!! Yeah were gonna get a FG at least out of this...WOW did you see that stiff arm? GO, GO, GO ,GO, YEAH BABY WE WON, WE WON!!! Those were the many thoughts that went through my head as DT crossed the goalline!

How did our team fare?

Offensively a composite score of +6, and defensively a composite score of -4...overall +2 which is pretty accurate to how close things were at the end. For the half, the Broncos offense finished at +10 and the Broncos defense finished at -15 and at -5 overall.

For the game

In one of the greatest playoff victories in franchise history, the Broncos defeated the Steelers 29-23. Here are the totals for the game:

Broncos Offense

Positive Plays: 26 for +64

Negative Plays: 22 for -33

Overall score: +31

Points scored: 29

Broncos Defense

Positive Plays: 34 for +53

Negative Plays: 30 for -64

Overall score: -11

Points allowed: 23

Composite:

Positive Plays: 60

Negative Plays: 52

Overall Score: +20

Final Thoughts:

Even though the defense finished with an overall negative composite score, they played one hell of a game and came up with some great plays. It is not a poor reflection of their effort, just merely a reflection of how important scoring plays are in this scoring system.

Speaking as a fan, there were points left on the field by our offense, but bottom line is that offensively, defensively, specials...this TEAM worked together for a very thrilling and satisfying victory! Go Broncos!!! Let's send the #1 seed home early huh, besides, I can't stand the Patriots ;)

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