Heading into week nine of the season the Denver Broncos looked like the leagues top team, and it wasn't close. They were coming off two dominant victories over the San Francisco 49ers and San Diego Chargers and were playing their best football of the season. However, ever since the Broncos defeated the San Diego Chargers on Thursday Night Football the Broncos have not looked like the same team.
The team looked awful against the New England Patriots, looked sluggish against the Raiders despite a blow out win, and crashed and burned on the road against the St. Louis Rams. There's been a lot of blame going around as to why this is happening. The offensive line, the coaching, and Peyton Manning have taken the most of the blame, but could the absence of Virgil Green been a key factor into the teams decline?
Virgil Green has missed three games due to injury this year(and left early in the first quarter against Seattle). The Broncos record in those games is a measly 1-3. Their only win coming against the Oakland Raiders.
The Broncos are undefeated when they have Virgil Green in their lineup.
The stats back this up as well.
With Green In the Lineup(6-0):
|Week||Rushing yards||Yards Per Carry||Sacks|
So with Virgil Green in the lineup, the Broncos only averaged below 4.0 yards per carry twice during the season. Also Manning was only sacked 7 times in the 7 games that Green has played.
Without Green In the Lineup(1-3):
|Week||Rushing Yards||Yards Per Carry||Sacks|
The Broncos struggle in the running game when Green is not in the lineup. Their only success came against the Oakland Raiders who at the time were a winless football team. Outside of that the Broncos running game never topped more then 2.8 yards per carry.
We could chalk this up as a total coincidence, but it appears that the Broncos are a much better team when they have Virgil Green on the field.
Thankfully it does appear that Green will be able to go this weekend despite being listed as questionable on the teams injury report.
The ESPN Playoff Machine is back! It's a neat generator that lets you pick the winners and losers for every NFL game from week 12 on to week 17, and tells you how the playoff field would look like in your scenario. It's something I have wasted many hours on already.
- Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden says that backup Colt McCoy is pushing RG3 for the starting quarterback job.
- Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll says that "We'll do everything to get Lynch back in 2015". There has been rumors that the team is planning on moving on from the talented back this offseason.
- New England Patriots running back Jonas Gray oversleeps, and misses team meeting and is set home by head coach Bill Belichick.
- Arizona Cardinals veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is considered a game-time decision for this weekends game.
- Seattle Seahawks are expected to get back linebacker Bobby Wagner for this weekends game.
- The Kansas City Chiefs have signed veteran wide receiver Jason Avant, and placed receiver A.J Jenkins on the season ending injured reserve list.