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Horse Tracks: Broncos 3rd quarter production is worrisome

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There are numerous factors that have contributed to the Denver Broncos' skid as of late, but their lack of production in the third quarter all season long is the most worrisome.

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Wednesday, Country.

For today's Horse Tracks, I thought it would be apt to discuss a concerning statistical observation.

As many of you know, a handful of Broncos have taken blame for their second-half meltdown against Pittsburgh on Sunday, such as Pro-Bowl cornerback Chris Harris, Jr.  On the flip side, Denver Broncos Head Coach Gary Kubiak believes all of the problems come down to execution. While poor individual performances by a handful of individuals are certainly a cause for concern and there is no doubting that the execution has been lacking the past several weeks, I believe the problems could go a little bit deeper.

Most certainly, coaching has to be considered when you chalk up the myriad of mistakes the Broncos have made over the past several weeks that have put their desire to win the AFC West and make the playoffs in jeopardy.  This article's purpose is not to state that the Broncos coaching staff is filled with poor coaches, because it is certainly the opposite.  I feel that the front office has done a great job assembling a group of coaches who have great experience and leadership worthy of guiding teams to victory in the NFL.

However, in lieu of Denver's struggles since the New England game, I thought it would be interesting to check out some of the production and efficiency from teams coached by Gary Kubiak in the third quarter of games to see if there were any statistical trends.  Listed below is a summary of third quarter point production from the teams Kubiak has been a coach on (Houston Texans, Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos) over the past decade.

3rd Quarter Team Point Production Under Gary Kubiak

2006 - Houston - 3.7 points
2007 - Houston  - 3.8 points
2008 - Houston - 4.9 points
2009 - Houston - 4.7 points
2010 - Houston - 6.8 points
2011 - Houston - 3.9 points (Team made playoffs)
2012 - Houston - 6.3 points
(Team made playoffs)
2013 - Houston - 3.5 points
2014 - Baltimore (as OC) - 5.7 points
(Team made playoffs)
2015 - Denver - 3.1 points

When the math is calculated, teams coached by Kubiak have averaged 4.64 points in the third quarter over the past decade, with 2010 and 2012 in Houston being the best with a touchdown per quarter average.  Unfortunately, this years production has been the absolute worst with roughly a field goal scored per third quarter.

At some point in time, it would be great to delve into an analysis of third quarter point production from teams and coaches across the NFL to help put these numbers into better perspective, but nevertheless, the numbers above are quite startling.  Averaging three points in third quarter of games is not a great recipe for success in the second half whether you are ahead or behind entering that stretch.

For me, it brings me to wonder if the Broncos coaching staff is doing what is necessary to ensure that adjustments are made for the team to be productive and efficient in the second half. There is little doubt that the poor individual and unit performances, coupled with a lack of execution play an integral role in the Broncos recent failures, but when the team lacks efficiency on a week-to-week basis there is definitely something larger that must be addressed.

What do you think, Broncos Country? Don't forget to sound off in the comments section and as always, thanks for reading and have a great day.

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