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Elevated Stats: Broncos set to face a tough, balanced Chiefs team

Elevated Stats returns - in which we collect stats and analytics from around the web and see how the Broncos are faring against their AFC counterparts.

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Welcome back friends to another season of Elevated Stats! It's been far too long since we had some real football to talk about and real stats to break down, but now we do. Let's waste no more of this glorious September with needless introductory sentences and get straight to the stats.

For those who are new to Elevated Stats, a quick explanation: each week we'll gather a number of interesting facts, stats and analytics surrounding how the Broncos are faring in the AFC West, in the AFC, and against their opponent each week. We choose to cover stats that are based on what the teams have actually accomplished on the field, not stats based on Vegas lines or upcoming strengths of schedule (like Elo Ratings and ESPN's new Football Power Index - while those stats have value when you're filling in your survival pool, they don't directly reflect the production each team has manufactured on the field. Therefore, they don't really belong in Elevated Stats).

While stats don't tell the whole story, our Elevated Stats aim to give you a Mile-High perspective on the Denver Broncos and the NFL by covering all the bases.

Elevated Stats, Week 2

As always, here are your explanations for the statistics used in Elevated Stats, our Mile High look at analytics from around the web. In the future, I may refer to this post instead of posting this glossary each time.

Record. Wins and losses. There isn't a more important "statistic" in football.

SOS: Strength of Schedule. The collective winning percentage of a team's opponents so far. Gathered from ESPN.

DVOA: Defense-Adjusted Value Over Average. Football Outsiders' prized statistic, DVOA, measures a team's efficiency by comparing success on every single play to a league average based on situation and opponent. It's a beast. Note: technically this metric is just "VOA" for now, as Football Outsiders' does not incorporate defensive adjustments until after Week 3.

PRD: Passer Rating Differential. This is simply the difference between a team's Offensive Passer Rating and its Defensive Passer Rating (the collective passer rating of QBs in games played against the team). While it seems overly simple, in this quarterback-driven league, Passer Rating Differential actually has an incredibly high Correlation to Victory and is considered the "Mother of all Stats" at Cold Hard Football Facts.

PFF: ProFootballFocus Cumulative Grades. ProFootballFocus assigns a grade to every player on every play, and then accumulates those grades into a team total. I added up the offensive, defensive, and special teams grades to get these scores. Check out PFF here.

TO: Turnover Ratio. Finally, another common, simple, but all-important measurement: turnover ratio. Gathered from

Elevated Stats: AFC Week 2
New England Patriots 1-0 .000 28.2% 48.4 -5.6 +1
Denver Broncos 1-0 .000 14.5% 21.7 28.6 +1
Kansas City Chiefs 1-0 .000 33.4% 35.5 13.4 +2
San Diego Chargers 1-0 .000 23.4% 19.3 -2.1 -1
Oakland Raiders 0-1 1.00 -68.7% -30.2 -21.4 -2
Indianapolis Colts 0-1 1.00 -41.1% -60.2 -13.0 -3

A handful of observations:

  • Football Outsiders basically claims that, this early in the year, DAVE might be the more appropriate metric by which to measure teams. DAVE incorporates preseason projections to handle the small sample size and lack of defensive adjustments we have to work with right now. Across the entire NFL, the Patriots are 1st in DAVE, the Broncos are 3rd, and the Chiefs are 7th.
  • Brandon McManus will be available in the EA Sports' Madden Ultimate Team this weekend. Writes FO: 4-for-4 on field goals, including kicks of 56 and 57 yards. Worth 3.5 points more than expectation for an average kicker on similar attempts, even after adjusting for altitude.
  • Kansas City boasts incredible balance - the same 5.8 cumulative grade on both offense and defense, one of only three teams (Cincinnati, Tennessee) to grade in the positive in offense, defense, and special teams.
  • Justin Houston registered five hurries and a sack against the Texans, making him Denver's primary concern on the offensive line.
  • Man, the Colts really blew it Week 1.

Have something to add to our Elevated Stats? Let us know in the comments!