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Denver Broncos defense comparison to 2015

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A No Bull look at this year’s defense in comparison to the first 8 games of our 2015 season.

NFL: Houston Texans at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

I’m not a big fan of stats, but sometimes it is fun to take a peek and see if they paint the same picture our eyes are telling us. We tend to get into the weeds a bit during the season as we analyze the team’s play from week to week and I’ve always found it refreshing to take a step back and look at the team from a larger angle.

We are 8 games into the season and by now, most teams have an “identity” of sorts and probably aren’t going to drastically change who they are for the last 8 games of the regular season.

So who are the 2016 Denver Broncos on defense?

What did the 2015 Denver Broncos defense look like 8 games into the season?

Let’s throw the stats down and see what we can see. Big hat tip to pro-football-reference.com for the stats. Any time you want to dig into the NFL game deeper, give them a click as they have a ton of deep, useful info to use for analyzing the game.

Passing Defense

2015 Denver Bronco Passing Defense

G# Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Sk Yds Rate
1 18 32 56.3 100 0 2 2 17 35.9
2 16 25 64 167 0 2 5 24 49.9
3 31 45 68.9 262 1 2 4 20 72.6
4 27 41 65.9 212 1 0 7 57 86.6
5 26 39 66.7 223 1 1 4 26 79.3
6 20 39 51.3 189 2 2 4 24 60.7
7 14 22 63.6 50 0 0 3 27 67.6
8 21 36 58.3 245 2 0 1 7 97.6
Ave 21.63 34.88 61.88 181 0.88 1.13 3.75 25.25 68.78

2016 Denver Bronco Passing Defense

G# Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Sk Yds Rate
1 18 33 54.5 176 1 1 3 18 67.2
2 21 40 52.5 170 1 1 5 27 61.5
3 21 31 67.7 189 0 1 4 17 70.5
4 17 35 48.6 143 0 2 5 36 35.8
5 15 28 53.6 250 1 0 2 17 95.8
6 18 29 62.1 166 1 0 2 12 89.2
7 22 41 53.7 131 0 0 1 0 60.1
8 20 47 42.6 246 2 3 4 21 46.9
Ave 19.00 35.50 54.41 183.88 0.75 1.00 3.25 18.50 65.88

Passing Defense Observations

  • Teams are not completing passes as well on this year’s defense
  • The Broncos are letting less passes go for TDs
  • They also aren’t quite getting as many INTs per game
  • Our sack rate is still very good though it is down a hair
  • Overall the 2016 team is better against the pass

Funny to think most of us expected a step back for the 2016 Denver Bronco Defense in some way. They look just as dominating to me and definitely are showing the same kind of playoff run potential that they had last year.

Rushing Defense

2015 Denver Bronco Rushing Defense

Att Yds Y/A TD
23 73 3.17 0
28 147 5.25 2
19 28 1.47 1
21 113 5.38 1
25 65 2.6 0
33 109 3.3 0
21 90 4.29 1
40 120 3 1
26.25 93.13 3.56 0.75

2016 Denver Bronco Rushing Defense

Att Yds Y/A TD
32 157 4.91 1
21 83 3.95 1
29 143 4.93 2
26 72 2.77 1
32 122 3.81 1
29 99 3.41 0
25 140 5.6 0
26 123 4.73 0
27.50 117.38 4.26 0.75

Rushing Defense Observations

  • The team misses Malik Jackson and Vance Walker in the run game
  • The Broncos are giving up a significant amount of yards per run on average
  • They still are fairly stout in not letting runners in the end zone

Honestly, this makes the passing defense look that much more impressive. The defense has obviously got some weaknesses in defending the run as they give up an average that I would be happy with if I were their opponents. This is one area that I think some changes in personnel groupings can adjust and help shore up (Darius Kilgo and Billy Winn getting more play time up front situationally).