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2016 Broncos snap count review - defense

Reviewing the 2016 snap counts for the Denver Broncos defense.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

First the table showing the Denver Broncos defensive snap % for all of the guys who got even one defensive snap in 2016 (Shiloh Keo had exactly one).

Defensive Overview

Name Pos Pct
Chris Harris CB 95.6%
Darian Stewart FS 94.5%
T.J. Ward SS 86.0%
Jared Crick DE 82.1%
Von Miller LB 81.2%
Aqib Talib CB 75.9%
Todd Davis LB 60.8%
Bradley Roby CB 59.9%
Shane Ray LB 58.0%
Derek Wolfe DE 57.9%
Sylvester Williams NT 56.4%
Brandon Marshall LB 52.2%
Corey Nelson LB 47.5%
Shaquil Barrett LB 36.6%
Billy Winn DE 29.9%
DeMarcus Ware LB 27.6%
Justin Simmons FS 25.8%
Will Parks SS 23.5%
Adam Gotsis DE 19.3%
Darius Kilgo NT 7.1%
Lorenzo Doss CB 6.7%
Kayvon Webster CB 5.1%
Zaire Anderson LB 4.9%
Dekoda Watson LB 3.8%
Kyle Peko DT 1.4%
Taurean Nixon CB 0.4%
Shiloh Keo SS 0.1%

Now the position group breakdown graphs with the game-by-game progression. For those MHR readers who are color-blind, e-mail me and I’ll send you the tabular data with the game-by-game progression.

Defensive Tackles, Nose Tackles and Defensive Ends

I’m guessing that the coaching staff really didn’t want to use Jared Crick that much this year. Vance Williams injury and Adam Gotsis health/unreadiness forced them to. Darius Kilgo’s lack of development didn’t help either. Kyle Peko looked good as a run stuffer in the final game. Adam Gotsis’ play improved as the year went on. By the end of the season he was at least an average DE.

Outside Linebackers

Von Miller played more snaps in 2016 than had an any previous NFL season. He was definitely earning his money. Shane Ray stepped up when DeMarcus Ware went down. Shaq Barrett did as well. Dekoda Watson played very sparingly.

Inside Linebackers

Corey Nelson was the big surprise here. When Brandon Marshall went down, Nelson stepped up in a big way. Todd Davis was an average ILB. He was definitely a downgrade from Danny Trevathan. Zaire Anderson played fairly well in the one game where he was called on heavily.


Darian Stewart and T.J. Ward were solid all year with many flashes of elite. Justin Simmons and Will Parks both made rookie mistakes, but they also made some great plays as the year went along.


Bradley Roby had three games during the middle of the season where he was forced into the role of #2 CB (games 8-10) with Aqib Talib injured. In those three games we faced three “elite” QBs - Phillip Rivers, Derek Carr and Drew Brees.

Our defense did a great job against Rivers (48.8 QB rating for that game), an OK job against Carr (80.6 QB rating for that game) and a poor job against Brees (111.7 QB rating for the game). I don’t know how much credit or blame Roby should receive for those numbers since I have not reviewed his play in those three games specifically, but it is food for thought. Both Lorenzo Doss and Kayvon Webster played decently when forced to play significant snaps. Doss appears to have surpassed Webster.