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Broncos snap counts and percentages Week 9

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Some definite changes to the Denver Broncos snap counts relative to game eight in their 24-19 win over the Cleveland Browns.

NFL: NOV 03 Browns at Broncos Photo by Steve Nurenberg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Injuries and strategy caused some changes in the game-day inactive list from game 8 to game 9

game 8 game 9
Adam Gotsis DeMarcus Walker
Bryce Callahan Bryce Callahan
Will Parks Will Parks
Troy Fumagalli Jeff Heuerman
Jake Rodgers Ja'Wuan James
Jonathan Harris Jonathan Harris
Calvin Anderson Calvin Anderson

The nagging injuries to Jeff Heuerman and DeMarcus Walker meant that Troy Fumagalli and Adam Gotsis were active this game. Ja’Wuan Jame was back on the inactive list and Jake Rodgers was active in his place. The other four players were unchanged from game eight.

Offensive snap percentages

The offense only ran a season-low 50 plays in the game, making it the second time this season that the Bronco offense has failed to break the 60 play mark. The other game was the Jacksonville game, where we also lost the time of possession battle in a big way. Despite the lack of offensive possession time and offensive plays, the offensive matched the season high in points at 24. The Bronco offense has not scored more than 24 points since October 18th of 2018 when the offense scored 38 vs Arizona (the defense scored seven on the Todd Davis pick-6).

Player game 5 game 6 game 7 game 8 game 9
Brandon Allen 0% 0% 0% 0% 100%
Dalton Risner 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Garett Bolles 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Connor McGovern 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Ronald Leary 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Elijah Wilkinson 100% 100% 100% 70% 100%
Courtland Sutton 84% 94% 96% 93% 94%
Noah Fant 66% 65% 72% 82% 86%
DaeSean Hamilton 52% 65% 66% 62% 64%
Royce Freeman 54% 61% 63% 51% 52%
Andy Janovich 31% 37% 19% 38% 52%
Diontae Spencer 3% 8% 1% 10% 50%
Phillip Lindsay 46% 47% 40% 49% 46%
Andrew Beck 25% 18% 13% 19% 20%
Troy Fumagalli 0% 0% 0% 0% 18%
Fred Brown 15% 15% 9% 63% 14%
Devontae Booker 0% 0% 0% 0% 2%
Juwann Winfree 0% 0% 0% 5% 2%
Joe Flacco 100% 100% 100% 100% 0%
Emmanuel Sanders 64% 40% 88% 0% 0%
Jeff Heuerman 61% 52% 33% 27% 0%
Ja'Wuan James 0% 0% 0% 30% 0%

The offensive line played the whole game together again for the seventh time in nine games, unfortunately it didn’t seem to help. Even on the first play on the game, multiple offensive lineman were either missing their assignments (Garett Bolles) or just plain getting beaten (Ronald Leary). See the video below

It’s a testament to Phillip Lindsay’s speed and vision that he was able to get two yards on this play. Sheldon Richardson whips Leary and should have made a TFL on Lindsay here.

We actually started the game in a two TE set on offense. Noah Fant played the most that he has this season at 86 percent even if his total number of snaps, 43, was lower than in other games this year. Fumagalli got nine offensive snaps and Andrew Beck got ten while Andy Janovich played 26 snaps which meant he was in on 52 percent of the offensive plays, a season high for him.

In the wide receiver group, Courtland Sutton hardly left the field on offense (he got three snaps off) while DaeSean Hamilton played heavily (43 snaps, 64 percent) until his injury. The injury to Hamilton increases the likelihood that we bring Tim Patrick back off of IR. Diontae Spencer got his heaviest usage of the season playing 25 offensive snaps (50 percent). It will be interesting to see how his fumble effects his playing time on offense going forward. He is currently our only deep threat/speed threat in the WR group. Fred Brown saw his playing time drop from 46 snaps in game eight to seven snaps in game nine. I would not be surprised if he gets more playing time in game 10 as a result of Spencer’s inability to hold onto the ball. Spencer (5’8”, 170 lbs) is only a little bigger than Trindon Holliday and has similar problems holding onto the ball because of his small hands and small body mass. Jumann Winfree was active but only played on one offensive snap.

Devontae Booker got has first offensive snap since game one. However, he only got one, to bring his total for the season to two. Interestingly enough, we threw him the ball on his one offensive snap this past game. He did have a nice 32 yard kickoff return but he does not play on defensive special teams (44 percent of special teams snaps in game 9) so I will continue to wonder why he is game-day active each week (hedging in case of injury to our 1A and 1B RB’s?). Lindsay and Royce Freeman again split the RB snaps pretty evenly with Lindsay in on 23 and Freeman in on 26.

Defensive Snap Analysis

Player game 5 game 6 game 7 game 8 game 9
Justin Simmons 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Kareem Jackson 100% 100% 95% 100% 100%
Chris Harris 100% 100% 95% 100% 100%
Davontae Harris 44% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Alexander Johnson 93% 87% 69% 91% 96%
Todd Davis 100% 100% 95% 81% 96%
Duke Dawson 81% 0% 36% 81% 81%
Von Miller 91% 89% 85% 94% 79%
Malik Reed 89% 89% 87% 88% 75%
Derek Wolfe 60% 66% 74% 69% 71%
Shelby Harris 56% 54% 51% 50% 63%
Mike Purcell 29% 30% 59% 39% 36%
Justin Hollins 20% 11% 13% 3% 32%
Dre'Mont Jones 36% 37% 25% 30% 28%
Adam Gotsis 0% 0% 0% 0% 19%
Jeremiah Attaochu 0% 11% 15% 14% 15%
Coty Sensabaugh 0% 0% 3% 12% 9%
Josey Jewell 0% 0% 5% 19% 1%
DeMarcus Walker 19% 34% 51% 25% 0%
Trey Marshall 4% 0% 5% 5% 0%
Isaac Yiadom 39% 19% 5% 0% 0%
Corey Nelson 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Will Parks 23% 71% 28% 0% 0%
De'Vante Bausby 17% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Joseph Jones 0% 0% 5% 0% 0%

For the fourth consecutive game our starting secondary (the two safeties and the two cornerbacks) played 95 percent or more of the snaps. This corresponds to the insertion of Davontae Harris into the starting lineup in game 6. In games 1-5 the defense defense was 12th in the league allowing 5.44 YPP (yards per play). Since Harris has become a full-time starter, the defense is allowing only 4.52 YPP which is second best in the league over the last four weeks of the season. Only New Orleans at 4.28 has been better. Oakland at 6.98 YPP allowed has been the worst over the last four games.

From a points allowed standpoint, the defense was giving up 21.2 ppg in games 1-5 and has only allowed 16.0 ppg in games 6-9. I think that is more a function of Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson being allowed to do what they do best, than it is to simply a function of D. Harris’ insertion into the starting lineup. The familiarity with each other and with the defensive system overall (which is probably the most complicated coverage system in the league) has also been a significant contributing factor.

All four members of the starting secondary played 100 percent of the defensive snaps in game 9. Duke Dawson played 81 percent as the slot/nickel CB. While we used three CBs quite a bit, we never used three safeties in this game (Trey Marshall got zero defensive snaps) and we only used four CBs on a handful of plays (Coty Sensabaugh played seven defensive snaps).

This a sharp contrast to the OLB group where Von Miller (79 percent) and Malik Reed (75 percent) where played more sparingly than in the past few games and Justin Hollins (32 percent) and Jeramiah Attaochu (15 percent) were both used more. The ILB group saw Todd Davis and Alexander Johnson take all but one of the available defensive snaps (which went to Josey Jewell). Neither Corey Nelson nor Joseph Jones played a defensive snap this game.

In the DL group Derek Wolfe (71 percent) and Shelby Harris (63 percent) were the two anchors while Mike Purcell (36 percent), Dre’Mont Jones (28 percent) and Adam Gotsis (19 percent) filled out the rotation. The defensive line did what they were supposed to do this game, they kept the blockers off of the ILB’s who were making every other tackle this game (23 combined tackles from Davis and Johnson).

The two offensive players who did get a single offensive snap were Rodgers and Austin Schlottman; the defensive players who did not were Jones, Marshall, Isaac Yiadom and the recently called up from the practice squad, Josh Watson.