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Snap back to reality: Denver Bronco snap counts and analysis from games 10 and 11

For those who are still paying attention, here they are.

New Orleans Saints v Denver Broncos (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

There are things to be learned from player utilization in the last two games, if you choose to learn them.

Offense

Player Position game 1 game 2 game 3 game 4 game 5 game 6 game 7 game 8 game 9 game 10 game 11
Lloyd Cushenberry III C 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Andrew Beck FB/TE 10% 9% 10% 11% 17% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Dalton Risner G 100% 100% 100% 100% 50% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Graham Glasgow G 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 0% 0% 100% 85% 100%
Austin Schlottmann G 0% 0% 0% 0% 50% 0% 100% 100% 0% 15% 0%
Jeff Driskel QB 0% 83% 79% 1% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Brett Rypien QB 0% 0% 21% 99% 0% 1% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Drew Lock QB 100% 17% 0% 0% 100% 99% 100% 100% 100% 100% 0%
Kendall Hinton QB 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 56%
Melvin Gordon RB 63% 79% 62% 80% 0% 60% 55% 60% 56% 52% 81%
Royce Freeman RB 10% 21% 38% 20% 39% 23% 0% 1% 14% 6% 30%
Phillip Lindsay RB 32% 0% 0% 0% 62% 18% 45% 38% 30% 42% 33%
LeVante Bellamy RB 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Jeremy Cox RB/FB 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 10% 9% 0% 6% 2% 0%
Elijah Wilkinson T 100% 100% 100% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 49%
Garett Bolles T 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Demar Dotson T 0% 0% 0% 100% 100% 100% 100% 30% 0% 0% 51%
Calvin Anderson T 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 100% 100% 0%
Jake Rodgers T 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 70% 0% 0% 0%
Noah Fant TE 73% 79% 84% 50% 0% 70% 78% 78% 85% 75% 70%
Jake Butt TE 27% 9% 29% 49% 61% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Nick Vannett TE 27% 30% 0% 40% 45% 45% 17% 15% 14% 63% 47%
Albert Okwuegbunam TE 0% 0% 0% 0% 38% 40% 25% 21% 0% 0% 0%
Troy Fumagalli TE 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 17% 31% 28%
KJ Hamler WR 0% 62% 92% 20% 0% 39% 80% 75% 87% 58% 65%
Tim Patrick WR 85% 65% 84% 76% 92% 66% 0% 82% 59% 83% 72%
Jerry Jeudy WR 75% 57% 73% 69% 73% 75% 89% 84% 86% 63% 51%
DaeSean Hamilton WR 80% 44% 19% 81% 59% 35% 94% 37% 44% 23% 42%
Tyrie Cleveland WR 8% 0% 6% 3% 6% 17% 0% 8% 0% 0% 26%
Diontae Spencer WR 10% 4% 3% 1% 6% 0% 0% 0% 3% 2% 0%
Courtland Sutton WR 0% 40% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Fred Brown WR 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 8% 0% 0% 0% 0%

So our offensive line, which played well against Miami and then was given an impossible task against New Orleans saw Lloyd Cushenberry III, Garett Bolles and Dalton Risner play every snap for the last two games. Graham Glasgow missed a few snaps against Miami and he was replaced by Austin Schlottmann. Against the Saints, Demar Dotson would leave with an injury and be replaced by Elijah Wilkinson. Despite the potential to help our QB-less offense, we did not use six offensive lineman at all against the Saints. We have not done that at all this season. I don’t know if it’s something the Pat Shurmur has ever done, but I know we used it a fair amount in 2011 when Tim Tebow was doing his best impersonation of an NFL quarterback.

With Phillip Lindsay leaving with an injury against the Saints, Melvin Gordon played a season high 81% of the offensive snaps.

I figured our 43 offensive plays and 112 yards would be near the worst totals for an offense this century, but both were not even close. Three teams this century has only run 34 offensive plays in a game: the 2003 Jets, the 2006 Titans and the 2008 Faiders. Our 43 offensive plays actually matched the number that we ran in 24-19 win over the Browns in 2019. There were 32 other teams this century who have put up fewer yards than the Broncos did on Sunday against the Saints and those teams all had actual NFL QBs playing for them. The 2004 Browns had 26 yards of total offense in their 37-7 loss to the Bills. Luke McCown was the starting QB for the Browns that game. There are 13 teams that failed to crack 100 yards of offense in a game this century.

So our wide receivers who were not playing QB saw Tyrie Cleveland play a season high 26 percent against the Saints. Jerry Jeudy, who was limited by injury, played a season low 51 percent against New Orleans.

We did use two tight ends a decent amount in both games. Noah Fant, Troy Fumagalli and Nick Vannett combined to play 110 offensive snaps vs MIA (we ran 65 offensive plays vs MIA) and 62 offensive snaps vs NO. Given how stacked the boxes were vs NO, I would have liked to see an offensive lineman reporting as eligible and playing in place of Fumagalli or Vannett on a few of these plays. Calvin Anderson may not be a very good offensive tackle, but he is a much better run blocker than Fumagalli or Vannett.

Defense

Player Position game 1 game 2 game 3 game 4 game 5 game 6 game 7 game 8 game 9 game 10 game 11
Bryce Callahan CB 99% 100% 97% 100% 100% 100% 100% 0% 97% 100% 58%
Michael Ojemudia CB 79% 100% 97% 100% 100% 73% 92% 100% 0% 0% 39%
Essang Bassey CB 56% 72% 57% 48% 0% 0% 17% 68% 60% 83% 41%
A.J. Bouye CB 35% 0% 0% 0% 0% 100% 80% 0% 97% 100% 97%
Davontae Harris CB 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 76% 0% 0% 0%
De'Vante Bausby CB 0% 0% 0% 51% 74% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Kevin Toliver CB 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 24% 0% 0% 0%
Duke Dawson CB/S 0% 6% 1% 10% 18% 8% 9% 3% 7% 0% 0%
Jurrell Casey DE 70% 78% 71% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Shelby Harris DE 56% 51% 57% 71% 67% 63% 59% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Dre'Mont Jones DE 47% 31% 0% 0% 0% 61% 59% 58% 65% 78% 78%
DeMarcus Walker DE 21% 6% 0% 0% 0% 43% 30% 58% 61% 54% 67%
DeShawn Williams DT 0% 0% 40% 39% 63% 57% 36% 46% 54% 40% 55%
McTelvin Agim DT 0% 0% 13% 22% 0% 0% 0% 27% 29% 14% 25%
Timmy Jernigan DT 0% 0% 0% 1% 18% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Alexander Johnson ILB 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 99% 93% 97% 98%
Josey Jewell ILB 98% 97% 91% 95% 86% 92% 92% 96% 90% 89% 86%
Joseph Jones ILB 1% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 1% 0% 0% 0%
Austin Calitro ILB 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Josh Watson ILB 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 4% 0% 0%
Mike Purcell NT 51% 63% 69% 62% 63% 10% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Sylvester Williams NT 0% 0% 0% 0% 12% 0% 28% 45% 43% 26% 50%
Jeremiah Attaochu OLB 74% 62% 38% 0% 0% 0% 23% 31% 40% 31% 36%
Bradley Chubb OLB 73% 86% 71% 77% 84% 71% 82% 79% 72% 77% 73%
Malik Reed OLB 41% 48% 43% 74% 86% 84% 77% 75% 65% 85% 77%
Derrek Tuszka OLB 0% 0% 0% 6% 7% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Anthony Chickillo OLB 0% 0% 49% 43% 23% 39% 18% 15% 21% 8% 14%
Justin Simmons S 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Kareem Jackson S 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 99% 100% 96% 100% 100%
Trey Marshall S 1% 0% 3% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 3% 0% 0%
P.J. Locke S 0% 0% 3% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 3%
Alijah Holder S 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 18% 3%

The defense only faced 64 offensive plays against NO. That’s actually one fewer than they faced against MIA. The key difference is that MIA had the ball for only 29 minutes and 41 seconds while NO had the ball for 35 minutes and 46 seconds.

Both of our starting safeties played every snap in both games. Against the Dolphins we used Alijah Holder as a third safety on 18 percent of the snaps. Holder is like Duke Dawson in that he is a S/CB hybrid. Both P.J. Locke and Holder played two defensive snaps against the Saints.

The cornerback group had Bryce Callahan get injured against the Saints - he’s on IR now which pressed Michael Ojemudia back into service. He had been in the dog house and had not played a single defensive snap in the previous two games. Essang Bassey played CB3 against the Dolphins taking 83 percent of the defensive snaps while A.J. Bouye played 100 and 97 percent of the defensive snaps over the last two games. No other CBs played defense in the past two games beside these four guys and only Callahan, Bassey and Bouye played defensive snaps against the Dolphins. It will be interesting to see who gets the CB4 snaps moving forward with Callahan on the IR.

Dre’Mont Jones played a career high 78 percent of the defensive snaps in both games. Sylvester Williams played sparingly vs MIA (26 percent) and then heavily against the run-oriented Saints (50 percent). The absence of Shelby Harris meant that DeMarcus Walker (54 and 67 percent), DeShawn Williams (40 and 55 percent) and McTelvim Agim (14 and 25 percent) all had increased workloads.

Bradley Chubb (77 and 73 percent) and Malik Reed (85 and 77 percent) both played well in both games. Jeremiah Attaochu (31 and 36 percent) subbed in for both while Anthony Chickillo (8 and 14 percent) played sparingly. I doubt we had any plays in either game with both Chubb and Reed on the sideline.

Our inside linebackers Alexander Johnson (97 and 98 percent) and Josey Jewell (89 and 86 percent) did what they have mostly done all year in terms of playing time. None of the back-up ILBs played defensive snaps in either game.