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Baby got stat(s)! - Denver Bronco stat view for week 13

Interesting tidbits in what appears to be another lost season for the Broncos

Denver Broncos v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

So the week 13 stats have been updated in PFR and Javonte Williams is the best player in the league at breaking tackles. He currently has 27 broken tackles according to pro-football-reference.com (26 on runs and one on a catch) and that is tied with Najee Harris for the league lead. In terms of a rate stat Williams is currently the fifth best in broken tackles per touch behind Taysom Hill, Deebo Samuel, Chris Carson and Brandon Bolden. However, none of those four have more than 81 touches this year. Williams has 173.

Rk Player Tm Pos G R. BrkTkl C. BrkTkl Total Total Touches Touches/BrkTkl
1 Taysom Hill NOR qb 8 8 1 9 35 3.89
2 Deebo Samuel SFO WR 11 5 11 16 81 5.06
3 Chris Carson SEA rb 4 8 2 10 60 6.00
4 Brandon Bolden NWE RB 12 2 8 10 62 6.20
5 Javonte Williams DEN rb 12 26 1 27 173 6.41
6 Alexander Mattison MIN rb 12 12 8 20 134 6.70
7 Zack Moss BUF rb 10 13 2 15 103 6.87
8 Mark Ingram 2TM rb 12 8 2 10 73 7.30
9 Christian McCaffrey CAR rb 7 12 6 18 136 7.56
10 Josh Jacobs LVR rb 10 13 7 20 163 8.15
11 Miles Sanders PHI rb 10 10 6 16 135 8.44
12 Rhamondre Stevenson NWE rb 9 8 5 13 112 8.62
13 Nick Chubb CLE rb 9 16 2 18 162 9.00
14 AJ Dillon GNB rb 12 14 3 17 155 9.12
15 Melvin Gordon DEN RB 11 13 4 17 157 9.24
16 Najee Harris PIT RB 12 15 12 27 274 10.15
17 Mike Davis ATL RB 12 5 8 13 134 10.31
18 James Conner ARI rb 12 15 3 18 186 10.33
19 Khalil Herbert CHI rb 12 9 1 10 104 10.40
20 Tyreek Hill KAN WR 12 0 9 9 94 10.44
21 Kareem Hunt CLE rb 7 9 0 9 96 10.67
22 Antonio Gibson WAS rb 12 19 3 22 237 10.77
23 David Montgomery CHI rb 8 12 2 14 154 11.00
24 Lamar Jackson BAL QB 11 11 0 11 131 11.91
25 Joe Mixon CIN RB 12 19 2 21 253 12.05
26 D'Andre Swift DET rb 11 9 7 16 196 12.25
27 Alvin Kamara NOR rb 8 12 2 14 178 12.71
28 Jonathan Taylor IND RB 13 19 2 21 277 13.19
29 Jalen Hurts PHI QB 12 9 0 9 122 13.56
30 James Robinson JAX rb 11 10 2 12 165 13.75
31 Leonard Fournette TAM RB 12 10 5 15 210 14.00
32 Dalvin Cook MIN rb 9 11 3 14 198 14.14
33 Austin Ekeler LAC RB 12 11 3 14 205 14.64
34 Elijah Mitchell SFO rb 9 11 1 12 182 15.17
35 Damien Harris NWE RB 12 10 1 11 177 16.09
36 Derrick Henry TEN rb 8 10 1 11 237 21.55

R. BrkTkl is broken tackles on runs.

C. BrkTkl is broken tackles on catches.

Looking at players with a minimum of nine broken tackles, there are only fifteen players who average better than one broken tackle for every ten touches. Two are on the Broncos with Melvin Gordon having breaking one tackle every 9.24 touches so far this season. With 40 broken tackles on running plays, the Denver Broncos are currently the best team in the league at breaking tackles on runs. The Eagles, who are second with 36, have played on more game than the Broncos.

While the Bronco runners have been really good at breaking tackles, the Bronco pass catchers have not. The Broncos only have eleven broken tackles in the passing game. In terms of touches per broken tackle by team, the Broncos currently rank third behind the Seahawks and the Eagles.

Rank Team Rush Att R. BrkTkl Rec C. BrkTkl Drop Drop% Total BrT Total touches Touches/BrT
1 Seattle Seahawks 270 20 239 25 9 2.5 45 509 11.3
2 Philadelphia Eagles 412 36 233 21 16 4.2 57 645 11.3
3 Denver Broncos 311 40 271 11 11 2.7 51 582 11.4
4 Las Vegas Raiders 276 20 306 29 17 3.8 49 582 11.9
5 Cleveland Browns 346 33 224 13 13 3.6 46 570 12.4
6 Chicago Bears 342 29 213 15 17 4.8 44 555 12.6
7 Pittsburgh Steelers 284 18 299 27 21 4.5 45 583 13.0
8 New England Patriots 380 22 279 27 11 2.8 49 659 13.4
9 Carolina Panthers 333 23 241 19 26 6.3 42 574 13.7
10 New Orleans Saints 338 29 220 11 20 5.2 40 558 14.0
11 San Francisco 49ers 355 20 232 22 18 5.0 42 587 14.0
12 Cincinnati Bengals 326 25 262 17 17 4.4 42 588 14.0
13 Minnesota Vikings 325 25 307 17 18 4.0 42 632 15.0
14 Detroit Lions 291 17 282 19 22 5.2 36 573 15.9
15 Kansas City Chiefs 294 7 321 31 31 6.3 38 615 16.2
16 Buffalo Bills 310 26 294 11 19 4.2 37 604 16.3
17 Indianapolis Colts 383 31 268 7 20 4.7 38 651 17.1
18 Atlanta Falcons 282 12 288 21 13 3.0 33 570 17.3
19 Dallas Cowboys 331 15 317 22 17 3.7 37 648 17.5
20 Washington Football Team 354 23 270 12 15 3.8 35 624 17.8
21 Miami Dolphins 311 14 336 22 29 5.8 36 647 18.0
22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 263 15 354 19 18 3.5 34 617 18.1
23 Jacksonville Jaguars 280 16 249 13 20 4.7 29 529 18.2
24 Green Bay Packers 314 20 271 12 9 2.2 32 585 18.3
25 Arizona Cardinals 372 23 272 10 13 3.5 33 644 19.5
26 Baltimore Ravens 384 22 273 10 20 4.7 32 657 20.5
27 New York Jets 260 13 285 13 25 5.4 26 545 21.0
28 Tennessee Titans 379 18 258 8 15 3.8 26 637 24.5
29 Los Angeles Rams 290 9 294 14 24 5.4 23 584 25.4
30 Los Angeles Chargers 270 13 315 10 28 5.9 23 585 25.4
31 Houston Texans 285 12 237 8 13 3.5 20 522 26.1
32 New York Giants 277 8 273 11 21 4.8 19 550 28.9

The best receiving corps in the league for breaking tackles is the Chiefs’ group. They have 31. The best Bronco pass catcher for broken tackles so far this season is Gordon with four. For whatever reason, our tight ends don’t break tackles. Eric Saubert (253 lbs) has the most of the TE group with two. Albert Okweugbunam (258 lbs) has one and Noah Fant (250 lbs) has zero so far this season.

It would seem that this is a scheme thing since all three of our tight ends are large enough to be able to break tackles. It could be that Pat Shurmur is not calling routes for them where they are in good situations to break tackles (such as when they are trying to be tackled by much smaller defenders like 190 lb CBs). SIS datahub has average depth of target for all three of our TEs and the numbers are quite small Fant (5.5 yds), Albert O. (4.6 yds) and Saubert (3.8 yds). This might be a function of Shurmur not wanting to use either Albert O. or Fant on deep routes, or it could be that neither has shown much ability to catch intermediate and or deep passes so far this season. I can only remember two or three deeper balls to TEs this season and none of them were caught.

NFL nextgen stats is maddeningly hit-or-miss on graphs, but they do have three of Fant’s route charts for games this season. In those three games, I count a grand total of four routes where Fant is running up the field and not towards the sideline or parallel to the LOS. Looking at 2020, it looks like we used Fant much more on verticals routes last season than we have so far this year. That seems like a poor use of a TE who has very good straight-line speed, but lacks quickness and generally can’t break tackles. Fant has played in 42 NFL games and has a total of seven broken tackles in his NFL career on 154 career touches. Remember that Pookie has 27 on 173 at this point in his career. For comparison Dallas Goedert and Travis Kelce both have eight broken tackles this season and Gerald Everett has seven this season.

It would appear that in 2020 we used all of our TEs on deeper routes. Fant had an average depth of target of 7.0 yards last season, Fumagalli - 7.4 yards and Albert O. 9.3 yards. The only TEs ran short routes in general for us last season were Nick Vannett (5.0 yards) and Jake Butt (3.5 yds but on two catches total for year). I don’t know how much of this is Shurmur and how much of this is Teddy Bridgewater.

Staying with the them of missed/broken tackles, the Bronco defense is currently the best in the league at NOT missing tackles. The Bronco defense has only missed 55 tackles so far this season in twelve games. Our 4.6 missed tackles per game is the best in the league. The Patriots defense is second at 4.9 and the Jaguar defense is worst at 8.1.

While the defense has been good at tackling, we have been getting worse at generating pressure on the QB. The Bronco D currently ranks eighth in pressure rate - getting pressure on 26.7 percent of opponent’s dropbacks, but our ranking was much closer to the top of the league earlier in the season. On Sunday vs the Chiefs, the Broncos had one sack and three QB hits. While the defense did hold Patrick Mahomes to his worst QB rating against us since his rookie year (first start ever), much of that can be attributed to the Chief receivers dropping a host of passes on Sunday night.

In general the Bronco receivers have been good at catching catchable passes. According to PFR, Bronco receivers have the third lowest drop rate in the league at 2.7 percent behind the Packers (2.2 percent) and the Seahawks (2.5 percent). As of right now, Kansas City has the worst drop rate in the league at 6.3 percent (tied with the Panthers).

One thing that our defense has done poorly so far this year is stopping opposing offenses on third down. Right now the Broncos rank 29th in third down conversion percentage allowed. We are allowing opposing offenses to convert on 43.9 percent of their third down tries. Only the Falcons (48.3), Chargers (49.0) and WFT (50.0) have been worse this year. League average right now is 39.7 percent allowed. Without improvement this would be the worse third down conversion rate that a Bronco defense has allowed since 2008 when we allowed a 44.1 percent conversion rate on third downs.