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Woe is the Broncos’ offense

The Broncos will most likely fall into last place in scoring rank over the past six seasons.

Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos have currently scored 311 points which is 23rd in the NFL. The highest rank in scoring that the Broncos have attained over the last six seasons is 22nd (in 2016). The 2016 Broncos scored 333 points in 16 regular season games (20.81 points per game - ppg). The 2021 Broncos are currently scoring 19.4 ppg. To surpass the 2016 Broncos, the Bronco offense would need to score 43 points on Sunday against the Chiefs. 311 + 43 = 354. 354/17 = 20.82.

How many of you think the Broncos can score 43 points on Sunday? It’s possible, but highly unlikely.

The Broncos have two games over the past six seasons where they topped 40 points scored: the 2017 win over Dallas (42-17) and the 2018 win over the hapless (at that time) Cardinals (45-10). That 2018 win was the last time the Broncos scored more than 38 points.

In Drew Lock’s first three starts against the Chiefs, the Broncos have scored a total of 35 points and been outscored 88-35.

During the Broncos 12-game losing streak to the Chiefs, the Broncos have turned the ball over 31 times while the Chiefs have turned the ball over 9 times.

Even if the Broncos score 30+ points against the Chiefs (which the Broncos haven’t done since the last victory over the Chiefs in 2015 - 31-24), the Broncos will most likely finish 22nd or 23rd in scoring offense for the season. The Steelers are currently 21st with 327 points scored. If the Steelers score 17 against the Ravens, that would put them at 344 points for the season, meaning that the Broncos would have to score 34 against KC to finish 21st in scoring. The last time the Broncos scored 34 or more against KC was 2013 when the Broncos had the most prolific scoring offense in NFL history.

With one regular season game remaining, here is the scoring rank data for the NFL 2016-2021

Team 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021*
Arizona Cardinals 6 25 32 16 13 11
Atlanta Falcons 1 15 7 13 16 27
Baltimore Ravens 21 9 20 1 7 16
Buffalo Bills 11 22 31 23 2 3
Carolina Panthers 15 12 16 20 24 29
Chicago Bears 28 29 14 29 23 26
Cincinnati Bengals 24 26 26 30 29 5
Cleveland Browns 31 32 15 22 14 20
Dallas Cowboys 5 14 22 6 17 1
Denver Broncos 22 27 24 28 28 23
Detroit Lions 20 7 25 18 20 28
Green Bay Packers 4 21 21 15 1 10
Houston Texans 29 17 10 14 18 30
Indianapolis Colts 8 30 9 17 9 7
Jacksonville Jaguars 25 5 30 26 30 32
Kansas City Chiefs 13 6 1 5 6 4
Miami Dolphins 17 28 3 11 15 24
Minnesota Vikings 23 10 27 25 11 14
New England Patriots 3 2 18 8 27 8
New Orleans Saints 2 4 6 7 5 19
New York Giants 26 31 4 4 31 31
New York Jets 30 24 17 19 32 25
Oakland/LV Raiders 7 23 28 31 10 18
Philadelphia Eagles 16 3 19 24 26 12
Pittsburgh Steelers 10 8 11 12 12 21
San Diego/LA Chargers 9 13 8 27 19 6
San Francisco 49ers 27 20 5 21 21 13
Seattle Seahawks 18 11 12 2 8 17
STL/LA Rams 32 1 13 9 22 9
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19 18 2 3 3 2
Tennessee Titans 14 19 23 10 4 15
Washington ? 12 16 29 32 25 22

If you average the scoring rank over the last six seasons and sort from lowest to highest, you find the Broncos have had the worst average scoring offense rank in the league.

Team Average Scoring Rank 2016-2022
Kansas City Chiefs 5.8
New Orleans Saints 7.2
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7.8
Dallas Cowboys 10.8
New England Patriots 11.0
Seattle Seahawks 11.3
Green Bay Packers 12.0
Baltimore Ravens 12.3
Pittsburgh Steelers 12.3
Atlanta Falcons 13.2
Indianapolis Colts 13.3
San Diego/LA Chargers 13.7
Tennessee Titans 14.2
STL/LA Rams 14.3
Buffalo Bills 15.3
Miami Dolphins 16.3
Philadelphia Eagles 16.7
Arizona Cardinals 17.2
San Francisco 49ers 17.8
Minnesota Vikings 18.3
Carolina Panthers 19.3
Oakland Raiders 19.5
Detroit Lions 19.7
Houston Texans 19.7
New York Giants 21.2
Cleveland Browns 22.3
Washington ? 22.7
Cincinnati Bengals 23.3
New York Jets 24.5
Jacksonville Jaguars 24.7
Chicago Bears 24.8
Denver Broncos 25.3

So the Bronco offense over the last six seasons has been bad. Let’s see how “bad” by comparing to the other “terrible” offenses during this stretch. To do this let’s look at total points scored 2016-2021 for the Bengals, Bears, Jaguars, Jets and Broncos. What we find with this is that the while the Broncos have been in the bottom quartile of the league in scoring over the past six seasons, they have never been so bad that the combined points scored over the past six years is as bad as the Jets and Jaguars (yay?).

Team 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 Total
Bengals 325 290 368 279 311 444 2017
Bears 279 264 421 280 372 294 1910
Broncos 333 289 329 282 323 311 1867
Jaguars 318 417 245 300 306 227 1813
Jets 275 298 333 276 243 300 1725

However, unlike the Bears, who had one good scoring season in the past six (421 points in 2018), the season high for the Broncos in 16 games was in 333 in 2016. The 2021 Broncos need to score 23 points in the 17th regular season game to get more total points scored than the 2016 Broncos. The last time the Broncos scored 23 or more against the Chiefs was in the 2018 road loss (23-30). I should also note that the Jags had one good year of offense over the past six seasons (417 points in 2017), but that was not enough to offset five atrocious scoring seasons (at least by total points).

Poll

How many points do you think the Broncos will score on Sunday against the KC?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    0-6
    (45 votes)
  • 51%
    7-13
    (174 votes)
  • 23%
    14-20
    (80 votes)
  • 6%
    21-30
    (21 votes)
  • 4%
    31 or more
    (16 votes)
336 votes total Vote Now