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Broncos have had more injuries than the rest of the league over past 4 seasons

Since hiring Loren Landow, the Denver Broncos have had terrible “luck” with injuries. What should be done?

Indianapolis Colts v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Tafoya/Getty Images

The Denver Bronco previous strength and conditioning coach Luke Richesson was hired away in 2018 by the Houston Texans. To replace him the Denver Broncos hired Loren Landow. Since then the Broncos have had terrible “luck” with injuries.

I’m not a personal trainer, nor do I play one on TV, so I have no idea how much effect the strength and conditioning coach has on whether or not a player in the NFL gets seriously hurt.

However, Football Outsiders has been tracking how injured various teams are for over 20 years years now with their AGL, adjusted games lost, metric.

“For more than two decades now, Football Outsiders has collected data from the NFL’s weekly injury reports and transformed it into adjusted games lost. Adjusted games lost doesn’t just add up total injuries. It accounts for both absent players and those playing at less than 100%, and it gives more weight to injuries to expected starters and situational players than to expected back-ups.”

I had been aware of the AGL metric, but I had never paid too much attention to it. Sadaraine raised the question in horse tracks as to whether the Broncos have been more injured than the rest of the league over the last three or four seasons. The answer to that is a resounding yes. Let’s look at the data.

Green is good. Red is bad. Yellow is average. The Broncos have had a significant increase in AGL since Landow took over from Richesson.

Given the number of starters that the Broncos have lost for significant time this season I would expect their 2022 AGL to finish as one of the highest in the league, if not the highest. I doubt that they will top the crazy 191.2 value that the Ravens hit last season, but we shall see. The trend in the graph above is certainly disturbing.

If that trend is direct result of the practices of Landow, then he needs to be replaced.

If you look at the average over the last four full seasons, the Broncos rank 28th worst at 97.3. Only PHI, WAS, SF and NYJ have had worse injury “luck” over the past four seasons.

Rank Team Average 2018-2021
1 LAR 49.6
2 BUF 50.4
3 ATL 56.3
4 TEN 59.8
5 KC 59.9
6 PIT 61.0
7 TB 64.3
8 NO 66.1
9 CHI 66.7
10 MIN 67.3
11 SEA 67.7
12 CLE 70.1
13 HOU 76.0
14 GB 77.1
15 MIA 77.4
16 DAL 78.9
17 CAR 80.7
18 CIN 83.3
19 NYG 84.4
20 IND 85.8
21 BAL 87.0
22 JAX 88.3
23 LVR 89.8
24 ARI 91.3
25 LAC 91.3
26 DET 92.2
27 NE 92.7
28 DEN 97.3
29 PHI 101.4
30 WAS 107.8
31 SF 119.8
32 NYJ 128.2

When your job performance is very public (like a coach of a professional sports franchise), you should not be surprised for calls for your firing if your performance ranks in the bottom of the league.

Of course, I can’t say that Landow’s job performance is directly resulting in more Bronco injuries relative to the rest of the league. Maybe John Elway made a pact with the devil to win Super Bowl 50 and this is the result, but the correlation between when Landow was hired and when the Bronco injury “luck” got much worse is hard to miss. If you accept the premise that the strength and conditioning coach can play a role in minimizing serious injuries, then Landow needs to be fired.

Does this mean that firing Landow and replacing him with someone else will fix the problem? I don’t know. That’s a completely separate study which I may do if the Broncos do indeed fire Loren Landow at the end of this season.


Should Loren Landow be fired as the Denver Bronco strength and conditioning coach?

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  • 78%
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