The Broncos have now tied a dubious record with nine losses by 8 points or fewer (yes, that’s proper English).
Broncos 12 losses this season by score difference: 1, 9, 3, 3, 7, 7, 6, 13, 1, 6, 37, 3. 9 one score losses. I wonder what the record is?— Joe Mahoney (@ndjomo76) January 2, 2023
If they lose the final game of the season by eight points or less, they will set a new record with 10 one-score losses. Of course, the NFL did not add the two-point conversion until the 1994 season, so prior to that, a one-score loss was by seven or fewer points.
Eighteen other teams have lost nine games by eight points or fewer including this year’s Faiders team. They are shown below.
The first team to do it was the 1983 Bucs.
52 teams have eight or more one-score losses in a season. This is only the second time the Broncos have had a “snake-bit” season like this. The Chargers have the most with seven seasons where they had eight or more one-score losses.
With five losses by three or fewer points, the Broncos are not setting a record and can’t. The record is seven by the 1994 Houston Oilers (that went 2-14). That team won five more games in the following season.
The record for one-point losses is three set by six teams - most recently the 2021 Ravens.
I looked at the 17 teams that had 9 one-score losses to see how each team fared the next season.
|Team||Season||Wins that season||Wins next season||Wins +/-|
The average team that had nine one-score losses won 3.5 games during that season and then won 7.4 the following year. One team of note that lost nine one-score games was the 2000 Patriots that finished the regular season 5-11 in Darth Belicheat’s first season as their head coach. They proceeded to go 11-5 the next season and with their first Super Bowl.
Only one team failed to win more games the next season relative to that year that they had nine one-score L’s, that would be the 1989 Chargers. The won six in 1989 and in 1990.
If the Broncos win next week to finish the season 5-12, a four-win improvement, like the average, would mean a record of 9-8 in 2023. That could be good enough to make the playoffs (it is this season). A six or seven win improvement is not out of the realm of possibility since the five teams have improved by six or seven wins the year after losing nine one-score games.
A dramatic improvement in health and offensive line play will go a long way toward that six or seven win improvement. The Broncos had 20 players on IR as of Saturday.
As has happened more often than not this season, one of the five starters on the offensive line did not play the whole game. Dalton Risner only played 41 of 70 offensive snaps. Quinn Bailey played at LG for him when he went down. The rest of the OL played the whole game. They only allowed four sacks this game, which is about our average for the season. The team has allowed 61 and will most likely break the franchise record of 63 (in ‘63). Russell Wilson has been sacked 53 times, which is a career high for him.
The new offensive scheme that we used in the loss in Missouri on Sunday made some changes to player utilization.
Luke Wattenberg was active but did not play at all on offense or special teams.
The biggest change was playing Albert Okweugbunam (possibly out of necessity with Dulcich done for the season). Albert O. played 37 offensive snaps which was the most for our TEs. The Eric’s played 24 and 23 snaps (does it really matter which played which?). Andrew Beck played 13 snaps as our FB/TE.
Jerry Jeudy played the most of the WR group with 62 snaps. Courtland Sutton played 57. Kendall Hinton, Brandon Johnson and Jalen Virgil played 33, 14 and 4 snaps. Montrell Washington and Freddie Swain was not active.
We used plenty of two RB sets with Latavius Murray and Chase Edmonds playing 42 and 41 snaps on offense. No other RB got offensive snaps. Marlon Mack was used on special teams, but not on offense. This was also a big change from the previous few games when Mack was a bigger part of the offense.
|Patrick Surtain II||CB||60||100%|
Only two defensive players were game-day inactive, Baron Browning and DJ Jones.
Our five defensive stalwarts were reduced to four this game with Damarri Mathis leaving the game with a concussion after 19 defensive snaps. Justin Simmons, Kareem Jackson, Josey Jewell and Patrick Surtain all played every defensive snap.
Alex Singleton played 40 of 67 defensive snaps.
Jonathon Cooper, Nik Bonitto, Jonathan Kongbo and Wyatt Ray played 46, 37, 20 and 15 snaps at OLB.
The defensive line group had DeShawn Williams, Jonathan Harris, Mike Purcell, Eyioma Uwazurike, Matt Henningsen, and Elijah Garcia 43, 42, 36, 19, 12, and 7.
With Mathis out, Lamar Jackson was CB2 playing 41 snaps. K’Waun Williams played 39 as the nickel corner. Essang Bassey played three.