I’m not much of a numbers guy when it comes to how I watch the Denver Broncos. I mostly use the eye test, and keep my numerology to the basics. I don’t math much, if you get my meaning.
Still, there was a number that stood out to me this week when scrolling through Broncos Twitter. 117.
That was the number of drives that ended in a punt or a turnover in 2022 for Denver, the worst in the league. For added context, the Houston Texans were just behind (ahead of) the Broncos at 115 and the list of teams in the 70s includes both participants in the Super Bowl and most of the playoff teams.
# of drives ending in a punt or turnover in 2022— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) June 2, 2023
66 - DET
71 - BUF, KC
73 - GB
74 - PHI
76 - CIN
78 - BAL, SF
80 - JAX, LV
81 - ATL, MIA, CLE
86 - PIT
87 - SEA, NYG
89 - DAL
90 - CHI
91 - LAC
92 - ARI
96 - LAR
97 - MIN
99 - TB,…
When I saw Warren Sharp’s tweet it hit me as something obvious, but important. Of course, punting and turning the ball over is bad. Obviously, the best teams will do this a lot less.
So why make a note of it? With 15 interceptions (11 for Russell Wilson), and 9 fumbles lost, the turnovers aren’t really the scariest part of all this. It’s the fact that if you take away those turnovers you still have 93 drives ending in a punt. Good for 21, or bottom third of the league.
One of the constant mantras I have taken on is, “Whatever Sean Payton wants.” As I have discussed with Ian on Odds and Endzones, after 7 years of garbage, I am happy to just let Payton completely rework this team. Whatever he wants to do to fix the inept offense that has plagued Broncos Country since 2015, great.
It’s a simplistic look at things, but sometimes the simplest stats can be the most revealing. Not that any of this is news to anyone reading this. I know it’s been crystal clear just how bad the offense has been. Still, seeing it posted like that, with all the teams listed, and that DEN sitting at the bottom, it was a striking stat.
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