Ok, so there is some good, but I’m gonna start with the bad stats from our most recent one-score loss.
With 16 one-score games over the last 19, the Denver Broncos have officially set a record for most one-score games over 19 regular season games. Unfortunately for us, 12 of those 16 have been losses. I wrote about the one-point losses last week if you want to read about them.
The defense only allowed conversion on three of ten third downs, which normally would be good, but unfortunately they gave up a high number of first downs on first and second down - 26 to be exact. Twenty of those twenty-six first downs came on first or second down! The Broncos have only given up 26 or more first downs 68 times in team history. The Broncos are now 22-45-1 in those games.
The Bronco defense was mostly useless on first down. Sam Howell was 14/18 for 119 yards and 1 TD on first down and Washington ran the ball 13 times for 67 yards on first down (5.15 YPC). So when the Commanders ran the ball on first down the generally ended up with 2nd and 5 and when they threw the ball on first down the ended up with 2nd and 3.
The Bronco defense gave up 35 points to a team with a QB making his third NFL start. Admittedly, his team is now 3-0 with him starting, but it’s rare for 5th round QBs to amount to much in the modern NFL. Only Mark Brunell and Steve Grogan had notable careers among “recent” fifth round QBs.
Both offenses ran the ball for 122 yards on 23 carries (5.3 YPC) so neither defense was doing much to stop the run. The Bronco defense was much better at getting pressure on Sunday than they were in game one (4 sacks and 8 QBhits), but the Commanders were even better, getting seven sacks and 14 QBhits. The means that Russell Wilson was under duress on 21 of his 32+ dropbacks (since he scrambled three or four times). The offensive line has got to do a better job of protecting him, or we will not see many more games with 30+ points out of the offense.
In the Commanders first game of the season (facing Joshua Dobbs), they only got three sacks and six QB hits. Washington’s OL gave up six sacks and six QBhits in game one. Admittedly Chase Young did not play in game one.
The Bronco offense scored a TD on their first three drives, which is something that the offense had not done since the 49-29 win over KC in 2010.
Last time the Broncos scored a TD on their first 3 drives was in 2010 against KC. https://t.co/JJtDTs9hs1— Joe Mahoney (@ndjomo76) September 17, 2023
The Broncos had four TD drives and they gained most of their yards on those four drives.
The Broncos 4 TD drives on Sunday had 24 total plays and gained 313 yards (13.0 YPP). Their other seven drives had 40 plays and gained 107 yards (2.7 YPP). This was only the 12th time that the Broncos have scored 4 or more TDs in a game since winning SB50. https://t.co/TIOkbuMMZ9— Joe Mahoney (@ndjomo76) September 18, 2023
The Broncos lost for only the 14th time in team history when scoring 33 or more points.
Before yesterday the Broncos only had 13 losses in team history where they scored 33 or more points.— Joe Mahoney (@ndjomo76) September 18, 2023
Last before yesterday was the 33-39 loss to the Colts in 2013https://t.co/tmpvR2bVur
Imagine what the offense could do if the OL was better at protecting Russell Wilson. Both of our free agent OL acquisitions had terrible games in pass protection, but Washington has a stacked DL. They used their first pick or second on a DL player in 2017 (Jonathan Allen), 2018 (Daron Payne), 2019 (Montez Sweat) and 2020 (Chase Young). You won’t find many DL’s as good as what they have.