Three numbers to know for Broncos-Jets
DENVER — Look at it this way: The Broncos offense can only go up from here, right?
Offensive touchdowns scored by the Broncos through six games. No team has fewer. Carolina has the same tally — but has 10 total touchdowns thanks to three scores by its defense.
So, let’s face it: It’s not like the Broncos can do any worse than being at the bottom. The only reason why they aren’t dead last in points generated by the offense is because enough drives have landed in field-goal range to allow Brandon McManus to do his work. His 14 field goals through six weeks rank third in the league, tied with Dallas’ Brett Maher.
McManus is 14-of-17 on the season. One of the misses was from 64 yards in the dying seconds of the Week 1 loss at Seattle. Another attempt was blocked by Indianapolis.
That is Rypien’s interception percentage from his work in 2020. One of every 10.5 attempts ended in the hands of a defender.
That’s bad, yes. In fact, it’s the worst of the 94 NFL quarterbacks with at least 30 attempts since 2019. Two of the interceptions came in a four-pass stretch of the fourth quarter of Rypien’s first start. To his credit, he rebounded and directed what proved to be the game-winning drive on the subsequent series, hitting Tim Patrick for a 31-yard connection along the way.
“I learned a lot,” Rypien said when asked about what he took from his first start. “I think the game itself was really up and down. Obviously, the fourth quarter was pretty crazy.”
What the Broncos hope is that two more years of gestation will ensure a performance that doesn’t test the cardiovascular systems of their fans.
The Broncos’ record since 2010 when starting a relief quarterback with no previous starts that season. (Note: This does not include the 2020 game against the New Orleans Saints, when the Broncos played without a regular quarterback, starting RB Phillip Lindsay and using WR Kendall Hinton.)
Those previous starters during the 11 games in the span and the results:
- 2010: Tim Tebow, 39-23 loss at Oakland
- 2011: Tebow, 18-15 win at Miami
- 2015: Brock Osweiler, 17-15 win at Chicago
- 2016: Paxton Lynch, 23-16 loss to Atlanta
- 2017: Osweiler, 51-23 loss at Philadelphia
- 2017: Lynch, 21-14 loss at Oakland
- 2019: Brandon Allen, 24-19 win over Cleveland
- 2019: Drew Lock, 23-20 win over the Chargers
- 2020: Jeff Driskel, 28-10 loss to Tampa Bay
- 2020: Rypien, 37-28 win over the Jets
- 2021: Lock, 17-13 loss at Las Vegas
And one more, for good measure …
Yardage allowed in man coverage by Jets rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner. According to Pro Football Focus, this is the fewest yards allowed by any cornerback with at least five targets in man coverage.
The passer rating of opposing QBs when throwing at Gardner is 54.2, per PFF. He hasn’t allowed a touchdown since Week 2.
“Yeah, Sauce is a really good player. You can tell he’s got great ball skills,” Rypien said. “He’s very sticky in coverage. In man, he does a very good job. Really their whole defense on the back end does a very good job.”