BRONCOS

Three numbers that tell the story of Broncos-Raiders

Nov 22, 2022, 1:02 AM
Russell Wilson...
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

DENVER — The Broncos understandably feel lousy. Six losses in seven games will do that to a team — and a fan base. But it’s not just the 3-7 record, but how it has happened, with an offense that continues to lag.

A series of efficient drives in the first half wasn’t enough to carry the Broncos beyond a mid-teens output that seems to be the norm this year. Denver scored exactly 16 points for the fourth time this season. This meant that the Broncos added another game to their league-leading tally of sub-17-point games since Super Bowl 50.

The numbers aren’t all fun, but this is where the Broncos sit.

First, let’s start with a positive for quarterback Russell Wilson:

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77.42

That is Wilson’s completion percentage Sunday, a career high. Had Courtland Sutton not dropped a second-quarter pass, it would have nudged over 80 percent. (The pass that sailed through Kendall Hinton’s hands in the third quarter did not go in the statistical ledger, as the Broncos accepted an offsides penalty against Las Vegas.)

It’s Wilson’s best completion percentage in his last 14 starts. It’s also the best completion percentage for a Broncos starting QB in the last 26 games, since Teddy Bridgewater completed 28 of his 36 passes (77.8 percent) in Week 1 against the New York Giants last year.

This is also the fourth-best completion percentage for a Broncos starting QB in the 107 games played since Super Bowl 50. In addition to Bridgewater to start last season, Drew Lock surpassed Wilson’s figure twice: at Houston in 2019 (81.5 percent) and at Carolina 12 months and five days later (77.9 percent).

As frustrating as the final score was for the Broncos, the rhythm Wilson found with Klint Kubiak calling plays is something on which they can build.

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9

Number of plays from scrimmage to gain at least 30 yards against the Broncos since Week 7. Only Green Bay has allowed more in that span.

Las Vegas reeled off three of them after the 1:00 mark of regulation on Derek Carr passes: 43 yards to Josh Jacobs to set up the game-tying field goal, and 33- and 35-yard overtime strikes to Foster Moreau and Davante Adams, respectively. The latter of those ended the game. Carr also hit Adams for a 31-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

Those four 30-plus strikes followed two posted by the Tennessee Titans in the previous week. Jacksonville and the Jets combined for three 30-plus plays before the bye, but two were runs.

Before Week 7, the Broncos were second-best in the NFL in this category. They allowed just four plays of 30-plus yards in their first six games.

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4

Touchdowns in the Broncos’ five home games this season. That is the fewest for any five-home-game stretch in franchise history. Denver has exactly one touchdown in four of its home games this season, with no trips to the end zone in a Week 5 loss to Indianapolis.

And a bonus number:

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1

That is the number of teams to rally from 3-7 to finish in a playoff spot. The only one to do it was the then-Washington Football Team in 2020. That club had the benefit of being in a lagging division in which 7-9 was good enough to win and secure a home playoff game.

Also relevant is the fact that just 3 of 153 teams to start 3-7 finished with a winning record. One of them was the 2021 Miami Dolphins, who changed coaches but carried momentum into this season. Whether it is with a new head coach or not, a similar finish and boost heading into 2023 is likely where the Broncos’ hopes rest in what looks more and more like a lost season.

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Three numbers that tell the story of Broncos-Raiders