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2016 review: Broncos first drive, first quarter woes

May 19th, 2017 at 9:06 AM
Aggregated By Sports Media 101

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

In case you forgot, the Broncos tended to sleepwalk through the beginning of games, both on offense and on defense in 2016. The defense was particularly bad in the opening drive for the opponent (at least in the first half of the year)

CAR9/8/20168 ( 3 P, 5 R, 0 Y)4:2471Touchdown
IND9/18/20167 ( 3 P, 3 R, 0 Y)3:2426Field Goal
CIN9/25/20165 ( 1 P, 4 R, 0 Y)2:5074Touchdown
TAM10/2/20163 ( 1 P, 2 R, 0 Y)1:294Interception
ATL10/9/20169 ( 6 P, 3 R, 0 Y)3:4275Touchdown
SDG10/13/201612 ( 10 P, 4 R, 0 Y)7:0075Touchdown
HOU10/24/20163 ( 1 P, 2 R, 0 Y)1:235Punt
SDG10/30/20167 ( 4 P, 3 R, 0 Y)3:4185Touchdown
OAK11/6/20168 ( 4 P, 3 R, 0 Y)4:1247Field Goal
NOR11/13/20165 ( 3 P, 2 R, 1 Y)2:0012Punt
KAN11/27/20163 ( 1 P, 2 R, 0 Y)1:324Punt
JAX12/4/20163 ( 2 P, 1 R, 1 Y)1:324Punt
TEN12/11/201611 ( 2 P, 9 R, 0 Y)6:0670Touchdown
NWE12/18/20164 ( 1 P, 2 R, 0 Y)1:447Punt
KAN12/25/20167 ( 2 P, 5 R, 0 Y)3:5177Touchdown
OAK1/1/20176 ( 2 P, 4 R, 1 Y)4:1616Punt

Note that in the first half of the season, our defense gave up a score on the opponent’s opening drive six times in eight games. This improved in the second half of the season as we only allowed scores on three opening drives in the final eight games. So overall the D allowed scores on 9 out of 16 opening drives. That doesn’t sound too bad until you put in into context. It was one of the worst opening drives scoring% values in the league for a defense in 2016.

Texans5.121.52:35Opp 28318.8%318.8%956.3%75.1%212.5%
Ravens4.819.32:26Opp 23318.8%318.8%956.3%75.1%318.8%
Steelers5.727.12:46Opp 28425.0%318.8%956.3%75.1%
Jaguars5.123.42:39Opp 29425.0%00.0%1275.0%75.0%318.8%
Patriots5.419.92:39Opp 25425.0%00.0%1275.0%75.0%16.3%
Eagles5.823.72:48Opp 27425.0%00.0%1168.8%68.8%318.8%
Cardinals4.917.92:42Opp 29531.3%212.5%956.3%68.8%425.0%
Rams5.324.92:45Opp 30531.3%16.3%1062.5%68.8%425.0%
Bills7.131.63:42Opp 25531.3%16.3%956.3%62.6%212.5%
49ers5.023.42:18Opp 30425.0%425.0%637.5%62.5%318.8%
Raiders6.132.43:02Opp 25531.3%212.5%850.0%62.5%212.5%
Chiefs6.840.43:22Opp 25637.5%212.5%850.0%62.5%425.0%
Vikings6.434.23:34Opp 23637.5%212.5%850.0%62.5%212.5%
Seahawks5.626.92:59Opp 27637.5%212.5%850.0%62.5%425.0%
Lions7.840.44:32Opp 23637.5%00.0%956.3%56.3%531.3%
Bears7.843.04:10Opp 25743.8%212.5%743.8%56.3%425.0%
Packers6.233.03:07Opp 24743.8%212.5%743.8%56.3%425.0%
Dolphins6.836.43:28Opp 29743.8%212.5%743.8%56.3%531.3%
Redskins6.332.13:10Opp 25743.8%00.0%956.3%56.3%425.0%
Giants6.839.43:44Opp 25850.0%16.3%743.8%50.1%531.3%
Colts6.432.93:11Opp 25743.8%00.0%850.0%50.0%318.8%
Buccaneers5.736.82:47Opp 28743.8%00.0%850.0%50.0%637.5%
Panthers7.132.23:24Opp 32743.8%425.0%425.0%50.0%318.8%
Falcons6.945.43:44Opp 25850.0%212.5%637.5%50.0%743.8%
Saints6.335.43:17Opp 32850.0%00.0%850.0%50.0%425.0%
Jets5.839.33:03Opp 30850.0%00.0%850.0%50.0%637.5%
Titans5.437.82:35Opp 27850.0%16.3%637.5%43.8%743.8%
Cowboys7.843.34:08Opp 28850.0%00.0%743.8%43.8%318.8%
Chargers7.739.43:42Opp 24956.3%212.5%531.3%43.8%212.5%
Broncos6.340.83:19Opp 29956.3%16.3%637.5%43.8%743.8%
Bengals6.441.03:05Opp 24956.3%00.0%743.8%43.8%743.8%
Browns7.047.23:43Opp 271062.5%16.3%531.3%37.6%850.0%

The Texans and Ravens allowed scores on 3 of 16 opening drives. Additionally both of those teams forced three turnovers on their opponents opening drives. We forced one. In fact if you add the punts forced and the turnovers forced, four defenses got the ball back from the other team on 12 of 16 drives – 75% of the time – Houston, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Jacksonville. The score% that the Broncos allowed on opening drives – 56.3% – tied for 31st – is even more interesting if you look at the drives allowed the rest of the game by the Broncos D in 2016.

Our defense faced 189 drives in 2016, 58 of which ended in scores (30.7%). So if we pull out the nine scores on the 16 opening drives, we find the after the opening drive, our defense allowed scores on 28.3% of drives. That would have moved us from 5th in the league in score% allowed up to 2nd.

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Tags: Bears, Bengals, Bills, Broncos, Browns, Buccaneers, Cardinals, Chargers, Chiefs, Colts, Cowboys, Dolphins, Eagles, Falcons, Giants, Jaguars, Jets, Lions, Packers, Panthers, Patriots, Raiders, Rams, Ravens, Redskins, Saints, Seahawks, Steelers, Texans, Titans, Vikings

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