A by-the-numbers look at the Broncos’ 2018 season

A by-the-numbers review of the Broncos’ 6-10 season:


The Broncos’ team rankings at each of the season’s quarter poles:


Yards (rank) Points (rank)
Game 4 383.3 (13th) 21.0 (25th)
Halfway 380.8 (13th) 23.5 (20th)
Game 12 366.1 (15th) 22.9 (19th)
Final 350.1 (19th) 20.6 (24th)


Yards (rank) Points (rank)
Game 4 366.8 (17th) 24.3 (17th)
Halfway 373.3 (22nd) 24.3 (14th)
Game 12 389.3 (25th) 22.9 (13th)
Final 365.1 (22nd) 21.8 (18th)


Offense (1,074 snaps)

QB: Case Keenum 1,073, Chad Kelly 1.

RB: Phillip Lindsay 453, Devontae Booker 316, Royce Freeman 308, Andy Janovich 239.

WR: Courtland Sutton 819, Emmanuel Sanders 658, DaeSean Hamilton 471, Demaryius Thomas 405, Tim Patrick 393, Andre Holmes 28, River Cracraft 27, Isaiah McKenzie 3.

TE: Jeff Heuerman 555, Matt LaCosse 418, Brian Parker 146, Jake Butt 97, Temarrick Hemingway 4.

OL: Garett Bolles 1,062, Connor McGovern 1,056, Billy Turner 824, Jared Veldheer 704, Matt Paradis 569, Elijah Wilkinson 520, Ron Leary 383, Max Garcia 242, Gino Gradkowski 17, Sam Jones 15, Cyrus Kouandjio 8.

Defense (1,077 snaps)

DL: Derek Wolfe 710, Domata Peko 522, Adam Gotsis 512, Zach Kerr 394, Shelby Harris 390, Demarcus Walker 21.

LB: Bradley Chubb 844, Von Miller 844, Todd Davis 842, Brandon Marshall 468, Josey Jewell 459, Shaq Barrett 275, Shane Ray 253, Jeff Holland 43, Joseph Jones 25, Kieshawn Bierria 18.

DB: Justin Simmons 1,077, Bradley Roby 926, Darian Stewart 874, Chris Harris 747, Will Parks 572, Tramaine Brock 437, Isaac Yiadom 263, Adam Jones 148, Su’a Cravens 117, Dymonte Thomas 42, Shamarko Thomas 19, Jamar Taylor 9.


Making big plays

Any rush of at least 12 yards and any completion of at least 16 yards is considered an “explosive” play.

The Broncos had 101 explosive plays (66 passes/35 rushes). They had 10 combined explosive plays in the final three games. The season high was 11 (five pass/six rush) in the Week 4 loss to Kansas City and the season low was two (two passes) in the Week 15 loss to Cleveland.

The Broncos scored 37 offensive touchdowns. The average length of their 19 passing touchdowns was 19.6 yards (only three of longer than 40 yards). The average length of their 18 rushing touchdowns was 12.5 yards (four longer than 25 yards).

Phillip Lindsay led the Broncos with 19 explosive rushes, followed by Royce Freeman (nine). Courtland Sutton had 20 explosive receptions, followed by Emmanuel Sanders (17).

Case File

Distance of Case Keenum’s 18 touchdown passes: 29, 43, 4, 8, 42, 22, 1, 64, 24, 4, 12, 10, 5, 30, 1, 7, 19 and 20 yards. (Emmanuel Sanders accounted for the Broncos’ other touchdown pass — 28 yards to Courtland Sutton in the Week 7 win at Arizona).

Passing yards: 3,890 (14th).

Completions/attempts: 365 (11th)/586 (sixth).

Completion percentage: 62.3 (25th of the 33 passers with at least 200 attempts).

Touchdowns: 18 (23rd).

Interceptions: 15 (tied for second-most).

Completions of at least 20 yards: 52 (tied for 11th).

Completions of at least 40 yards: 11 (fifth).

Times sacked: 34 (13th-most).

Record when throwing at least 30 times: 3-10.

Keenum was booked for 17 turnovers (15 interceptions/two fumbles). Eight of his interceptions came on plays that began in opponent’s territory.

On passes that traveled 11-15 yards downfield, Keenum was 39 of 59. On passes that traveled 16 or more yards downfield, Keenum was 34 of 82 (three touchdowns/nine interceptions).

Keenum under pressure

Opponents rushed at least five players at Keenum on 182 of his 651 drop-backs (27.9 percent). The high percentage was Arizona in Week 7 (40.0 percent — 10 of 25), followed by Baltimore in Week 3 (37.2 — 16 of 43) and Cleveland in Week 15 (35.8 percent — 19 of 53).

Against extra rushers, Keenum was 91-of-156 passing for 1,084 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.

Protecting Keenum

The Denver Post charted quarterback disruptions (sacks/hits/pressures).

Player Sacks Total disruptions
Unblocked player 3.5 30.5
Garett Bolles 6.5 27
Connor McGovern 1 21
Jared Veldheer 2 20.5
Elijah Wilkinson 2.5 18.5
Billy Turner 3.5 18.5

The Broncos allowed 34 sacks, 62 knockdowns and 95 pressures for 191 total disruptions. Denver allowed at least 10 disruptions in nine games. The most disruptions was 17 by the New York Jets in Week 5 (loss) and the fewest was four in Week 11 at the Los Angeles Chargers (win).

Sacks allowed by down: Five (first down), eight (second down), 19 (third down) and two (fourth down).

Dropped passes

The Denver Post’s game charting booked the Broncos with 28 dropped passes. They did not drop a pass in four games. Their season high was six drops in Week 17 against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Drops by player: Demaryius Thomas 6 (in only eight games), Courtland Sutton 4, Tim Patrick 4, Phillip Lindsay 3, Emmanuel Sanders 3, Royce Freeman 3, Jeff Heuerman 2, Devontae Booker 1, Matt LaCosse 1, DaeSean Hamilton 1.

Run game recap

The Broncos averaged 119.2 rushing yards per game, 12th-most in the league. They reached 100 yards rushing in 12 games (6-6 record). They were 2-8 when they rushed 20 or fewer times.

Phillip Lindsay statistics: Carries — 192 (tied for 17th-most), rushing yards — 1,037 (ninth), yards per carry — 5.4 (tied for second) and touchdowns — nine (tied for seventh).

Percentage of rushing plays: 1. Seattle 52.8; 23. Broncos 38.7.

Yards per carry: 1. Carolina 5.1; T3. Broncos/L.A. Rams 4.9.

Rushing touchdowns: 1. New Orleans 26; T4. Broncos/New England 18.

Rushes of at least 10 yards: 1. Seattle 77; 11. Broncos 55.

First-and-10 rushing yards: 1. L.A. Rams 1,307; 12. Broncos 944.

We booked the Broncos with 165 “bad” rush plays — carries that gained three or fewer yards, not including plays that gained the first down/touchdown or kneel-downs. A sign that the run game got bogged down late in the season was six consecutive games of at least 10 “bad” rushes. The high game for “bad” rushes was 15 against Seattle in Week 1.

Individual leaders for “bad” rush plays: Unblocked player 55.5, Connor McGovern 22, Billy Turner 13.5, Andy Janovich 9.5, Matt Paradis 8.5, Garett Bolles 8.5, Jared Veldheer 8.5.

In the red zone

The Broncos’ offense finished 19th in red zone touchdown percentage (56.8 — 25 touchdowns in 44 possessions).

The Broncos had at least one red zone possession in every game and at least two in their final 15 games.

In the red zone, Keenum was 29-of-62 passing for 271 yards, 10 touchdowns, four interceptions and a 66.3 passer rating. His interceptions were tied for the most with Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger and his passer rating was last among the 21 quarterbacks with at least 50 red zone pass attempts.

The Broncos scored points on 37 of 44 red zone trips. The seven non-scoring trips: Interception against Oakland, interception and lost on downs at Baltimore, lost on downs and interception at the Jets, lost on downs at the Chargers and interception vs. the Chargers.

Drive engineering

Three-and-outs: 40

Ten-play drives: 26

Started in opponent’s territory: 16

At least six minutes in duration: 5

At least 75 yards gained: 19

Longest drives: Duration — 7:09 (Week 15 vs. Cleveland, field goal); Plays — 14 (Week 2 vs. Oakland, touchdown and Week 14 at San Francisco, touchdown); Yards gained — 86 (Week 9 vs. Houston, touchdown).

Third down

The Broncos finished 28th in third down conversion rate (33.3 — 69 for 207). It was their lowest rate since 30.8 in 2011.

3 or fewer yards to go: 30 of 55 (54.5 percent).

4-7 yards to go: 20 of 68 (29.4 percent).

8 or more yards to go: 19 of 84 (22.6 percent).

The Broncos needed eight or more yards to go on third down on 40.6 of their attempts.

The longest third-down conversion was on their first opportunity of the season — 14-yard catch by Emmanuel Sanders on third-and-14 from the Broncos’ 21.

The Broncos were 50 percent or better on third down in only one game (Week 2 vs. Oakland — 8 of 16 for 50 percent).

On third down this year, Keenum was 77 of 143 for 775 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. His passer rating of 67.8 was last among the 23 quarterbacks with at least 100 third-down attempts.


Stopping big plays

The Broncos allowed 118 explosive plays (85 passes/33 rushes) for an average of 7.4 per game. The most allowed was 12 in the Week 11 win at the Los Angeles Chargers (10 pass/two rush). The fewest allowed was four in the Week 16 loss at Oakland (one pass/three rush).

The Broncos allowed 37 touchdowns to the opposing offense. The average length of their opponent’s 11 rushing touchdowns was 12.4 yards (one longer than 25 yards). The average length of their opponent’s 26 touchdown passes was 22.8 yards (four longer than 50 yards). Overall, they allowed 13 touchdowns of at least 20 yards.

Missed tackles

We booked the Broncos with 107 missed tackles (6.7 per game).

Game-by-game missed tackles: Seattle 7, Oakland 6, at Baltimore 3, Kansas City 9, at the New York Jets 8, L.A. Rams 13, at Arizona 4, at Kansas City 9, Houston 5, at L.A. Chargers 8, Pittsburgh 3, at Cincinnati 10, at San Francisco 4, Cleveland 7, at Oakland 8 and L.A. Chargers 3.

Top five in missed tackles: Todd Davis 12, Bradley Chubb 11, Darian Stewart 11, Bradley Roby 10 and Justin Simmons 9.

Applying pressure

The Broncos’ defense rushed at least five players on 203 of the opponent’s 646 drop-backs (31.4 percent).

High percentage: Week 8 at Kansas City — 45 percent (18 of 40). Patrick Mahomes was 8 of 14 for 125 yards and one interception. The Broncos were at 40 percent or higher in four games.

Low percentage: Week 12 vs. Pittsburgh — 18.8 percent (12 of 64). Ben Roethlisberger was 6 of 11 for 146 yards, one interception and one touchdown. The Broncos were at 25 percent or lower in four games.

Sacks by down: Twelve (first down), 12 (second down), 19 (third down) and one (fourth down).

Sacks by number of pass rushers: Thirty-three (four rushers), seven (five rushers) and four (six rushers).

The Broncos had 145 disruptions (sacks/knockdowns/pressure) this year. Their 44 sacks were tied for eighth-most in the league.

The season-high for disruptions was 19 in the Week 4 loss to Kansas City (one sack/eight knockdowns/11 pressures), one of six games with at least 10. The season-low was three in Week 2 vs. Oakland, followed by four in Week 16 at the Raiders.

Individual breakdown of top eight in disruptions

Player Sacks Disruptions
Von Miller 14.5 32
Bradley Chubb 12 28.5
Derek Wolfe 1.5 12.5
Shelby Harris 1.5 10.5
Shaq Barrett 3 8
Todd Davis 0.5 7.5
Adam Gotsis 3 6
Zach Kerr 1.5 4.5

Stopping the run

Last against the run after six games, the Broncos climbed back to 21st (119.6 yards per game).

The Broncos had 181 run “stuffs” — gains of three or fewer yards, not including plays that gained the first down/touchdown or kneel-downs.

Top 10 in run “stuffs”: Derek Wolfe 22.5, Todd Davis 21.5, Bradley Chubb 17, Adam Gotsis 17, Shelby Harris 12.5, Josey Jewell 11.5, Domata Peko 11, Zach Kerr 10.5, Von Miller 9.5, Shaq Barrett 9.

In the red zone

The Broncos ranked 15th in red zone defense (opponent’s touchdown percentage of 58.1). Opponents scored 25 touchdowns in 43 possessions.

Only two opponents were 100 percent in the red zone — Kansas City in Week 4 (3 for 3) and the Chargers in Week 17 (2 for 2). The opponent had at least one red zone possession in all 16 games and scored at least one red zone touchdown in every game but Week 13 (Cincinnati was 0 for 1).

Opponents scored points on 37 of 43 red zone trips. The six non-scoring possessions: Missed field goal (Jets), missed field goal (Rams), failed fourth down (Houston), interception (Pittsburgh), failed fourth down (Cleveland) and end-of-game kneel-down (Oakland).

Drive engineering

Three-and-outs: 40

Ten-play drives: 26

Opponent started in Broncos territory: 19

At least six minutes in duration: 11

At least 75 yards gained: 16

Longest drives: Duration — 9:11 (Week 15 vs. Cleveland, takeaway). Plays — 15 (Week 15 vs. Cleveland, takeaway). Yards gained — 97 (Week 12 vs. Pittsburgh, touchdown).

Third down

The Broncos were 17th defensively on third down; opponents converted 38.9 percent of their chances (82 of 211).

3 or fewer yards to go: 34 of 65 (52.3 percent).

4-7 yards to go: 22 of 52 (42.3 percent).

8 or more yards to go: 26 for 94 (27.7 percent).

Opponents were at less than 40 percent in 10 games. The high conversion rate was 60 percent by the Chargers in Week 11 (9 of 15). The low rate was 16.7 by Seattle in Week 1 (2 of 12).

The opponent’s long third-down conversion was by the Jets in Week 5 — on third-and-14, Sam Darnold threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Pryor (Bradley Roby in coverage).


Turnover story

The Broncos finished plus-7 in turnover ratio, tied for eighth-best in the NFL (28 takeaways/21 giveaways). The Broncos were 4-2 when they had a positive turnover ratio, 1-5 when they lost it and 1-3 when they were even.

The defense had at least one takeaway in 11 of 16 games; they lost all five games they failed to produce a takeaway. … The Broncos’ 15 interceptions were tied for ninth-most. … The Broncos scored 85 points off takeaways, sixth-best in the league. … The defense scored two touchdowns (interception returns of 20 yards by Todd Davis and 53 yards by Chris Harris in the Week 7 win at Arizona). … They had three or more takeaways in five games (Seattle, Arizona, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and the Chargers) and went 4-1. … Harris (three), Justin Simmons (three) and Darian Stewart (two) had multiple interceptions. Von Miller was the only player with more than one fumble recovery (three).

The offense had at least one giveaway in 13 of 16 games; they were 2-1 when they played giveaway-free. Opponents scored only 51 points off the Broncos’ turnovers. … Opponents scored nine points off turnovers (by the Chargers in Week 17 — an 18-yard fumble return touchdown and a defensive two-point conversion). … The Broncos had eight turnovers in their last three games (all losses) and were 1-4 when they committed at least two turnovers.

Flags flying

The Broncos were called for 125 enforced penalties, second-most in the league behind Kansas City (137) and their highest total since 1978 (132). The Broncos’ 985 penalty yards were sixth-most in the league (Kansas City led with 1,152).

Thirty-nine Broncos players were called for at least one enforced penalty.

Individual leaders: Garett Bolles 10 (seven holding/three false start), Domata Peko 8 (including three for unnecessary roughness), Von Miller 8, Jared Veldheer 7, Courtland Sutton 6, Connor McGovern 6, Andy Janovich and Bradley Chubb 5.

Opponents were called for 123 penalties totaling 1,006 yards.

Special teams

The Broncos allowed one special teams touchdown — a 99-yard punt return by Oakland’s Dwayne Harris in Week 16. They did not score a special teams touchdown.

Return game — 27th on kick returns (20.1) and last on punt returns (4.4). Coverage game — fourth on kick coverage (20.8) and 29th on punt coverage (10.5).

The special teams were called for 19 enforced penalties. They had one in at least 10 games and at least two penalties in eight games.

*Special teams tackle leaders: Joseph Jones 12, Andy Janovich 7, Tim Patrick 7, Josey Jewell 7, Shamarko Thomas 6.

K Brandon McManus: On kickoffs, McManus had 42 touchbacks (tied for 23rd) in 69 kickoffs (tied for 19th). His touchback percentage of 60.9 was 21st among kickers with at least 50 kickoffs. … Fifty-four of his kickoffs reached the end zone. … He was 20 of 25 on field goals and all five misses were beyond 50 yards. … McManus was 0 of 4 on onside kicks. … He was 2 of 3 on game-tying/winning attempts  – – 36 yards to beat Oakland (Week 2) and 34 yards to beat the Chargers (Week 11) and a missed 51-yard attempt against Houston (Week 9).

P Colby Wadman: His 37.9-yard average (yards of punt minus return yards) on 65 punts ranked 33rd in the league. … He had seven touchbacks and 22 attempts that were inside the 20-yard line. … His 65 punts were 17th-most in the league. … He had a net average of at least 40 yards in seven games. … His low net average game was 23.3 at Oakland in Week 16 (99-yard return allowed). … He had 22 punts of at least 50 gross yards.


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