Sunday, January 15, 2012

A very simple answer for why New England rolled Denver

In retrospect, nobody should be at all surprised by the result of the Patriots/Broncos game yesterday.  It's very easy to explain really: Denver wasn't actually any good this year.  They were an 8-8 team that got outscored by 81 points on the season, and made the playoffs through an obscure technicality in a 3-way tiebreaker.  And SEVEN of those eight wins we're of the fluke/lucky/ coincidence variety (they won 6 games by 4 points or less, and one by a touchdown in which their quarterback had only 2 completions).  The Broncos were a team that could have been 1-15, probably should have been 5-11 or 6-10, and we're led by a guy who had easily some of the worst numbers of any NFL quarterback.  Denver's offense was so bad that the much maligned New England defense allowed a season low 252 yards yesterday (including a league-wide season high 14 plays for negative yardage).  And as I've said before, post season numbers don't count towards a player's career statistics; but #15's dismal 9 for 26 performance yesterday would have sent the Tebometer plummeting.

By now I'm sure you've heard all about just how amazing the Pat's offense was in this game.  But here's a few obscure stats that flew under the radar:

- New England ran 64 plays total, but had only 6 third downs in the entire game.
- Part of the reason for this is that they had a whopping 509 yards of offense, an average of 7.95 yards per play.
- By comparison the Broncos had 252 yards on 72 plays, an average of just 3.5 yards.
- All of this helps to explain how the Patriots absolutely dominated the game, despite trailing in "time of possession" 33:23 to 26:37.  That is something you rarely see.

Also, in case you didn't notice, I paid careful attention not to actually mention a certain player's name in this blog.  I'm hoping I never have to again.

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