How Often Does Peyton Manning Target Team’s #1 Cornerbacks?

A lot of talk has gone into the Peyton ManningRichard Sherman battle that will take place this Sunday in the Super Bowl, and while there are other topics that are ignored (the main one is the fact the Seahawks other cornerbacks are as good as some teams starting cornerback) but I wanted to take a look at this from another angle, how often does Peyton target a teams #1 cornerback in any given game? The question has been raised if Peyton will avoid or go after Sherman in this game so I wanted to see if Peyton’s tenancy was to just smartly avoid team’s top corners or if he doesn’t shy away from them at all.

To do this I set out to look at each Broncos opponent this season and see how Peyton did when, and how often, he targeted that teams top corner. We’ll then compare this level of play against the rest of the defense to see if he plays better, worse, or about the same against that top corner. Now not all #1 corners are made the same, Sherman is the best corner in the game, some teams top corners are more like #2 corners on other teams, but that doesn’t change Peyton’s mentality, does he shy away from the best corner on opposing teams? So here are the categories we’ll be look at (in order they’ll appear on the table):

– Total attempts by Peyton in that game
– Opposing teams top corner
– Attempts towards that top corner
– Attempts toward that corner divided by total attempts to get a percentage of total attempts (shows how often Peyton targeted that corner as a percentage)- Reception completed when targeting that corner
– Catch percentage allowed by that corner
– Yards allowed by that corner
– Yards per attempt allowed
– Touchdowns allowed
– Interceptions
– Passer rating against the corner

I’ll then take these metrics and apply them to the rest of the team, ignoring the top corner. You are then able to compare how they stacked up.

Here is the table.

My Takeaways

Peyton is surprisingly consistent and doesn’t shy away from top corners, now he did have a few bad games against quality corners (Vonte Davis, DeAngelo Hall and Shareece Wright in the 2nd San Diego game all had strong outings) but for the most part he was very good and didn’t avoid teams #1 corners, targeting them 16.5% of the time. The big difference seems to come in the red zone where Peyton tended to avoid them, preferring to target them when he had more space to throw the receiver open, which is harder to do in the red zone when the defense has the advantage.

End of the Season Numbers Updated

The Broncos ended the regular season strong going 13-3, here is a start to see how it happened.

Broncos defensive line pass rushing productivity
Broncos running back data including yards after contact, negative runs and long runs
Broncos wide receivers, tight ends and running backs receiving data which includes yards per target, touchdown percentage and the passer rating when targeting each player

Enjoy!

Hopefully this week I’ll get more done in terms of charting snap count trends, which stats predict the winner of games the best, and much more.

Broncos Run Game Breakdown – Week 15 Part 2

So each week I’ve decide to break down about three to six rushing plays for the game that week so we can see how the offensive line, tight ends and running backs did that week. To do this I’ll take all the plays and randomly select three plays and add more depending on the time. I’ll take these plays and break them down using clippings from the game. For each play we will start with the down and distance, the personnel formation and grouping as well as the result of the play. We will also break the play into parts, the pre-play, mid-play, and the end. To get a better view of the image just click on it, it will open in a new tab. This will be the first running breakdown I do this season. Another feature is after going through each clip you can view it as a slideshow to see how the play progresses with the notes.

How to Understand the Images:
– Green lines are the path of the blockers
– The blue line represents the running back and his path
– The red lines are those of the defenders
– If a line is dashed that means a player has multiple options to choose from
– I include small caption boxes that help explain what is going on, pointing with black arrows to appropriate spots on the field.

Since this is a very long project I’m breaking it into two parts so it’s not an overly long, run on, article. This is part two, for part one, here is the link.

Play 7

– Down and Distance: 1st and 10
– Personnel: 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB
– Result: -1 Yard Loss

Pre-Play:

KM 6 Pre Play Edit

Continue reading

Broncos Run Game Breakdown – Week 15 Part 1

So each week I’ve decide to break down about three to six rushing plays for the game that week so we can see how the offensive line, tight ends and running backs did that week. To do this I’ll take all the plays and randomly select three plays and add more depending on the time. I’ll take these plays and break them down using clippings from the game. For each play we will start with the down and distance, the personnel formation and grouping as well as the result of the play. We will also break the play into parts, the pre-play, mid-play, and the end. To get a better view of the image just click on it, it will open in a new tab. This will be the first running breakdown I do this season. Another feature is after going through each clip you can view it as a slideshow to see how the play progresses with the notes.

How to Understand the Images:
– Green lines are the path of the blockers
– The blue line represents the running back and his path
– The red lines are those of the defenders
– If a line is dashed that means a player has multiple options to choose from
– I include small caption boxes that help explain what is going on, pointing with black arrows to appropriate spots on the field.

This week I really wanted to show Broncos fans what I’ve been preaching this entire season and throughout this season. In past weeks I took 3-5 run plays at random and studied them, which lead to people saying it wasn’t a complete study so this week I am reviewing every run play to make sure people can’t claim I pick and choose my reviews. Since this is a very long project I’m breaking it into two parts so it’s not an overly long, run on, article. I likely won’t do this every week but this made a good week to do a show case.

Play 1

– Down and Distance: 1st and 10
– Personnel: 3 WR (2 WR’s and 1 TE with the 1 TE split out wide), 1 TE, 1 RB
– Result: 6 Yard Gain

Pre-Play:

KM 1 Pre Play Edit

Continue reading

Denver Broncos Run Defense Trends

This is a look at the Broncos run defense over the course of the season. I’ll be looking at eight key factors:

– Yards per carry in the game against the Broncos
– Yards per carry over the course of the season
– The difference between the two
– Difference between the two as a percentage (the difference divided by game yards per carry)
– Runs of 10 yards or longer
– Runs of 10 yards or longer as a percentage of the total runs
– Runs that went for negative yardage
– Runs that went for negative yardage as a percentage of the total runs

I didn’t include things like total yards because those are dependent on things like if a team is ahead or not. Teams that are behind by a large margin in a game tend to run less. So total yardage numbers are more an indicator of whether a team is in a close game moreso than ability to run.

Hopefully by doing this we’ll be able to see what trends arise, if any, over the course of the season.

Here is the link to the table and the included charts.

For just a few charts of the data, here you go.

Now to sum it up I’ve included a chart that shows the trend of defensive play by difference percentage but I included the injuries of key players as well as when they returned.

Defensive Trends

You are free to draw your own conclusions but the more I look at this the run defense was over hyped by two very strong games. While losing two starters along the defensive line (DE Derek Wolfe and DT Kevin Vickerson) obviously hurts, the run defensive breakdown clearly began before they got hurt.

How Do Teams Fare When Playing a Third Time in a Season?

So it looks like this season the Broncos and Chiefs may be the 122nd time two teams will meet for a 3rd time in a season.  Of those 122 times, 20 times one team went 2-0 in the regular season before facing the same team again in the playoffs. I wanted to look to see how these teams did when they match up again in the playoffs. Thanks to the miracle that is Pro Football Reference I was able to gather all of this data and take a look. This won’t be too indepth, just a look to see what history shows for these rare cases.

Here is a link to a table with those 20 teams.

In the 20 playoff games that were played the team that went 2-0 in the regular season won the playoff game 13 times. Dallas and Pittsburgh have beaten a team twice and met in the playoffs three times while Green Bay, New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs, and the Tennessee/Houston Titans/Oilers did it twice. The Browns have been on the receiving end twice and lost both playoff games as well. Denver has never done it before but was on the receiving end in 1993 when the Raiders swept them in the regular season and then beat them in the playoffs.

Overall it’s a small sample size, but something fun to look at going forward if the Broncos and Chiefs get to meet in the playoffs. If they do meet, 13-7 isn’t a bad track record to go on, though it’s not perfect either.

The Broncos Numbers Updated With Week 15’s Data

While it was a tough loss to the San Diego Chargers, it doesn’t stop the march of the season or the collection of data so the pages have been updated:

Broncos defensive line pass rushing productivity
Broncos running back data including yards after contact, negative runs and long runs
Broncos wide receivers, tight ends and running backs receiving data which includes yards per target, touchdown percentage and the passer rating when targeting each player

Enjoy! I’ll be reviewing more of the run game this week than normal since it’s a longer week and the longest run of the week was 6 yards. I’ll give some foreshadowing, the offensive line doesn’t look good. I’m also hoping to review the safety play as well if time permits.