Does Playing Thursday Games Really Impact Play On the Field?

After the terrible performance from the Denver Broncos coaches and players on Thursday night, many cried out that this was a sign that Thursday night games caused below-par performance from both teams and leads to less enjoyable games to watch. I wanted to look at this by studying the Thursday night games of this season. To do this I looked at a few key areas:

– Points per game- Total yards per game
– Passing yards per attempt
– Rushing yards per attempt
– Penalties per game

I looked at these five because points and yards are a decent indicator of the offensive play of the game while the two efficiency metrics (the two yards per attempt numbers) show if the teams were efficient in getting their yards and points. Lastly I added penalties because those are one of the bigger indicators of preparations and sloppiness of a teams play. These five are hardly perfect but provide a good sampling of what the game was like both in magnitude and quality.

I’ll take these and compare each teams performance on Thursday against their season averages to see if they are above or below those averages. Finally I’ll include a percentage difference, that this means is that I take the difference between their Thursday game and their seasons averages and then divide it by the season average to get a percentage difference.

For example if a team normally averages 25 points a game but had 20 points on Thursday, that’s a difference of -5. Now take that -5 and divide it by the season average of 25 and this team underperformed by 20%. Another example is a team that normally has 5 penalties but only has 3 on Thursday has a difference 2 penalties and did better by 40%.

Here is a link to the table.

Continue reading

Broncos Run Game Breakdown – Week 14

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:– Red lines are defenders actions
– Green lines are blockers
– Blue lines is the running back
– I include small caption boxes that help explain what is going on, pointing with black arrows to appropriate spots on the field.

I won’t be doing as many this week due to other obligations, also since the run game was so much more effective each play required more time to study and clip anyways.

Play 1

– Down and Distance: 2nd and 10
– Personnel: 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB
– Result: 20 Yard Gain

Pre-Play:

KM 1 Pre Play Edit

Continue reading

Fun Facts – Pre Week 14

Not So Happy Fun Facts:

– The Broncos two running backs in week 13, Knowshon Moreno and Montee Ball, got hit behind the line of scrimmage on 64% of their runs, the most this season for the Broncos since week 1.

– During his limited time this season Champ Bailey has just plain struggled. He has been targeted 20 times and allowed 15 receptions for 161 yards and 1 touchdown. When quarterbacks target him they have a passer rating of 114.8.

Happy Fun Facts:

– Despite being without DE Derek Wolfe against the Chiefs, the Broncos actually managed to be a better pass rushing team with DE Robert Ayers and DT Malik Jackson taking his snaps. With Wolfe on the field the Broncos average pressure on 8.61% of the time but when Wolfe isn’t on the field the Broncos get pressure 9.17% of the time. The Broncos also have three defensive lineman who rank in the top 5 of their positions for pass rushing productivity, which is total pressures divided by total pass rushing snaps. These three are Robert Ayers (5th among DE’s), Malik Jackson (1st among DT’s) and Terrance Knighton (4th among DT’s).

– RB Knowshon Moreno leads the NFL’s running backs in Win Probability Added and Expected Points Added. What this means is Moreno adds more per play in terms of production towards winning and scoring than any back in the NFL. For more info on WPA and EPA click the link.

– Safety Rahim Moore may be out by his two replacements, Mike Adams and David Bruton, haven’t given up a touchdown since they took over for him. Adams also made the game saving pass deflection at the end of the game.

Fun Facts – Pre Week 13

We’ll start with the not so happy fun facts first, get them out of the way and then get pumped by finishing the post with positive thinking!

Not So Happy Fun Facts:

– Of all the Denver Broncos players, those who produce 32.3% of the teams snaps will be free agents next year, in the top 5 in the NFL. The top 3 players lost in terms of snaps are OG Zane Beadles (846 snaps), WR Eric Decker (732 snaps) and Duke Ihenacho (615 snaps).

– The Broncos defensive line and LB’s only have 3 sacks that came less than 3 seconds and two of those came when the players was unblocked.

– The average age of Super Bowl winning coaches is just shy of 49, John Fox is 58 and turns 59 right after the Super Bowl. Of the 29 coaches to win a Super Bowl only 5 were older than 55 and of the 47 Super Bowls only 5 were won by men older than 55:
– Weeb Ewbank (age 61 in 1968)
– Barry Switzer (age 58 in 1995)
– Dick Vermeil (age 63 in 1999)
– Bill Walsh (age 57 in 1988)
– Tom Coughlin (age 61 and 64 in 2007 and 2011 respectively)

To go with that thought, coaches playoff records decline with age and have a strong correlation between them, the higher the age the lower the playoff record. On a side note, of those coaches only Ewbank was coaching an AFC team, don’t think that’s actually important but fun to notice.

Happy Fun Facts:

– Only 11.8% of Knowshon Moreno‘s run are for zero yards or less, that is good for top 5 in the league.

– The Broncos defensive line is consistently able to attack left tackles with 9 sacks against left tackles this season, that is tied with the 9 against right tackles, which are considered the weaker pass defenders.

– The Broncso are the 2nd best offense in history relative to their season’s respective average points per game, behind only the 2007 New England Patriots. What this means is the Broncos offense is 67.4% better than the league average when it comes to scoring points.

Broncos Run Game Breakdown – Week 12

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.

I won’t be doing as many this week due to other obligations, also since the run game was so much more effective each play required more time to study and clip anyways.

Play 1

– Down and Distance: 3rd and 15
– Personnel: 3 WR, 1 TE , 1 RB
– Result: 7 Yard Gain

Pre-Play:

Den-NE KM 1 Pre Play Edit

Continue reading

Broncos Run Game Breakdown – Week 11

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.

Play 1

– Down and Distance: 1st and 10
– Personnel: 3 WR, 1 TE (lined up at FB), 1 RB
– Result: 1 Yard Gain

Pre-Play:

Den-KC Run KM 1 Yard Pre-Play Copy

Continue reading