Stats & Info: AFC West

Manning, Broncos undress Chiefs' defense

November, 18, 2013
AP Photo/Joe MahoneyDespite an ankle injury, Peyton Manning completed 24 of 40 passes and wasn’t sacked.
Compared with its average entering the game, the Chiefs’ defense was 16 points worse against the Broncos than it had been in the first 10 weeks of the season. The defense’s average contribution to the Chiefs’ net scoring margin had been 11.0 points, but against Peyton Manning and the Broncos it was -5.0 points. Defensive EPA measures the contributions of a defense to its team’s net scoring margin by controlling field position, forcing turnovers and keeping the opponent from scoring.

The Chiefs had 0 sacks for the second straight game, and they have not recorded a sack in their opponents’ last 90 dropbacks.

Manning's standard of excellence
Manning had a 66.5 Total QBR against the Chiefs, his 16th straight game with a Total QBR above 50.0. The next longest active streak in the NFL is Matthew Stafford with 5.

The Broncos are 15-1 during that span, and Manning has led the NFL in, among other categories, three significant quarterback measures.

Wilson has another outstanding game
Russell Wilson had a 98.5 Total QBR against the Vikings, his highest Total QBR in a game this season, and his second-straight game over 90.0. He has eight games in his career with a Total QBR above 90.0. Only Peyton Manning has more in the last 2 seasons.

Eagles put it away early, again
The Eagles jumped to a big halftime lead against Washington for the second time this season, averaging 9.3 yards per play, more efficient than their 53-play first half in the season opener. In both games, the Eagles’ halftime win probability was over 95 percent, and they held off a late comeback attempt. Both wins were decided by 8 points or fewer, but the Eagles’ second-half win probability never dropped below 87.8 percent in either game.

Foles, RG-3 go their separate ways
Nick Foles posted a 71.1 Total QBR, compared with Robert Griffin III’s 35.6 Total QBR Sunday. Foles’ Total QBR has climbed 35.2 points this season to 78.2, the largest improvement in the league. Griffin’s has gone down 28 points, the third-largest decline of any quarterback this season.

Bengals' defense and special teams headline comeback
The Bengals scored a franchise-record 31 points in the second quarter of their 41-20 win over the Browns. The specials teams and defense combined to add 41.4 expected points to the Bengals’ net margin, the second-greatest combination of any team’s defense and special teams units in the last eight seasons. The offense contributed -21.2 expected points, the Bengals’ worst in a win in the last eight seasons.

The Bengals have two of the four highest defensive EPA games of any NFL team this season. In addition to the 24.1 points Sunday, they had 22.6 expected points added in Week 8 against the Jets.

Hard times for Kaepernick
The 49ers lost their second consecutive game against a team with a winning record, dropping them to 2-4 this year against teams currently at or above .500. Colin Kaepernick has a 38.8 Total QBR in such games, compared with a 96.9 Total QBR against below .500 teams, the best in the NFL.

Dalton continues roller coaster
Andy Dalton posted a 3.7 Total QBR Sunday, the lowest Total QBR of his career, and the lowest by any quarterback in a win since Jake Delhomme (2.2) in 2008 in Carolina's win over the Raiders (min. 30 action plays). Dalton’s play has taken a nose dive in his last three games, after a three-game stretch capped by the highest Total QBR game in his career against the Jets in Week 8 (98.9).

Jason Campbell finished with a 7.3 Total QBR. Dalton and Campbell combined for the lowest Total QBR (11.0) by any quarterbacks facing each other in a game this season.

Key injuries as training camps open

July, 29, 2013

Getty ImagesJeremy Maclin (left) and Dennis Pitta (right) each suffered season-ending injuries on Saturday.

Three notable players went down over the weekend with season-ending injuries.

On Saturday, the Baltimore Ravens lost starting tight end Dennis Pitta after he suffered a dislocated hip in practice. The Philadelphia Eagles lost their top wide receiver from last season, Jeremy Maclin, with a torn ACL in his right knee.

And on Sunday, the Denver Broncos lost starting center Dan Koppen to a torn ACL in his left knee.

How will each injury impact each team?


Pitta was a vital part of the Ravens' third-down success last season. On third down with Pitta on the field, the Ravens averaged more than twice as many yards per play as they did with him off the field. Baltimore was also sacked less often, and all seven of their third-down passing touchdowns came with Pitta on the field.

When Pitta was on the field, he was Joe Flacco’s go-to guy in the red zone. Over the last two seasons (including the playoffs), Pitta had a team-high 10 red zone touchdowns. Second on that list were Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin, who’s no longer on the team, with seven.

Pitta, if nothing else, has been extremely dependable when the ball comes his way. He's dropped just three passes over the last two seasons. Among tight ends who have been targeted at least 100 times since 2011, the only tight end with fewer drops is Anthony Fasano with one.


Regardless of who the Eagles end up starting at quarterback, the loss of Maclin is huge as he led the team in targets, receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns last season. In fact, Maclin leads the Eagles in all of those categories over his four seasons with the team.

In 2009, Michael Vick signed with Philadelphia as a free agent shortly after they drafted Maclin. In that time, Vick has thrown more touchdowns (17) and completed more passes (138) to Maclin than any other Eagles receiver.


The Broncos offensive line took a major hit in losing Koppen. Peyton Manning was sacked eight times in the Broncos first three games last season, all played without Koppen taking a snap. Koppen played 95 percent of the team's snaps the final 13 games of the season, with Manning getting sacked 13 total times in those games.

The Broncos allowed one sack for every 35.8 dropbacks with Koppen on the field last season, compared to one sack for every 18.1 dropbacks with him off the field. Although the Broncos were much better with Koppen on the line, they managed to remain above the league average of 16.7 dropbacks per sack in his absence.

Manning struggles with early deep balls

September, 18, 2012
Daniel Shirey/US PresswirePeyton Manning threw three first-quarter interceptions for just the second time in his career.
Peyton Manning would like to have his first quarter back.

For the first time in his career, he threw an interception on each of his first three drives. He threw interceptions on two of his first four passes, the fewest attempts he has ever needed to throw a pair of picks.

For the second time in his career, Manning threw three interceptions in the first quarter. He also did in 2007 against the San Diego Chargers.

Manning became the first player to throw three interceptions in a first quarter since Trent Edwards in 2008 for the Buffalo Bills against the Cleveland Browns.

All three of Manning’s interceptions came on deep passes. He was 3-of-7 for 51 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions on throws of 15 or more yards downfield.

The Broncos are the first team with four turnovers in a first quarter since 2002, when the Washington Redskins had four against the New Orleans Saints.

Teams with four first-quarter turnovers have now lost 30 straight games with the last win coming in 1999, when the Chicago Bears beat the Saints.

As for the winners ...


Matt Ryan is now 8-1 at home against AFC teams in his career. He now has 18 passing touchdowns and two interceptions in those games. His only home loss to an AFC team was in 2008 against the Broncos.

Ryan became the second Atlanta Falcons quarterback with 100 career passing touchdowns, joining Steve Bartkowski (154). Ryan’s TD pass to Roddy White gives the tandem 35 touchdowns, the most by any QB-WR duo since 2008.


Turnovers were certainly the key: Under Mike Smith (since 2008), the Falcons are now 30-2 when winning the turnover battle.


And while turnovers dominated the discussion, second downs played a significant role. Coming into the game, Ryan hadn’t been sacked on second down when facing five or more pass rushers since 2010.

Meanwhile, the Broncos had sent five or more pass rushers on at least 40 percent of second-down dropbacks in 12 straight regular-season games. They sent five or more on more than 50 percent of second downs each of the last two seasons and 57 percent of plays in Week 1.

But against the Falcons, the Broncos only sent five or more pass rushers on four of 16 second down dropbacks (25 percent) and Ryan extended his sackless streak on such plays to 19 games. The Broncos have now lost six straight and nine of their last 10 games when sending five or more pass rushers on less than 30 percent of their opponents' second-down dropbacks.

On second downs, Ryan was 12-of-16 for 112 yards and a touchdown.

Ryan also excelled on play-action plays, where he was 12-of-13 for 95 yards and a touchdown.