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Why have our pass D stats sucked this season?

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  • Why have our pass D stats sucked this season?

    Last year, we were the #3 pass D in terms of yards, and this year we are dead last. That's a huge drop-off; I'm trying to sort this out logically. The national perception seems to be that our defense is Swiss cheese - is that true, and will it be true moving forward? If so, what got us to this point?
    1. The obvious answer is no/limited Champ or Von. It's hard for me to comprehend that one pass-rusher and one DB can cause a team to drop that much... Hell, the 49ers lost Aldon Smith and they only dropped from 4 last year to 6 this year. I think there's got to be more to the story.
    2. schematics: are we doing anything different? Has anyone noticed anything fundamentally unsound in what we are allowing? Have we tried to be more of a "bend-but-don't-break" style of D, allowing the short stuff but not getting burned over the top (Dallas game obvious exception)? The stats seem to bear that out, seeing how we are pretty damn close to average in td allowed/attempt yet near NFL worst in yards/attempt. JAX game is a good example here - 300 passing yards allowed, 0 passing TD.
    3. small sample size: obviously, the big Dallas game really skewed the stats. If one recognizes that giving up 500 yards is not representative, you gotta believe that this D will improve, right? This is a "regression towards the mean" argument. of course, looking at the league, if we had allowed 200 less yards vs DAL, we'd still be 29th so not sure I buy it.
    4. our offense is so dominant, teams have to move the ball by throwing it, and therefore counting metrics (i.e. total passing yards) aren't a big deal. In theory, that makes offenses one dimensional and should therefore improve our situation - in fact, we are allowing opposing QB's a passer rating of 87.8, damn near NFL average. What's weird here is that this should actually make it easier to run on us - draws, etc. Buy, we hold form allowing only 3.2 yards per carry, 2nd best in the league.

    Anyone have any other observations as to what the problem has been?
    101
    missing Von, Champ, Ayers, and/or WW
    48.51%
    49
    schematic difference
    5.94%
    6
    small sample size - we aren't that bad, just got torched once
    9.90%
    10
    dominant offense forces oppostion to throw
    27.72%
    28
    other - describe in comment
    7.92%
    8

    The poll is expired.

    Last edited by mwill07; 10-16-2013, 01:41 PM.

  • #2
    No pass rush

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    • #3
      We're missing some guys and haven't been able to build that chemistry. Also losing Dumervil, who applied more consistent pressure than Phillips, was another thing.

      I also think teams are playing us differently. We spent a lot of time in base and nickel and built our defense around that all preseason. Given what people know they need to do to keep pace with Star Wars, they are playing us with four and even five wide. Fox mentioned two weeks ago that they were adequately prepared for that in his press conference following the Cowboys game. According to him we need to adjust and realize we are going to get their "two minute offense" possibly the entire game and the coaching staff will need to provide the team with more different looks out of our dime defense to make it more difficult.

      Von definitely will help with the pass defense, though.

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      • #4
        no doom. no von.

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        • #5
          It's all Manning's fault.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Los Broncos View Post
            No pass rush
            last year we had a sack on 8.5% of pass attempts. This year it's 6.3%. Is Von getting a sack every 2% of pass attempts?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mwill07 View Post
              last year we had a sack on 8.5% of pass attempts. This year it's 6.3%. Is Von getting a sack every 2% of pass attempts?
              just checked that - Von actually got a sack on 3.2% of pass attempts last year. I think it's probably fair to say that Von being back will push us back to one of the elite teams in terms of getting after the QB. It will be interesting to see what happens to our team D pass rankings.

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              • #8
                No Doom, no Von. Couple that with the fact that teams are having to heave the ball to keep pace with us.

                Also, our D has seen 251 passing attempts (2nd most only to Philly). We're 3rd worst in yards per attempt, but I would think that could still be chalked up to us playing prevent D later in most of our games. There's an interesting stat called "Adjusted Yards per Attempt" for which we rank 8th worst in the league. You can find many good #'s here: http://www.pro-football-reference.co...s/2013/opp.htm

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                • #9
                  Good thread. I chose the "missing Von..." option because it's probably (hopefully?) the biggest reason, although probably not the only reason. I'll be interested to see where this discussion goes. A few weeks ago several people (one in particular) in the thread linked below apparently didn't agree with me that there was a problem with the pass D...

                  http://www.orangemane.com/BB/showthread.php?t=112256

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                  • #10
                    We can't fairly say the impact of losing Doom is yet...we haven't seen the full D without him.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by randerson1184 View Post
                      No Doom, no Von. Couple that with the fact that teams are having to heave the ball to keep pace with us.

                      Also, our D has seen 251 passing attempts (2nd most only to Philly). We're 3rd worst in yards per attempt, but I would think that could still be chalked up to us playing prevent D later in most of our games. There's an interesting stat called "Adjusted Yards per Attempt" for which we rank 8th worst in the league. You can find many good #'s here: http://www.pro-football-reference.co...s/2013/opp.htm
                      yup, I've spent most of this afternoon on pfr, trying to find the silver lining. I wanted to chalk it up to lots of yards because of lots of attempts, but like you noted, 3rd worst in yards/attempt isn't good. We were 5th best there last year, and 6th in AY/A.

                      no matter how you slice it, this pass D is WAY worse than it was last year.

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                      • #12
                        If the Broncos focus on stopping the run first, they are basically daring the opponent's quarterback to outplay Manning. Yes, they will get some yardage through the air, but it's just a matter of time before a mistake is made.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Rabb View Post
                          We can't fairly say the impact of losing Doom is yet...we haven't seen the full D without him.
                          I'm of the assumption (hope) that Dumervil has been adequately replaced with Philips and a maturing Malik Jackson and Wolfe. We'll see though. Run D, which was the knock on Doom, seems to be equally good, so there's that.

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                          • #14
                            I chose the Von option and scheme because to me, they go hand in hand.

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                            • #15
                              The pass rush has obviously been hampered significantly by losing Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil - even though Ayers, Jackson and Philips have all produced some sacks they haven't been nearly as constantly disruptive as Dumervil and Miller were last year.

                              Injuries to Woodyard, Ihenacho, Champ, Harris have also hurt.

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