The Denver Broncos found yet another way to win a one-score game. Last season, Denver went 9-3 in games decided by seven points or less. This year, they’re now 2-1 in such games.
The way Denver won this one was especially odd: With one of its rookie safeties leaping over the line of scrimmage on a PAT, blocking the kick and then seeing its other rookie safety return the kick for a two-point play.
Here are the numbers that mattered in the Broncos’ wild 25-23 win.
22 — The Saints’ defense sent extra rushers 22 times in 48 plays. The Broncos didn’t handle that pressure well. Quarterback Trevor Siemian was sacked six times and knocked down six other times.
6 — Broncos right tackle Donald Stephenson allowed six combined QB hits (two) and QB hurries (four), according to Pro Football Focus. He only played 31 snaps. Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan feasted on him. Stephenson was eventually benched for Ty Sambrailo.
4 — Denver’s defense forced four turnovers. Free safety Darian Stewart came up with three of them, two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
Strong safety T.J. Ward had the other one when he recovered a fumble. Denver’s offense only managed to turn the four takeaways into 13 points. Which brings us to our next number…
4.1 — The Broncos averaged 4.1 yards per play on offense. They rushed the ball 37 times for 2.8 yards per carry. Siemian threw the ball 40 times for 258 yards. Denver is averaging 5.1 yards per play on the season, which ranks 27th in the NFL. That’s worse than last year’s mark of 5.4 yards per play.
11 — Denver’s longest run of the day was 11 yards. Devontae Booker rushed 24 times for 76 yards. Kapri Bibbs ran seven times for 22 yards. Neither forced a missed tackle, according to PFF. The Broncos miss C.J. Anderson. It wasn’t a banner day for Booker, Bibbs or Denver’s offensive line.
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