The San Diego Chargers will go to Denver this week to play the Broncos on Sunday. The Broncos are coming off a 23-49 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
The Broncos will bring with them a 3rd down conversion rate of 45% (7th in NFL) and a red zone efficiency rate of 54% (12 in NFL).
In this weekly article, Pro Football Spotlight will bring you the upcoming opponent’s rushing and passing tendencies, as well as some additional data and observations. For example: Did you know that the Denver Broncos are 3rd in the NFL in their completion percentage, when throwing the ball to the deep left side of the field?
Every team in the NFL has strengths and weaknesses, tendencies, and go-to guys. They have plays they like to call during tight situations or directions they like to run when in the middle of the football field.
Let’s take a look at the rest of those tendencies…
|Left End||Left Tackle||Left Guard||Up the Middle||Right Guard||Right Tackle||Right End|
|Plays: 6||Plays: 10||Plays: 13||Plays: 36||Plays: 11||Plays: 11||Plays: 6|
|NFL Rank: 28||NFL Rank: 20||NFL Rank: 5||NFL Rank: 8||NFL Rank: 13||NFL Rank: 19||NFL Rank: 29|
|Avg Gain: 5.00||Avg Gain: 3.10||Avg Gain: 4.38||Avg Gain: 3.31||Avg Gain: 3.18||Avg Gain: 6.55||Avg Gain: 3.50|
|NFL Rank: 16||NFL Rank: 26||NFL Rank: 14||NFL Rank: 22||NFL Rank: 20||NFL Rank: 4||NFL Rank: 22|
- Just like the Chargers, the Broncos love to run the ball up the middle. 64% of their running plays are directed at their guards or center.
- Denver has run the ball 13 times directly at their left guard, which is 5th in the NFL in number of attempts toward that area.
- The Broncos appear to be very productive when attacking directly at the right tackle. They average 6.5 yards, per attempt, toward that area (4th in NFL).
- Denver is 8th in the NFL in the number of times they have attacked the center area. The Chargers are giving up 4.6 yards, per carry, in that area, which is ranked 22nd in the NFL.
- Look for Denver to keep pounding it between those guards. Chris Kuper is a powerful blocker, and when he teams up with Orlando Franklin, they can get a pretty good push on a defender. The Chargers appear to be vulnerable around the left end, an area they are giving up 6.1 yards per carry. But the Broncos might not have enough speed to take full advantage of it.
| 2011 Target By Zone Chart
|Avg. Gain: 14.3
||Avg. Gain: 12.0
||Avg. Gain: 12.5
||Plays: 28||Plays: 47
|Avg. Gain: 6.3
||Avg. Gain: 6.1
||Avg. Gain: 5.0
- The Broncos don’t necessarily have big numbers in any of the zones. They do appear to like to throw the ball to the left side of the field. They are ranked 9th in attempts toward the short left zone, and 11th in attempts toward the deep left zone.
- The Broncos are ranked 3rd in the NFL in completion percentage when throwing the ball to the deep left zone, 60%. Knowing they like to throw left, coupled with the success they have had completing those passes, look for Denver to test the San Diego waters in that area. The problem with all that is that the Chargers have only surrendered a 20% completion rate (4th in NFL) to the deep left zone. Let the battles begin!
- San Diego does appear to give up too much in their short pass defense, however. They are allowing their opponents over a 72% completion rate in all short areas. And to top it off, the Chargers are allowing over 7.5 yards, per attempt, in the short areas, with an average rank of 23rd in all areas combined.
- Look for Denver to try and take advantage of that soft short game in order to get some success and open up their running game. Something they have been trying to establish the past couple of games.
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