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10 telling numbers from the Denver Broncos AFC Championship Game win

Ken Pomponio Avatar
January 25, 2016


Running down the significant stats and notable numbers following the Broncos 20-18 win over the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday:

48.21 – Completion percentage for Tom Brady, marking the first sub-50-percent – i.e. worst – mark of his 31 career post-season games. Brady’s 56 attempts were his most ever in a playoff outing, and when he wasn’t getting pummeled (see below), he completed 27 for 310 yards and a late touchdown. But his 5.54 yards-per-attempt was way down from 7.6 regular-season figure and ranks as the sixth-worst mark of his 31 playoff contests. His 56.4 passer rating also was his second-worst postseason mark, trailing only the 49.1 he had in a 33-14 wild-card loss to the Ravens in the 2009 season.

20 – Quarterback hits delivered by the Denver defense Sunday, making for the most contact any QB has absorbed in a game since 2006, according to Sports Illustrated’s Doug Farrar. Edge rushers DeMarcus Ware (seven) and Von Miller (four) combined for more than half of the hits. Throwing in the Orange & Blue’s four sacks, it makes the above Brady numbers a little more understandable.

14.3 – Third-down conversion percentage (4-of-28) for the Patriots in two games against the Broncos this season, including only 2-of-15 Sunday. In their other 16 games, the Patriots converted 43 percent of their third-down attempts – fourth-best in the league.

13 – Rushing yards on three attempts for Brady, which wound up pacing the Patriots. Meanwhile, the three New England running backs – Steven Jackson, Brandon Bolden and James White – combined for 31 yards on 14 attempts.

12 – First downs for the Broncos, which marks the third-lowest total among the franchise’s 41 post-season games. It also was the fewest first downs for the Broncos in a playoff win as only the totals in the 27-10 Super Bowl XII loss to the Cowboys (11) and the 21-3 wild-card defeat to the Ravens in 2000 (nine) were lower. Peyton Manning and Co. only managed four first downs – and 83 total yards – in the second half making a game they dominated defensively turn out a little too close for comfort.

8 – Super Bowl appearances clinched for the Broncos, tying them with the Steelers, Cowboys and Patriots for the most all-time in NFL history. It’s also one more than the Browns, Lions, Jaguars, Texans, Cardinals, Titans, Falcons, Chargers, Saints, Buccaneers and Jets – more than a third of the league – have  combined. Overall, that’s a rather impressive Big Game appearance once every 4.9 years since the start of the 1977 season.

3 – Manning TD passes in the Mile High City this season after tossing two in the first half Sunday. All three were caught by tight end Owen Daniels.

2.5 – Playoff franchise record sacks in the game by Miller. In the previous five playoff games he played in, Miller had totaled 1.5 sacks.

1 – Broncos’ turnover advantage in the game, upping their all-time post-season record to 15-3 when winning the takeaway/giveaway tussle. Denver is 3-11 in the playoffs when finishing on the negative side of the ledger. The Patriots, meanwhile, fell to 7-9 in the Bill Belichick Era when losing the turnover battle in a playoff game; they’re 15-0 when owning a turnover advantage.

1.000 – Winning percentage this season for the Broncos when rushing the ball 30-plus times in a game. Denver finished with exactly 30 attempts Sunday for 99 yards.

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