Denver Broncos 14, Houston Texans 10: By the numbers

Ken Pomponio Avatar
August 23, 2015

 

Running down the significant stats and notable numbers following the Broncos’ second preseason game:

99 – Team-leading receiving yards on five receptions through two games for wide receiver Bennie Fowler. Signed as an undrafted free agent from Michigan State, Fowler caught five passes for 55 yards last preseason – pacing all wide receivers who didn’t make the active roster – but spent the 2014 regular season on the practice squad. That looks like it could change this time around.

74 – Yards lost due to penalties by the Broncos on Saturday. Denver was flagged eight times in all and now has been called for 17 penalties in two games, resulting in 129 yards of surrendered yardage. That average of 8.5 infractions per contest is higher than the team’s 7.5 mark last season, which was the fourth highest in the league. Definitely something to work on before the games that count roll around.

54 – Game-high rushing yards for Broncos’ backup Ronnie Hillman, who averaged 6.8 yards per attempt on his eight carries Saturday night in Houston. After also pacing the Orange and Blue with 66 yards on eight totes during the exhibition opener in Seattle, Hillman was leading the NFL with 120 yards (7.5 yards per rush) through Saturday’s preseason action. He looks to have leapfrogged Montee Ball for the No. 2 running back role, and there are whispers he might start challenging C.J. Anderson for a larger share of the starter’s reps.

12 – NFL-leading sacks so far for the Denver defense. Six players shared in the Broncos’ five sacks Saturday night, and overall, 11 different defenders have had a hand in the dozen sacks overall, led by impressive second-year LB Shaquil Barrett and rookie defensive lineman Darius Kilgo with two apiece. Overall, the Broncos have notched sacks on an eye-popping 14.8 percent of the opponents’ 81 preseason dropbacks.

6 – Total tackles Saturday for inside linebacker Todd Davis, including five solo stops and several jarring hits. Davis, who started a pair of games down the stretch last season after being signed off the New Orleans Saints’ practice squad, is showing that the Broncos might not be left at a loss if projected starting ILB Danny Trevathan takes longer than expected in returning from his knee and leg issues of last season.

1 – Touchdown surrendered by the Broncos’ defense in two games. Sure, the stat sheet shows Denver has allowed 30 points overall this exhibition season, but taking a closer look reveals that two of the three TDs allowed came on a 103-yard kickoff return and a 69-yard interception runback, and that both the Seahawks’ field goals in the opener came on drives that began in Broncos’ territory as the result of another long kickoff return and a muffed punt return by Denver’s Jordan Norwood, respectively.

0 – Sacks allowed Saturday by the Broncos’ young and reconfigured offensive line versus the Texans. In 40 pass dropbacks, the front allowed only one quarterback hit while also paving the way for an average of 5.3 yards on the team’s 23 rushing attempts. No J.J. Watt or not, those are figures Gary Kubiak and Co. will take every game.

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