With the Super Bowl coming in just a few days I figured I would take a break from the salary cap breakdowns and look over the stats of the Broncos offense and the Seahawks defense with the flipside coming in a day or two. The way I wanted to look at this was to determine the performance of each unit in a number of categories against their regular season schedules in 2013. This is essentially how I do my efficiency ratings except for yardage rather than scores. As a quick example the Broncos passed for an average of 340.2 yards per game against a schedule that allowed just 239.8 yards per game which translates into an efficiency rating of 41.9% which is incredibly high for this type of category.
Broncos Pass Offense vs Seahawks Pass Defense
As far as matchups go I don’t know if there will ever be a more contrasting one than this. Denver has pretty much ripped the NFL apart with their pass game while Seattle has stopped almost everyone’s passing attack. When looking at things it would seem like Manning will get most of his completions as the Seahawks only held teams to about 3.6% below their average but the question is will the Broncos get the yards they are accustomed to? While basically an average team in gaining over 20 yards, the Broncos have been very explosive with big pass plays, averaging 0.8 per game. Seattle has only allowed 0.19 per game this season, holding teams to over 60% below their average. That may take away a threat for the Broncos.
Denver should neutralize the pass rush of the Seahawks which was good, but nowhere near as good as the Broncos were at avoiding it, which is credited as much to Peyton Manning as anyone else. The interceptions are an interesting category. Seattle is at nearly double their schedules interception rate while the Broncos cut the interception rate in half for their opponents.
Broncos Run Offense vs Seahawks Run Defense
If both sides play to their average performance levels (which is not really likely) Denver should complete about 65% of their passes for 240 to 260 yards on the night between 9.4 and 9.8 yards per completion. Manning should get sacked once and picked off one time and throw for at least two scores. Denver’s ground game should be between 3.7 and 3.9 yards per carry and likely end up with around 100 yards, depending on if they show their normal commitment to using the run. The categories where there are likely chances of improving for one side or the other would be the 20 yard pass plays (2 is win for Seattle while 3 a win for Denver), sacks (1 vs 2), interceptions (1 vs 2) and any 40 yard play is major win for Denver.
Scoring-wise the Seahawks held teams to 36% below their average scoring output in 2013 while the Broncos outscored teams by a ridiculous 63.3%. That should lead to a game where the Broncos score 23 or 24 points.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.