Chargers 29, Broncos 24: By the Numbers

Orton and Tebow

Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow warm up under the sun early on an eventful afternoon. (PHOTO: MAXDENVER.COM)

DENVER – Notes and numbers from the Broncos’ 29-24 loss to the San Diego Chargers here Sunday:

46.2: Kyle Orton’s quarterback rating the last two years on possessions that began in the last 10 minutes of regulation when trailing by eight points or less. More details available here.

99.3: Tim Tebow’s career quarterback rating in that same scenario.

1: Number of touchdown drives, on 11 possessions, led by Orton in the last-10-minutes, eight-point-or-less-deficit scenario the last two years.

2: Number of touchdown drives, on five possessions, led by Tebow under the same circumstances.

3-11: Denver’s record in their last 14 games decided by a touchdown or less, including a 1-3 mark this year. It’s not foolish optimism to say that the Broncos are three plays away from being 4-1 — no matter who the quarterback happens to be, since Tebow now has two last-gasp near misses against the Chargers already on his career résumé. (Of course, the Broncos are also one play from 0-5, since their lone win this year was by two points over the Bengals in Week 2.)

“We’re sick of being close,” said guard Chris Kuper. “As a guy that’s been here a while, we’ve been close a lot in different situations, different games, close to making the playoffs.

“I’m sick of it.”

16: Yardage accounted for by Broncos wide receivers, who only had three receptions among them Sunday. Eric Decker, Brandon Lloyd and Matthew Willis were targeted 12 times by Orton and Tebow but only came up with three receptions among them (two for minus-4 yards by Decker and one for 20 yards by Lloyd, on the game’s final series). Decker and Lloyd each dropped a catchable pass from Orton, and they each nearly made spectacular grabs from Tebow but came up short.

3: 100-yard rushing games by Willis McGahee so far this season, making him the first Bronco with that many 100-yard games in an entire season since Travis Henry in 2007. A fourth and fifth 100-yard game would make him the first Bronco since Tatum Bell in 2006; six would make him the first since Reuben Droughns in 2004.

1,229: Rushing yardage for which McGahee is on pace after five games. The Broncos haven’t had a 1,200-yard rusher since Droughns in ’04, when he posted the seventh 1,200-yard season by a Denver running back in a nine-year stretch.

34: Yardage accumulated by Orton on his 13 passes Sunday, making him the third Broncos quarterback in the last 30 years to throw at least 10 passes but throw for less than 40 yards in the game. This happened 18 times between 1960 and 1980, but since then was only endured by John Elway (4-of-10 for 36 yards at Chicago in 1983) and Chris Simms (3-of-13 for 13 yards at Washington in 2009).

30: Number of games that had passed since a tight end led the Broncos in receiving yardage until Sunday. Daniel Fells’s 31-yard grab on the third-to-last play of the game gave him 47 yards for the day, making him the first tight end to pace the team in aerial yardage since Tony Scheffler grabbed six passes for 101 yards at San Diego on Oct. 19, 2009.

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About Andrew Mason

Andrew Mason has covered the NFL since 1999, when he worked as an editor on when the site was managed by He worked six seasons (2002-07) covering the Broncos on their official website and two (2008-09) on the Panthers' site. He began in 2010 and now contributes to, The Sporting News and The New York Times.
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3 Responses

  1. 4: Games in a row with a sack for Von Miller.

  2. Sad that Gannon had to acknowledge that fridays practice sucked donkey *alls. But as we all know, you play like you practice. GB hangover? I just hope this team wakes up and comes out of the bye hitting on all cylinders. Maybe they can build up some momentum for ’12;


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