Lions 45, Broncos 10: By the Numbers

Lance Ball

Lance Ball helped the Broncos run for a season-high 195 yards, but the Broncos absorbed just their second all-time loss with at least 190 rushing yards and 6.5 yards per carry. (PHOTO: GABRIEL CHRISTUS / DENVER BRONCOS)

DENVER –The Broncos’ second blowout loss this month yielded a slew of notable numbers that defined a game that the Broncos will try hard to forget.

3: Number of home losses by 35 or more points the Broncos have absorbed since the start of the 2007 season, the most in the league.

6: Number of home losses by 35 or more points the league’s other 31 teams have combined to endure in that span. The Lions had two such defeats — both in their winless 2008 season — while the Bills, Raiders, Rams and 49ers had one apiece. Not coincidentally, none of these teams have posted a winning record in that stretch, although the 2011 Lions appear poised to change that.

7: Number of losses by 30 or more points the Broncos have suffered at any venue since 2007, tied with the Lions, Chiefs and Rams for the most in the league in that period. It previously took them 27 regular seasons — from 1980-2006 — to have the same number of regular-season defeats of that magnitude.

0: Number of losses by 30 or more points the Broncos had anywhere from 1997-2006.

9: Consecutive defeats by the Broncos in the seventh game of the season. They haven’t won a seventh game since 2002, when a blocked punt in overtime set up a game-winning Jason Elam field goal to seal a 37-34 triumph that improved the Broncos to 5-2.

The first five losses in the seventh game were relatively close; only one was decided by more than one score (23-10 at Cincinnati in 2004), with the other four going down to the final seconds or overtime. But since 2008, the seventh game has seen nothing but floggings; the Broncos have lost to New England (2008), Baltimore (2009), Oakland (2010) and Detroit (2011) by a combined 175-38 score, which calculates to an average defeat of 44-10 — quite close to the final tally Sunday.

36: Average margin of victory for the Lions in their two games since 2007, the first of which was a 44-7 throttling at Ford Field four years ago that pushed them to 6-2. They went 3-41 in their next 44 games, which included losing streaks of six, 19 and 10 games.

In between the 2007 win over the Broncos and Sunday’s, the Lions went 14-50 and were outscored by an average of 8.6 points per game.

13: Sacks allowed in the last two games, including seven on Sunday. That tied for the most allowed by the Broncos since the Bears rang up a nine-sack tally on Oct. 2, 1983. It’s also the first time the Broncos have permitted seven sacks since Dec. 17, 1994, when the 49ers got to John Elway and Hugh Millen seven times in a 42-19 rout.

117: The Broncos’ net passing yardage total Sunday, which was dragged down by the 55 yards lost on Detroit’s seven sacks of quarterback Tim Tebow. This is the Broncos’ third consecutive game with less than 150 passing yards; that hasn’t happened to the Broncos since Weeks 3-5 of the 2005 season, when the Broncos passed for 137, 118 and 92 yards against the Chiefs, Jaguars and Redskins. Denver won all three of those games.

10-2: Denver’s all-time record when the team rushes for at least 190 yards and averages at least 6.5 yards per carry, as was the case Sunday. The only other loss with those numbers in the same game came on Nov. 23, 2003, when the Broncos ran 21 times for 200 yards but lost 19-10 to the Chicago Bears.

100: Length, in yardage, of Chris Houston’s interception return that became the longest against the Broncos since San Diego’s Vencie Glenn returned a pickoff 103 yards on Nov. 29, 1987.

69.7: Tebow’s fourth-quarter quarterback rating on Sunday, which was dragged down by Houston’s interception and a 5.1-yards-per-attempt average. In his last five games dating back to Dec. 26, his fourth-quarter rating is 94.9; he’s also averaged 6.5 yards per pass play (including 27 yards lost on sacks).

45.7: Tebow’s quarterback rating during the first three quarters Sunday. In his last five games, his first-three-quarters rating is 54.1. He has also been sacked 11 times for 68 yards in losses during the first three quarters of his games since Dec. 26, 2010; this drops his average per pass play to 4.3 yards.

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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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