Broncos 35, Vikings 32: By the Numbers

Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow has a 7-3 record in his first 10 games as a Broncos starting quarterback. If that record sounds familiar, there's a reason why, which follows below. (PHOTO: MAXDENVER.COM)

MINNEAPOLIS – Numbers, notes and nuggets from yet another Broncos comeback win, this one by a 35-32 scoreline over the Minnesota Vikings here Sunday afternoon:

1,070: Days that have passed since the last time the Broncos were in first place in the final four weeks of the season. They went into Dec. 28, 2008 with a one-game lead over San Diego, but lost 52-21 that day to complete a three-week swan dive that helped cost then-head coach Mike Shanahan his job of 14 seasons.

28-19: Combined record of the Oakland Raiders’ final four opponents, two of which play them at Coliseum.

26-22: Combined record of the Denver Broncos’ final four opponents, three of which must visit Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

Plus-3: Denver’s improvement in win total even if it drops its next four games. It matches 2005 for the best single-season improvement since 1999-2000.

1: Number of first downs the Broncos gained in the first half Sunday.

12: Number of first downs the Broncos gained in the second half.

48: Denver’s total yardage in the first half.

288: Denver’s total yardage in the second half.

2.53: The Broncos’ average yardage per play in the first half.

9.60: The Broncos’ average yardage per play in the second half.

8:54: Time of possession for Denver in the first half.

13:15: Time of possession for Denver in the second half.

0: Offensive points for Denver in the first half Sunday.

25: Offensive points in the second half.

13.1: Average points scored by the Broncos’ offense in the second half when Tim Tebow has played this season.

4.3: Average points scored by the Broncos’ offense in Tebow’s first halves this season.

If you see all those first- and second-half numbers and did not watch Sunday’s game, you might be muttering, “What the hell happened out there? Did the Broncos not get the memo on the kickoff time change from 3:15 to noon?”

Broncos coach John Fox has a theory he’s tossed into the public sphere in recent days — that the Broncos’ unique offense makes it impossible to know how a defense will counter, thus forcing them to fly blind until they adapt during the course of the game.

“We don’t know how people are going to play us because we don’t see evidence on tape,” Fox said, “so we have to adjust.”

66.2: Tebow’s first-half quarterback rating this year.

102.2 Tebow’s second-half quarterback rating.

Willis McGahee

McGAHEE: ... when he starts and finishes, is averaging 106 yards a game. (PHOTO: MAXDENVER.COM)

43.1: Tebow’s first-half completion percentage in the 2011 season.

50.5: Tebow’s second-half completion percentage.

One every 33: Tebow’s touchdown-per-pass play ratio in the first half of games this season.

One every 13.3: Tebow’s touchdown-per-pass-play ratio during the second half of this year’s games.

7-3: Tebow’s record in his first 10 starts as the Broncos’ quarterback.

7-3: Kyle Orton’s record in his first 10 starts as the Broncos’ quarterback.

6: Number of 100-yard rushing games for running back Willis McGahee this season, last achieved in a Broncos uniform by Reuben Droughns in 2004.

106.0: Average yardage amassed by McGahee in the eight complete games he’s started and was unaffected by injury this season.

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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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2 Responses

  1. How to explain the poor 1st half of games and the terrific 2nd half?
    Are Fox and company making all the right adjustments at halftime? Example: Against the Vikings we could not run, then 2nd half, whe were running great, which set up the pass.
    Other possibilities include Tebow needing time to get into the flow of the game as a new QB…and only playing well under pressure.
    What do we need to do to start off fast the next few games? I would say pass on 1st and 2nd down.


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