NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 14 Game Recap: Denver Broncos 38, Detroit Lions 10

Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) with wide receiver Tim Patrick (81) in the fourth quarter against the New York Jets at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The game was close for the first half, but mistakes from the Detroit Lions gave the Denver Broncos the chance they needed to pull away and show the difference between the two sides.

By the end, the gap was 28 points, and the Lions were unable to get a second consecutive win. Things weren’t perfect for the Broncos, but they notched a comfortable 38-10 in Week 14.

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Denver Broncos

Quarterback

Teddy Bridgewater had the kind of performance that simply didn’t derail a good thing. He only dropped back to pass 26 times, completing 18-of-25 attempts (with a sack being the other play), but those passes amounted to 7.2 yards per attempt and a passer rating of 118.6. Denver’s passing offense averaged a very healthy 0.431 EPA per play.

Running Back

Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon were back splitting the workload in the Denver backfield, and it had its usual impressive results. The pair combined for 184 yards at 4.7 yards per attempt, with 126 of those yards coming after contact. Each back broke five tackles, but Gordon had the heavier workload, toting the rock nine times more than Williams.

Player Snaps Carries Targets Yards After Contact
Melvin Gordon 32 24 0 71
Javonte Williams 32 15 2 55
Damarea Crockett 1 0 0 N/A
Wide Receiver/Tight End

Jerry Jeudy was again the team leader in targets, with six passes coming his way. He caught five of those six passes for 47 yards, moving the chains three times. Tim Patrick was the next-most targeted receiver, with five passes sent his way, but he only came up with two of them, dropping one of the incompletions. Cortland Sutton only saw two targets all game.

Offensive Line

Denver’s offensive line had itself a day against the Detroit defensive front. With a dominant display on the ground, they had an easy time in pass protection on the occasions the team did pass. As a unit, they surrendered just two total pressures all game, pending grade review.

Pass Blocking Snaps Pressure Rate Total Snaps
Garett Bolles 26 0 65
Dalton Risner 26 0 65
Lloyd Cushenberry III 26 3.90% 65
Quinn Meinerz 26 0 65
Bobby Massie 26 7.70% 65
Defensive Line

Bradley Chubb is working his way back to full fitness after missing time injured but has still yet to make the kind of impact the team will be looking for. Chubb rushed the passer 24 times but had just one pressure, pending grade review. That’s a pass-rush win rate of just 8.3%, and the pressure he does have to his name was a clean-up play.

Linebackers

Baron Browning and Kenny Young accounted for almost all of the linebacker snaps on the Denver defense. Jonas Griffith saw some late snaps in coverage against the Lions pass game as they were chasing the game. Browning gave up two catches for 16 yards and a touchdown, but neither linebacker was busy overall.

Secondary

Ronald Darby was the most targeted player on the Denver defense, seeing seven passes thrown into his coverage. He allowed four catches for 55 yards but only one of them was a first down. Justin Simmons notched an excellent diving interception from Goff as part of a throttling display by the Broncos.

Player Coverage Snaps Targets Yards
Patrick Surtain II 33 4 26
Ronald Darby 35 7 55
Kyle Fuller 38 4 21
Nate Hairston 9 0 0
Mike Ford 7 1 0

Detroit Lions

Quarterback

The biggest mistakes didn’t come from Jared Goff in this game, but that’s not to say that he did much to elevate the offense, either. Goff had another typically underwhelming performance, completing 24-of-39 pass attempts for just 5.5 yards per attempt and a negative EPA per play of -.260.

Running Back

Godwin Igwebuike fumbled the ball at a crucial time, and he finished with just eight attempts for 25 yards. Craig Reynolds handled 11 carries, gaining a much healthier 83 yards, 72 of which came after contact.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Amon-Ra St. Brown is the clear No. 1 receiver in this Detroit offense, which tells its own story in terms of the quality of the receiving options available to Goff. He had 11 targets, catching eight of them for 73 yards. Just two of those catches moved the chains for a first down.

Routes Run Targets Receptions YPRR
Amon-Ra St. Brown 37 11 8 1.97
Josh Reynolds 34 5 3 1.53
Kalif Raymond 31 5 4 1.00
Shane Zylstra 24 4 2 0.75
Brock Wright 15 5 3 1.33
Offensive Line

Detroit’s offensive line was solid overall, though center Ryan McCollum did surrender some pressure on the interior. On initial grading, McCollum accounted for as much pressure as the rest of the offensive line combined, surrendering pressure on 11.1% of his pass-blocking reps. Rookie Penei Sewell had another strong game, allowing just a pair of hurries from 34 pass-blocking snaps.

Defensive Line

The Lions cycled through a lot of bodies up front in an attempt to slow down Denver’s rushing attack, but none of them could really make a consistent impact and make more than the occasional play. Nick Williams, Levi Onwuzerike, Michael Brockers, Alim McNeill, John Penisini and Bruce Hector all saw at least 10 snaps on defense just among interior linemen.

Player Snaps Stops Pressure Rate
Nick Williams 34 0 0.00%
Michael Brockers 30 0 0.00%
Kevi Onwuzerike 27 0 0.00%
Alim McNeill 19 0 16.70%
John Penisini 15 1 0.00%
Bruce Hector 10 0 0.00%
Linebackers

Josh Woods was the most active Lions linebacker against the run, playing 35 snaps of run defense and making nine tackles, double that of any other defender. Four of those tackles were defensive stops and his average depth of tackle was for a 3.3-yard gain.

Secondary

Denver’s rushing attack was so successful it was a relatively quiet day for the Lions secondary. Nickell Robey-Coleman was the most active cornerback in coverage with three targets and two catches given up. The main area of attack was over the middle against safeties, with Will Harris the most targeted player on the team with four shots into his coverage. He allowed two catches for 20 yards, but had a forced incompletion on the positive side of his ledger.

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