By the numbers: Broncos suffer first loss of the season to Falcons

Photo by Gabriel Christus
Bronc. Photo by Gabriel Christus
QB Paxton Lynch and the Denver offense didn’t get much going in a loss to Atlanta on Sunday. (Photo by Gabriel Christus/Denver Broncos)

The Denver Broncos are undefeated no more. Behind the strength of their versatile running backs and surprisingly effective defense, the Atlanta Falcons beat Denver 23-17 on Sunday.

Denver is 4-1, tied with the Oakland Raiders for a share of the AFC West lead. The Broncos, who still don’t know if Trevor Siemian or head coach Gary Kubiak will be ready for Thursday’s game against the Chargers, won’t get much time to recoup.

Before we start thinking about San Diego, though, here are some numbers that mattered in Sunday’s loss.

180 — How many passing yards Atlanta running backs Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman accounted for. Coleman had four catches for 132 yards and a touchdown, while Freeman caught three balls for 43 yards. When Denver’s linebackers were asked to cover them in passing situations, they dominated.

2.5 — One of the things Broncos rookie QB Paxton Lynch struggled with was holding onto the ball for too long.

According to Pro Football Focus, when Lynch held the ball for 2.5 seconds or less he was good, completing 16 of 20 passes and scoring a 112.3 QB rating.

However, when he clung to the ball for 2.6 seconds or more, he only completed 7 of 14 passes, with a 39.0 QB rating. Lynch must make quicker decisions.

14 — The number of total pressures Denver’s offensive line allowed, per PFF. The Falcons also recorded five sacks. Lynch was bad, but he didn’t get a whole lot of help from the guys up front.

3 1/2 — Sacks tallied by Falcons edge rusher Vic Beasley. He had five in 20 career games entering Sunday. Beasley dominated Ty Sambrailo, who started at right tackle in place of the injured Donald Stephenson.

4.1 — Yards per play for the Broncos offense. That’s a season-low mark. Denver averaged 4.6 yards per play against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 4, which was previously its worst of the season.



Christian Clark

Author: Christian Clark

Christian Clark covers sports. He's worked for outlets that include the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Oklahoman, Columbia Missourian and Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine. He likes music and Mexican food. Lots and lots of Mexican food.