Inside The Matchup: Denver Broncos vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Broncos head into Week 13 on the heels of their fourth loss of the season. Join us as we go inside the Broncos matchup with the Jaguars.

The 7-4 Denver Broncos no longer have any margin for error. Their loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night took away any leeway they might have had. 

Each and every game remaining on the schedule is of the utmost importance. Next up? The 2-9 Jacksonville Jaguars The Jags are reeling, losers of six in a row. Despite drafting in the top-10 year after year, they've been held back by the seeming lack of progress from quarterback Blake Bortles

But the Jags are a very talented team. And coached by the type of guy you'd storm the beaches of Normandy for — Gus Bradley. 

Two old friends — defensive end Malik Jackson and tight end Julius Thomas — will be champing at the bit to exact some small measure of revenge on John Elway for not re-signing them and keeping them in Denver. 

Let's compare these two teams head-to-head and talk about some of the interesting factoids for the Broncos in Week 13. 

Offense Broncos Jaguars
Net Yards Per Game (NFL Rank) 337.4 (19th) 334.3 (T-23rd)
Yards Per Play (NFL Rank) 5.2 (25th) 5.1 (27th)
Points Per Game (NFL Rank) 24.2 (T-13th) 19.5 (26th)
Possession Average 29:10 28:51
Net Rushing Yards Per Game 99.8 (19th) 96.3 (24th)
Net Passing Yards Per Game 237.5 (22nd) 237.9 (21st)
Had Intercepted/Yards 8/93 13/209
Sacks Allowed/Yards 31/176 23/132
Fumbles/Lost 16/8 18/9
Third Down Pct. (NFL Rank) 39.2% (16th) 36.5% (23rd)
Red Zone TD Pct. (NFL Rank) 47.2% (27th) 62.5% (T-9th) 
Giveaways 16 22
Turnover Margin (NFL Rank) +4 (T-6th) -15 (32nd)

Analysis: Jacksonville has really struggled with turning the ball over. They're at the bottom of the NFL in turnover differential. They're not an efficient unit on third down but they find a way to get it done when they're in the redzone — they're just not getting there often enough. They average just 19.5 points per game. Both the Jags and the Broncos are ranked in the bottom third of most offensive statistical categories. 

Defense Broncos Jaguars
Net Yards Per Game (NFL Rank) 313.9 (4th) 320.9 (6th)
Yards Per Play (NFL Rank) 4.7 (2nd) 5.0 (6th)
Points Per Game (NFL Rank) 19.9 (9th) 26.6 (27th)
Net Rushing Yards Per Game 120.0 (27th) 116.6 (24th)
Net Passing Yards Per Game 193.9 (1st) 204.3 (3rd)
Intercepted By/Yards 10/197 3/39
Sacks For/Yards 35/193 24/132
Opponent Fumbles/Lost 13/10 11/4
Third Down Pct. (NFL Rank) 36.9% (5th) 41.9% (24th)
Red Zone TD Pct. (NFL Rank) 51.4% (7th) 55.3% (T-16th) 
Takeaways 20 7

Analysis: As you can see, Gus Bradley's defense aren't a bunch of slouches. They're ranked No. 6 in total yards, but they're not forcing turnovers and they're allowing too many points. Much of that is the fault of the Jags offense, who turn it over a lot and put their defense in a tough spot. Jacksonville is very talented on defense, though, and won't make it easy on the Broncos. 

Special Teams Broncos Jaguars
Punts-Average Yards (Gross) 45.9 46.4
Punts-Average Yards (Net) 41.5 37.8
Punt Returns-Average Per  8.3 6.3
Punt Returns-Average Per Allowed 6.8 14.5
Kickoff Returns-Average Per 22.5 22.2
Kickoff Returns-Average Per Allowed 21.4 18.4
Field Goals Made/Attempted 23/27 8/15

Analysis: The Jags are allowing more yards on punt returns, but less on kick returns. They're more productive punting, but they haven't been nearly as efficient kicking field goals. It's easy to overlook the third phase, but we saw last week how vital they can be to a team's success on gameday. 

Penalties Broncos Jaguars
Penalties Against/Yards 87/704 85/809
Opponent Penalties Against/Yards 74/650 74/668

Analysis: The Broncos and Jags are pretty close on penalties. Call it wash. The Broncos were flagged way too often in Week 12 and will be looking to clean that up on the road. 

Choice Nuggs

• The Broncos own a 4-5 (.444) all-time regular-season record against the Jaguars (1-3 on the road), with Jacksonville representing one of just eight NFL teams Denver has a losing record against

• Denver has won an NFL-best 28 consecutive games when winning the turnover battle.

• The Broncos have scored a league-high 93 points off turnovers (35.0% of their overall point total).

• GM John Elway was hired in 2011, the Broncos rank second in the league in total wins (71) and are tied for the most playoff berths (5), division titles (5), Super Bowl appearances (2) and World Championships (1) during that span. • Elway's 71 total wins in his first 100 games as general manager are the most of any current NFL team's top personnel executive through his first 100 overall games.

• Denver QB Trevor Siemian's seven wins are tied for the third most by a Broncos quarterback in his first 10 starts with the team.

• Siemian in Week 12 against Kansas City became just the third quarterback in franchise history to throw for 350 yards and three touchdowns without an interception in a single game.

• Broncos RB Devontae Booker is on pace to become the 13th rookie in franchise history to lead the team in rushing.

• The Broncos lead the NFL in sacks (35) and quarterbacks hits (89) through 12 weeks in 2016.

• Denver has totaled nine defensive touchdowns (6 INT ret./3 FUM ret.) since the start of the 2015 season (incl. playoffs) to rank second in the NFL during that span.

• The Broncos have totaled nine total defensive touchdowns (6 INT ret.; 3 FUM ret.) since the start of the 2015 season (including playoffs) to tie for the most in the NFL during that span.

What To Watch For

• CB Chris Harris, Jr. needs an interception to become the seventh player to record multiple interceptions in each of the last six seasons.

• OLB Von Miller (72.5 career sacks) needs one sack to tie Rulon Jones (73.5) for fourth place on the team's all-time list; Needs 2.5 sacks to tie Barney Chavous (75.) for third place.

• WR Emmanuel Sanders needs one reception to reach 400 for his career.

• WR Demaryius Thomas needs 100 receiving yards to tie Calvin Johnson (34) and Julio Jones (34) for the most 100-yard receiving games in the NFL since 2011.

• OLB DeMarcus Ware (137.5 career sacks) needs a sack to pass Richard Dent and John Randle for sole possession of eighth place on the NFL's all-time sack list.

• Ware needs two sacks to tie Julius Peppers for sixth.

Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.

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