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Mile High Morning: Breaking down three key stats ahead of Denver's home finale against the Chargers


The Lead

In the Broncos' Week 14 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers, Denver used its penchant for creating takeaways, defensive pressure and thrilling plays on offense to roll to a convincing 24-7 victory. While a major part of the Broncos' victory in Los Angeles, those areas have also been strengths throughout the season for Denver, and the numbers back up those strengths.

Here are three key stats ahead of the Broncos' Week 17 home finale.

58 third-down conversions allowed

Denver's defense has surrendered only 58 third-down conversions this season, tied with the Browns for the fewest entering Week 17. Third-down defense was a clear strength in the Broncos' first outing against Los Angeles, in which Denver held the Chargers without a third-down conversion in 12 attempts. Overall, the Broncos' defense has held opponents to a 32.6 percent conversion rate on third-down attempts, the second-best mark in the league.

90.0 percent field-goal make rate

If the Broncos need a late kick to earn a win against the Chargers, Wil Lutz has shown he can deliver. The Broncos' kicker has nailed several game-winning kicks this season and has made 90.0 percent of all his field goals. His make rate is the fourth-best field-goal percentage by a Broncos kicker in a single season and the highest since Connor Barth made 93.8 percent of his kicks in 2014. Lutz has missed just three kicks this season, and one attempt was from 57 yards. Another one of the misses was blocked.

25 takeaways

The Broncos are behind only the AFC-leading Baltimore Ravens in total takeaways with 25 turnovers forced — a key factor behind Denver's midseason surge. Denver leads the league in fumble recoveries with 14, while also securing 11 interceptions. Individually, defensive tackle D.J. Jones became the seventh Broncos defensive tackle to recover two fumbles in a season since 2015 when he recovered his own strip-sack of Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe in Week 16. Denver won the turnover battle in their first game against the Chargers and will look to replicate the feat as they seek their first regular-season sweep of Los Angeles since 2019.

The Unclassifieds

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