How will the Broncos do without Peyton Manning? There are certainly reasons to think Denver will be fine, and Von Miller is one of the biggest reasons. Last year, the Broncos ranked in the bottom 3 in offensive ANY/A and 2nd in defensive ANY/A. According to Football Outsiders, the Broncos ranked 25th in passing DVOA and 1st in DVOA on pass defense. Sure, Mark Sanchez is not great, but he’s pretty familiar with taking a team with a bad offense and a great defense to the playoffs.
Among the 50 Super Bowl winners, Denver had arguably the worst passing offense during the regular season of those teams. The table below displays each team’s Relative ANY/A — i.e., each team’s ANY/A relative to league average. The Broncos offense averaged 5.14 ANY/A, which was just over a full ANY/A below average. On the X-Axis, I have plotted how each Super Bowl winner fared in offensive RANY/A; on the Y-Axis, I have shown defensive ANY/A. So the 2015 Broncos will be (relatively) high and to the left; the 2002 Bucs/2013 Seahawks will be very high and in the middle, and the ’98 Broncos/’06 Colts will be down and to the right. Teams like 1966 Green Bay and 1991 Washington were really, really good and balanced, so they are up and to the right. [click to continue…]