Zero points at halftime! No problem… for the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Denver Broncos logo

Denver Broncos logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s be honest, how many of you thought there was no way the Denver Broncos were going to come back and win last night’s game against the San Diego Chargers? Especially down 24-0, and the offense had five possessions resulting in four punts and a turnover. Oh, and did I mention the game was being played in San Diego?

Going into last night’s contest, since 2000 a team that was held scoreless at halftime had won only 88 games and lost 521, a winning percentage of only .144. Not a good omen for the Broncos as they came out of the tunnel to start the third quarter.

There was one key factor to a possible Denver comeback, however… Peyton Manning (more on that in a moment).

First, consider that of the now 89 wins (since 2000) that have resulted after teams were held scoreless at halftime, the Denver Broncos won five of those games, tied for second most on the list. In fact, of the 32 NFL teams, the Broncos have the second-best record since 2000 in games when they have been held scoreless through the first two quarters. They are now 5-8, a .385 winning percentage.

Here’s a look at each teams’ record since 2000 in games where they were held scoreless at half.

(6 wins) Indianapolis 6-8 .429

(5 wins) Denver 5-8 .385; New York Giants 5-10 .333; Carolina 5-15 .250; Baltimore 5-18 .217

(4 wins) Pittsburgh 4-10. 286; San Diego 4-15 .211; Dallas 4-19 .174; Washington 4-19 .174; Detroit 4-23 .148

(3 wins) New England 3-6 .333; Philadelphia 3-12 .200; Cincinnati 3-6 .158; Green Bay 3-10 .231; New York Jets 3-15 .167; Jacksonville 3-18 .143; Chicago 3-22 .120

(2 wins) Houston 2-12 .143; Tampa Bay 2-12 .143; Tennessee 2-14 .125; Arizona 2-22 .083; Oakland 2-22 .083; San Francisco 2-22 .083; Buffalo 2-27 .069; Cleveland 2-33 .057

(1 win) New Orleans 1-7 .125; Atlanta 1-13 .071; St. Louis 1-14 .067; Minnesota 1-19 ..050; Miami 1-22 .043

(0 wins) Seattle 0-17 .000; Kansas City 0-21 .000

I’m sure by now you noticed which team was at the top of the list, Indianapolis. And what do the Colts have in common with the Broncos? Manning was the QB in Indianapolis for those six wins where the Colts had no points at halftime.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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