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A thorough deconstruction of Jaguars at Broncos

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How much better are the Denver Broncos than the Jacksonville Jaguars? Are there any players on the Jaguars roster better than their counterpart on the Bronocs'? Well yes, there are a few. But not many. We went to the experts at Pro Football Focus to confirm our hypothesis: the Broncos are better from top to bottom.

Michael Thomas

Jaguars Advantage Broncos
Pos Player PFF Grade Offense PFF Grade Player Pos
WR Cecil Shorts 2.4 Broncos 8.1 Demaryius Thomas WR
QB Blaine Gabbert -11.1 Broncos 22 Peyton Manning QB
LT Cameron Bradfield -6.6 Broncos 6.3 Chris Clark LT
LG Will Rackley -14.7 Broncos -1.5 Zane Beadles LG
C Brad Meester -0.9 Broncos 7.3 Manny Ramirez C
RG Uche Nwaneri -0.3 Broncos 10.1 Louis Vasquez RG
RT Austin Pasztor 0.8 Broncos 7.8 Orlando Franklin RT
TE Mercedes Lewis 0 Broncos 4.7 Julius Thomas TE
WR Justin Blackmon -0.1 Jaguars -2.7 Eric Decker WR
RB Maurice Jones-Drew -0.4 Broncos 3.2 Knowshon Moreno RB
FB Will Ta'ufo'ou -1.7 N/A
N/A 4 Wes Welker WR
Defense
LDE Tyson Alualu -9.7 Broncos -7.8 Derek Wolfe LDE
DT Roy Miller -6.2 Broncos -5.3 Kevin Vickerson DT
DT Sen'Derrick Marks 4.3 Jaguars 2.6 Terrance Knighton DT
RDE Jason Babin -9.5 Broncos 4.7 Shaun Phillips RDE
OLB Geno Hayes -3 Broncos -0.3 Nate Irving OLB
MLB Paul Posluszny -6.1 Broncos 1.3 Wesley Woodyard MLB
OLB Russell Allen 4 Jaguars -0.4 Danny Trevathan OLB
LCB Dwayne Gratz -0.3 Broncos 4.8 Chris Harris Jr.* LCB
RCB Alan Ball 1 Jaguars -0.6 Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie RCB
SS Johnathan Cyprien -14.5 Broncos -2.9 Duke Ihenacho SS
FS Josh Evans -4.9 Broncos -1.1 Rahim Moore FS
Special Teams
P Bryan Anger 4.4 Broncos 8 Britton Colquitt P
K Josh Scobee 3.8 Broncos 26.2 Matt Prater K
PR Ace Sanders 1.5 Broncos 1.6 Trindon Holliday PR
KR Jordan Todman 1.1 Broncos 1.3 Trindon Holliday KR

Let's take a look at the 4 (yes, that's it) players who out-graded the Broncos on the depth chart. Would you trade that Bronco for that Jaguar?

WR Justin Blackmon vs. Eric Decker

Decker's drop rate and ineffectiveness as a blocker have him graded pretty low, but he's still a playmaker. He has 427 yards and two touchdowns on the season to Blackmon's 136 and one TD. That's not even considering Wes welker, another starter with the Broncos, who is graded higher than both. I'll keep Decker.

DT San'derrick Marks vs. Terrance Knighton

Both 2009 draft picks grade well, but the second round Marks out-performs the third round Knighton on the stat sheet, with more tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. Here's one where Marks is better.

OLB Russell Allen vs. Danny Trevathan

Trevathan has made some big plays for the Broncos this sesaon, but Allen outranks him enough where I have to go with Allen.

CB Allen Ball vs. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

This difference is negligible, and DRC is coming off a bad game that hurt his grade. Both guys are experienced vets with a handful of years left, good height (both 6'2"), and I'd probably be happy either one. But DRC is a feast-or-famine corner, while Ball is a bit more steady game to game. I'll call this a draw.

So outside a small handful of defenders, the Broncos are better, man for man, than the JAguars, explaining why Denver are one of the heaviest favorites in NFL history.