No one stat or grading metric can tell the full tale of how well the Denver Broncos will be this season, but I'm a fan of collecting different stats and watching game film to help me paint a picture. Thus, I look at the advanced stats from ProFootballFocus to see who graded best in the Denver Broncos' 49-27 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.
1. QB Peyton Manning - 4.7 overall
Manning tied an NFL record that had stood for nearly 50 years Thursday night by throwing seven touchdowns and no interceptions. It's no surprise he's Denver's top-graded player on offense.
2. WR Demaryius Thomas - 2.6 overall
Demaryius Thomas broke out in the 2011 playoffs, and he hasn't let his foot up off the gas since. His next step is to assume the role of leader of this receiving corps, and his first game was an encouraging start to say the least.
3. - TIE - TE Julius Thomas and RT Orlando Franklin - 1.9 overall
Julius Thomas broke out in the season opener, grading as a high 2.7 in the passing game. His -1.9 pass block grade knocks him down a peg. ... Orlando Franklin was Denver's top-graded blocker with a 1.8 in pass protection and -0.4 in run blocking.
1. DE Shaun Phillips - 5.7 overall
If you were wondering who Denver's top graded player behind Peyton Manning would be, you should have been wondering if anyone graded higher than the Broncos signal caller. Shaun Phillips did. Phillips' 2.5 sacks gave him a stellar 3.0 pass rush grade, and he graded out as Denver's top rush defender with a 1.9 score.
2. CB Chris Harris Jr. - 3.3 overall
My heart caught in my throat when Chris Harris limped to the sideline early in the game, but Denver's most underrated player toughed it out and played a hell of a game for the Broncos. The depth in this secondary is scary good.
3. SS Duke Ihenacho - 3.0 overall
How remarkable is it that Denver's newest young starters Julius Thomas and Duke Ihenacho both graded out among the top players on the Broncos overall? Ihenacho graded this high by the strength of his rush defense (1.7 - only behind Phillips) and a solid pass rush of 0.8 on blitzes.
See more analysis from PFF in their Week 1 Re-Focused post.