A blowout win usually nets quite a few solid grades, but the Denver Broncos more of them came from the defensive side of the ball than the offensive side. Even Peyton Manning (-1.6) had his worst PFF grade of the season. And that was with five touchdown passes.
Broncos 41, Raiders 17: Game balls
When the Denver Broncos win (and win they did), the MHR Staff gives out Game Balls.
The offense ended up with four players in the green and one was first time starter, Will Montgomery (+1.8) who took full advantage of his new role as starting center. On the defensive side of the ball, the Broncos had a plethora of green. In fact, nine players (yes, that is nine as in the number 9) with a +1.2 grade or higher. Overall, the defense put out an eye-popping +23.2 on the day.
In the PFF world of grading, that is a ridiculous single game number for a unit. They needed it though, because the offense put out a cumulative score of -2.4 on the day. We all saw how poorly they started out and it took a slew of huge defensive plays to get things going into a full head of blowout steam and the offense really only a couple of huge plays to add to that. Either way, it is hard to complain about a 41 point effort.
Let's get this In Focus show on the road, shall we?
RB C.J. Anderson +3.6. It looks like it may be C.J. Anderson's turn to start for the Broncos. Early on in the game, I personally got to a point of supreme frustration with Peyton Manning and his horrible start with two early interceptions that I tweeted this out:
Someone must have been listing or more likely came to the same freaking obvious conclusion, because the beast was fully unleashed to the tune of 13 carries for 90 yards and 4 receptions for 73 yards and this incredible touchdown catch.
WR Demaryius Thomas +2.8. Good old (young) Mr. Reliable just went out and put together another A+ performance for the Denver Broncos. Demaryius Thomas notched his sixth consecutive 100 yard receiving day to put him over 1,000 yards on the year. Over that six game span, Thomas is averaging a mind blowing 9 catches for 144 yards per game during this six game stretch. May the force of awesomeness continue.
WR Julius Thomas +2.5. It was good to see Julius Thomas wake up from his midseason slump after setting a blistering pace with nine touchdown receptions through the first five games. Outside of his 12 touchdown passes on the season, his stats are not really all that impressive for an elite tight end. However, if he continues to get the job done in the red zone like no other tight end in the league than he is a-okay in my book!
Needs Improvement: Orlando Franklin (-3.4) and Louis Vasquez (-2.6) each really bad days. It's no wonder John Elway met with Richie Incognito on Monday. The offensive line as a group is a train wreck and something needs to give. A Super Bowl is a joke at this point with how inconsistent this group is right now. At least Will Montgomery stepped in an played better than every other guy in the lineup on Sunday.
LB Von Miller +7.9. There was rookie quarterback blood in the water on Sunday and Von Miller was a great white shark. His spin move was unstoppable on this day and poor little rookie Derek Carr was in a panicked rush all game long. Von Miller had his only sack erased by a stupid penalty, but that doesn't take away the fact that Carr was so terrified that he began checking down to his own linemen to save himself from the pain that Von was bringing this day.
LB Brandon Marshall +3.6. What is Danny Trevathan going to do when he comes back from injury? Benching Brandon Marshall at this point is just stupid. The guy finished this game with 11 total tackles and two assisted tackles. To put that number in perspective, the second best mark on the team had four total tackles and three assisted tackles. This guy is all over the field and in on almost every play. So much for the linebacker position being a position of concern heading into the season.
CB Chris Harris Jr. +3.4. How good was Chris Harris Jr? He was targeted six times in coverage and gave up four catches for eight yards. It is good that Elway and the Broncos are in contract talks with Harris Jr, because this guy is about the definition of a lock down cornerback right now. In fact, he is probably the most underrated cornerback in the NFL right now. He's our own personal secret weapon. Hell to the yes.
Needs Improvement: The only red mark on defense against the Oakland Raiders came from DeMarcus Ware (-1.5). He posted a really good score in run support, but he struggled badly against the pass this week. It's okay though, because Von Miller terrorized Derek Carr so badly that Ware's off game wasn't even a factor on Sunday.