The outcome of this game was never in doubt for me. Do you know why? Because the Denver Broncos were playing the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium on November 30th, which last I checked was not in the month of December. The Broncos have around four wins all-time against the Chiefs during the month of December when playing in Kansas City.
Bruton audibled the fake punt
If you needed further proof what an asset David Bruton is to the Denver Broncos - look no further than the perfectly executed fake punt in the Broncos/Chiefs week 13 game.
The game itself felt like it should have been 49-16, but the lack of Julius Thomas in the lineup had to have played a role in the red zone deficiencies. At least Connor Barth got a chance to prove his worth going 5/5 in field goals for the night. The crazy part of that stat is that it is almost half as many field goal attempts as Brandon McManus had all season. I kind of missed McManus on the kickoff duties though.
The Broncos had a rough day in the passing game, with Peyton Manning (-1.8) leading the way there. All of the wide receivers and tight ends posted negative grades as well, which is fairly unique for this offense. I expect them to bounce back in a big way next week. The defense on the other hand. Well, they dominated.
Oh and if any of you missed me over the last week, I've been without Internet during that time. The Dark Ages lifted last night and my life is whole again.
Let's get this In Focus show on the road, shall we?
LG Orlando Franklin +4.7. Apparently, the one guy on the offensive line that took the media criticism a few weeks ago and turned it into beast mode juice was Franklin. This is now two consecutive weeks of +4.0 or better PFF grades, while his run blocking grades have climbed each week from an awful -3.6 six weeks ago to a +5.0 on Sunday. The guy is tearing it up now. Love. It.
RB C.J. Anderson +4.1. Another week and another 165+ yard rushing performance from C.J. Anderson. I hate to say this, but Anderson did start to look a bit gassed at the end of the game and it made me wonder if it would be a good idea to keep him fresh heading into the playoffs by splitting more time with him and Ronnie Hillman or Montee Ball once they get healthy again.
RG Manny Ramirez +2.7 and LT Ryan Clady +2.6. Both of these guys dominated in the run blocking area again this week to help spark C.J. Anderson to another huge rushing performance. Overall, the offensive line was dominating again in the run game this week, but not quite as powerful overall as they were against the Miami Dolphins.
Needs Improvement: The far right side of the line had a fairly rough night with Louis Vasquez -2.0 posting the worst PFF grade on offense, while Paul Cornick -1.9 in limited action also didn't do a good enough job as a luxury sixth offensive lineman.
LB Von Miller +2.7. The Von Miller spot strikes again, with Miller taking the top mark on defense this week. It was a lot closer this time, however. Overall, Miller was a force along the defensive line, but the wealth was fairly evenly spread across all Broncos on that night. Miller finished with 1.5 sacks and one hell of a cool sack dance.
DT Terrance Knighton +2.7. Miller was the most dominant pass rusher in the game, but the best all around performance goes to Pot Roast. He was a force in both rushing the passer and defending against the run. His play is really needed as Sylvester Williams is coming along rather slowly. Williams has potential, so its nice to have a true force playing along side him to help mask some of those youngster mental errors.
CB Chris Harris Jr. +2.5. Chris Harris Jr. is the most underrated shutdown cornerback in the NFL today. I say this with a definitive "is" because Chris Collinsworth went on a tangent about how Harris Jr. is just a guy who works hard and does nothing special, but does a good job. Say what? Hey Collinsworth, all Chris Harris Jr. does is keep any and all wide receivers he covers from getting yards. In this game, it amounted to Harris being targeted seven times for four catches for 23 yards and a pass defense.
Needs Improvement: Steven Johnson -3.1 was so terrible in this game that he ended up only seeing the field for 19 plays. He was equally bad in run support and in pass coverage. The middle of this defense needs one of these young linebackers to step it up and take this opportunity and turn it into a long-term career kind of opportunity.