The Denver Broncos came alive in the fourth quarter to win 29-17 over the Cincinnati Bengals in the first big road test of the 2016 regular season.
Pro Football Focus gave credit where credit should have been due on defense, giving Von Miller (+83.6) an impressive grade despite all of his pressures leading to Shane Ray (+80.2) cleanup sacks.
You may think sack machine Shane Ray was the star of the show, but with two of those clean-up sacks let’s not forget who was wreaking havoc in the second half. Von Miller is playing like a man possessed and it continued today. He finished up with a sack and four hurries, with a couple more victories that didn’t result in pressure and one that resulted in drawing a flag.
Meanwhile, on offense it was Emmanuel Sanders (+86.0) and Matt Paradis (+81.5) who had the most impressive scores. This was surprising given Trevor Siemian (+69.5) and his second half performance.
PFF did not seem impressed with his 23/35 for 312 yards and four touchdown performance.
Numbers don’t match the eye for Siemian
A nice drive may leave many feeling good about Siemian, but there was enough here to suggest that he could be the Achilles heel for the Broncos. He escaped a dangerous pick after throwing the ball straight to Shawn Williams and a number of times missed routine throws that took his team off the field.
Frankly, I don’t personally agree with this assessment. In the first half this is absolutely how I felt about Siemian, but the guy I saw (with my own eyes) in the second half was hitting every throw and making a lot of plays.
This analysis feels skewed by a rather poor first half showing, but it is worth noting as we move forward with our own continued evaluation of Siemian. Overall, the Bengals strategy was to make Siemian beat them with his arm and beat them he did.