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Refocused: Broncos defense unable to overcome the offense

The Denver Broncos defense had itself a very good game, but the offense gave the Kansas City Chiefs shot fields and plenty of points.

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NFL: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

It was another rough night for the Denver Broncos offense and another solid night for the defense. This has become the theme for the 2017 Broncos. After their 29-19 defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs, there are changes in the air.

For now, here’s how Pro Football Focus graded the standouts for the Broncos and the not-so-standout play of Trevor Siemian.


By nearly all measures this was a poor showing from the Broncos’ quarterback. Siemien had a disastrous night when pressured, completing 0-of-6 passes while throwing two picks (including an inexcusable one where he attempted to find Demaryius Thomas but threw across his body over the middle of the field). He attempted 17 passes on the night that traveled at least 10 yards in the air and he connected with his receiver just six times for a total of 79 yards; all three of his interceptions came on balls that traveled at least 10 yards in the air.

Just like last year, NFL defenses only needed a few weeks to figure out Siemian’s game. Unlike last year, they figured him out much sooner. With limited arm talent and now a one-read quarterback, the time has come to permanently move Siemian to the bench where he likely should have been his whole career had the Broncos planned for their post-Peyton Manning roster a little better.

On defense, Von Miller and Brandon Marshall both had themselves great games in containing the Chiefs powerhouse offensive.


The Chiefs did a nice job limiting Von Miller to a minimal impact in the first half but in the second he found ways to effect the run game and flushed Alex Smith out of the pocket on some occasions. Miller finished with six total pressures on his way to a pass-rush grade of 81.4 and, like most elite pass rushers, he played the run well too on his way to three stops and a grade of 87.0. The six pressures added tonight brings Millers season total to 41 through seven games.


Linebacker Brandon Marshall has had an up and down season through seven games but played well Monday night. He contributed four stops in the run game as the Kansas City offensive line had a tough time sealing him at the second level. Apart from the dropped touchdown pass by the Chiefs’ Demetrius Harris, Marshall was decent in coverage, surrendering only two catches on four targets for 8 yards.

To round out the top five performers, Shaquil Barrett (83.1), Garett Bolles (80.2), and Chris Harris Jr. (79.5) all have excellent individual efforts against the Chiefs on Monday night.

With the team heading to the east coast to face the NFL’s best team in the Philadelphia Eagles, they will need another stout defensive effort to keep the game within reach for whatever quarterback the Broncos throw out there to face an equally good Eagles defense.

The road just keeps getting tougher for these Broncos.