There were only two changes in the inactives relative to game two for the Denver Broncos.
Note that Todd Davis and Juwann Winfree were active for the Green Bay Packers game while Alexander Johnson and River Cracraft were inactive. The other five were unchanged from game two. Alexander Johnson did not play a single defensive snap in games one or two, but he did get in on 13 special teams snaps in each of the previous two games.
Offensive Snaps and Snap Percentage
For the second week in a row, our offensive line played the entire game together. I will reiterate, this is a good thing. Being familiar with the offensive lineman playing on either side of you makes the play of the entire unit better.
Both Courtland Sutton and Emmanuel Sanders played the vast majority of the WR snaps (89% and 79%) while DaeSean Hamilton (58%) was on the field for more than half of our offensive snaps. Juwann Winfree was only on the field 14% of the time. According to NFLGSIS, we have yet to use a 4-WR set this season (although we may have split Noah Fant or Phillip Lindsay out wide).
Fant (63%) and Jeff Heuerman (49%) were in on offense roughly half of the time, but they were used differently. Fant was in on 23 passing plays (22 routes, 1 pass block) and 23 running plays while Heuerman was in on 14 passing plays (11 routes, 3 pass block) and 22 running plays. If you trust PFF, Jeff Heuerman was our highest graded offensive player for this game with and overall grade of 78.3; Jeff’s 85.2 rating on routes he ran was the best on the team in game three.
While Lindsay (56%) and Royce Freeman (49%) again split the RB reps evenly. Troy Fumagalli was only used on 8 offensive snaps (5 passing plays where he ran a route and 3 runs where he blocked) and was not targeted in the passing game. Devontae Booker again failed to get a single offensive snap. Andrew Beck, our de facto FB, saw his highest utilization of the season with 23 offensive snaps. I am sure this helped the run game.
Defensive Snaps and Snap Percentage
We relied on our best defensive Broncos hard again this game. Justin Simmons again played every defensive snap while Todd Davis (98%), Bradley Chubb (98%), Kareem Jackson (98%), Chirs Harris (96%) and Von Miller (93%) barely left the field on defense. Shelby Harris (79%) was forced to play more than normal with the injury to Derek Wolfe (19%). 79% of the defensive snaps is a career high for him.
Dre’Mont Jones got a few more snaps (14 up from 9 in the game before), but Adam Gostis (77%) and DeMarcus Walker (40%) were the recipients of Wolfe’s snaps. Walker played 40% of the defensive snaps (23) both of which were career highs in a meaningful NFL game (he played more in week 17 of 2017 when our JV played the KC JV).
Josey Jewell (74%) was given some rest in this game after he got exposed in coverage a few times, but it was Will Parks (74%) who get the increased snaps and not Justin Hollins (9%) or Corey Nelson (11%). Nelson’s role on the defense was significantly reduced from both game 1 and game 2 (thankfully).
Similarly Isaac Yiadom was effectively benched after getting burned yet again in coverage (14 snaps, 25%) while De’Vante Bausby (74%) essentially took his CB3 role. Bausby did not play a single defensive snap in games 1 or 2. PFF graded him at 83.8 in coverage, which was the best coverage grade on the team for game 3. Malik Reed got his handful of defensive snaps (4) in relief of Von Miller. Trey Marshall played two disastrous defensive snaps. Duke Dawson got his first defensive snap of the season.
Offensively, besides Booker, Diontae Spencer, Austin Schlottman and Jake Rodgers were active but did not play a single offensive snap. On defense, Keishawn Bierria and Davontae Harris were the only defenders to not play a defensive snap. Bierria and Booker both played on 62% of the special teams snaps which was second only to Malik Reed’s 88% of the special teams snaps.