NFL Week 9 Game Recap: Denver Broncos 30, Dallas Cowboys 16 | NFL News, Rankings and Statistics | PFF

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NFL Week 9 Game Recap: Denver Broncos 30, Dallas Cowboys 16

Arlington, Texas, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) passes against the Dallas Cowboys during the second half at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Teddy Bridgewater and the Denver Broncos defense shut down the Dallas Cowboys, cruising to a 30-16 victory in Week 9.


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Denver Broncos

Quarterback

Bridgewater did what Bridgewater does: He was efficient, didn’t turn the ball over and did enough to help Denver secure an upset win. Teddy two gloves completed 19-of-28 passes for 248 yards and a touchdown. The numbers may not jump out, but he did have two-big time throws, zero turnover-worthy plays and a 79.2% adjusted completion percentage. The Louisville product played it safe for the most part, putting up an 8.3 average depth of target, and just 28.6% of his attempts were beyond the first-down markers.

Running Backs

Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams continued to split reps Sunday, seeing 21 and 17 rushing attempts, respectively. Williams was much more efficient than Gordon, totaling 111 yards compared to 80 for Gordon. The rookie from UNC made things happen with the ball in his hands, forcing seven missed tackles and garnering 64 yards after contact. It was Gordon who found the end zone today, though. The former Charger also logged two targets and two receptions.

Rushing grade Attempts Rushing yards Yards after contact TDs Missed-tackles forced Yards per carry
Melvin Gordon III 69.6 21 80 44 1 3 3.81
Javonte Williams 68.2 17 111 64 0 7 6.53
Receivers

Courtland Sutton led the Broncos in receiving snaps with 28 but saw only two targets and had one catch in a quiet afternoon. Tim Patrick ended up leading the way for Denver in yardage, tallying 85 and a touchdown on four receptions. Meanwhile, Jerry Jeudy returned from a lengthy absence and immediately led the team with eight targets. Fifty-five of his 69 yards receiving came after the catch, and three of his six receptions were explosive. As a unit, the Broncos did not drop a pass.

Offensive Line

Despite allowing three sacks, Denver actually did a decent job in pass protection, finishing with an 84.6 pass-blocking grade. On 32 pass-blocking snaps, the Broncos allowed seven total pressures and just one QB hit excluding the sacks. Guard Dalton Risner struggled individually, allowing three total pressures and a sack on 32 snaps en route to a 51.5 pass-blocking grade.

Defense Line

In Denver’s first game post-Von Miller, the defense tallied three sacks and held Dallas’ explosive offense scoreless until the fourth quarter. Edge rusher Jonathon Cooper filled the production gap, sacking Prescott twice and tallying seven total pressures on 37 pass rushing snaps. He had an 18.9%-win rate on his way to a 61.0 pass-rushing grade.

Linebackers

Baron Browning led an unproductive linebacking unit with five tackles on the afternoon. Browning had a forgetful day overall, however. He graded negatively on 12.5% of his 14 run-defense snaps and allowed four receptions for 57 yards on five targets in coverage.

Secondary 

Kyle Fuller, Justin Simmons and Patrick Surtain had dominant days in coverage against what is usually an elite pass attack. The trio combined for just one reception allowed on 101 combined coverage snaps.

Dallas Cowboys

Quarterback

Prescott struggled in his return from injury, completing just 19-of-39 passes for 232 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. However, his numbers should’ve looked a lot worse: Prescott tossed both touchdowns and 153 yards in the fourth quarter when the game was already out of reach. He completed just six passes for 79 yards.

Possibly the biggest discrepancy between the first three quarters and garbage time was Prescott’s air yards percentage: 75.8% of his yards in the fourth came before the catch, while just 24.1% did in the first three quarters.

Running Backs

An inefficient day from the Dallas passing offense didn’t help the run game. Ezekiel Elliott and Tony pollard combined for just 14 carries. Zeke saw the bulk of the work, taking 10 carries for 51 yards, 35 of which came after contact. He had two explosive runs but forced just one missed tackle

Rushing grade Attempts Rushing yards Yards after contact Missed-tackles forced Yards per carry
Ezekiel Elliott 59.9 10 51 35 1 5.1
Tony Pollard 58.6 4 11 6 0 2.75
Receivers

Considering Prescott’s day, no Dallas receiver stood out among. CeeDee Lamb led the group with eight targets but hauled in just two receptions for 23 yards, while Amari Cooper had two catches on five targets. The two also saw a combined six catchable passes. Only four players registered a catch for Dallas in the first three quarters: Cooper, Dalton Schultz, Cedrick Wilson and Elliott.

Offensive Line

Dallas was solid in pass protection outside of Terence Steele. The second-year tackle had a rough afternoon, allowing 11 total pressures, nine hurries and two sacks. The majority of the damage was done in the fourth quarter, when he allowed eight pressures, seven hurries and a sack. Steele finished with just a 44.0 pass-blocking grade.

Defense Line

Randy Gregory led Dallas in pass-rushing snaps (25), hurries (2) and total pressures (3). Despite leading the Cowboys in basically every pass-rush category, Gregory had just an 8.0%-win rate and a 12.0% pressure percentage, finishing with a 59.1% pass-rush grade.

Linebackers

Leighton Vander Esch paced the Cowboys in tackles with 12 to top off an elite day all around. He tallied a 91.2 overall defensive grade, including an 88.2 run defense grade. He was solid in pass coverage as well, allowing one catch for 3 yards on his way to a 77.6 coverage grade.

Secondary 

This was not the best day for Trevon Diggs. The leader for defensive rookie of the year saw five targets on 32 coverage snaps, allowing 81 yards and a touchdown on four receptions on his way to a porous 30.0 coverage grade, the worst in the Dallas secondary.

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