News & Analysis

IND-DEN grades: Broncos OLB Von Miller earns game's top grade in win

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 18: Outside linebacker Von Miller #58 celebrates sacking quarterback Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts in the second quarter of the game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 18, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Denver Broncos 34, Indianapolis Colts 20

Here are the biggest takeaways and highest-graded players from the Broncos' home win over the Colts.

Denver Broncos

Quarterback grade: Trevor Siemian, 49.5

Trevor Siemian impressive against Colts' blitz

The Broncos’ offensive game plan against the Colts was similar to the one they used against the Panthers on opening night: run outside zone and have QB Trevor Siemian get the ball into the hands of WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas on underneath passes. Siemian attempted just two passes that traveled more than 20 yards in the air (both incomplete) and did a nice job avoiding mistakes, outside of an intercepted screen pass to Darius Butler in the second quarter that almost certainly would have been returned for a touchdown, had Butler not injured his hamstring during the return. The Colts blitzed Siemian on nearly half of his dropbacks (17 of 36), and Siemian was able to make them pay, finishing 11-for-16 for 175 yards and a 104.9 QB rating.

Trevor Siemian under pressure

Top offensive grades

C Matt Paradis, 85.8

LG Max Garcia, 81.2

TE Virgil Green, 80.2

LT Russell Okung, 79.6

FB Andy Janovich, 77.4

Impressive outing from Broncos' offensive line

Denver’s offensive line was outstanding throughout the game, allowing running backs C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker to produce consistent gains on the ground, and giving QB Trevor Siemian a clean pocket to work from. Through two games, C Matt Paradis PFF's our highest-graded center in the NFL (excluding PHI-CHI). Paradis has yet to allow a pressure this season, and owns the best run-blocking grade of any NFL center by a wide margin. LT Russell Okung was also excellent, earning an 84.5 run-blocking grade. RT Darrion Weems struggled after replacing the injured starter Donald Stephenson at right tackle, finishing with a team-worst 41.6 overall grade and earning negative marks in both run blocking and pass protection.

Top defensive grades

OLB Von Miller, 88.2

S T.J Ward, 83.5

DE Derek Wolfe, 79.8

CB Bradley Roby, 78.7

DE Jared Crick, 78.3

Von Miller posts career-high four sacks

The offseason holdout doesn't seem to have affected the reigning Super Bowl MVP's performance, as OLB Von Miller made mincemeat of the Colts' offensive line, logging four sacks, an additional three QB hurries, and a batted pass. Miller didn’t make much of an impact in the run game, but he provided the play of the afternoon with his strip sack of Andrew Luck that sealed the game for the Broncos. With a pass-rushing productivity mark of 17.0, Miller is converting a ridiculous 55.6 percent of his pressures into sacks this season, as he now has five sacks and four hurries through two games.

Indianapolis Colts

Quarterback grade: Andrew Luck, 61.1

Constant pressure gets to Andrew Luck

We may not see a better quarterback performance than what QB Andrew Luck put on display in Week 1 versus Detroit, but unfortunately for the Colts, the former Stanford Cardinal couldn’t muster much of anything against the defending Super Bowl champions. Pressured on 55.6 percent of his dropbacks, Luck completed just 40 percent of his passes, finishing with a passer rating of 49.6 when under duress. When delivering the ball under 2.5 seconds, Luck completed 73.3 percent of his passes with a passer rating of 111.0, but when holding on the ball beyond then, he was at 40 percent completion and a passer rating of 36.3.

Colts QB Andrew Luck

Top offensive grades

C Ryan Kelly, 78.9

LG Jack Mewhort, 76.7

TE Jack Doyle, 66.7

RT Joe Reitz, 64.9

WR Phillip Dorsett, 64.8

Not a complete disaster on the offensive line

As much pressure as Luck faced, it wasn’t due to every member of the unit giving up sacks and pressure. Rookie center Ryan Kelly held his own, surrendering just one hurry while performing well in the run game. LG Jack Mewhort allowed just two hurries and helped pave a few running lanes, as well. Had Indianapolis wanted to devise a game plan that utilized the running game more, the offensive line would have looked better, as every player of the O-line unit besides LT Anthony Castanzo graded very well as a run blocker. Alas, the Colts called just 20 run plays and 53 pass plays.

Top defensive grades

LB D’Qwell Jackson, 85.0

S Clayton Geathers, 76.2

CB Darius Butler, 75.8

OLB Robert Mathis, 75.3

S Mike Adams, 74.9

D'Qwell Jackson, Robert Mathis provide bright spots in otherwise poor defensive performance

The Colts' defense was ineffective in every facet of the game, earning negative grades in pass rushing, run defense, and pass coverage as a team. Starters Kendall Langford, David Parry, and Eric Walden each had more than 20 pass rush attempts without recording a single pressure. Starting ILB Sio Moore attempted 10 tackles, and whiffed on five of them. Eight Indianapolis defenders earned run-defense grades lower than 50.0, as the Colts were unable to slow down the Broncos’ rushing attack. OLB Robert Mathis (six pressures) and ILB D’Qwell Jackson (84.0 coverage grade, 77.2 run-defense grade) were the lone bright spots on an Indy defense that looks like one of the worst in the NFL.

PFF Game-Ball Winner: Broncos OLB Von Miller

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