The Denver Broncos visit the Miami Dolphins in Week 13 of the 2017 NFL season. PFF previews the top player matchups of the game.
PFFELO Ranking: 27
Coverage by: Daniel Cohen
Matchup: Denver Broncos offense vs. Miami Dolphins defense
- G Ron Leary vs. DI Ndamukong Suh – Leary, who is coming off his second-lowest graded game of the season, takes on the sixth-highest graded (90.5) interior defender this Sunday. After not allowing a sack all season, Leary allowed two last week against the Oakland Raiders. Despite the poor performance, he has a solid grade of 81.2 this season, ranking 12th among all guards. Suh has been rushing the passer effectively recently, recording at least two pressures in six straight games. In addition, look for Suh to be his usual disruptive self in the run game, as his run defense grade of 91.0 ranks second among interior defenders.
*Editor's note: Leary has been ruled out of this contest, and Connor McGovern will make his first start in his stead – receiving a very stiff test against the veteran Suh.
- WR Demaryius Thomas vs. CB Cordrea Tankersley – Both Broncos receivers have favorable cornerback matchups in this one, but Thomas vs. Tankersley should be the one to watch. Tankersley sees an average of around five targets per game, and has six passes defensed on 42 targets this season. Thomas has averaged between eight and nine targets per game, and his overall grade of 75.8 ranks 41st among wide receivers. Coming off a game where he had just 18 yards, look for Thomas to get plenty of opportunities in this matchup against a rookie cornerback.
- TE Austin Traylor vs. S Reshad Jones – Traylor made his season debut in Week 11, and through two games has played over 60 percent of his team’s snaps due to tight end injuries. He’s played 16 more snaps than fellow healthy tight end Virgil Green. Traylor has a grade of 75.2 and has seen eight targets thus far. He should remain in the mix this week, and he has a nice matchup against Jones, whose coverage grade of 47.2 ranks 74th of 86 safeties. Jones has allowed four touchdowns, tied for fourth most by a safety, and is allowing 72.0 percent of targets to be caught.
PFFELO Ranking: 30
Coverage by: Cyrus Geller
Matchup: Miami Dolphins offense vs. Denver Broncos defense
- WR Jarvis Landry vs. CB Chris Harris Jr. – Landry has been targeted 112 times this year, third-most for all wide receivers, while his 75 receptions ranks second. Harris on the other hand, has been targeted 35 times (ninth-most among cornerbacks) and only allowed 19 completions, which is sixth-best. He has also only allowed 237 yards in coverage, which is 11th among corners that have played at least 380 snaps. This is a nice clash of strengths in the slot that will be interesting to watch play out.
- T Sam Young vs. Edge Von Miller – Most offensive tackles will be at a disadvantage when facing Von Miller, and that is no different this week. Miller has been terrific this year, as he is tied for third among edge defenders with an overall grade of 92.3, and has the most total pressures among all 3-4 outside linebackers with 54. Sam Young is coming off a good week against New England, as he finished with an overall grade of 79.0 and only allowed one hurry over 44 pass-blocking snaps. We will see how he fares this week against one of the NFL’s best edge defenders.
- RB Kenyan Drake vs. S Justin Simmons – Simmons has been one of the best safeties against the run this year, ranking sixth out of 84 qualified safeties in run stop percentage when within eight yards of the the line of scrimmage at 8.2 percent and his 12 run stops regardless of where he’s lined up is tied for the 15th-most. Drake hasn’t been able to quite fill the shoes of Jay Ajayi, as his overall grade of 49.8 currently ranks tied for 54th out of 59 qualified running backs. We’ll see how he fares against this Denver defense without the backup compliment of Damien Williams this week.