Refocused: Denver Broncos 24, Los Angeles Chargers 21

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 11: Wide receiver Bennie Fowler #16 of the Denver Broncos catches a touchdown pass in the third quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 11, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Denver opened the scoring with a QB Trevor Siemian touchdown pass to WR Bennie Fowler III. While Los Angeles would respond with a QB Philip Rivers touchdown throw to RB Melvin Gordon, Siemian would run for a score to put the Broncos up 7 at half time.

The Fowler III – Siemian connection was good for another touchdown in the second half, however the Chargers responded with a dual WR Keenan Allen and WR Travis Benjamin touchdowns. The Broncos snuck away with a 24-21 win when DI Shelby Harris managed to block a game-tying field goal attempt. With that, we give you our PFF exclusive takeaways from the contest for each team.

Top 5 Grades:

EDGE Von Miller, 86.2 overall grade

EDGE Shaquil Barrett, 84.3 overall grade

DI Adam Gotsis, 84.2 overall grade

C Matt Paradis, 82.4 overall grade

QB Trevor Siemian, 82.1 overall grade

Performances of Note:

QB Trevor Siemian, 82.1 overall grade

Despite the dropped interception thrown in the first quarter, Siemian played an efficient game and displayed what the Broncos hope to get from him all season. When given time, Siemian was 13 of 20 for 143 yards and two touchdowns, compared to 4 of 8 for 76 yards under pressure. He was accurate on the deep ball, going 2 of 3 for 73 yards with the lone incompletion being a drop by WR Emmanuel Sanders in the endzone.

Matt Paradis, 82.4 overall grade

Matt Paradis proved once again that he is one of the best centers in the NFL, finishing with an overall grade of 82.4. He helped open running lanes for the Broncos backs, as his 81.9 run block grade shows, while only allowing one quarterback hurry in the pass game.

EDGE Von Miller, 86.2 overall grade

Miller started off the season in a big way, making his presence felt in both the run and the pass game as he has so often done in the past. Miller rushed the passer 34 times and finished with one quarterback hit and another four quarterback hurries. That was good for an impressive pass-rushing productivity score of 11.0. And while he only recorded one solo run stop, Miller was forcing cuts and squeezing holes all night against the Chargers.

EDGE Shaquil Barrett, 84.3 overall grade

With edge rusher Shane Ray out injured, the Broncos turned to Barrett to pick up his slack and did he ever deliver. Barrett was even more impressive rushing the passer than his teammate Miller, racking up a sack and five additional hurries of the quarterback. His pass-rushing productivity score of 17.6 ranks third among all 3-4 outside linebackers in Week 1. He also chipped in with a solo run stop and was nearly unblockable all game long for this Broncos defense.


Top 5 Grades:

EDGE Melvin Ingram, 85.6 overall grade

LB Jatavis Brown, 82.4 overall grade

QB Philip Rivers, 80.9 overall grade

DI Corey Liuget, 80.6 overall grade

CB Trevor Williams, 80.1 overall grade

Performances of Note:

RB Melvin Gordon, 74.5 overall grade

Gordon was the man that the Chargers relied on early, giving him plenty of carries in the first half. While he finished the day with only 54 yards on 18 carries, he forced three missed tackles and made a beautiful cut to pick up the first down on fourth-and-one late to give his team a chance. Gordon was also heavily involved in the pass game, catching five passes for 25 yards and a touchdown, for an average of 1.56 yards per pass route run.

QB Philip Rivers, 80.9 overall grade

Rivers had a rocky start to the game, and much of that could be attributed to a run-heavy scheme that didn't allow him to get into a rhythm. But once the Chargers fell behind and Rivers opened up, he excelled. Rivers absolutely picked apart the Denver secondary when the defense didn't send any extra rushers at him, going 15-of-19 for 135 yards and 2 touchdowns when not blitzed. If you factor in a couple of drops that he had, plus another two throwaways, Rivers finished with an adjusted completion percentage of 80.0 percent on the night.

EDGE Melvin Ingram, 85.6 overall grade

Ingram showed his new contract is well deserved, he was a menace all night rushing the passer, racking up two sacks, three hurries and one hit on the quarterback. His 87.0 pass rush-grade was tops in the game.

LB Jatavis Brown, 82.4 overall grade

Brown was notched 14 tackles and 8 defensive stops. Some of that credit is due to the defensive lineman in front of him, holding up blocks and preventing them from getting to him at the second level. To his credit, Brown didn't miss a tackle all evening and finished with a run defense grade of 87.8.

PFF Game Ball: Von Miller, EDGE

*Grades are subject to change upon review


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