The Denver Broncos were led by a surprise name Thursday night, as QB Brock Osweiler had to fill in for injured starter Trevor Siemian and did so admirably, taking the Broncos from behind 10-0 to a 25-13 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
RB C.J. Anderson was the star for Denver, carrying the ball 30 times for 158 yards. Osweiler had a long touchdown carry, while WR Cody Latimer and TE Jeff Heuerman caught touchdown passes. On the Colts side, things started well, with QB Jacoby Brissett scoring on a touchdown run early, but everything dried up fast,a s the team managed only 228 total yards of offense.
With that, we give you our PFF-exclusive takeaways from the contest for each team.
Top 5 Grades:
Performances of note:
RB C.J. Anderson, 86.0 overall grade
Anderson was already going to be a big part of the Denver offense, but after QB Trevor Siemian went down with an injury, Anderson became the focal point. He helped chew up the clock in the second half, carrying the ball a whopping 30 times for 158 yards. He topped the 100-yard mark on yards after first contact as well, and forced seven missed tackles.
WR Cody Latimer, 82.7 overall grade
Latimer has never been that important for the Broncos offense, but had himself a nice performance on Thursday night. Latimer had a career-high 60 receiving yards, and a touchdown. While it was only his third touchdown in four seasons, it was also his second in the past four weeks.
Edge Von Miller, 89.5 overall grade
To no one’s surpise, Miller showed once again why he is among the elite edge defenders in the NFL. He finished with seven total pressures and a batted pass, while also contributing against the run with three stops and a run-defense grade of 81.5. Miller currently has 73 pressures with two games yet to play this season.
S Darian Stewart, 87.2 overall grade
Stewart had an opportunity for an interception as he disguised his coverage well and broke up a slant route when Colts QB Jacoby Brissett didn’t see him. Stewart has been targeted 28 times in coverage (most of them with him being the secondary defender) and has allowed 22 receptions with two interceptions and one pass breakup this year.
Top 5 Grades:
Performances of note:
G Jeremy Vujnovich, 80.1 overall grade
On a night where the offensive unit struggled, LG Vujnovich ended up as the highest-graded offensive player for the Colts. He only allowed one pressure on 36 pass-blocking snaps while holding his own blocking in the run game, leading to a 74.3 grade in that category.
QB Jacoby Brissett, 46.2 overall grade
Brissett struggled to complete passes down the field as he completed only one pass that traveled over 10 yards in the air, with most of his work coming in the short passing game, completing 16/19 passes that traveled under 10 yards. The lack of a downfield passing game led to a underwhelming 5.3 yards per attempt.
Edge Jabaal Sheard, 92.6 overall grade
Sheard was a force as a pass-rusher, pressuring the quarterback on eight of his 30 pass-rush snaps, with a ninth that was negated due to the holding penalty that he caused. Sheard also made three tackles in the run game that resulted in stops for the defense.
CB Kenny Moore II, 87.4 overall grade
Moore was targeted in coverage a team-high eight times, but that wasn’t a bad thing. While he did allow four catches for 54 yards, he also intercepted Trevor Siemian, broke up two more passes, and allowed a passer rating of just 32.3 to the two Denver quarterbacks. Outside of a missed tackle, it was a solid performance by the undrafted rookie in just his third start of his career.
PFF Game Ball: C.J. Anderson, RB
*Grades subject to change