With Trevor Siemian benched, the Denver Broncos sent out quarterback Brock Osweiler to fend off the Philadelphia Eagles’ star-studded defensive unit. As expected, the Eagles’ defense came out on top, and their quarterback Carson Wentz capitalized.
Throwing for 199 yards and four touchdowns, Wentz led his Eagles to a 51-23 blowout win over the visiting Broncos on Sunday.
Newly added running back Jay Ajayi followed Wentz’s lead on the ground, carrying the ball eight times for 77 yards and a touchdown. Rookie running back Corey Clement also had a strong performance running the football, as he recorded 51 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries.
Osweiler and Co. had quite the opposite performance. The Broncos’ signal-caller had just 208 yards and one touchdown against two interceptions, while his backfield totaled just 35 yards on 19 carries (1.84 yards per carry).
With that, we give you our PFF exclusive takeaways from the contest for each team.
Top 5 Grades:
Performances of Note:
Ajayi was handed the ball eight times in his Eagles debut, but the small workload didn’t prevent him from making an impact. He had a 46 yard touchdown run, and averaged 3.4 yards after contact on his seven other runs. It’s early, but it looks like he’s going to make the most out of running behind a better offensive line in Philadelphia.
WR Alshon Jeffery, 79.3 receiving grade
Jeffery had maybe his best game of the season, picking up 84 yards on six catches, including two touchdowns against Aqib Talib. He did drop one pass though, and was called for holding downfield on a long run by Corey Clement.
Edge Brandon Graham, 87.8 overall grade
In a game which was dominated by the defensive line of the Eagles, Brandon Graham actually had his fewest pressures since Week 3 with just 2 hurries, however, he still was able to be dominant in the run game, recording 5 tackles, all 5 being for stops in the run game. He was a menace, especially when the Broncos tried to use a tight end to block him.
DI Fletcher Cox, 88.8 overall grade
Fletcher Cox had the exact opposite game of Brandon Graham, while he was good in the run game, he absolutely tore into the interior of the Broncos offensive line to record 1 hit and 7 hurries on just 25 pass-rush plays for an insane 24.0 pass-rushing productivity score. What more, he did this against Ronald Leary, who had not given up more than one pressure in a game this season. Leary gave up 6 pressures against Cox.
Top 5 Grades:
Performances of Note:
WR Demaryius Thomas, 73.9 overall grade
With the struggles of the whole Broncos offense, Thomas was the only receiver to gain over 52 yards, with 70 yards on 12 targets. However even with his relative success he was unable to gain any big chunks of yards, with his longest play being for 14 yards.
QB Brock Osweiler, 33.7 overall grade
Brock Osweiler had a chance to revive his career after his struggles in the past 18 months. However against the fierce pass-rush of the Eagles, Osweiler failed to get the Broncos offense going. He only threw two interceptions but had many more turnover worthy plays and when he was pressured (22 of 41 dropbacks) he completed just 42.1 percent of his passes.
Edge Von Miller, 92.3 overall grade
Miller had five total pressures, including a forced fumble on a sack on 27 pass-rushes, and was one of two Broncos defenders with multiple pressures. He was even better against the run, where he had six run-defense stops, tied for the most in a single game this season among edge defenders.
CB Chris Harris Jr., 80.5 overall grade
Harris was targeted just three times on 30 snaps in coverage. He broke up one pass, allowed one catch for no gain, and gave up a highly-contested 36-yard pass to Nelson Agholor with the game pretty well out of reach late in the fourth quarter.
PFF Game Ball: Fletcher Cox, DI
*Grades are subject to change upon review