The Denver Broncos had a lot on the line as they went on the road to take on the Kansas City Chiefs. While the defense did its part to hold the Chiefs to 13 points, Denver allowed points due to an interception returned for a touchdown and a muffed punt that gave the ball back to the opponent in field goal position.
Bottom line, the Broncos' defense was let down by the offense. This loss is the same old showing for the Broncos, and the individual player grades reflect that.
As always, each player starts with an average grade of 50.0, and with each positive play, his grade goes up. With each bad play, it drops.
Just how much a player's grade fluctuates depends on his overall impact on the snap. After all, missing a block away from the play isn’t as costly as the lead blocker completely whiffing and letting the run get stopped for a loss.
For the game's MVP, check out the video above.
Dre'Mont Jones | IDL | Grade: 83.8
Jones will get overlooked as one of the better defensive linemen in the NFL because he doesn't pick up a lot of sacks. In a game where the Chiefs' offensive line dominated the trenches, Jones stood out as the only one holding his own. Kansas City's run game gave him some problems, but he made life uncomfortable for the quarterback by pushing the interior.
Bradley Chubb | OLB | Grade: 78.5
Chubb played a great game for the Broncos and got some good pressure on Patrick Mahomes. Chubb also played well against the run, and it was noticeable when he wasn't on the field because the Chiefs would target his vacated spot on the ground. Hopefully, he is getting back to normal because the Broncos can use him.
Jonathon Cooper | OLB | Grade: 77.3
The rookie edge defender didn't have any splash plays, but he was consistent and did his job well. Cooper's best showing came against the run, but he was able to generate some pressure as well. Denver needs him to be more consistent, but he has already shown his worth as a seventh-round pick.
Kyle Fuller | CB | Grade: 75.2
While it wasn't perfect, Fuller played a good game against the Chiefs. He did get caught up in coverage a few times but wasn't targeted often, and the one time he was, it ended up as a drop. What stood out with Fuller was how physical he was coming downhill to make a tackle either after the catch or as a run defender.
Teddy Bridgewater | QB | Grade: 18.6
There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it; Bridgewater played an atrocious game against the Chiefs and was the largest reason for the offense's inefficiency. His ball placement was terrible, and his reads were not any better.
Lloyd Cushenberry | OC | Grade: 23.1
Denver has to figure something out with Cushenberry because he struggles consistently against the run. The Chiefs ate him up on multiple plays against the run, but fortunately, the running back was able to break through some of them. His pass protection is acceptable when he can work a double team but gets driven back in a one-on-one situation.
Quinn Meinerz | OG | Grade: 23.4
The Chiefs targeted the rookie, and it worked out for them consistently. They got Meinerz to pull to open space for a blitzer or disguised a blitz that caught him unaware. This was by far the worst game from Meinerz and was a game that highlights how big of a jump he is making to the NFL.
Bobby Massie | OT | Grade: 29.0
The right tackle was consistently targeted throughout the game. There was a clear focus from the Chiefs to attack the right side, making Massie and Meinerz overthink their blocks, which led to mistakes. In addition, Massie allowed multiple pressures and wasn't a factor in the running game.
Other Noteworthy Grades
Patrick Surtain | CB | Grade: 64.9
As a bigger, physical cover corner, it would be nice to see Surtain play that way against the run and ball-carriers in general. He plays that way in coverage, but it needs to translate to run support. Denver can't have him pulling up to allow a touchdown or not fighting through receiver's blocks.
Courtland Sutton | WR | Grade: 47.5
It was a rough game from Sutton, even beyond the questionable effort as a receiver. Sutton is typically a tough blocker, but he was lackluster and lackadaisical there as well. So again, there just seemed to be consistent plays with questionable effort.
Noah Fant | TE | 38.2
Fant continues to be an enigma in the Broncos' offense. He doesn't show it as a blocker, consistently gets beat, and plays softly after the catch. While OC Pat Shurmur can do a little more to help him, Fant needs to show more fight than he has all season.
Shelby Harris | IDL | 30.4
Harris was a no-show against the Chiefs. They had his number in the trenches and consistently worked him. This has been a very quiet season for the big man after getting a significant extension in the offseason.
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