Broncos Individual Player Grades For Week 6 at Patriots Revealed
In Week 6, the Denver Broncos managed to pull off an upset win, beating the New England Patriots on their home turf. It was a really good game for Denver on both sides of the ball, but it was far from perfect.
There were issues the Broncos' offense had with punching the ball into the end zone, while the defense had some lanes open up for Cam Newton to take off through late in the game. Overall, though, this was the best game for the Broncos so far this season.
Denver was really helped by getting a couple of key pieces on offense back on the field. Next up, the Broncos get ready to take on the Kansas City Chiefs, and they could use even more of their pieces to be back healthy.
As for Week 6's individual grades, each player starts with a grade of 50, and the grade will either get raised or lowered based on each snap, and the player's impact on the play.
Remember, the MVP for the Broncos in this game is revealed in the video above.
Garett Bolles | LT: 94.5
There's no question that over these first five games of the season, Bolles has been Denver's best and most consistent player on offense, holding down the left tackle spot with excellence. Bolles has shown it was a mistake to not pick up his fifth-year option and has been making the Broncos pay for it. Against the Patriots, he did allow his fourth pressure on the season, but that was it in pass protection. When it came to run blocking, it would be nice to see him be a little more consistent and sustain his blocks for just a moment longer, but he is still doing really well there.
Tim Patrick | WR: 92.2
With Courtland Sutton sidelined for the year, the Broncos have really fallen on Patrick to fill that role, and he's done amazing in doing so. In the last two games, Patrick has caught 10-of-15 targets and is second in the NFL for Yards per Route Run. In Week 6, it was obvious New England had planned to take out Jerry Jeudy, which helped Patrick have a huge day. Patrick's routes were really crisp, and he was most reliable in moving the ball when the Broncos needed it. He has made himself a lot of money with how he is performing and it's easy to see why he is a QB favorite.
Michael Ojemudia | CB: 89.8
Outside of his Week 2 game against Pittsburgh, Ojemudia has been killing it this season. The Patriots tested him often and he continuously made them pay for it. While he did allow 5-of-7 targets to be caught for 60 yards, he forced a fumble on two of them and also added a pass break-up. He is really coming into his own as a player and the next step is taking those opportunities when he gets his hands on the ball, and turning them into interceptions.
Shelby Harris | DL: 88.9
Harris is another player for the Broncos who has earned himself a lot of money. Denver will have a tough discussion about what to do with Harris when the season is over because of his age and the fact he is a free agent. He could be asking for a lot of money, which is very much deserved at this point. His ability to swat balls at the line of scrimmage is elite and is such a bonus to the Broncos, especially when they can turn them into interceptions.
Jake Butt | TE: 37.1
To be fair to Butt, he was tasked with being the primary run blocker for the Broncos, and that is not something he does very well. He did have a few solid blocks, but for the most part, he was ineffective because he was just a body in the way. His technique hasn’t developed and he has never been a really good blocking tight end in the first place.
Alexander Johnson | ILB: 40.9
It wasn’t that Johnson was bad, he was actually pretty solid, but the defense around him was just better. In fact, only two Broncos defenders graded below 60 for their performance and both of them land in the 'Negative' grades by default. As a run defender, Johnson killed it against the Patriots. His issues popped up in coverage and being slow or late to react. These have been a constant issue dating back to 2019.
Albert Okwuegbunam | TE: 39.3
I get there is a lot of hype with Okwuegbunam, but there were myriad issues from him in his NFL debut First, Denver used him exactly how it should use him and continue to use him, which is as a seam-stretching, mismatch tight end. He's the type that you don’t want running anything but straight-line routes, and not blocking. That said, Okwuegbunam's game against the Patriots was rough with two really bad drops, and some atrocious blocking. There is a reason he played only eight snaps as a blocker, and none of them were good. His grade comes back to the two drops more than anything and if you want to be a seam-stretching tight end, you have to make those catches.
Josey Jewell | ILB: 41.6
The only other defender to be below 60, Jewell had the best game of his career in Week 4 vs. the Jets, but he struggled against the Patriots. He was stuck with keeping Newton in check a lot, which can be very difficult for a linebacker. However, Jewell's play in coverage was lackluster and often found find him biting on play-action, which left the back/middle very open. He's lucky Newton was afraid to throw quicker passes because Jewell's zone was left clear a lot.
Other Noteworthy Grades
Drew Lock | QB: 73.4
It was nice to see how Lock came back and responded to adversity. He made some big-time throws that are up there in difficulty for a quarterback. Some were completed and others were dropped by the receiver. There were also a few missed reads, but for the most part, Lock played a really good game. His two interceptions, and how he started to crumble towards the end of the game, really torpedo his grade. Lock has got to show he can close out games, which he's yet to prove as a starter.
Malik Reed | OLB: 70.0
As a pass rusher, Reed would grade out in the 90s, but his play as a run defender was very bad. He couldn’t keep contain on Newton, and a few times he got lucky that another defender closed the running lane that Reed left open. Denver needs Jeremiah Attaochu back and to return Reed back to his role as a situational pass rusher.
Lloyd Cushenberry | C: 69.5
Cushenberry was my rookie to watch for the week because the Patriots' defensive line isn't exactly loaded with talent, and for a struggling rookie, it was an opportune time to start rebounding. For the most part, Cushenberry handled his own against the Patriots' defensive line. There were some plays in which he got blown up and others where he could’ve done better to sustain his blocks. It was a good game and his second-best of the year, behind the season-opener.
Justin Simmons | S: 73.7
The veteran safety was beginning to be dismissed by fans due to a few really bad performances. After watching the tape, it was easy to see Simmons' usage was very different compared to how he was used a year ago. In Week 6, Denver went back to using him how it did in 2019, and the same can be said with Kareem Jackson, and subsequently, it wasn't shocking to see both safeties have a really good game at Foxborough. Simmons still has work to do this season, but if he is back to being used fully how he was in 2019, he can do big things for this defense.