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Broncos Player Grades For Week 6 vs. Raiders

The Broncos put on a pitiful display at home against the Raiders and their grades show just how bad it was.

This was a putrid performance from the Denver Broncos as they took on their biggest rival — the Las Vegas Raiders. What makes this worse was it came on a day where the Broncos honored Mike Shanahan by putting him in the Ring of Fame, and he had an outstanding record against the Raiders and a legendary beef. 

Unfortunately, Denver was unprepared on both sides of the ball and had multiple failures to execute. There's no way around this. 

There wasn't much positive to break down about the Broncos in Week 6. They had their standard late game ‘surge’ where the offense put some points on the board in garbage time to make the margin look closer than it really was. 

This led to a change for this week’s grades, with the two highest-graded players getting mentioned in the positive before I turn to chronicle the worst of the worst.

Before I get to the individual player grades, here are a few quick notes about how grading works. 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.

The Positive

Dre’Mont Jones | DL | Grade: 80.2

The defensive lineman played a good game against the Raiders and did give the opponent's offensive line multiple issues. While Jones didn’t pick up any sacks, he made Derek Carr uncomfortable in the pocket numerous times, leading to incomplete passes. Jones also played well against the run, while those around him struggled to play with consistency.

Cortland Sutton | WR | Grade: 78.3

The Broncos No. 1 wide receiver is starting to return back to his pre-ACL form. It's clear Sutton still isn’t 100% yet, but he has shown to be a play-maker and is hard for defenses to cover. If it weren’t for a few missed throws, he would have had a monster day.

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The Negative

Bobby Massie | OT | Grade: 21.1

The right tackle has struggled consistently throughout the season, which didn’t change against the Raiders. Massie gave up multiple pressures and got bullied in the running game as he struggled to generate consistent push. There were a few good run blocks, but they came early, with him faltering as the game wore on.

Malik Reed | OLB | Grade: 24.6

It's clear the Broncos are missing Bradley Chubb because Reed is struggling to get any pressure on opposing quarterbacks. In their last three games, Reed has seven total pressures, which isn’t enough to take attention from other pass rushers or be a threat himself. When it comes to the Raiders game, he failed to get consistent pressure, and he was targeted with success on the ground.

Lloyd Cushenberry III | OC | Grade: 30.7

When he is asked to double team, which is most of his reps, Cushenberry doesn’t look terrible. However, when he has to work one-on-one, Cushenberry is beat with consistency. His most significant issue is, he just doesn’t have the strength to hold up and finds himself getting tossed often and on the ground a lot against the Raiders.

Ronald Darby | CB | Grade: 34.8

It was his first game back from his injury, but Darby was rough to watch. His run fills were inconsistent, and he was struggling in coverage. The worst play was watching Henry Ruggs II run by Darby without any kind of early legal contact for a huge touchdown to break the ice. When facing a speedster, you can’t let them have a clean release, or they’ll burn you every time.

Justin Simmons | S | Grade: 38.4

Over the last few weeks, Simmons has struggled, being caught out of position a few times. He is a crucial piece for this Broncos defense, and when he isn’t playing well, it hurts the whole unit. Denver needs him to be more consistent with his positioning and reads and turn his play around overall.

Teddy Bridgewater | QB | Grade: 43.5

There are a lot of issues with this offense, and Bridgewater was a big one against the Raiders. He just threw the ball up or held onto it too long, leading to pressure on a couple of plays. In addition, Teddy's reads were all over the place, and his typical placement wasn’t there as he overthew multiple longer passes. So it isn’t surprising that when he struggles, the whole offense struggles.


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