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Broncos Player Grades for Week 16's Pitiful Loss to Raiders

The Broncos dropped another disappointing one to the Raiders after the offense failed to show up once again.

Entering the week, the Denver Broncos still had a chance to make the playoffs although it was slim odds. The Broncos absolutely had to walk out of Sin City with a win over the Las Vegas Raiders but instead, the team fell short — mainly due to the inept offense that has plagued them all season. 

Of course, the Broncos' defense kept the score low, but in the second half, it played like they couldn't stop a runny nose, let alone the Raiders' running game. It was a bad showing against a Raiders team that has struggled over their last eight games, and the Broncos made them look quite capable in all of their 'problem' areas.

As always, a few quick notes about how grading works. Each player starts with a 50.0 grade, which is average, and with each positive play, their grade goes up, and with each bad play, it drops.

MVP

Jonas Griffith | LB | Grade: 84.2

For the second week in a row, Griffith was quite impressive for the Broncos. He and Baron Browning have been stable for the linebacker corps, though they both had their issues on Sunday. In this loss to the Raiders, Griffith gave up a few catches and missed some plays against the run, but it was still better than Denver has gleaned from the position for a good stretch of the season. 

The Positive

Shelby Harris | DL | Grade: 75.9

There were multiple issues along the Broncos' defensive line, but Harris played a strong game. He did a good job against the run, while most around him consistently faltered. Harris also generated multiple good pressures that caused the Raiders' passing game problems.

Bradley Chubb | OLB | Grade: 72.7

The edge defender has slowly been working his way back and followed up a good game against the Bengals with another one vs. the Raiders. There were some good pass rush reps from Chubb, but he struggled against the run quite a bit. Denver needs more from him, and his inconsistency is a growing concern. It was good to see him make a game-changing play, which came in the form of an athletic interception and return. 

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The Negative

Austin Schlottmann | IOL | Grade: 13.5

The backup offensive lineman was thrust into the starting job, and it proved that he isn't starter material. The Raiders, who have struggled against the run in the middle, dominated and gave Denver fits. Schlottmann was targeted and made an example by Las Vegas' defensive front. 

Dre'Mont Jones | DL | Grade: 25.0

Denver missed Jones against the Bengals, but he didn't make his presence felt in a good way in his return. Instead, the Raiders controlled him in the trenches against the run and focused on him as a pass rusher to severely limit his impact. 

Bobby Massie | OT | Grade: 26.2

For the most part, Massie has been solid for the Broncos this year, but his play has been inconsistent. In this loss to the Raiders, Massie was a significant factor in the Broncos' offense struggles. The Raiders beat him multiple times to pressure the quarterback and manipulated him against the run.

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Mike Purcell | DT | Grade: 30.6

Denver is past the point of needing to bench Purcell. He can penetrate against the run, but it leaves the rest of the unit vulnerable, and it is becoming a bigger problem as teams scheme around it. 

Dalton Risner | OG | Grade: 37.1

The Broncos struggled all over the offensive line, with four of their five players exiting the game with the offense's four lowest grades while their fifth was the sixth-lowest. Risner got controlled by strength and power against the Raiders and couldn't drive with his blocking. His issues, apparent all season, were a setback for the offense. 

Malik Reed | OLB | Grade: 40.8

Denver needs edge help, and the play of Reed highlights that fact. While he did have one good pressure where he got around the corner of the tackle, he was bullied against the run. Adding another edge defender has to be a priority for the Broncos this offseason. 

Garett Bolles | OT | Grade: 42.4

After playing outstanding football a year ago, Bolles has been average at best this year, and below average the past few weeks. The Raiders were able to confuse him and the Broncos' offensive line, which helped generate pressure on the quarterback. 

Other Noteworthy Grades

Jonathon Cooper | OLB | Grade: 57.1

The rookie edge defender has exceeded expectations and has already given a positive return on the value Denver invested in the draft pick used on him. However, Cooper continues to be problematic against the run, which will likely relegate him to a backup spot as an edge rusher. That can be an excellent place for him with his motor and drive as a pass rusher, especially in specific NASCAR packages. 

Courtland Sutton | WR | Grade: 53.3

There have been many complaints about Sutton's usage over the past few weeks, but he has to make plays when called upon. Unfortunately, Sutton has had issues doing that over in consecutive games this season, especially since he got his extension. 

Tim Patrick | WR | Grade: 48.7

Much like Sutton, Patrick has to make plays when called upon, even if his usage has been low over the past few weeks. Denver also rewarded Patrick with a significant extension, and he hasn't lived up to it yet, though the quarterback play and play-calling are both factors for Patrick and Sutton. 


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