What a terrible game from the Denver Broncos on the road against the Buffalo Bills. There isn’t much positive to really talk about with this game, so let’s jump right into the grades. Before getting to them, here's a quick reminder about the grading system.
This grading system has been honed and adapted for the last five-plus years. Each player starts with a grade of 50, and it will either get raised or lowered based on each snap and the player's impact on the play.
A cornerback on the backside of a run shedding a block will get a slight raise to their grade, but a corner shedding a block in the run path at the point of attack will get a higher raise in their grade, as they have a bigger impact on the result of the play.
As always, the Broncos' MVP of Week 12 (yes, even in a loss) — or highest-graded player — is revealed in the video above, along with the analysis on what he did to earn it.
Phillip Lindsay, RB: 87.4
The offensive MVP for the Broncos, Lindsay ran hard and picked up some solid gains for the Broncos. He was the only piece on offense that really looked good and competitive out there.
Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB: 81.3
It was a really good game from the depth edge defender. Attaochu tallied a few good pressures and held his own on the edge against the run.
Adam Gotsis, DE: 65.1
Make no mistake, it wasn’t a good game from Gotsis or anyone on the defensive line. Gotsis just happened to be the only other positive grade for a Broncos defender. There were a few plays he got pushed around as a run defender, but had one of his best performances as a pass rusher. There were also a good number of runs where he held his ground or made the play.
Elijah Wilkinson, RT: 64.8
It wasn’t a good game from Wilkinson, but not bad either. He made some key blocks in the running game, and wasn’t completely beaten up on in pass protection. Wilkinson showed why the Broncos have kept him around, but he is still obviously a guard playing tackle.
Chris Harris, Jr., CB: 27.2
It was a rough game from Harris, and he has struggled all season. He was beaten for a big touchdown once again late in the game. The worst thing about watching Harris is that when someone else made a mistake, he's quick to point it out, but a mistake by him and he is quick to blame someone else. That has been the story of his season.
Dalton Risner, LG: 30.0
There were some good run blocks from Risner, but his pass protection was really lacking. Either due to being banged up, miscommunication, or just getting beaten, Risner had a hand in all four sacks on Brandon Allen. Also, while there were a few good run blocks, there were quite a few times where Risner got blown up.
Mike Purcell, NT: 31.9
The big boy got bullied. Buffalo blew him off the ball time and time again, and his handful of good plays just weren’t enough. There were major issues in the running game, and a lot of that falls on the failure of the nose tackle.
Tim Patrick, WR: 34.5
It has been been a rough season for the Broncos receiving corps outside of Courtland Sutton. Patrick helped vs. the Vikings but not against the Bills. His lack of dynamic ability, and being the same mold of receiver as Sutton is, makes him easy to defend against, as well as the whole Broncos offense. Patrick's route running isn’t as good as Sutton's to make up for those deficiencies and it showed.
Other Grades of Note
Noah Fant, TE: 53.1
As a receiver, Fant was really good for the Broncos. However, he continues to be an issue as a blocker. It hasn’t helped him that the play-calling as saw him go up against good pass rushers again, which is something that needs to change. The Broncos also need to get Fant developed as a blocker.
Todd Davis, LB: 47.6
Davis was the best linebacker out there, but he really struggled. It was a major drop off from a week ago where he was the MVP. The Bills had a great gameplan and kept getting the Broncos linebackers matched up on wide receivers in coverage, which isn’t their strong suit.
Alexander Johnson, LB: 42.7
It was an up-and-down game from Johnson and the worst game of his career. He kept getting caught in a mismatch on wide receivers in coverage and missed a few tackles as well. There were some positive plays, but his overall game was disappointing and lackluster.
Garett Bolles, LT: 39.5
There isn’t much to say. Pressure kept coming from Bolles and he struggled to maintain blocks in the running game.
Don't forget to check out the video above for the one Broncos star of Week 12.