Broncos Individual Player Grades For Week 14 vs. Texans Revealed
The Denver Broncos entered this week with a lot of questions about them as a team. Yes, they were coming off a win against the L.A. Chargers, but the Broncos barely squeaked out that win, so how could they be expected to keep up with the Houston Texans and their high-powered offense, especially with a rookie quarterback?
However, Denver managed to come out and put a first-half whooping on the Texans and walked out with a big win. Obviously, in order for this to happen, some key players had to have a good game. There were also players that didn’t have the best of games.
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 who sheds a block will get a slight raise to their grade, but a corner shedding a block in the run path to make the stop at the point of attack will get a higher mark in their grade, as they had a bigger impact on the result of the play.
As always, the Broncos' MVP of Week 14 — or highest-graded player — is revealed in the video above, along with the analysis on what he did to earn it.
Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB: 90.4
Over the last few weeks, Attaochu has proved to be a great find for the Broncos. He notched two sacks against the Texans, and played a really good game against the run. His best play came on a fumble recovery, where he picked it up but made a heads-up play to hand it off to Kareem Jackson, who returned it 70 yards for a touchdown.
Noah Fant, TE: 87.7
Is Fant still considered a bust by that vocal minority of fans? He has his issues as a blocker, but you can see improvements to the technique. Even so, his blocking was never going to be fixed in his rookie season. As a receiver, Fant was able to showcase his athleticism against the Texans, and used it to make some big plays for the offense.
Drew Lock, QB: 85.6
It was a heck of a game for the rookie quarterback, in only the second start of his career and on the road for the first time. It wasn’t perfect, as the interception he threw in the second half was a bad decision and hurt his grade. Still, the quarterback showed a lot of promise that could highlight him as the quarterback of the future. He still has some developing to do, however.
Von Miller, OLB: 83.5
The Broncos veteran edge player is playing with a pretty severe injury, and he made the most of it. While he didn’t have a sack on the day, he did a good job of putting pressure on the Texans quarterback and their left tackle Laremy Tunsil, who got hit with multiple false starts with Miller lined up opposite of him.
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Elijah Wilkinson, RT: 21.1
Wilkinson was playing solid football for a while for the Broncos, but subbing into the game in the second half apparently messed with his mojo. Wilkinson looked like he did earlier in the season and struggled to pave the way on the ground, while giving up multiple pressures, and the first sack on Lock this season.
Royce Freeman, RB: 32.2
The Broncos are a team that wants to rely on their running game, but Freeman is making that hard. He had 10 total touches today for 32 yards and a receiving touchdown. It was nice to see him try and keep the runs between the tackles, but his lack of burst to get to the hole was clear as day against the Texans.
Chris Harris, Jr., CB: 40.0
It has been a bad year for the Broncos veteran corner, and this game kept with that trend. Harris asked for the opponent's top receiver in coverage, but has failed to take him out. DeAndre Hopkins had over 120 yards on the day, and a touchdown, though that came on a miscommunication. Harris gave up multiple big catches for first downs, as he has all year.
Todd Davis, LB: 41.7
For the most part, it has been a great season from Davis, but the Texans found ways to get him into mismatches in coverage and exploited his lack of speed. There were also a few runs that saw Davis out of position, or late to read to play.
Other Grades of Note
Alexander Johnson, LB: 77.3
There are issues with Johnson in coverage, which limits how the Broncos have used him. The Chargers showed ways to exploit that coverage, and the Texans used the same concepts to follow suit. Johnson does have some mental lapses but he is inexperienced. However, he was great when it came to defending the run.
Garett Bolles, LT: 72.8
Penalties don’t get factored into the grading system, so that helps out Bolles here. As for his actual play, it was another very solid game from the former first-round pick. He gave up very few pressures and paved the way on some runs. It's still hard to trust Bolles, but he is showing that he should be kept for depth beyond this year.
Isaac Yiadom, CB: 68.9
It was a very solid game from Yiadom all around. His coverage was solid, though he still allowed catches, and played the run very well. While he still has too many issues to be relied on as a No. 2 corner, he may be a solid option as the No. 3 and work to continue to develop.
Austin Schlottmann, RG: 60.5
With Ronald Leary out with a concussion, Schlottmann got his first start. The offensive line looked better with him and Ja’Wuan James out there then it has all year, and Schlottmann looked like a better fit than Leary. The interior O-line got more push in the running game, and was more consistent in pass protection, and Schlottmann was a big help with that.
Don't forget to check out the video above for the one Broncos star of Week 14.