Broncos Individual Player Grades For Week 5 Revealed
The Denver Broncos finally got a win this season, coming against the Los Angeles Chargers. It was against a banged-up Chargers team that has been very up and down this season, but the Broncos have also been stricken by the injury bug and had to go on the road. It was a tough game, and not everything went according to plan.
Typically, there are three sets of four players for 12 total players. This week there is a 13th player that will get graded.
This one player wins a special award for this game. It wasn’t easy to go over this game with all the negative play that occurred, but it was done.
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.
Which players land where, and who won the special award? Let's dive in.
Courtland Sutton, WR: 91.2
Sutton has been on fire so far this season. His routes have been fantastic, and he looks quite a bit faster processing the game. He is on his way to being a top receiver in the NFL, and has been hard for any cornerback to cover.
Alexander Johnson, LB: 85.4
With an interception and another near interception, Johnson had a huge first game as a starter. He was quick to come downhill and fill up running lanes when required. It was a nice game that showcased his potential, but there are still areas that need work.
Garett Bolles, LT: 85.4
Bolles got beat early for a strip-sack, and did give up a few more pressures, so it is easy to understand that fans might have a bad perception of his game. However, Bolles actually played a really good game and was the best offensive lineman of the group. His technique is looking a lot better than it was three weeks ago, and he is opening some big running lanes for the ball carriers.
Mike Purcell, NT: 81.3
Denver finally played the big man in the middle and he was tremendous for the run defense. Purcell really clogged the middle running lanes, and also provided a decent push in the middle on passing downs, when it was required of him. There were times his size hindered his play, but that came more on runs to the outside.
Elijah Wilkinson, RT: 17.4
Wilkinson continues to be the weak link on the Broncos offensive line. He really struggled against the Chargers and was instrumental in giving up a few sacks. Denver needs better from him, or for him to get put back on the bench.
Davontae Harris, CB: 20.0
Harris was inserted to replace the player we'll talk about next, but was actually worse. Harris' play in coverage was rough, and he struggled to stick with his assignments. It really opened the door for Philip Rivers and the Chargers.
Issac Yiadom, CB: 38.1
Yiadom had a rough game, where he got called for two holding penalties (penalties aren’t calculated in the grading formula) and gave up some catches but at least he had a few positive plays, whereas Harris didn’t have any. There were a couple of heads-up plays where he showed his high football IQ, and was his usual tough self against the run. However, Denver needs Yiadom to step up in coverage and play with good technique. When he does, he is reliable.
Connor McGovern, C: 42.7
It wasn’t the best game from McGovern. He had multiple bad snaps, which he hasn’t shown yet this season despite his training camp perhaps being a harbinger. As a blocker, he wasn’t playing to the level he did in the first four games. Denver needs this to have simply been a down game from their center.
Other Grades Of Note
Andrew Beck, TE: 78.9
Having a capable blocker at tight end has been huge for the Broncos running game. Beck is showing to be more than just a reliable blocker, but also a solid receiver. He had a game against the Chargers that should see him get more playing time to see whether he can build on this game.
Chris Harris, Jr., CB: 72.5
The top corner for the Broncos was having a rough three weeks entering the game, but he mostly bounced back. He still gave up a few big catches, but he was playing tighter in coverage. The best thing from his game was seeing a renewed energy from Harris in run defense.
Von Miller, OLB: 69.1
Miller was hit and miss in the game. He got close to multiple sacks, but Rivers was able to just get rid of the ball. There were also some big plays Von made against the run. However, he also missed some opportunities.
Dalton Risner, LG: 67.3
Risner is a good offensive lineman, but he is starting to plateau a little over the last few weeks. He started off strong, but has come back down a little. That is to be expected, as he is a rookie. That said, he is still showing a lot of promise to be a great player for the Broncos.
Best Grade Of The Season
Kareem Jackson, DB: 98.7
It was a nearly perfect game from Jackson, who was all over the place for the Broncos defense. Having him play his role fully, which kept the struggling Will Parks on the bench, is a huge boost for the defense. Jackson looks to be the heart of this unit, and when he plays at a high level, the rest of the defense does as well.