The defense is the thing we’re all talking about now with the impressive pass rush. As I mentioned on my 10 Things I Liked and 10 Things I Didn’t Like , one of the things I didn’t like was the rushing defense and Pro Football Focus confirms my initial feelings for the first team defense.
In the rush defense, Von Miller graded at -1.6, Brandon Marshall received -1.3, and TJ Ward received -1.9. Thankfully, our defensive line held up some of the rush game with Derek Wolfe receiving a +1.3 and Malik Jackson with +1.2. Sylvester Williams received -0.2. It requires some work.
Darius Kilgo is gaining reps and it’s obvious why. He topped our entire defense with an overall rating of +3.8, 3.5 of his score was given to his ability to stop the rush. Surprisingly, Shaquil Barrett received a -1.6 towards pass rush, but +2.1 for run defense. Barrett has been dominant the previous games on the pass rush so it’s not something I’d worry about.
The top defenders in overall ratings this game were Malik Jackson (+3.4), DeMarcus Ware (+2.2), Shane Ray (+1.6), and Derek Wolfe (+1.1). Curtis Marsh received the lowest rating with -2.5, followed by TJ Ward with -1.8, but Ward was heavily affected by his rushing defense score. He graded positive (+0.1) on pass coverage on 5 plays.
Our offensive line primarily stands out in the ratings with most of the ratings allocated towards the run game. Max Garcia (+2.8), Louis Vasquez (+2.8), Ben Garland (+2.7), Ryan Harris (+2.4), Ty Sambrailo (+2.4), and Shelley Smith (+1.2). Michael Schofield received an overall score of +0.1, but a rush score of +1.2. Sadly, it was negated by a sack and two hurries on Peyton Manning in the passing game.
Some players on offense that stood out were Jordan Norwood with a rating of +2.4 and Andre Caldwell with +1.1. The wide receiver position battle is quite interesting and it’s games like this one that make it obvious why Caldwell has continually made the roster. CJ Anderson received a +1.3 on passing, but a dismal -2.0 in rushing.
Matt Paradis received a -1.3 with a QB hurry. Peyton Manning received a -1.4, likely affected by his interception and lack of touchdowns. Tight-ends Dominique Jones (-1.4) and Owen Daniels (-2.2) also saw negative ratings, but for two different reasons. A majority of Jones’ negative score came from the pass rush protection, while Daniels’ score came from the rush block protection (or lack thereof) and a QB hurry.
Our special teams had a few stand-outs. Isaiah Burse received a -1.1 for his bobbled punt reception. Spencer Lanning, no longer with the team, received a -1.2 for punting while Britton Colquitt received +0.7. Steven Johnson will likely stay on the team as a linebacker. His special teams presence is what consistently separates him from many players. This week he graded out at +1.5. However, he needs to work on his pass coverage with a rating of -0.7, but he received +0.3 on rush defense for an overall score of -0.4.