DEN-IND Grades: Colts defense, Luck hand Broncos first blemish of season

The top takeaways and highest graded players from the 27-24 Indianapolis win over Denver.

| 12 months ago
(AP Photo/R Brent Smith)

(AP Photo/R Brent Smith)

DEN-IND Grades: Colts defense, Luck hand Broncos first blemish of season

Here are the top takeaways and highest graded players from the 27-24 Indianapolis win over Denver:

Indianapolis Colts

Top performers:

DE Kendall Langford (+7.7)
LT Anthony Castonzo (+4.1)
QB Andrew Luck (+3.5)
HB Frank Gore (+2.1)
TE Jack Doyle (+2.1)

Denver Broncos

– With all the talk of the Denver defense carrying the Broncos’ offense this season, it was surely a welcome sight for Bronco fans when QB Peyton Manning (+5.7) uncorked a pair of perfect deep balls in the third quarter of this contest. The long touchdown to Emmanuel Sanders and the against-the-grain corner route to Owen Daniels highlighted his day and helped Manning to his highest grade of the season and his fourth straight positive.

– TE Owen Daniels (+2.8) was apparently inspired by the team’s recent acquisition of Vernon Davis. Daniels not only posted season-highs in receptions (6) and yards (102), but his +2.1 receiving grade is a mark he matched or bettered only twice in his last three seasons of work.

– Posting his third consecutive game in the green, LB Danny Trevathan (+1.1) logged 15 total tackles against one miss and nine of them registered as defensive stops. In the run game alone he put up seven stops and a run stop percentage of 20.6 percent – both are top marks for all inside linebackers this week.

Top performers:

QB Peyton Manning (+5.7)
TE Owen Daniels (+2.8)
DE Malik Jackson (+2.6)
LG Evan Mathis (+2.3)
S Darian Stewart (+1.9)

  • crosseyedlemon

    Knowing that Colts fans have been very displeased with Luck it came as no surprise that the Broncos would go easy on him. Elway and Manning are both empathetic guys who can relate to the struggles Luck is facing this year. The loss won’t stop Denver from winning their division anyway.

    • Four Touchdowns

      LOL, I wish they wouldn’t have been so nice!

  • Jefferson

    Two costly interceptions and Manning gets +5.7? That’s a bit rich. Positive grade sure, but 5.7? Come on.

    I like Manning at all and his grade for the year, before today, understated his enduring abilities but this score for the game reeks of an attempt to overcompensate for this fact.

    • Nik Hildebrand

      Two plays, no matter how bad, can only receive two negative grades. I don’t know if you watched the game, but Manning made a lot of great throws. The grade doesn’t surprise me in the least.

      • Jefferson

        Of course I watched the game. Thus the comment.

        Apart from Manning’s two interceptions he had many passes that were overthrown, underthrown and thrown behind the receiver. In no universe, not even a parallel Bizarro universe where a game-changing interceptions is weighted equally to a 5-yard checkdown, should Manning have received a stellar +5.7 game grade.

        • Nik Hildebrand

          People do comment after merely looking at box scores.

          You could label any interception in a losing effort “costly”. It’s worth noting that Manning was hit as he threw on both interceptions, and only the Adams one was a really bad throw. Other than that, his accuracy was better than it has been throughout the season to date. Adjusting for drops, passes batted at the line, and being hit as he threw, Manning was near the top of the league in accuracy in week 9.

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  • Jefferson

    The other grade that stuck out to me was Chris Harris. Amazing player this year but hardly an amazing game. He gave up almost 100 yards and 120 rating to WRs and gets a -0.1 in pass coverage? Hmmm…..

    • LH Almeida

      I’d give a lot to have access to these grades.

  • Mr. Generic

    Was there a section of Indianapolis analysis that accidentally got dropped here?

    • LH Almeida

      There’s a full article on them.

  • Tim Edell

    Amazing how much better the Colts offense looked when running crossing patterns instead of the deep patterns. They have to continue to have Luck throw quick timing passes the way the offense ran when Hasslebeck was in there.

  • Autocephallus

    Phillips should have schemed for Luck the same way he did for Rogers. Aggressive blitzing against Luck just doesn’t work.

  • Nik Hildebrand

    Something seems wrong when Talib can get +1.7 despite guaranteeing that his team lost (not to mention attempting to blind an opponent).