Grades for Broncos-Cardinals

Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Broncos-Cardinals preseason game.

| 2 years ago
(AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

(AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

Grades for Broncos-Cardinals

Here are the top takeaways from Thursday night’s Broncos-Cardinals game including the highest-graded players for each team:


–QB Brock Osweiler finished the day with a -1.6 grade in limited snaps, but much of that negative was due to a botched snap early on. Osweiler only completed one of three passes that traveled 10 yards or more, but the one he did complete was a 78-yard TD.

–It was tough game for RB Montee Ball, as he struggled to get anything going on the ground. Despite a game-high 16 carries, he only managed to gain 27 yards. He also allowed two QB hurries when pass blocking, and finished the night with -4.1 overall grade.

–LB Shaquil Barrett capped off his incredible preseason with another strong game. His three QB hurries and two sacks led to a game-high +3.0 pass rush grade. He did however have a tougher time when asked to drop back and cover, ending up with a negative grade there. Barrett’s +12.0 overall grade this preseason is top five among all defensive players.

Top 5 graded players:

  1. LB Todd Davis (+2.8)
  1. LB Corey Nelson (+2.4)
  1. WR Bennie Fowler (+2.1)
  1. LB Shaquil Barrett (+1.4)
  1. DE Chuka Ndulue (+0.9)


–RB Chris Johnson finally got his first action of the preseason, finishing the game with a +1.3 overall grade in only 21 snaps. While his rushing numbers were fairly average, he did have a speedy 16-yard run in which he forced two missed tackles, looking like the Chris Johnson of old. He also caught a screen pass that he took for 10 yards.

–NT Alameda Ta’amu had a very strong day against the run, ending up with a huge +4.6 run defense grade. He did that despite being on the field for a mere 29 snaps. His overall grade of +4.3 was the highest of either team in the game.

–WR Jaxon Shipley was all over the place in the passing game for the Cardinals, providing a safety valve for both of the Cardinals’ QBs. Shipley caught all nine passes thrown to him and gained 58 yards. Four of those catches gained first downs, and Shipley finished the day with an offense-high +2.4 overall grade.

Top 5 graded players:

  1. NT Alameda Ta’amu (+4.3)
  1. LB Markus Golden (+3.0)
  1. LB Matt Shaughnessy (+2.6)
  1. WR Jaxon Shipley (+2.4)
  1. DE Josh Mauro (+2.6)

| Director of Analysis

Ben joined Pro Football Focus in 2007, and has since been in charge of the company’s analysis process. He also contributes to PFF’s weekly NFL podcast.

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