GB-DEN Grades: Broncos defense stymies Packers in lopsided victory
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Broncos’ 29-10 win over the Packers.
– Absent since their Week 5 win over Oakland, DeMarcus Ware (+1.9) returned with a bang against the Packers, with his strip sack leading to the safety early in the fourth quarter that finished the scoring and put this game on ice. Ware earned a positive pass-rush grade for the fifth time in six games this season, and sits fourth among edge defenders with a pass rush grade of 86.5 for the season.
– While the Packers were very obliging with their coverage, Broncos fans will have been relieved and delighted in equal measures to see this performance from Peyton Manning (+2.8). After a ropey start to the season, Manning looked more like the assured veteran you’d expect (at least until his final pass), dominating the middle of the field completing 14 of 18 pass attempts for 206 yards and a +2.8 PFF passing grade on passes targeted between the numbers.
– Last night’s game pitted arguably the league’s top slot corner against the league’s best slot wide receiver and the victory, as with the win, went to the Broncos’ sideline. After an early holding penalty, the battle between Chris Harris Jr. (+2.0) and Randall Cobb (+0.6) appeared to be finely poised, but Harris gave little away for the rest of the night. Targeted five times, Harris surrendered only 23 yards on four completions, adding to some airtight coverage by forcing a fumble from Eddie Lacy (-1.2) early in the third quarter.
DE Derek Wolfe (+4.9)
WR Demaryius Thomas (+3.6)
LG Evan Mathis (+3.5)
QB Peyton Manning (+2.8)
ILB Danny Trevathan (+2.1)
Green Bay Packers
– There was very little for the Packers to shout about last night, and their struggles are embodied by the fifth-highest grade on their team belonging to Randall Cobb (+0.6), a receiver who netted only 27 yards on six receptions. Simply put, Cobb was offered no room to work last night, only shining on an end around, and with one impressive catch working out from behind Danny Trevathan’s coverage. Cobb was held to 8 yards after the catch, his lowest YAC total in a multi-catch game since Week 10 of his rookie season.
– The struggle to get open affected the performance of quarterback Aaron Rodgers (-0.4), with a miracle of throwing receivers open against this Denver secondary beyond even the Packers’ mercurial signal caller. Rodgers completed three of his four passes targeted more than 10 yards downfield, but he had very little to work with on a night where his short completions gained only 24 yards on five completions as the Broncos defense flexed its muscles.
– The Packers’ defense wasn’t nearly as stingy against run or pass, with both Casey Hayward (-0.7) and Damarious Randall (-0.5) allowing in excess of 70 yards in coverage. The 135 yards Hayward allowed marked only the second time he has given up 100+ yards in a single game, and was a career high, topping the 105 yards he surrendered to Arizona in his rookie season.
LT David Bakhtiari (+1.3)
OLB Julius Peppers (+1.2)
C Corey Linsley (+1.1)
RG T.J. Lang (+0.9)
WR Randall Cobb (+0.6)