PFF Preview: Broncos @ Rams, Week 11
As displayed many times this season, Peyton Manning’s receiving weapons are incredibly dangerous and difficult to defend. Denver’s wideouts are a very important cog in the team’s offensive machine. Demaryius Thomas ranks third among wide receivers with a +11.6 overall grade, and leads the NFL in yards after the catch (459 yards). Thomas is tops at his position in Yards per Route Run as well, posting a stellar 2.96 average. Fellow receiver Emmanuel Sanders has been equally effective in 2014: his quarterbacks have a 126.4 rating when targeting him in 2014, while his catch rate on Deep Passes (20 yards or more) is a solid 55.6, which is third at his position.
The Rams will have a tough time defending Denver’s receivers, but their secondary may be up to the task. Rookie cornerback E.J. Gaines has a strong +4.4 coverage grade and is tied for third at his position with seven passes defended. Gaines is also allowing only 1.01 Yards per Coverage Snap, which ranks him inside the Top 15 cornerbacks for that stat. Free safety Rodney McLeod has also graded positively in coverage this season (+2.4) and has only allowed 44 total yards after the catch. St. Louis’ secondary will certainly be targeted often seeing how much Manning trusts his receivers, so how they hold up to this test will be a telling indicator of the game’s ultimate outcome.
Here are three more notable numbers for each side:
Von Miller – leads all outside linebackers with a +23.9 pass rush grade, 32 quarterback hurries and 50 total pressures.
C.J. Anderson – has forced 14 missed tackles in only 38 touches this season, earning him an elusive rating of 100.7 (third among running backs with at least 30 touches).
Chris Harris Jr. – ranks first among cornerbacks with 0.52 Yards per Coverage Snap, while opposing quarterbacks have earned a 44.0 rating when throwing at him.
St. Louis Rams
Aaron Donald – the rookie leads all defensive tackles with a +13.8 run defense grade and is second with a 12.3 Run Stop Percentage.
Jared Cook – ranks at eighth among tight ends with 1.81 Yards per Route Run.
William Hayes – despite the attention that teammate Robert Quinn receives, Hayes ranks inside the Top 10 4-3 defensive ends in Pass Rush Productivity (10.8) and Run Stops (13).
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