CIN-DEN Grades: McCarron grades out higher than Osweiler on MNF
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Denver Broncos’ 20-17 overtime win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
– For the second time this season, C.J. Anderson (-0.1) had a big touchdown run on primetime, scoring off a 39-yard run against the Bengals on Monday night. His grade takes a big hit though, due to a costly fumble that won’t do his chances of earning the bulk of the weekly workload much good. Elsewhere in the running game, Ronnie Hillman (+2.0) saw 24 of his 35 yards come after contact, as he did his best to make every carry count.
– On a defense that features standouts like edge rushers Von Miller (+1.9) and DeMarcus Ware (-0.5), and cornerback Chris Harris, Jr. (+2.1), it’s not always easy to stand out, but linebacker Danny Trevathan (+4.7) did just that on Monday night, with an impressive performance against the run. An outstanding tackler throughout the game, he finished the night with 10 solo tackles, with eight of those resulting in a defensive stop,
– If Brock Osweiler (-0.2) is to remain the starter into the playoffs, this is the type of gameplan that can help the Broncos have success. He didn’t have a great game throwing downfield, going one-for-five for 35 yards on passes 20+ yards downfield, including a pass that should have been picked off by Cincinnati safety Reggie Nelson. Of the 30 passes he attempted between 0 and 20 yards, though, he had just five incompletions. Keeping things simple and short was very much the key to the Broncos’ offense being efficient against the Bengals.
LB Danny Trevathan (+4.7)
CH Chris Harris, Jr. (+2.1)
DE Derek Wolfe (+2.1)
HB Ronnie Hillman (+2.0)
OLB Von Miller (+1.9)
– The injury to starter Andy Dalton has definitely hurt, and sees the Bengals backing into the playoffs, rather than kicking the door down—but backup A.J. McCarron (+0.2) wasn’t terrible on Monday night. The fumble at the end of the game was bad, even if the snap was off center, and like Osweiler, he struggled going downfield, completing just one of the six passes of 20 yards or more he attempted, but he too was efficient in that 0 to 20 yard range, going 18-for-21 there.
– Despite losing the game, there’s a strong case to be made that Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap (+4.1) was the best player on the field on Monday night. A menace as a pass rusher throughout, he finished the game with three sacks, a hit, and four hurries, adding a tackle that resulted in a defensive stop against the run, too.
– Despite struggling on the offensive line, running back Jeremy Hill (+2.2) impressed for the Bengals. 37 of his 63 yards came after contact, and he forced a missed tackle, too. There weren’t a lot of opportunities for big yards out there for him, but Hill consistently gained an extra couple of yards when tacklers were trying to bring him down.
DE Carlos Dunlap (+4.1)
DE Michael Johnson (+2.4)
HB Jeremy Hill (+2.2)
WR A.J. Green (+2.2)
S Reggie Nelson (+1.7)