OAK-DEN grades: QB play a major problem in Raiders' loss
Denver Broncos 24, Oakland Raiders 6
Here are the top-graded players and biggest takeaways from Denver’s 24-6 win over Oakland in Week 17:
Quarterback grade: Trevor Siemian, 41.7
Rough finish to the season for Siemian
Even in the win, Trevor Siemian did little to instill confidence going into the offseason. From missed throws to a fumbled snap to a floated third-quarter interception, Siemian did not finish the season on a strong note. He did make a nice throw on his touchdown to WR Demaryius Thomas, while his other touchdown was a walk-in on a screen, so the stat line looked reasonable by the end, but it was another subpar performance from Siemian, who really took a big step back in the second half of the season.
Top offensive grades:
C Matt Paradis, 82.9
LT Russell Okung, 80.1
LG Max Garcia, 79.7
TE Jeff Heuerman, 73.3
WR Demaryius Thomas, 72.0
Offensive line protects Siemian, run game does just enough
The offense didn’t have to do much in this one, and the running game did just enough to keep the chains moving while the offensive line kept Siemian clean for much of the game. Center Matt Paradis capped off his breakout season with another strong effort in the run game, while not allowing a pressure in pass protection, and the left side of LT Russell Okung and LG Max Garcia combined to allow only one hurry between them. Running back Justin Forsett got 64 of his 90 yards on one carry, and he had a fumble on his way to forcing two missed tackles on 21 carries. Rookie RB Devontae Booker forced three misses on his 14 attempts, as his 57 yards were his highest total since Week 12.
Top defensive grades:
ED Von Miller, 83.6
LB Corey Nelson, 83.5
S Justin Simmons, 82.7
ED Shaquil Barrett, 79.4
S Darian Stewart, 79.3
Broncos’ edge defenders provide big plays
It may not have been the flashiest performance for Von Miller, with a QB hit and three hurries, but in addition to a few powerful bull rushes, he made three run stops, including a strip on an end around that thwarted any comeback attempt by the Raiders. Fellow edge defenders Shaquill Barrett and Shane Ray joined in with strong games against the run, with Ray adding a sack, QB hit, and a hurry on his 24 rushes. Rookie safety Justin Simmons had a nice finish to the season, as his 49 snaps were his second-highest total on the year and he picked off a pass and broke up another.
Quarterback grade: Matt McGloin, 43.1; Connor Cook, 39.8
McGloin injured early, while Cook looks like a rookie in relief
The Raiders came in expecting a glimpse into their playoff future with Matt McGloin at the helm, but he went down to injury after a number of inaccurate passes, and rookie Connor Cook took the reins the rest of the way. Cook had a few positive moments, including a touchdown on a nice catch on a corner route by WR Amari Cooper, but he also fumbled and forced a number of passes into coverage. Cook overthrew one pass for an easy interception, and he was late on other reads that were dangerously close to turnovers.
Top offensive grades:
RG Gabe Jackson, 78.0
RT Menelik Watson, 76.3
FB Jamize Olawale, 74.5
C Rodney Hudson, 72.9
WR Michael Crabtree, 72.9
Few positives on the offensive side
It was a difficult game for the Raiders offense from the first snap, as they got inconsistent quarterback play to go with three total turnovers. RG Gabe Jackson had a fine game, allowing only one pressure on his 38 attempts, but the rest of the line struggled in the run game. Running backs DeAndre Washington, Latavius Murray, and Jalen Richard combined to force only one missed tackle on their 15 carries — a dangerous combination with the poor run-blocking, as the Raiders needed a pristine effort on the ground to challenge the Broncos’ defense.
Top defensive grades:
CB T.J. Carrie, 77.2
ED Khalil Mack, 75.0
CB Sean Smith, 74.8
DI Justin Ellis, 65.8
ED Bruce Irvin, 58.6
Lack of pass rush is Raiders’ undoing
With only seven pressures on 27 attempts, the Raiders’ pass rush simply didn’t do enough to affect QB Trevor Siemian. Khalil Mack had a solid game, but certainly not up to his standards, with a QB hit and two hurries, while Bruce Irvin had the only other two hits on Siemian, although it took him 28 rushes to get there. Seven defensive penalties didn’t help matters, either, particularly the face mask and defensive pass interference charged to CB David Amerson to pair with his three missed tackles. Oakland was unable to pressure the quarterback or make key plays in coverage, ultimately keeping them out of a game in which they had little leeway due to their inept offense.
PFF Game-Ball Winner: Broncos OLB Von Miller
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