ReFo: Chiefs @ Broncos, Week 2
Much like their game against the Colts last week, the Broncos took an early lead in this divisional matchup against the Chiefs, but almost gave it up late, needing a late defensive stop inside their own five yard line to seal the game.
With the win Denver remains atop the AFC West at 2-0, though they have yet to play on the road, while a favorite regression candidate Kansas City is looking for answers at 0-2. And unfortunately it won’t get any easier with their next three games against Miami, New England, and San Francisco before their Week 6 bye.
Before getting too far ahead, though, let’s look at some of the notable performances from this exciting game.
Kansas City Chiefs – Performances of Note
Eric Fisher, LT: -4.9
Breakdown: Fisher was tasked with blocking Demarcus Ware for most of the game, Fisher had a rough time surrendering three hits and two hurries (though not all to Ware). Also stood out for his inability to make effective cut blocks at times – see 9:29 and 7:30 of the first quarter for a pair of examples.
Signature Play: 4Q, 1:54 – Beaten outside by Ware for a blindside hit and near sack-fumble on Alex Smith.
Tamba Hali, OLB: +2.0
Breakdown: After a quiet game last week, Hali bounced back to pick up a sack and two hurries in 16 pass rushes to add to two defensive stops in run defense. His grade would have been higher, if not for a second quarter neutral zone infraction.
Signature Play: 1Q, 5:45 – Won inside against Julius Thomas to pick up the 1-yard stop, keeping Denver inside of their own five yard line.
Marcus Cooper, DB: -2.1
Breakdown: Started poorly giving up a 48-yard pass to Emmanuel Sanders on the first play of the game and struggled from there. He did get his hands on the ball for two pass defenses, but allowed all of his seven other targets to be completed, with Manning sporting a 155.8 QB rating on passes thrown into his coverage.
Signature Play: 2Q, 3:08 – Got turned around to allow a first down and then over pursued to the inside trying to chase down Demaryius Thomas.
Denver Broncos – Performances of Note
Demarcus Ware, DE, +1.6
Breakdown: Had some discipline issues with two third-down offside penalties, but was otherwise as disruptive as we’ve come to expect. Picked up three hits and three hurries, with a particularly strong final drive beating Eric Fisher four times in game’s final three minutes.
Signature Play: 3Q, 6:18 – Used a spin move effectively to get inside and land a hit on Smith.
Louis Vasquez, RG, +3.6
Breakdown: Not much spectacular out of Vasquez, but he largely avoided negative plays, being involved in a sack (3Q, 4:07) but giving up no pressure otherwise. He did some nice work run blocking paving the way for backs Montee Ball and C.J. Anderson, who combined to rush for 5.3 yards per carry.
Signature Stat: Allowed his first sack in 24 games and it’s even debatable whether he had a realistic shot of stopping Hali on the pull block on this one.
Nate Irving, LB: +0.1
Breakdown: Irving down from his +2.1 grade in the season opener, missing two tackles on Knile Davis after missing none last week and allowed a catch on every pass into his coverage. He remained strong defending the run, though, with four of his seven tackles counting as defensive stops.
Signature Stat: Currently ranks 14th among inside linebackers with an 11.5% Run Stop Percentage.
PFF Game Ball
This one goes to Demaryius Thomas, who caught a touchdown and gained more than 12 yards on average on his five receptions.
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