ReFo: Raiders @ Broncos, Week 17
With Denver already clinching the AFC West title, Sunday’s game between the Raiders and Broncos would only have impact upon playoff seeding and draft positioning. Denver bounced back after last week’s loss as the defense had a strong showing by forcing seven three-and-outs and allowing just one scoring drive on 12 Oakland possessions. The Denver offense played nearly as well as they scored on seven of their first ten drives and held a double-digit lead for nearly three full quarters. The win locked up the two-seed and a bye in the first round for the Broncos while the loss for the Raiders secured a top-five draft pick for the second-straight year.
With that, let’s take a look at some notable individual performances in the regular season finale.
Oakland Raiders — Performances of Note
Latavius Murray, HB: +1.5
Breakdown: The stat sheet show an average performance on the ground, but his best run of the day was called back due to a holding penalty. Add in the four catches for 60 yards and Murray had a nice day on limited touches. He has shown enough over the last few games that fans should feel good about him returning next year.
Signature Stat: Murray finished the year with eight runs of 15-plus yards on 82 attempts. All other Oakland backs combined for four such runs on 220 carries.
Chance Casey, CB: +2.1
Breakdown: In just his second game on the active rosters, Casey played his first career regular season snaps on defense (61 of 78 plays) as he worked primarily in the slot. He was targeted six times in coverage and allowed five catches, but he did not allow a first down and two receptions were stops on third down.
Signature Stat: Casey allowed 0.88 Yards per Cover Snap, best among Raiders defensive backs that played a least one-quarter of passing plays.
Donald Penn, LT: +2.4
Breakdown: Penn earned his 10th ‘green’ grade of the season as he was sound in pass protection as usual (one hurry on 41 dropbacks). Outside of a poor Week 15 versus the Chiefs, the free agent pickup has been solid all year for what has otherwise been a shaky offensive line.
Signature Stat: Penn finished the season with the eighth-highest overall grade among tackles, and fifth-highest in pass protection.
Denver Broncos — Performances of Note
Chris Harris, CB: +2.4
Breakdown: Harris finished his impressive season strong as he allowed just two receptions for 14 yards on four targets as well as a pass defense coming against Andre Holmes. His 0.48 Yards allowed per Cover Snap was the 14th time this season in which he allowed less than one yard per cover snap.
Signature Stat: Harris finished the season as the only cornerback to play at least half of his teams’ snaps and not have a negative grade in coverage or overall in any single game.
Malik Jackson, DE: +2.7
Breakdown: Not his most impressive day rushing the passer with just one hit and one hurry on 18 pass rushes, but he also batted down a pass and picked up a rare pass defense when dropping into coverage.
Signature Play: (Q3 12:53) Jackson showed off his athleticism as he drops into coverage and makes a pass defense against Marcel Reece that rivals one you would expect to see from a defensive back.
C.J. Anderson, HB: +0.7
Breakdown: His fumble that came on one of his receptions brought down his overall grade, but Anderson earned his fifth ‘green’ grade as a rusher in his last eight games. Ronnie Hillman actually saw more carries (15 to Anderson’s 13), but Anderson was the superior back once again as he forced seven missed tackles and found the end zone three times.
Signature Stat: Anderson earned a +14.4 run grade and +18.4 overall grade over the final eight weeks of the season, highest by any running back over that time span.
PFF Game Ball
C.J. Anderson has been the focal point and the best player of the Broncos’ offense over the second half of the season, and Sunday was no different.
Follow Matt on Twitter: @PFF_MattC