DEN-CHI Grades: Osweiler gets it done for Broncos

The top takeaways and highest-graded players from Denver's 17-15 win at Chicago.

| 2 years ago
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

DEN-CHI Grades: Osweiler gets it done for Broncos

Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Broncos’ 17-15 win versus the Bears.

Denver Broncos

– We got our first long look at what life could be like without Peyton Manning in Denver, with QB Brock Osweiler (-0.5) making his first career start. It wasn’t a stellar performance, but Osweiler played well enough to lead the Broncos to the win, and he should be able to keep Denver in the playoff race. The most notable aspect of his play was the difference in his performance when kept clean compared to when he was pressured. Without pressure, Osweiler completed 18-of-20 pass attempts for 225 yards and two touchdowns for a +1.2 pass grade. But when pressured, he completed just two passes on 13 dropbacks for 25 yards and a -1.7 pass grade, and was sacked five times.

– Evan Mathis (+3.8) had a slow start to the year, but he has come on strong down the middle-stretch of the season, and yesterday was a continuation of that. He allowed two total pressures (-1.1 pass blocking), one of which was a really bad-looking sack, as NT Bruce Gaston (-1.2) bull-rushed right through him to the quarterback. However, he once again excelled as a run blocker (+4.7 run blocking). He still has a below average pass block grade on the season, but he has the highest run blocking grade of any guard in the league—and it’s not particularly close.

– It was an interesting display of coverage for Denver, that was somewhat boom-or-bust. Four players combined for six pass defenses, yet those same four players also allowed five completions of 20+ yards. LB Danny Trevathan (+3.8) led the team with a +2.1 coverage grade, including his interception off a Jay Cutler pass, and CB Bradley Roby (+1.5) was not far off, with two pass defenses and one reception allowed for 2 yards.

Top performers:

ILB Danny Trevathan (+3.8)

LG Evan Mathis (+3.8)

OLB Von Miller (+3.7)

TE Vernon Davis (+2.8)

SS T.J. Ward (+2.3)


Chicago Bears

– It was a mediocre game from QB Jay Cutler (+0.2), as he threw one bad interception and forced several passes into tight coverage. However, he wasn’t given much help up front, as he was pressured on nearly half of his dropbacks (18-of-37). He was only sacked twice, but the offensive line allowed a combined 14 hurries, seven of which were allowed by RT Kyle Long (-3.9), as he struggled to pick up OLB Von Miller’s (+3.7) spin move on multiple occasions.

– The Bears’ running game did little to help the passing game, as rookie HB Jeremy Langford (-2.1) had just 25 yards on 13 carries. Ka’Deem Carey (-0.8) did not fare much better, with 32 yards on nine runs. On their combined 22 rushes, the duo failed to force a single missed tackle.

– Veteran CB Tracy Porter (+2.8) currently has a nice little stretch of play. On Sunday, he did not allow a catch on three targets and 33 snaps in coverage, for a +2.5 coverage grade. Over the last three weeks, he has been in coverage 123 times. He has allowed a total of four catches for 39 yards and three pass defenses on 10 targets. His +7.7 coverage grade in that time span is the highest in the league among cornerbacks. Will we continue to see more of this as the season progresses?

Top performers:

LT Charles Leno Jr. (+2.9)

OLB Pernell McPhee (+2.8)

CB Tracy Porter (+2.8)

RG Patrick Omameh (+2.4)

OLB Lamarr Houston (+1.1)

| Analyst

Matt has been an analyst for PFF since 2013. He is also a contributor to 120 Sports and a former NCAA Division-III football player.

  • southsidechicago

    omameh certainly looked better than ducasse at guard. pleasantly surprised that porter is doing so well.

  • humper-dinkle dinkle-humper

    Calling Osweiler’s performance impressive, as some of us have done, is not something captured in the stats . . . this was a game about getting 1st downs, putting together drives, and eating up the clock. It was a game about winning the small victories and building confidence again . . . and in that, Brock was a success. He did what Sam Bradford, Case Keenum, and a host of other QBs couldn’t do. This focus on the small victories will have to carry over to next week — Brock and co. can’t focus on beating Brady (i.e. outplaying). They just need to focus on 1st downs and making the right decisions. Brock does not beat Brady . . . but the Broncos can beat the Patriots. Going forward from week 11, though, Brock will have to improve the measurables.

    • alex

      It’s relative given the fact he was playing a good team on the road and this was his first start.

      • Jason Cornett

        The Bears aren’t a bad team but they certainly aren’t what I would call a good team either. The strength of their team is their offense and that was significantly mitigated by Denver’s excellent D. The Bear’s defense, however, is one of the poorer units in the league. As a result, Brock wasn’t required to do a whole lot in order to secure a win, and he rarely had to do it under pressure. Still, I thought Brock showed a lot of composure for his 1st start. But as Matt pointed out, he also clearly struggled whenever he was under pressure. Luckily for him, that rarely happened against a Bear’s team who is one of the worst in the league at generating said pressure. It was a good start for Brock. But hardly the resounding success that some have tried to make it out to be. We will get a much much more accurate snapshot of Brock when he’s playing against a better defense that can consistently generate pressure. This game against N.E should do

        • T. Kothe

          I can’t say that I agree with a lot of that. Add up the snaps listed in the section on him as you’ve got pressure on 13 of 33 dropbacks, or just shy of 40% of his dropbacks. I’m not sure what you would consider consistent pressure, but that’s consistent pressure in my book. In fact, that pressured % would be 7th most on the list when compared to the season average pressured %s PFF recorded for QBs during the 2014 season.

          Frankly, the pressure stats tell me more about the Broncos O-line than about their currently-starting QB. And the summary provides very bare-bones analysis of Brock under pressure. For instance, how many of those incompletions under pressure were good decisions to get rid of the ball to avoid a sack? Yes, that’s likely factored into the grade for him. But it’s not factored into the summary paragraph at all.

          The article saying Brock completed 2 passes on 13 dropbacks is also a bit disingenuous, in my opinion, because it leads the casual reader to think 2-of-13 passing in that situation…when the reality is more like 2-of-7 after removing the sacks and what I presume is a scramble. Still not good, but approximately half as bad in regard to actual passes vs completions.

          • Autocephallus

            Why would you remove the sacks? A sack is a failed passing attempt is it not?

          • anon76returns

            Was the sack the QB’s fault or not? If you’re saying the QB didn’t play well under pressure, and advance a sack that was the fault of the OL as evidence, then it is disingenuous.

        • Johnny Hatelak

          One of the poorer units in the league? I will say their personnel doesn’t floor you, but as a unit they are doing incredibly well especially with new coaches with new guys in a completely new system, and how bad they’ve been the last two years.

          You need to look at the stats. Take away 6 TD’s scored on their special teams and given up by their offense on turnovers on two pick 6’s and a fumble return and this may just be the #1 defense in the league in points allowed. They already are one of the top ranked in total defense, and top 5 against the pass. Have you seen the list of QB’s they’ve played?

          I think you’re speaking more out of ignorance and relying way too much on this sites whack ass grading system. This defense has done amazingly well this season given all the circumstances. Shit w/o the circumstances they’re rock solid.

          You also have to factor in the fact the Bears have been extremely short handed on offense, and special teams has been non existent. What sites like these don’t take into account is both complimentary football, and quality of opponents faced.

          Don’t think those don’t factor? Well anyone who would say that is someone that loses credibility from me on anything to do with football.

          • Autocephallus

            When you give up 170 rushing yards to the 28th ranked rushing offense and can’t even stop the run in obvious rushing situations, you’re a bad defense any way you slice it.

          • Jason Cornett

            Lol. Take off your fan glasses dude. The Bears are 27th in the league in defensive DVOA and they are in the bottom third in sacks, pressures, and allowed QB passer rating. But hey, if you think the guys at this site are idiots, I’m sure you feel the same way about the guys at Football Outsiders as well. By the way, FO also has them graded as the 31st run defense in the league. Which was bared out as they let the 28th team in rushing rack up 170 yds on the ground at almost 5 yds per carry. This from a team that for over half their games couldn’t crack even 3 yds per carry. The fact that the Broncos had so much success running the ball greatly reduced the burden on Brock by giving him favorable down and distances while forcing the Bears to bite hard on any play action. Playing QB in the NFL against ANY defense is not an easy task to be sure but it will certainly get much more difficult for Brock when he plays against a defense that shuts down the Broncos putrid run game and he has to stand back there and wing it behind one of the worst offensive lines in the game. The Bears defense made the Broncos offense look much more sound and put together than it has proven to be all year. And for you to make the case that this is a top 5 defense quite frankly is laughable.

          • southsidechicago

            grow up. taking any talk about the bears defense personally is childish.

        • AK2= A.KarriemA.K

          What about the 5 @ChicagoBears sacks ?

  • Johnny Hatelak

    The more I read these grades the less I take this sites grades seriously. Your grading system sucks man. Sorry don’t mean to go there, but you guys need to understand football more, and what you’re watching on tape man. I do think these metrics probably help with fantasy decisions. To say Cutler was mediocre against this defense minus two of his starting wr’s, his starting RB, his back up RB in the 2nd quarter who was running through the bronco defense, and yet another line combination, and to do what he did…? That tells me this grading system you guys have needs to go back to the lab and revised in a severe way. same thing with Osweiler. A young QB in his first start on the road in a hostile environment is just meh good enough? I mean give the Bears defense credit for his fails. To go with pressure stats as being the big tell is flawed. Everyone is worse with great pressure. Everyone. And hurries? Just because you have a QB move in the pocket to avoid a rush does not qualify as a hurry. A hurry is when the QB trows the ball sooner to avoid a sack or hit. Again you guys need to go back to the shop and make some serious alterations. I’d hire someone to teach you guys how to break shit down like a Matt Bowen or maybe even an ex coach or two. This shit ain’t working.

    • Autocephallus

      Or you could, you know, stop reading this site.


    Let’s grade the refs performance. 11 penalties for the Broncos, 0 for the Bears. I think the refs get a well deserved F. It was the worse officiated game I’ve seen in my life.