DEN-OAK grades: Huge night for Raiders’ Khalil Mack in AFC West victory

Highest-graded players and top takeaways from the Raiders win over the Broncos on Sunday Night Football.

| 8 months ago
Khalil Mack

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

DEN-OAK grades: Huge night for Raiders’ Khalil Mack in AFC West victory

Oakland Raiders 30, Denver Broncos 20

Here are the top-graded players and biggest storylines from Oakland’s Week 9 win over Denver on Sunday Night Football.

Oakland Raiders

Quarterback grade: Derek Carr, 70.1

Carr helps Oakland offense to consistently move chains

From the first drive of the game, it was clear Derek Carr intended to attack Broncos CB Bradley Roby throughout the evening, and he did so with success on a variety of slant and in-routes. He completed eight passes into Roby’s coverage (on 14 targets) for 99 yards, five of them going to WR Amari Cooper. While his success on intermediate and downfield passes was limited (he completed just four of 12 throws at least 10 yards through the air), he was very accurate on underneath throws. He completed 16 of 18 throws less than 10 yards from the line of scrimmage, which, coupled with the Raiders’ run game, allowed Oakland to control the clock and move the chains with consistency throughout the night.

Derek Carr vs pressure

Top offensive grades:

RB Latavius Murray, 86.3

OG Denver Kirkland, 79.7

OG Kelechi Osemele, 79.6

WR Amari Cooper, 76.9

C Rodney Hudson, 76.3

Offensive line makes big statement with dominant performance

The Raiders opted to use an extra offensive lineman for much of the game to help in both the run game and pass protection, with Denver Kirkland playing 42 of Oakland’s 85 offensive snaps. The strategy worked to near perfection, as Kirkland had an 84.6 run-blocking grade, and RB Latavius Murray averaged 5.7 yards per carry on 20 touches (forcing five missed tackles). Donald Penn did not make the overall top five for Oakland (in terms of overall grade) because of struggles in pass protection, but his 89.5 run-blocking grade was the best of the game for either team.

Top defensive grades:

ED Khalil Mack, 98.3

ED Bruce Irvin, 86.6

DI Darius Latham, 82.9

S Reggie Nelson, 82.7

S Karl Joseph, 77.8

Mack virtually unstoppable off the edge

Khalil Mack pressured Denver QB Trevor Siemian once every 3.7 pass-rushes, posting a total of two sacks and eight hurries. The Raiders also got the supplemental pass-rush they’ve been missing for much of the season, as Bruce Irvin put up six hurries of his own. Rookie DT Darius Latham rounded out the pass-rushing attack by posting three hurries; he also scored three run stops.

Denver Broncos

Quarterback grade: Trevor Siemian, 52.3

Heavy pass-rush greatly affects Trevor Siemian

Trevor Sieman was under pressure more often than not, as the rush affected him on 21 of 39 dropbacks. When he had a clean pocket, Siemian had a QB rating of 110.6, but under pressure it plummeted to 53.4, as he completed just seven of 19 balls with an interception and two sacks taken. He also struggled on throws to the middle of the field, as he completed just 50 percent of his throws between the numbers (none of them were deep shots).

Trevor Siemian vs pressure

Top offensive grades:

OG Max Garcia, 77.1

C Matt Paradis, 73.6

WR Emmanuel Sanders, 71.4

WR Jordan Norwood, 71.3

WR Demaryius Thomas, 70.9 

Poor tackle, QB play doom the Broncos

With the monster grades posted by Mack and Irvin, it should be no surprise to learn that LT Russell Okung’s overall grade was 34.6 and RT Donald Stephenson posted a 19.8. Stephenson gave up two sacks and eight total pressures, while Okung was responsible for six hurries. Denver’s run-blocking wasn’t much better, as RBs Devontae Booker and Kapri Bibbs earned 23 of their combined 33 yards (on 12 carries) after contact.

Top defensive grades:

DI Derek Wolfe, 80.8

ED Von Miller, 80.7

LB Brandon Marshall, 80.0

ED DeMarcus Ware, 75.8

S Darian Stewart, 75.1 

Already-depleted defense suffers more losses

You know it was a bad night for the Broncos when two of their top-graded players were knocked out early to injury. Derek Wolfe posted three hurries and two stops before exiting with an elbow injury, and Brandon Marshall had two stops and a pass breakup before hurting his hamstring. DE Jared Crick had one of the worst games of his career (31.8 overall grade), as he was repeatedly overpowered and pancaked by Oakland’s formidable run blockers

PFF Game-Ball Winner: Khalil Mack, ED, Raiders

PFF’s player grading process includes multiple reviews, which may change the grade initially published in order to increase its accuracy. Learn more about how we grade and access grades for every player through each week of the NFL season by subscribing to Player Grades.

| Analyst

Josh joined PFF as an analyst in 2015. During the season, his primary focus is college football (mainly the Big Ten). He is also heavily involved in PFF's NFL draft coverage. Prior to joining the team, he worked for six years with GM Jr. Scouting, an independent draft scouting service.

  • Anthony

    Jesus Christ Khalil. I missed you man.

  • crosseyedlemon

    Just a great photo for the article and I can almost hear John Facenda saying….
    “The autumn wind is a Raider
    Pillaging just for fun
    He’ll knock you round and upside down
    And laugh when he’s conquered and won”

    • Mike Riley

      This ^^^humming The Autumn Wind in my head made me smile.

  • Mike

    Now we need to take that same intensity, discipline, and great play to KC and beat their a[ss] just like that. KC is the team that scares me the most in our division…..

    • Jed Dej

      Absolutely. Oakland is getting a lot of love from the media today, but the division really belongs to KC for now. I sat in the rain and watched them kick our ass a few weeks ago, not a fun afternoon.

      • Mike

        Yeah, that was brutal. That slop played into the strengths of KC and neutralized our strengths. Yes, we got out-coached as well, but I think we win the game on a better field. Oh well… excuses…..gotta beat KC, DEN, and SD in the rubber matches in order to win the west!

        • Mr McMurderer

          Raiders seem to be stronger in the road, so none of our remaining division games scare me. Heck even if KC, SD, or Denver manage to beat us, they still have to have as good or better off a record for it to matter, and idt aby of them are capable of winning more games than Oakland. Not with our talent. Texans, Colts, and Panthers all feel like W’s, same with the Broncos after that whoopin, which would take us to 11 wins. Man, how long had it been since 11-5 was a realistic expectation? Dam that’s a good feeling, lol.

  • chuckupnow

    What where people saying earlier this year about Mack?

    His sack total of 7 is the same as last year after 9 games. Likely to get better with Edwards Jr. and potentially A.Smith returning.

    Either way, Mack should land between 15-20 sacks by the end of the season.

    • Forrest

      People forget he had a five sack game last year. That skews numbers to a degree, and it’s not really something you can count on happening again.

      • Brad Barber

        Either way he’s a top five run defender and has beenin top 5 of pressures

      • fred

        if you got five sacks in a game,you got five sacks in a game ,they are the numbers,they arent skewed

  • Aaron McFarland

    It sure was overrated, in that Super Bowl 50 game…oh wait a second, no it wasn’t.

    • Alan Flores

      The “Super Defense” showing cracks it can be beat should be an epic game in Dec. when everyone will be at full strength hopefully

  • Erik Fountaine

    Denver was missing some guys but I was surprised the Raiders were able to run for over 200 yards. I know the broncos run defense isn’t great but that is a lot of yards.

    • Mr McMurderer

      Raiders were missing some guys too, namely their starting OLB, DE, TE, CB, and RT, so it’s not like Denver was any less healthy then the Raiders, and Talib isn’t doing much in run support anyway. BTW, it was awesome they claimed Oakland’s WR’s weren’t elite, only to hold them all game to prevent big plays. So that either means that Denvers corners aren’t elite, or Raiders WRs are. Pick your poison.

      • Elias Woolfolk

        Wow lol this game was the biggest of your life huh!? Lmao I would say we were missing way more important and(highly graded) players. But none the less a great dominant win for the raiders. There is a lot of football left man. You should focus on where they can end up and not let one home division game be your super bowl.

        • Mr McMurderer

          What? What are you talking about? I made a point that Oakland was missing starters too, and that Talib (highly graded or not) wasn’t gonna do ish to change the outcome of the game anyway. This game was important, but by no means was it anyone’s SB. It was just awesome to finally beat the Broncos convincingly after so many years of them beating the Raiders convincingly. The tables have turned…idk what you were talking about though.

          • Elias Woolfolk

            Lol whaaaaa? Whaaat? You response proved everything. Like I said great win and big win for the raiders. But they weren’t crowned champs Sunday night. Good luck to your team.

          • Mr McMurderer

            Again, wtf was your point? Raiders were missing key players too, which is the part of my argument you’ve been avoiding. Talib wasnt gonna do shit, you know Talib wasn’t gonna do shit, you just wanted try and blame the loss on something irrelevant. I countered your point of one game being or SB, and you responded with some nonsensical immature mocking, as if that proves anything beyond the state of your mentality. Raiders were stomping the Broncos regardless if they were 100% healthy or not, and any nonbiased person who watched the game knows that. Broncos are inferior to the Raiders. Get over it.

          • Elias Woolfolk

            Lol who is arguing that talib would of win that game. I said very clearly good dominant win. Good luck to your team. Yet you keep arguing with…..yourself. Your response to peoples comments prove that you this game meant a lot to YOU. My point is the raiders can end up somewhere good. You shouldn’t be focused so much on one win. Not sure why I’m getting under your skin so much. Anyway great win. Nothing we did could of changes that. Maybe that will help you chill out of I say that. And once again good luck to the raiders.


    Mack wasnt that impressive.

    • Mr McMurderer

      2 sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and ten QB pressures isn’t impressive? That’s close to dominating man, what game were you watching?