IND-DEN grades: Broncos OLB Von Miller earns game’s top grade in win

The highest-graded players and top takeaways from the Broncos' 34-20 win over the Colts in Week 2.

| 9 months ago
Broncos OLB Von Miller

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

IND-DEN grades: Broncos OLB Von Miller earns game’s top grade in win

Denver Broncos 34, Indianapolis Colts 20

Here are the biggest takeaways and highest-graded players from the Broncos’ home win over the Colts.

Denver Broncos

Quarterback grade: Trevor Siemian, 49.5

Trevor Siemian impressive against Colts’ blitz

The Broncos’ offensive game plan against the Colts was similar to the one they used against the Panthers on opening night: run outside zone and have QB Trevor Siemian get the ball into the hands of WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas on underneath passes. Siemian attempted just two passes that traveled more than 20 yards in the air (both incomplete) and did a nice job avoiding mistakes, outside of an intercepted screen pass to Darius Butler in the second quarter that almost certainly would have been returned for a touchdown, had Butler not injured his hamstring during the return. The Colts blitzed Siemian on nearly half of his dropbacks (17 of 36), and Siemian was able to make them pay, finishing 11-for-16 for 175 yards and a 104.9 QB rating.

Trevor Siemian under pressure

Top offensive grades

C Matt Paradis, 85.8

LG Max Garcia, 81.2

TE Virgil Green, 80.2

LT Russell Okung, 79.6

FB Andy Janovich, 77.4

Impressive outing from Broncos’ offensive line

Denver’s offensive line was outstanding throughout the game, allowing running backs C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker to produce consistent gains on the ground, and giving QB Trevor Siemian a clean pocket to work from. Through two games, C Matt Paradis PFF’s our highest-graded center in the NFL (excluding PHI-CHI). Paradis has yet to allow a pressure this season, and owns the best run-blocking grade of any NFL center by a wide margin. LT Russell Okung was also excellent, earning an 84.5 run-blocking grade. RT Darrion Weems struggled after replacing the injured starter Donald Stephenson at right tackle, finishing with a team-worst 41.6 overall grade and earning negative marks in both run blocking and pass protection.

Top defensive grades

OLB Von Miller, 88.2

S T.J Ward, 83.5

DE Derek Wolfe, 79.8

CB Bradley Roby, 78.7

DE Jared Crick, 78.3

Von Miller posts career-high four sacks

The offseason holdout doesn’t seem to have affected the reigning Super Bowl MVP’s performance, as OLB Von Miller made mincemeat of the Colts’ offensive line, logging four sacks, an additional three QB hurries, and a batted pass. Miller didn’t make much of an impact in the run game, but he provided the play of the afternoon with his strip sack of Andrew Luck that sealed the game for the Broncos. With a pass-rushing productivity mark of 17.0, Miller is converting a ridiculous 55.6 percent of his pressures into sacks this season, as he now has five sacks and four hurries through two games.

Indianapolis Colts

Quarterback grade: Andrew Luck, 61.1

Constant pressure gets to Andrew Luck

We may not see a better quarterback performance than what QB Andrew Luck put on display in Week 1 versus Detroit, but unfortunately for the Colts, the former Stanford Cardinal couldn’t muster much of anything against the defending Super Bowl champions. Pressured on 55.6 percent of his dropbacks, Luck completed just 40 percent of his passes, finishing with a passer rating of 49.6 when under duress. When delivering the ball under 2.5 seconds, Luck completed 73.3 percent of his passes with a passer rating of 111.0, but when holding on the ball beyond then, he was at 40 percent completion and a passer rating of 36.3.

Colts QB Andrew Luck

Top offensive grades

C Ryan Kelly, 78.9

LG Jack Mewhort, 76.7

TE Jack Doyle, 66.7

RT Joe Reitz, 64.9

WR Phillip Dorsett, 64.8

Not a complete disaster on the offensive line

As much pressure as Luck faced, it wasn’t due to every member of the unit giving up sacks and pressure. Rookie center Ryan Kelly held his own, surrendering just one hurry while performing well in the run game. LG Jack Mewhort allowed just two hurries and helped pave a few running lanes, as well. Had Indianapolis wanted to devise a game plan that utilized the running game more, the offensive line would have looked better, as every player of the O-line unit besides LT Anthony Castanzo graded very well as a run blocker. Alas, the Colts called just 20 run plays and 53 pass plays.

Top defensive grades

LB D’Qwell Jackson, 85.0

S Clayton Geathers, 76.2

CB Darius Butler, 75.8

OLB Robert Mathis, 75.3

S Mike Adams, 74.9

D’Qwell Jackson, Robert Mathis provide bright spots in otherwise poor defensive performance

The Colts’ defense was ineffective in every facet of the game, earning negative grades in pass rushing, run defense, and pass coverage as a team. Starters Kendall Langford, David Parry, and Eric Walden each had more than 20 pass rush attempts without recording a single pressure. Starting ILB Sio Moore attempted 10 tackles, and whiffed on five of them. Eight Indianapolis defenders earned run-defense grades lower than 50.0, as the Colts were unable to slow down the Broncos’ rushing attack. OLB Robert Mathis (six pressures) and ILB D’Qwell Jackson (84.0 coverage grade, 77.2 run-defense grade) were the lone bright spots on an Indy defense that looks like one of the worst in the NFL.

PFF Game-Ball Winner: Broncos OLB Von Miller

Get access to grades for every player, complete with positional rankings, in our Player Grades tool.

| Analyst

John is an analyst for Pro Football Focus and former safety for the University of Kansas Jayhawks (2004–2006).

  • David Japhet-Mathias

    How on Earth does Luck have a better rating than Siemian?

    • WICKED

      Cuz bias

    • theflanman420420 .

      Their grades of qbs don’t make any sense…I have seen some who have 5 tds and have a terrible grade and some with 3 picks who have a great grade. Seems like they flip a coin.

      • TJ Smith

        You do realize what this site is about. If your just looking for he has tds and he has ints then why would you come here. This site is about what kind of Td. What kind of Int. If you throw a couple of 2 yard passes that go for long tds it going to effect your grade. If someone else throws a int that the receiver doesn’t come back on it going to effect the grade.

    • TJ Smith

      Why wouldn’t he? Trevor didn’t complete anything down the field. For the most part didn’t have that much pressure. Luck was under pressure and completed some really tough throws. I thought Luck was really good as I didn’t really blame either turnover on him.

      • Malachi

        agreed, luck was a stud, just can’t do everything by himself. if the colts couldn’t do anything in his first four years under a rookie contract i don’t see how they’ll be able to improve now that he’s the highest paid player in football. grigson is a bum.

  • Rightdownthegooch

    Actually Weems played right guard and Schoefield kicked out to right tackle. How close did you guys actually watch the game?

    • anon76returns

      Pretty closely, I imagine. Blazing on adderall and nodoze to get the review out at 4 am.

      • crosseyedlemon

        Haha! That’s funny! I suppose they then sleep all of Tuesday and Wednesday while booking overtime.

    • Malachi

      for real

  • anon76returns

    Would love to know how Siemian got such a low grade. IIRC, about 72 is average, so anything under a 50 should be pretty putrid, yet the discussion of his play is pretty complimentary. If his grade is so low, tell us what he was doing wrong to earn that grade!

    • TJ Smith

      He was throwing dinkers all game. People really complaining about his rating. His longest play was a screen pass. He missed a wide open receiver in the end zone early in the game. Should have thrown the easiest pick 6 of any players career.

  • Paul

    Andrew Luck’s rating is way too high. Doesn’t get criticized enough with how reckless he is with the ball. Other QBs get skewered for those plays.

    • TJ Smith

      Nobody is playing well against the Broncos defense. Honestly nobody should win a game with that Colt roster. This statement makes zero sense because PFF was probably the first to say Luck was being overrated.

  • theflanman420420 .

    Are people still going to talk about how khalil mack is better than Von Miller? Or how dominant the raider and chief defenses are going to be? What about how the Broncos will finish 3rd in the AFC west? The same morons who pick the chiefs and faiders to dethrone the Broncos every off season can kiss our orange asses. Their doubt only fuels this team even more.

    • TJ Smith

      Don’t you have to give some argument to this statement. I’m not saying who is better better Miller and Mack. All I would say is Mack last year was a terror in rushing the QB and in run defense. Judging by the fact your making this statement now I’m guessing your entirely focused on rushing the qB.

      • Mason.s

        Teams averaged 3.99 YPC running Mack’s way from the beginning of 2015 to now. They averaged 2.61 ypc running Miller’s way. Teams also seemed more confident running Mack’s way as they did it 96 times compared to 59 runs toward Miller.

        Also, Mack doesn’t cover pass catchers in out in the pattern. Miller does. Proficiently.

        • TJ Smith

          Your blatantly cherry picking stats. I’m guessing your argument is that pff had favored Mack. Your just telling me team stats which is fine but let’s not act like Broncos and raiders are comparable defensively. As far as I remember they have Mack add the superior run defender.

          How many times had Miller went into pass coverage? I remember last Brady being in shock that Miller dropped back for that in t.

          • Mason.s

            Did happen you catch the Super Bowl? In that game Miller dropped into one-on-one coverage wit WR Jericho Cotchery on a wheel route and did a nice job defending the pass. As per usual in a Wade Phillips defense, the SOLB, in this case Miller, drops fairly frequently. Watch the games and you’ll see it. Not every play, of course, but a handful of times per game.

            As far as stats, yes, I “cherry-picked” a stat that shows teams are less likely to have success running toward Miller than toward Mack. Heres another, more individual stat having to do with the run game; through two years of their respective careers, Miller had 49 TFLs compared to Mack’s 39. Both undoubtedly outstanding stats. One clearly superior (with almost the full TFL total of Mack’s first year separating them).

  • Jake

    I thought Von ended with 3 sacks not 4. That’s still what ESPN is saying.

    • Malachi

      PFF doesn’t do half sacks, they give full credit for them

  • Malachi

    glad TJ and robey bounced back after last week’s performances