ReFo: Broncos @ Rams, Week 11
Kiernan Hogan looks at some of the key performances that produced the Rams home win over Denver.
ReFo: Broncos @ Rams, Week 11
Shaun Hill was the big story entering the game for the St. Louis Rams, as the journeyman quarterback replaced Austin Davis (-12.7 overall fourth-lowest among all quarterbacks) for his first start since Week 1. Hill was adequate, but the Rams’ defense stole the show as St. Louis shocked the Broncos.
The more physical team, the Rams allowed just 28 yards on 10 rushing attempts, and beat up the Broncos with several huge hits. Receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Andre Caldwell left the game with injuries after sustaining blows from St. Louis defenders, and Julius Thomas also left the game early with an ankle injury. Denver is now tied with Kansas City for the AFC West division lead, with a huge game in Arrowhead looming in two weeks.
Denver Broncos – Performances of Note
Peyton Manning, QB: -2.6
Breakdown: Manning struggled when pressured, finishing with a -3.5 grade on these plays, as opposed to a +1.3 grade when not pressured. The Bronco QB had trouble when blitzed as well, finishing with a -2.2 grade on 17 such drop-backs.
Signature Stats: On 13 drop-backs under pressure, Manning was 5-11 for 53 yards and two interceptions, and was also sacked twice.
Manny Ramirez, RG: -3.3
Breakdown: Ramirez’ -3.3 grade was the worst of any Bronco, after earning red grades in both pass protection and run blocking. He finished with a -2.4 run blocking grade on just 12 such snaps.
Signature Stat: Ramirez’ fourth red grade of the season, and he has not finished with a green grade since Week 1.
Malik Jackson, DE: +3.2
Breakdown: Jackson finished the game with positive grades in pass rushing, run defense and pass coverage. Four of his five tackles were stops, and he added a hit, hurry and batted pass as a pass rusher.
Signature Stat: Jackson continued his excellent season as a backup, earning his seventh green grade in his past eight games. Jackson currently ranks seventh among all 4-3 defensive ends with a +13.5 overall grade.
St. Louis Rams – Performances of Note
T.J. McDonald, SS: +5.5
Breakdown: McDonald’s +5.5 overall grade was the best of his career, and he now has green grades in his past three games after a poor start to the season. All four of his tackles were stops, and he earned a +5.4 coverage grade. Manning was 4-8 for just 10 yards when targeting McDonald.
Signature Play: With 3:16 left in the game, Manning’s pass to Andre Caldwell sailed high, and McDonald crushed Caldwell with a legal hit to break up the pass.
Robert Quinn, DE: +2.6
Breakdown: Quinn had a big game as a pass rusher, tallying three hits, two hurries and two batted passes. This was the fourth green-graded game in a row for Quinn, who now ranks sixth among 4-3 defensive ends in our cumulative pass rushing grading.
Signature Play: On 4th-and-4 at 9.47 in the fourth quarter, Quinn burst through the middle of Denver’s offensive line untouched on a stunt, setting up Aaron Donald for an easy cleanup sack, and a turnover on downs.
Alec Ogletree, LB: +2.3
Breakdown: A balanced effort from Ogletree, who led the team with five stops and a +1.7 run defense grade, in addition to some solid work in coverage. Ogletree also added a batted pass at 2:30 in the fourth quarter, ending any chance of a Broncos comeback.
Signature Play: On the first play of the fourth quarter, Ogletree had tight coverage on Jacob Tamme, and capitalized on a poor decision from Manning with an interception.
PFF Game Ball
T.J. McDonald’s career-best +5.5 grade, and fine work in coverage, earn him the game ball.