ReFo: Chargers @ Broncos, Week 8

Sharing notes on the standout Thursday Night performers, Khaled Elsayed reviews Denver's win over San Diego.

| 3 years ago

ReFo: Chargers @ Broncos, Week 8

2014-REFO-WK08-SD@DENA fourth win on the bounce pushed the AFC-leading Denver Broncos to 6-1, handing a third defeat of the year (and second in a row) to the San Diego Chargers.

In truth the game was close for large portions but a scintillating start to the second half created the kind of separation that was just too much to overcome for the Philip Rivers and his Charger teammates. With Jason Verrett exiting the game and Brandon Flowers not playing, the mismatch of the San Diego backup cornerbacks against the Broncos’ receivers proved too much an obstacle to overcome, leaving their rematch later on in the year something to eagerly wait for.

San Diego Chargers – Performances of Note

Eric Weddle, S: +3.9

Breakdown: Weddle didn’t make a lot of plays, but the plays he did make stood out. The stat sheet won’t remember his one-handed pick, but he outfoxed Peyton Manning, and while that was taken off the board by a defensive holding penalty, he came back with a forced fumble that could have proved crucial. Two game-changing plays that circumstance dictated didn’t change the game.

Signature Play: With 13.44 to go in the game and the Broncos looking to build an insurmountable lead, Peyton Manning throws for an easy touchdown pass. Except Weddle has read him all the way and picks him off. The play was called back for defensive holding on Marcus Gilchrist, but that doesn’t change the play Weddle made.

Shareece Wright, CB: -3.3

Breakdown: This could just have easily been written about Richard Marshall, so poor were both men thrust into action. Wright made a couple of nice plays in the game (notably an early pass break-up at the start of the second quarter) but spent the rest of the evening getting picked on as Demaryius Thomas had his way with him.

Signature Stat: Allowed a game-worst 3.06 yards per coverage snap into his coverage.

Philip Rivers, QB: +2.3

Breakdown: A late ill-advised desperation heave to Malcom Floyd that was picked off aside, a good effort from Rivers who walked away with a 75.6% adjusted accuracy score. His deep ball decision making wasn’t as good as we’ve come to expect, but he was money on the intermediate throws that kept the chains moving.

Signature Stat: On passes thrown between 10 and 19 yards in the air he completed six of eight attempts.

Denver Broncos – Performances of Note

Ronnie Hillman, RB: +4.2

Breakdown: There’s no denying Hillman has added a spark to the Broncos’ running game. His decisive cutting and ability to get to the second level quickly is ensuring some inconsistent run blocking isn’t holding the team back. A big effort and just a shame he didn’t get his just rewards with a touchdown.

Signature Play: With 2.26 to go in the third, Hillman takes a handoff. His primary read of the right A gap is blocked off with Sean Lissemore getting there so he makes a cut to the left B gap, turns on the jets and is away for a 37-yard gain.

Brandon Marshall, LB: +3.1

Breakdown: It felt like there wasn’t a Chargers offensive play that went by where Marshall wasn’t making a defensive stop. The Chargers clearly felt they could have some joy dumping it off to Branden Oliver in space, but Marshall effectively shut down that outlet with tremendous closing speed and tackling ability, getting beat just once on the dump-offs.

Signature Stat: Ended the game with 10 defensive stops. The whole team combined for 21.

Emmanuel Sanders, WR: +2.0

Breakdown: His last significant action was to fumble, which spoiled an otherwise perfect night. From his first target where he made two defenders miss to pick up a first down, to his third touchdown, he was simply too much for any Chargers reserve defensive back to handle.

Signature Play: With 39 seconds left in the first half, Sanders breezes past Richard Marshall to turn his ‘go’ route into six points.

PFF Game Ball

It would have been Sanders but for what could have been a costly fumble. Instead Ronnie Hillman is a worthy recipient.


Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled

  • n

    so youre saying weddles grade is based on just two plays? not saying the plays he made werent impactful… but for a grade like that for a safety, you would think he made more plays

    • o

      Unlikely. Weddle had 11 tackles, I’m sure some of those plays also factor into his grade.

  • n

    and i did not know that you guys still grade players on plays in which the penalties negated the result (besides the player commiting the penalty)… however, if that receiver was not held on that play, wouldnt the receiver had been able to make a play on the ball? its kind of weird to positively grade a guy in which his great play could have been a direct result of the penalty… i could be wrong… only saw that play once

    • Jay

      It didn’t look like there was any way Manning could have fit that in but I agree if there was holding that directly affected the play then Weddle shouldn’t have received the positive grade. But they are just trying to be fair as the grade every player on every play.

    • Tyler

      I wondered if the receiver (I think it was Welker) had not been slowed down by the hold if Manning would have thrown it a little farther away from Weddle to where only Welker could have gotten it.

      • Andrew

        Except that he wasn’t held; that was a pretty egregiously bad penalty by the refs. Weddle deserved that INT

        • DragonPie

          It looked like a hold to me that didn’t affect the outcome. I doubt Welker makes a play on that ball, but he was held.

          I thought the same thing on the Orlando Franklin offensive holding. Hillman looked to have already broken free, so Orlando’s hold didn’t have an affect, but those penalties still get called because they were committed.

      • o

        I doubt it. It’s a split second timing pattern and his progress wasn’t actually impeded very much, he still could have scored if Weddle didn’t undercut the route.

    • o

      No, he wouldn’t have gotten it. Welker was headed towards the endline, up the field, and his progress was actually not impeded. Weddle moved between Peyton and Welker and into the flight of the ball, so the holding penalty didn’t effect his ability to catch the ball or not. Remove Weddle from the play and it looks like Welker would have scored anyway, hold or not.

  • Tim

    Manning never gets a positive grade?

    • o

      Wasn’t he the highest graded QB last year?

  • Chris

    Peytons passing grade is listed at 3.1 when you go to his passing chart but only 1.1 on the team sheet. Rivers numbers match so something happened to Peytons.

    Also the Broncos allowed just 2 pressures all game?? So much for all that pregsme talk about Freeney and Liuget.

  • Rick S.

    The story of the game was that Denver’s defense was consistently strong throughout. Of Denver’s 11 defensive starters, 9 of them were in the green (positive grade) and none in the red against a very good San Diego offense.

    Denver’s scouting department has been either great or unbelievably lucky in finding play making WLBs who aren’t high draft picks… Woodyard, Trevathan and now Marshall.

    • Random Anonymous Coward

      JDR knows a thing or two about developing LBs.

      • Barron Buc

        I looked up some LB’s he’s had under his tutelage. Damn he’s had an impressive resumé. Ray Lewis, Jamie Shaper, Will Witherspoon, Daryl Smith, Mike Peterson, Akin Adoyele, Danny Trevathan, Von Miller, and Brandon Marshall were all developed under JDR

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      • Glenn

        This. How has JDR not secured a head coaching positions? Put Denver back in the position they were prior to his arrival; a different Dc every year.

        • Barron Buc

          JDR was the Jags head coach from 2003-2011

    • Thomas Bell

      Agreed, it’s no wonder Denver is peaking, their individual performances are too. Vasquez,(4.4) Cornick, had their best game of the year, with Ramirez rising. R Moore followed one of his worst games as a pro with his best outing of the season. Talib and Wolfe also playing really solid. And C Harris is the unsung hero, likely the most consistent Bronco on either side of the ball.

  • davidz32z

    On the Weddle “interception” it looked like Manning was throwing to the penalty to draw attention to it. He does this pretty often, and I’m not sure that ball is ever thrown if Glichrist isn’t holding.