Broncos Player Grades From Vital Win Over Browns

The Denver Broncos are on a five-game winning streak and are definitely in postseason contention, but how did they fare in their most recent victory?
The Denver Broncos’ 29-12 victory over the Cleveland Browns was significant because it put them firmly in the postseason picture. The Browns have a fantastic defense, so the Broncos offense needed to figure out how to move the ball, which they did, scoring their third-highest point total of the season.

The Broncos defense received some assistance from the Browns’ poor play-calling. When Cleveland ran the ball against a poor Broncos run defense, it was successful.

The Browns, on the other hand, elected to keep putting the ball in the hands of rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, and the Broncos’ defense was able to give him trouble moving the ball through the air.

The Broncos played one of their most complete games this season, but there are still key areas where they need to improve. One of the biggest areas for improvement is Denver’s run defense, which has been a problem all season but has been masking with takeaways recently.

With everything out of the way, let’s get into the Week 12 grades.

Offensive MVP: Quinn Meinerz | OG

Grade: 87.3

Meinerz’s run-blocking was clinical. It was ‘teach tape,’ as they say, that coaches put on to help others improve their play. Even as a pass blocker, he was great, though he did allow one QB hit. While the season started rough for the young guard, Meinerz is well on his way to what should be an All-Pro team.

Defensive MVP: Josey Jewell | LB

Grade: 79.7

The Broncos’ linebacker was quick with his reads but also accurate with them. While Jewell didn’t have a significant impact according to the box score, he was great during the game.

He was in position, took away throws from the quarterback, and clogged running lanes. Jewell’s football IQ was on display from start to finish.

Quarterback: Russell Wilson

Grade: 61.8

Wilson had a solid performance overall, yet a fumble and some issues with ball placement affected his overall assessment. Throughout the season, he’s grappled with pre-snap reads, but notably excelled in that aspect against the Browns. His adept adjustments at the line supported the team’s ground game effectively.

Although the Broncos’ passing game lacked substance statistically, Wilson maintained composure in the pocket, handling pressure and utilizing his mobility wisely. Crucially, he consistently scanned the field, resulting in several significant passing plays.

Even if Wilson’s statistical performance isn’t exceptional, the Broncos can secure wins and stay competitive if he consistently replicates this level of play week after week.

The Positive


Denver Broncos: P.J. Locke stepping up at safety


P.J. Locke | S | Grade: 79.6

Locke should be the starter next to Justin Simmons for the remainder of the season. This was an excellent game from the young safety with how quickly he read and reacted to things, with several big plays.

Nik Bonitto | OLB | Grade: 78.5

It was a great game from Bonitto. He was used in a variety of ways, picking up a team-high nine pressures and affecting multiple passing attempts. On top of that, he was used as a spy at times and did well there. Bonitto also held up decently well as a run defender against an extremely tough run-blocking offense.

Garett Bolles | OT | Grade: 75.9

This wasn’t an easy task for Bolles as he had to face off against Myles Garrett. While Garrett ended up getting injured during the game, Bolles only allowed one pressure throughout the game and was dominant in the run game.

Mike McGlinchey | OT | Grade: 74.2

There were issues with McGlinchey in pass protection, where he gave up four pressures, but he was great outside of that. His run blocking was great. This was his best game of the season.

The Negative

Adam Trautman | TE | Grade: 41.5

It was a great touchdown catch from Trautman, but his blocking was rough. His strength and technique aren’t the issue, but rather his positioning. He consistently engages with bad angles and positioning, leading to him getting beat because the path is clear.

Alex Singleton | LB | Grade: 42.1

Singleton bought hard on a play-action leading to a touchdown by the Browns, and his tackling continues to be an issue. His missed tackle percentage leads the NFL, and he missed two more against the Browns, though he’s already over 100 tackles for the season. The splash plays are great, but his tackling makes it hard to live with it.

Jonathan Harris | DL | Grade: 43.2

Harris is the weak link on defense. He often finds himself on the ground and struggles to hold up against the run. The biggest issue with the Broncos’ run defense has been clear liabilities on the defensive line, and Harris is one of them.

He doesn’t make enough plays as a pass rusher to live with his poor run defense. However, the Broncos are stuck because their defensive line lacks depth.

Javonte Williams | RB | Grade: 43.7

Williams has had a tremendous season, but his efficacy has dropped throughout this winning streak. Questions about his burst and eyesight have resurfaced, and he appears to be losing speed.

There should be discussions about reducing his workload and turning to Samaje Perine, who has been the better back in recent weeks despite having a far smaller duty.

Other Noteworthy Grades

Marvin Mims Jr. | WR | Grade: 68.2

Mims has had issues blocking on the season, but he did well against the Browns. His best play came on an adjustment to a pass to ensure he came down with the ball. The Broncos haven’t had much luck all season giving it to him on the ground, so it was great to see the young receiver also have a big play on a run.

Drew Sanders | LB | Grade: 68.1

While Sanders has gotten his work as an off-ball linebacker, he worked more as an edge defender against the Browns and succeeded. He had two pressures on 11 pass rush snaps, looked clean in coverage, and did well against the run and as a tackler.

Lloyd Cushenberry III | OC | Grade: 52.7

Cushenberry has been playing good football; he’s worthy of an extension if the Broncos can find a way to afford it. However, he took a small step back against the Browns, who controlled him at the line of scrimmage in the run game.

Ja’Quan McMillian | CB | Grade: 48.7

This was a rough game for McMillian, especially with what he has done over the past few weeks. He did well as a blitzer and run defender, but he got caught in coverage multiple times and was credited with allowing 80 yards through the air.


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.