Broncos: Running Backs and Offensive Line Grades from Win

The Denver Broncos offense was carried to  victory against the Indianapolis Colts by their running backs and offensive line. The stats may not look like it, but what was seen on the tape shows it. So just how well did they grade out?

It was the defense who won the game for the Denver Broncos. However, for the offense, it was really the run game an offensive line who carried the group. The Colts defense really struggles defending the run, as they have for a few years. So it is no wonder that they were able to move the ball pretty well on the ground.

It was a team effort to put up over 130 yards rushing. The running backs had to break some tackles to pick up extra yards and the offensive line opened up some good holes. Not only that, but the Broncos fullback did an excellent job as a lead blocker.

Among the running backs, all three on the Broncos roster get a grade as they all played more than ten snaps. Kapri Bibbs, the low man on the totem pole played ten snaps, and he looked good on his lone rushing attempt. He was quick with his initial decision and the cut that followed. However, towards the end of the run, Bibbs seemed to slow down with his decision-making and cuts. This landed him a 68.4 grade.

As for the rookie Booker, his second game was tremendously better than his first. He tallied 46 yards on nine rushes, and didn’t put the ball on the ground. Booker was strong and quick and was able to pick up yards in chunks to keep the offense moving. In his first game, on his first carry even, Booker put the ball on the ground and ended up without a grade. For his first grade, a 81.9 is a fantastic start.

Finally the starter, C.J. Anderson played an excellent game. There were some great runs by Anderson that showed how explosive he can be carrying the ball. Not only that, he showed the damage he can cause as a receiver out of the backfield. On a poorly thrown ball, Anderson made a one-handed grab. This was only for a few yards on third down, but Anderson turned it into a first down.

That is just one of many plays that are highlights for Anderson. It is a shame in the second half the blocking upfront faltered, otherwise Anderson could have easily gone over 100 yards on the ground. His 93.7 grade was more than earned for Anderson, and is a jump from his 92.9 grade in the first game.

Their lead blocker, Andy Janovich, didn’t get a carry but did get a catch that he took for 11 yards. That was the only touch he got on the game, but as a lead blocker he was great. Janovich made some excellent blocks to open some room up for the running backs of the Broncos. Somehow Janovich improved on his 95.7 grade from week one to 97.3.

As for the offensive line, five players will get graded despite six players seeing the field. Donald Stephenson only saw eight snaps before he got hurt. It is a calf injury that will sideline him for 2-3 weeks. With Ty Sambrailo hurting his ankle, the depth at tackle got really thin.

To replace Stephenson, the Broncos moved right guard Michael Schofield to right tackle and inserted Darrion Weems to right guard. Both players were hit and miss, but mostly saw a lot of good from the two of them. Schofield showed his weakness when taking on speed rushers, but he showed a better recovery than he had a year ago.

As for Weems, he looked really good at right guard, with a few exceptions. Weems made some huge blocks to open some big holes in the run game. His quickness to the second level was fantastic to watch, and why he was able to make some big blocks. Weems exits with a 78.4 grade with Schofield not far behind with a 77.9 grade.

The issues for the offensive line came on the left side. Russell Okung and Max Garcia both had their fair share of struggles, both in pass protection and run blocking. Most of the pressure applied to the quarterback came from the left side of the line and they picked up few yards on the ground to that side.

Okung lands a lower grade from his 91.3 grade against the Panthers. Against the Colts, it dropped to a 71.2 grade. Meanwhile, Garcia improved on his 39.2 grade, though it was hard not to. His grade jumped to a 63.8 grade for his play against the Colts.

Finally center Matt Paradis played a solid game. He got beat a few times in the run game and as a pass blocker. However, it was an improvement from his game against the Panthers where he earned a 63.9 grade. Paradis was more consistent and landed a 87.8 grade.

Next up are the receivers and tight ends. They are at the mercy of the quarterback to show on the stat sheet. So how did they grade out? Stay tuned.