Broncos Running Back and Offensive Line Grades from First Road Win

Aug 20, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) looks over center Matt Paradis (61) and tackle Michael Schofield (79) at the line of scrimmage in the first quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 20, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) looks over center Matt Paradis (61) and tackle Michael Schofield (79) at the line of scrimmage in the first quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

The Denver Broncos earned their first road game victory against the Cincinnati Bengals. They won this game because of their passing game. Their run game was non-existent and offensive line was poor. Just how well did they grade?

The Cincinnati Bengals are a tough team to run against, so the Denver Broncos struggles were expected. However, it was not expected for their run game to basically be missing all game. To defend the run, the Bengals stuffed the box forcing Denver to pass, which still lost the Bengals the game.

It was a pitiful performance from the Broncos offensive line, especially from certain members of that line. They were allowing a lot of pressure on the quarterback, while getting little to no push in the run game. The lack of run game was more on them being unable to win upfront than the Bengals preparing for it.

Editors note: One of the offensive linemen will be getting four grades. Besides that, every other player will have one overall grade.

Michael Schofield has played three spots on the offensive line so far this season. Right guard, right tackle and after this game, left tackle when the starting left tackle got hurt. Schofield is also the player to receiver four grades. There will be a grade for him at right guard, left tackle, how he played back at right guard and then overall.

Schofield started out playing great at right guard. He was one of the few that wasn’t allowing pressure and generating push in the run game. So far this season, Schofield has been stout at right guard and one of the two best offensive linemen for the Broncos.

His play there to start earned him a 92.7 grade. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to keep up that level of play when he was moved to left tackle. Back outside, Schofield had to deal with speed more often, which is a weakness for him. He started allowing pressure in the passing due to the speed.

As for the running game, Schofield was able to generate push, but not consistently. It wasn’t the best showing and proved that Schofield isn’t an offensive tackle. The speed of defenders and the game just is too fast for him. At left tackle, his grade was 42.7.

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When he moved back to guard, he wasn’t able to fully bounce back. The Bengals threw some creative looks to get pressure and the right side was often the target. Schofield still allowed pressure, but was generating push at a more consistent level. His grade once moved back was 69.4.

Overall, his performance was up and down, clearly. The switching positions took his toll, but he held his own for the most part. His overall grade of 73.8 is his lowest of his season. One thing is for sure, Schofield is much improved from last year.

Schofield’s partner on the right side was Ty Sambrailo, who was seeing his first action since week three of last season. Sambrailo has been dealing with an elbow injury, and added an ankle injury two weeks ago. Health has been a big factor into the former second round picks young career.

It was very clear that Sambrailo was rusty. He was beat consistently and looked lost at times. The worst of the worst for Sambrailo was the three or four times he gave up on a play. He found himself beat early, and instead of trying to recover, he just gave up. One of the plays ended in a sack on the quarterback.

It was a disaster for Sambrailo. He looked like he didn’t even belong out there on the field for the Broncos. His grade of 7.4 is unacceptable, even considering the rust he has. Sambrailo will have to improve if he doesn’t want to find himself back on the bench when Donald Stephenson gets healthy.

Russell Okung hurt his lower back in the game and ended up missing time. He eventually came back and his play was great. Okung was one of the more consistent players on the offensive line. His pass protection was really good and got push in the run game. His grade is an acceptable 79.9.

When Okung got hurt and Schofield moved to left tackle, Darrion Weems entered as the right guard. He played great, and made some questions arise as to why he wasn’t put in at right tackle. Weems has been consistently solid when he has seen action this season, and has experience at right tackle.

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Eventually, Weems could get consideration to start at right tackle for the Broncos. At the very least, he provides good depth. His grade was great with a 90.1 overall.

Center Matt Paradis was his consistent self. He has been the stable force on the Broncos offensive line going back to when he got the starting job. There are things he can work on, especially dealing with stronger defenders in the run game, but he is a long-term center. Paradis earned a 85.8 grade on the game.

Max Garcia was the worst offensive linemen of the group and he has been all year. He got no push in the run game consistently. It was very pitiful to watch Garcia struggle all game long. One play, Garcia was the lead blocker. He got no push off of the line of scrimmage and the ball carrier ended up being tackled for a loss.

As for his pass blocking, it wasn’t much better. Garcia consistently looked like he was on skates as he was pushed backwards. If he isn’t careful, Garcia will find himself sitting on the bench like his play shows he should. A 3.1 grade is completely unacceptable for Garcia and it was a performance worth benching him over.

As for the running backs, neither C.J. Anderson or Decontae Booker really performed well. Of course, that isn’t entirely on them as the blocking was so poor. Combined they ran the ball 18 times for 45 yards. Anderson didn’t add much to the passing game, but Booker did receive a pass he took for 17 yards. They get a 53.8 grade for Anderson and a 57.3 grade for Booker.

The fullback did his job with his blocking, and added two touches on the game. One was a catch he took for 12 yards. His other touch was a run for only two yards. However, that run showed exactly what Andy Janovich does best. He was tough and fought for yards in his attempt to score within the five yard line. His grade of 91.5 was well deserved and shows to his growth as a player.

Next: Broncos Quarterback Grade from First Road Win

Next up to be graded are the receivers and the tight ends. They played great, even when they had to cover up for poor quarterback play for two quarters. Just how did they grade? Well, stay tuned.