Seahawks vs. Broncos: Live Preseason Week 2 Report Card for Denver

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Seahawks vs. Broncos: Live Preseason Week 2 Report Card for Denver
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Live Game Grades Intro

Follow below for how the Broncos perform against the Seahawks. Grades are real time and will be updated after every quarter of the game. Come back after every quarter to see each positional group's grades and post game for final grades and notable performances from the game's best and worst players.

 

Quarterbacks

Q1: B
Q2: A-
Q3: B-
Q4: C
OVERALL: B-

Fourth Quarter & Overall

Osweiler was under a lot of pressure, but did a decent job of getting the ball out and not taking costly sacks. Not making mistakes is a big part of being a good NFL quarterback and although Osweiler missed of few receivers he managed to avoid big mistakes. It's important to remember this is a preseason game and many of the players playing with the second-team are competing for a roster spot or will be on the street in two weeks.

Manning's stats will not look great, but the two-minute drill to end the first half was a good glimpse at what he can be and why he will win games for the Broncos. Manning's arm might not be as strong as it was, but that shouldn't impact him that much as he has more than enough options in the short to intermediate range.

Third Quarter

Brock Osweiler made a couple nice plays including a throw while under pressure to Virgil Green, but the Broncos were also working the running game and the Osweiler didn't have that many opportunities. 

Second Quarter

Manning threw a wobbling deep pass that was intercepted. Of all the interceptions Manning has thrown this preseason, it was the first that was his fault. Despite the interception, Manning orchestrated the two-minute drill that would have resulted in a touchdown if not for a Jacob Tamme drop.

Manning also took his first hit and on the next play delivered a strike to Brandon Stokley for a 22-yard gain.

First Quarter

Peyton Manning hasn't thrown anything deep, but he's completed six of seven passes with the only incomplete pass was a deflected interception. The interception appeared to just be a good defensive play by Red Bryant. I took the grade down a little for the INT and because Manning didn't test his arm.

Pregame

Obviously, a lot of what will be analyzed here will be Peyton Manning. Manning's arm strength and whether he takes his first big hit seem to be particularly interesting. I want to see Manning attempt to stretch the field.

There's still the question of which quarterback will back up Manning, and Brock Osweiler needs to continue to prove he deserves that spot. If Osweiler wins the job, it could spell the end of Caleb Hanie, but it's possible Hanie could stick over Adam Weber on the 53-man roster. The backups can help themselves with good performances. 

 

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Running backs

Q1: B+
Q2: C-
Q3: D
Q4: C-
OVERALL: C-

Fourth Quarter & Overall

Willis McGahee looked fine, but the Broncos rushed the ball only seven times after McGahee took a seat on the bench. In fact, McGahee had more carries than the rest of the running back combined. Hard for the running backs to produce without that many opportunities. Still, when they were given the ball they didn't produce.

Third Quarter

The running game couldn't get much going and the result was an offense that couldn't get going with Osweiler under center.

Second Quarter

Lance Ball fumbled and the Broncos didn't run the ball much in the second quarter. Ball is fighting for a job and ball security is vitally important.

First Quarter

Willis McGahee looks strong and healthy. McGahee put the offense on his back and pounded his way into the end zone for the first touchdown of the game. McGahee's 3.5 yards per carry average takes the grade down, but there's very little to be concerned about here.

Pregame

Willis McGahee is the unquestioned starter at this point, and it doesn't look like Ronnie Hillman will play. That leaves open opportunities for Lance Ball, Knowshon Moreno, Xavier Omon and Jeremiah Johnson.

Particularly interesting to me and the rest of the league will be the play of Moreno. The Broncos will be hoping special-teams ace Ball can get the job done if called upon.

 

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Wide Receivers

Q1: B-
Q2: A
Q3: C
Q4: D
OVERALL: C

Fourth Quarter & Overall

Only one reception by a wide receiver after the starters came out of the game and it was a one-yard catch by Matthew Willis. It was good to see Demaryius Thomas get involved in the passing game with Manning and the wide receivers seemed to be finding themselves open when Manning went to the two-minute drill. Manning did what he does and found the open options.

Third Quarter

The receivers didn't get involved in the offense in the third quarter, but didn't make any bad plays either.

Second Quarter

Thomas, Decker and Stokley were all involved in the second quarter and were on the same page with Manning. All of the receivers appeared to be getting open ease. 

First Quarter

Three of Manning's six passes went to his wide receivers, but he didn't find Demaryius Thomas and only found Eric Decker once. Stokley caught two passes, but he's not going to be one of Manning's playmakers. 

Pregame

The chemistry with Peyton Manning and the battle to be the No. 3 receiver are among the things to watch with the wide receivers. Will Eric Decker continue to be Manning's favorite target, or will it be Demaryius Thomas?

The other question is which wide receiver is going to win the slot receiver job. The preseason performances of Andre Caldwell, Jason Hill and Mathew Willis will help John Elway and John Fox decide.

 

Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Tight Ends

Q1: B+
Q2: C-
Q3: B-
Q4: C-
OVERALL: C+

Fourth Quarter & Overall

Osweiler didn't complete a pass to the tight ends and even when the tight ends stayed into block he was under a lot of pressure. It wasn't a horrid night for the tight end group, but it certainly would have been better if Jacob Tamme had caught the would-be touchdown as time was expiring in the first half.

Third Quarter

Virgil Green caught a nice pass from Osweiler. That's a good sign for the young tight end that is playing behind Dreesen and Tamme.

Second Quarter

Jacob Tamme dropped a touchdown and couldn't get out of bounds in the two-minute drill to stop the clock. 

First Quarter

Joel Dressen got involved in the offense with two receptions including one of Manning's longest passes this preseason. Tamme didn't get a pass, but it appears both tight ends can expect to be heavily involved in the offense this year.

Pregame

Maybe Manning's favorite target will be Jacob Tamme, his ex-Colts teammate. Will Joel Dreesen enter the picture as a target for Manning, or is he clearly behind Tamme in the pecking order? Will we get any clarity about how the Broncos plan to use their tight ends against the Seahawks? 

 

Harry How/Getty Images

Offensive Line

Q1: A-
Q2: B+
Q3: C-
Q4: D
OVERALL: C

Fourth Quarter & Overall

The offensive line seemed to get worse as the game progressed and allowed more and more pressure on Osweiler. It could be because the Seahawks recognized that the Broncos had almost totally abandoned the run and they simply pinned their ears back and challenged Denver's offensive front.

Third Quarter

The second-team offensive line didn't protect Osweiler very well and the result was an uneven passing performance. The running game also had trouble getting and the run blocking could have been a lot better.

Second Quarter

Manning got hit for the first time, but he didn't get crushed and the protection was good otherwise. The line didn't run block much in the second quarter.

First Quarter

Manning hasn't felt much pressure and that is the offensive line's primary job. Small deduction for a low yards per carry average in the running game, but overall this group is showing no significant issues despite the loss of Chris Kuper.

Pregame

Last week Manning was protected, but the offensive line was also called for several holding penalties. Chalk the penalties up to replacement referees or poor technique, but the Broncos don't want a repeat of that performance. 

All eyes will be on Manny Ramirez, the veteran offensive guard tasked with filling in for Chris Kuper while he is out with a broken arm. Orlando Franklin might also get snaps at right guard with Ryan Harris taking the snaps at right tackle. It will be interesting to see if the line performs as well without Kuper and in which direction the Broncos end up going to replace him.

 

Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Defensive Line

Q1: B+
Q2: B
Q3: B-
Q4: C
OVERALL: C

Fourth Quarter & Overall

The Broncos defensive front had trouble stopping the run all night, but the pass rush on Russell Wilson was good even if there weren't any sacks to put on paper. The Broncos also pressure Matt Flynn for most of the first half.

Early in the game the Broncos were able to get away with the bad run defense, but once Russell Wilson came into the game everything changed and he escaped the rush and utilized the play action to manipulate the entire Denver defense. 

Third Quarter

Russell Wilson did his best to make sure the defensive line's efforts didn't show on the stat sheet, but they were getting constant pressure of him throughout the quarter. The defensive line had much more trouble stopping the run.

Second Quarter

The defense was put in a bad situation, but didn't allow a touchdown. The pass rush was good, but the Seahawks were getting pretty big chunks on the ground.

First Quarter

Elvis Dumervil was getting to Matt Flynn with relative ease for most of the first quarter. Dumvervil was giving Russell Okung fits. Mitch Unrein and Justin Bannan were pretty stout against the run and Marshawn Lynch did most of his damage off tackle. 

Pregame

With Jason Hunter out for the season with a torn triceps, the Broncos will need to press rookie Derek Wolfe into action sooner than they had anticipated. He appears ready, but if he falters, the Broncos will turn to Robert Ayers. 

It will be interesting to see if the Broncos decide to utilize rookie Malik Jackson at defense end with more regularity with Hunter out. The Broncos had some difficulty with the defensive line in 2011, and that could continue if the Broncos don't get the rotation just right. 

 

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Linebackers

Q1: B
Q2: B
Q3: C+
Q4: C-
OVERALL: C+

Fourth Quarter & Overall

Despite solid play in areas of the game, the linebackers were a big part of why Denver had trouble stopping the run against the Seahawks. However, many of the linebackers continued to do well rushing the quarterback. The linebackers did not fare nearly as well in coverage once Wilson entered the game and were easily fooled by the play action.

Third Quarter

The linebackers and defensive line have had trouble containing the running game all night. However, when the linebackers have helped apply pressure and in coverage and haven't been any major breakdowns in those areas.

Second Quarter

Like the defensive line, the linebackers allowed some decent running plays. Overall the defense limited the Seahawks and didn't allow a score despite the Seahawks getting great field position. 

First Quarter

Von Miller looked great and was getting pressure on just about every play, but Joe Mays missed a couple of tackles. Mays did look a little more comfortable in coverage than he has in the past which is a good sign for the Broncos. Lynch has been finding holes to the outside and the linebackers have been late to arrive.

Pregame

The Broncos are looking thin at linebacker and need someone to perform unexpectedly well. D.J. Williams is out for the first six games, but it could be longer. Keith Brooking was signed to help, but he and Danny Trevathan haven't been practicing.

Nate Irving, Jerry Franklin, Elliot Coffey and Mike Mohamed have to show the Broncos they can get the job done when pressed into action. The Broncos are an injury to Wesley Woodyard or Von Miller away from big trouble unless one of these young players performs.

 

Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Defensive Backs

Q1: A
Q2: A
Q3: A-
Q4: C+
OVERALL: B

Fourth Quarter & Overall

Russell Wilson changed everything once he can into the game and eventually he started to find cracks in Denver's coverage. Wilson used the running game, play action and his legs to gouge the defense and he torched the safeties a couple of times in the fourth quarter.

The starters played well and that's important, but the reserves eventually yielded to the Seahawks offense. 

Third Quarter

The Broncos secondary continued to be good in coverage and although Russell Wilson completed a few passes, the secondary was quick to close.

Second Quarter

The secondary kept the Seahawks on lock down in the second quarter.

First Quarter

Broncos have been able to rush just four or five players and get pressure and it has helped the secondary tremendously. The Broncos only allowed a couple receptions. 

Pregame

The Broncos are in good shape in the secondary, a group of veteran corners with a combination of youth and experience at safety. I'm wondering if there couldn't still be some shuffling at safety, and I want to see if Quinton Carter can win the job from Mike Adams.

If Manning can get the Broncos a lead early in games, this rebuilt secondary is going to be tested. Unfortunately the Seahawks' passing offense is hardly a good measuring stick. 

 

Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE

Special Teams

Q1: A
Q2: B
Q3: C-
Q4: B
OVERALL: B

Fourth Quarter & Overall

Muffed punt negates the blocked punt and the Broncos end with an average grade in the special teams category. It's doubtful Tony Carter will be handling the punt returns in the regular season, so there's nothing to be concerned about here for the Broncos.

Third Quarter

Pinned at the 1-yard line after a muffed punt. Tony Carter can't muff a punt that deep in his territory because he shouldn't have even been catching it.

Second Quarter

Nothing good, nothing bad. 

First Quarter

The Broncos blocked a punt and didn't allow much on the punt return thanks to a muff. You'll take that every day from your special teams. 

Pregame

Fantasy players everywhere are hoping the Broncos get wise and take Eric Decker off of punt returns. In order for that to happen, Syd'Quan Thompson is going to have be consistent and probably have to break a long return to give the Broncos confidence in him.

Aside from the returners, solid blocking, clean snaps and clean holds will be important. It seems like Denver's special teams have been particularly sloppy this preseason, and it might have something to do with the 90-man rosters.

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Coaching

Q1: B+
Q2: B+
Q3: B
Q4: C
OVERALL: B

Fourth Quarter & Overall

It was odd to basically abandon the run, considering questions remain at the running back position. Perhaps the Broncos have determined what they are going to do at running back and wanted to see what the young Brock Osweiler could do when given the opportunity. As it turns out, Osweiler could not do much because he was being pounded by Seattle's pass rush.

Third Quarter

Nothing major to note about coaching in the third quarter. Somewhat intriguing the Broncos shuffled the running backs around so much with Lance Ball, Knowshon Moreno and Xavier Omon all getting snaps.

Second Quarter

John Fox was chatting with the replacement officials and teaching them how to do their jobs.

First Quarter

No major decisions or issues, but the offense was prepared enough to go the the no-huddle offense. Takes a prepared team to be able to go to the no-huddle offense in the second preseason game.

Pregame

Jack Del Rio is the new kid on the block, and he comes with an impressive resume. This defense has already looked very different than Dennis Allen's defense, and it will be interesting to see how Del Rio's unit makes use of the Broncos' defensive talent. 

Allen was well respected, and the only reason there has not been more talk about the defensive coaching in Denver is that Del Rio is so well regarded. Del Rio will not blitz as much as Allen, and I'm interested to see how the defense adjusts to more one-on-one match ups. 

 

Notable Performances

Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Peyton Manning: B+

Two interceptions in the game and three interceptions in the preseason. You would think that zero touchdowns and three interceptions in two games would result in at most an average grade, yet Manning gets an above average grade from me.

Manning threw a duck that was intercepted and had a pass tipped at the line that was also intercepted. The tipped pass came on a great play by the defensive tackle Red Bryant and had little to do with any error Manning made. 

So when you consider Manning's performance consider the positives. Manning completed 70 percent of his passes for 177 yards in a single half. One incomplete pass was a would-be touchdown to Tamme. Manning got Demaryius Thomas involved, took his first hit, completed his first long throw and looked extremely comfortable orchestrating the two-minute drill

For a minute, I had flashbacks to Manning's time with the Colts and forgot he was actually wearing orange and navy and not white and blue.

Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

 

Willis McGahee: B

With Ronnie Hillman out, McGahee carried the ball more than the other running backs combined and was significantly more productive. He might not be an elite running back, but combined with Ronnie Hillman the Broncos have a chance to have a productive ground game.

McGahee rushed for only 3.5 yards per carry in the game, which is below average and drags down his overall grade.

Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

 

Lance Ball: C

Ball fumbled and rushed the two times for five yards. The only thing that kept Ball's grade out of the failing range was his work in the passing game as Osweiler checked down and Ball finished with four receptions for 30 yards. 

Ball is fighting for a spot on the 53-man roster and the coaching staff is never going to want to see a player on the bubble put the ball on the ground. Ball needs to be better.

Bob Levey/Getty Images

 

Joel Dreesen: B+

Although he caught just two passes, Dreesen established himself as a viable target for Peyton Manning and hauled in a 20-yard reception proving he's not just a move-the-chains tight end. Dreesen should be heavily involved in the passing attack in Denver and may have earned more looks from Manning because of Tamme's drop in the end zone.

Dreesen is also a good blocker and that's going to get him more opportunities when Manning checks from a run to a pass. 

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
A familiar hook up.

 

Jacob Tamme: C

Tamme had two receptions and it seemed like Manning looked to him frequently in the red zone. He's going to be a weapon for Manning, but dropping a sure touchdown is going to get Dreesen and the wide receivers additional looks.

Thankfully for Tamme, it's still preseason and Manning has plenty of time to forget about the dropped touchdown. 

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

 

Elvis Dumervil: A-

Russell Okung could only hope to slow Dumervil down. Dumervil was wrecking havoc on Matt Flynn and making Okung's job very difficult. Okung is not considered an elite left tackle, but he's hardly considered a bad one. Okung was called for one offensive holding, but probably got away with a couple more.

The Broncos will rely on the pass rush of Dumervil and Von Miller this season because there are not many other natural pass rushers on the team and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio favors natural pressure if he can get away with it.

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

 

Von Miller: A-

Like Dumervil, Miller was giving Seattle's offensive line fits. Breno Giacomini got called for holding and unnecessary roughness because he was getting beat by the Broncos defensive line and Miller on a routine basis.

With all due respect to the timeless Champ Bailey, Miller and Dumveril are easily the two best players on defense in Denver. The defense might have issues stopping the run, but if Manning can get the team a lead the Broncos will be successful with Dumervil and Miller getting after the opposing quarterback.

Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

 

Malik Jackson: B-

The only full sack by the Broncos against the Seahawks was by Jackson which is rather remarkable when you consider how much pressure the Broncos were applying to Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson. Jackson was touted a raw, pass rushing specialist out of college that could play inside at defensive tackle or outside at defensive end.

Jackson's pass rushing skills were put to good use, but he still has quite a bit if work to do against the run and will need to prove that he is not a total liability in the center of the defense to get more playing time. Despite the fact that his game is one dimensional at the moment, he could help the Broncos pass rush up the middle in certain situations.

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