Denver Broncos vs. Houston Texans: Full Roster Report Card Grades for Denver
Chris Clark: C+
Clark did a decent job against the Texans. For the most part, he was able to handle his opponent. He did draw an illegal hands to the face penalty in the third quarter. This was the Broncos' eighth penalty of the day.
Zane Beadles: C
Beadles was part of the interior line that performed poorly against the Texans. He performed better than the middle and the right side of the offensive line. Beadles did draw a false start penalty early in the first quarter.
Manny Ramirez: C-
Ramirez once again struggled against the Texans and defensive tackle J.J. Watt. He’s a powerful player, but he does not play as well when going up against a laterally agile opponent.
A first-down run by Knowshon Moreno was negated by a holding penalty on Ramirez. This penalty happened in the first quarter, and it didn’t get much better for Ramirez after that.
After the game, Ramirez talked about the difference in the first three quarters compared to the final quarter: “I think everyone understood the position we were in and wanted to play for each other. We were able to get the ball moving and the defense created turnovers, which we were able to capitalize on those turnovers. That helped us out a lot and, in the first three quarters, we hurt ourselves with the penalties and all that stuff. Whatever the situation may be, we were able to come out on top.”
Louis Vasquez: C
Vasquez has rarely struggled this season. He’s arguably been the most consistent player on the offensive line. However, Vasquez did not have a good game against the Texans.
Peyton Manning was under duress early and often on Sunday. Most of the pressure came from the right side of the offensive line.
Orlando Franklin: D
Franklin had his worst game of the season against the Texans. He struggled with edge pressure, and he especially struggled against Watt’s inside moves. When he wasn’t allowing pressure, Franklin was making mistakes before (or after) the snap.
He had a false start penalty in the second quarter. This was after he was flagged for an illegal formation penalty in the first quarter.
Terrance Knighton: B
“Pot Roast” didn’t have to do it all by himself on Sunday. He took up more than one blocker regularly.
Knighton was constantly around the ball, finishing the game with three tackles (two solo) and one quarterback hit.
Sylvester Williams: B+
Another week and another sack for the Broncos’ first-round pick. Williams used a quick spin move to the inside to get a sack against Matt Schaub.
In addition to using athleticism to get to the quarterback, Williams also used brute strength. In the third quarter, he was able to shed his man quickly by essentially tossing him out of the way.
Williams has taken some time to play up to his potential. After the season-ending hip injury to Kevin Vickerson, the Broncos needed Williams to elevate his game.
He also played strong against the run. With more experience, Williams is getting better each week.
Mitch Unrein: C
Unrein is consistently effective every week as a part-time player. His blue-collar work ethic shows in the way he plays the game. He is relentless when getting after the quarterback, and he does a good job as a run defender.
Von Miller: n/a
Miller didn’t get a chance to play much against the Texans. He went down early in the first quarter with a knee injury. The severity is unknown right now, but the Broncos will run tests on Miller on Monday.
After the game, John Fox was asked if he had any updates on Miller’s injury: “No, they’ll have tests, it’s in the medical people’s hands right now. And anything until we get all of the tests will be purely speculation, so we will just wait until we hear something definitive.”
Wesley Woodyard: C
Woodyard once again played a backup role. He hasn’t been the same since a neck injury he suffered in the Week 5 game against the Cowboys. Woodyard did a good job in a part-time role as a coverage linebacker.
Danny Trevathan: A-
Trevathan was a dominant force against the Texans. He led the team in tackles with nine (seven solo), one sack, two tackles for loss, one pass defensed and one quarterback hit.
He used his speed to find the ball quickly and did a good job diagnosing plays efficiently as they unfolded in front of him.
In addition to making plays with his athleticism, Trevathan also made plays with force. One play of note came in the fourth quarter as Trevathan smashed into Deji Karim on a screen pass. He quickly and forcefully brought the ball-carrier to the ground.
Trevathan made plays in a crowd, and he also made sure tackles when in space.
Nate Irving: B
Irving was asked to do more as the team’s strong-side linebacker after Miller went down with a knee injury. He made a big hit on Dennis Johnson in the second quarter and sent a message.
He’s a big hit artist who can intimidate an opponent. Irving seemed more confident out on the field, and he was rarely out of position against the Texans.
Paris Lenon: C
Lenon did better this week against the Texans than he did last week against the Chargers. He didn’t tackle himself or overrun many plays. He did a good job of being in the right place at the right time. Lenon used his veteran savvy to put himself into the best position to make a play.
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