Denver, COLO – The Denver Broncos (10-3) defeated the Buffalo Bills (7-6) 24-17 a game that could have wider playoff implications. The Broncos hold a 2-game lead and head-to-head win over the suddenly stagnant San Diego Chargers. The two teams face each other in Qualcomm Stadium next week.
In Sunday’s game, some players struggled, while some performed well. Let's take a look at this week's stock report. All grades come via ProFootballFocus. (Subscription Required)
The Run Game
It’s hard to be any more specific than this, as the personnel involved all played extremely well. Although RB C.J. Anderson (+0.2) had 3 TDs, he also left the game the same number of times with injuries and was limited to 2.8 yards per carry average and 58 yards. RB Juwan Thompson (+2.1) led the team in rushing, with 4 carries for 63 yards, including a 47-yard gallop.
Kudos also to the offensive line for blocking their way to a 4.6 yard per carry average on the whole for the run game. It also must be mentioned that Buffalo’s strong defensive line did not register so much as a QB hit.
TE Jacob Tamme (-1.6)
Tamme had one catch for 10 yards on one target…which he promptly fumbled at the Buffalo 8. He has done nothing with his chances to make an impact. Considering his lack of blocking prowess, he may see a decrease in playing time moving forward.
CB Chris Harris, Jr. (+2.7)
A sack and INT were simply the icing on the cake for another great day for the corner. Harris has been playing at a high level all season long and at this point, it’s hard to argue against an All Pro nod for him. He allowed six catches on nine targets for 53 yards and the interception, a total passer rating of 42.6. Harris has still yet to allow a TD in coverage this season.
WR Demaryius Thomas (+0.1)
After recording 7 straight century marks, Thomas has gone three straight games without breaking 100 yards. This was by far his worst performance of the season. He was targeted 5 times but recorded only 2 catches for 11 yards. As the top receiver on this roster, he must make a greater impact moving forward.
S David Bruton (+2.3)
With S Quinton Carter inactive for Denver, Bruton was expected to see additional snaps as the third safety behind Rahim Moore and T.J. Ward. However, likely no one could have predicted this kind of performance from a special-teamer, who topped out at 61 snaps on the day. That's the highest amount of snaps he's played since the Tim Tebow-led Broncos playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers back on January 8, 2012.
Bruton led the team in tackles, with 9. He also notched a TFL, FF and a PD, with opportunities for an additional two interceptions. Although he is credited with allowing 5 catches on 5 targets, they went for just 18. Bruton’s game was a pleasant surprise and, for a team searching for consistent safety play, was a great addition. He also (hardly surprisingly) recovered the onside kick to end the game.
CB Bradley Roby (+0.5)
Roby has flashed elite play in his rookie season. This game was not one of those moments. He was matched up against fellow first-round rookie phenom WR Sammy Watkins for much of the day. Watkins produced 13 catches for 105 yards in the entire month of November. Roby allowed 6 catches on 6 targets for 113 yards to Watkins in the game.