The Denver Broncos dropped a MNF game to the Cincinnati Bengals by the score of 37-28. It was certainly worse than they'd like to have performed, but the longer term implications are what's important.
Let's get to this week's stock report. All grades and stats via ProFootballFocus (Subscription Required).
CB Aqib Talib (+3.9)
CB Chris Harris, Jr. played a great game, but it was Talib who finds his way into the list. An early pick six for the first points of the game was impressive, but another two near-interceptions after that were just as valuable. Talib blanketed the limited WR A.J. Green, allowing no receptions. He was stout against the run in arguably his best performance as a Bronco.
FS Rahim Moore (-3.1)
Moore has been struggling for a few weeks, but it came to a head Monday night. He missed two tackles (tied with LB Steven Johnson as team highs) and had several dismal plays in coverage. These are both basic, important plays for a FS to make. Moore is not playing at a starting-caliber level right now. His only saving grace is that Denver simply doesn't have a suitable replacement; although, with his recent play, S David Bruton Jr. is starting to knock on the door.
WR Demaryius Thomas (-0.4)
Thomas had a record-breaking day against Cincinnati, with his 9th 100-yard game of the season. His seven catch, 115 yard performance was a game high. Although he lacked physicality at times and had a costly "facemask" penalty, he certainly played well enough to stand out.
The bookend tackles struggled all night with the Cincinnati front. They surrendered a combined 5 hurries, 3 hits and 1 sack.The rest of the line allowed just 3 hurries. Ryan Clady also had two costly penalties. The two outside protectors will need to keep Manning upright moving forward.
WR Emmanuel Sanders (+2.8)
Although he had just 70 yards total, Sanders' six catches on seven targets and 2 TDs were electrifying. He made one of the best catches of the season, one-handed while being interfered with. Sanders singlehandedly sparked a resurgence in the Denver offense. It's hard to argue that he hasn't been a Top 10 receiver this season.
QB Peyton Manning (-2.2)
Manning doesn't deserve all of the blame for the loss. Special Teams Coordinator, Jeff Rodgers, remains on the hot seat right now, but Manning made plenty of mistakes. Four un-tipped interceptions is all but inexcusable, and Manning missed enough throws otherwise to deserve this.
His balls lacked placement and velocity, particularly on the interception targeting Julius Thomas (Thomas lacked physicality overall, and could easily have ended up on this list). Perhaps Peyton is in a slump. Perhaps it's something larger. Whatever the issue is, it's clear that he has simply been bad for the last month.