Just as I did with the offense, there will be no talking about the defense as a unit before the grades. i'm going to let the grades speak for themselves.
Also, as a note, the stats for the defense has been cut down drastically, due to losing the main source for stats in Pro Football Focus. So, the only stats that will be shown are tackles and sacks. No other stats, like hurries, hits, stops or in coverage. Sorry about that folks, but this was beyond my control.
Derek Wolfe, LDE
Snaps: 50. Stats: 2 tackles.
Quietly, Wolfe played a really good game. His run defense was good, as always, and his pass rush actually may have been better than his run defense. Multiple times Wolfe was getting into the quarterback's face, forcing either a scramble, adjustment in the pocket, or an early throw. As for defending the run, he stayed in his lane and was hard to move. While he didn’t make a lot of the tackles, he open room for a teammate to do so.
Snaps: 39. Stats: 1 tackle, 1 sack.
There were very few good moments for Williams on the game. Really, he started the season off great, but has fallen off as the season's gone on. His run defense, while still solid, isn’t on the level it was. As for his pass rushing, it is a similar story, except it has slowly become non-existent. He did manage to notch a sack against the Chiefs, but it wasn’t because his efforts that he got it.
Malik Jackson, RDE
Snaps: 57. Stats: 3 tackles.
There were a few head-scratching moments from Jackson, especially in his run defense. He just seemed to take as a step back and lost all discipline against the run at times. It wasn’t all the time, but just often enough to take notice. His pass rush was decent, but he found himself taken out of the play often by the left guard of the Chiefs. Jackson played a solid game, but wasn’t dominante like it has been expected from him.
Von Miller, OLB
Snaps: 46. Stats: 2 tackles, 1 sack.
It wasn’t a pretty game from Miller. He didn’t notch a lot of pressures, by my count, and looked MIA against the run. He just wasn’t the player he has been. He did manage to pick up a sack, but that was one of only a handful of pressures. In previous games, even if he wasn’t picking up the sacks, he was still generating a lot of heat. That wasn’t the case this game. The last couple of weeks, his run defense has declined and it is coming from lack of discipline and not using proper technique.
Brandon Marshall, ILB
Snaps: 59. Stats: 8 tackles.
Against the run, Marshall was really good. There were a few miscues, primarily with lane assignment, where he was either hitting someone else’s lane, or they were hitting his. Without knowing the call, it is impossible to know one way or the other for sure. In coverage, Marshall was a solid force and looked like he took a step forward to the level I have seen him play in coverage.
Danny Trevathan, ILB
Snaps: 53. Stats: 6 tackles.
Trevathan was excellent against the run. He always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. His game wasn't perfect against the run, as there were a few concerning miscues, mainly in lane discipline, which was a common occurrence for the entire Broncos defense. As for his coverage, it was solid, but there was a lot of room for improvement.
Shaquil Barrett, OLB
Snaps: 43. Stats: 1 tackle.
While Barrett didn’t have the game like he did when he started for DeMarcus Ware the first time, he still played a really strong game. His pass rush wasn’t as good as it has been before, but he did manage to notch a few pressures on the Chiefs quarterback. As for his run defense, he looked really strong at the point of attack, but struggled to get off the blocks to get more involved in the play.
Bradley Roby, CB
Snaps: 60. Stats: 4 tackles.
Bradley Roby stepped up for the suspended Aqib Talib and played a really solid game. His coverage was strong, and he rarely allowed separation. One of the best attributes of Roby is his willingness and fearlessness to come up and help in run defense.
T.J. Ward, SS
Snaps: 60. Stats: 4 tackles.
It is a similar case for Ward as it was for Talib in the previous week. Even though Ward played a solid game, his ejection and complete lost of discipline destroys his grade.
Darian Stewart, FS
Snaps: 57. Stats: 6 tackles.
It wasn’t a good game from Stewart, but not a bad one, either. All in all, he was just solid for the Broncos. He had some good moments, and bad moments in both run defense and pass coverage. As the season has gone on, his play series-to-series has become more inconsistent.
Chris Harris, Jr., CB
Snaps: 65. Stats: 4 tackles.
It was a strong game from Harris. His coverage was slightly below his norm, which is still better than many corners having a great day. Also, Roby is great at coming up and helping, which he learned from Harris, who learned it from the best run defending corner ever in Champ Bailey. Harris showed just why he is strong against the run, and coming up to make the play in general, against the Chiefs.
That wraps up the starters. Time to get into the players who subbed into the game.
Vance Walker, DE
Snaps: 23. Stats: 6 tackles.
Walker was missing for the majority of his pass rush snaps, but he was a force in run defense. Not only was he strong and disciplined, he was shedding blocks and making the stops.
Antonio Smith, DE
Snaps: 21. Stats: N/A.
It was a bad game from the veteran. He was shut down, or kept to very limited push on each pass rush rep, and his run defense was as bad, as it is known to be for Smith.
Shane Ray, OLB
Snaps: 34. Stats: 1 tackle.
It was Ray’s first game back in a while, and he put together a really solid game. He started off slow, but got better as the game went on. His pass rush was inconsistent, as it has been all season. As for his run defense, it was decent, but it never has been a strong point for Ray.
Lerentee McCray, OLB
Snaps: 14. Stats: 1 tackle.
With Shane Ray back, McCray was back to being limited on the game. His game was decent, but nothing special. The run defense from McCray and pass rush both were just decent against the Chiefs.
Todd Davis, ILB
Snaps: 11. Stats: N/A.
Marshall ended up leaving the game for a short time, and Davis stepped in to take his place. While there was a noticeable decline from Marshall to Davis, it wasn’t a major drop off. Davis actually put together a really solid game.
Kayvon Webster, CB
Snaps: 36. Stats: 1 tackle.
The game from Webster wasn’t pretty. He saw a lot more action than normal, due to the suspension to Talib, but it was noticeable. Webster got hit with a couple of bad penalties and just looked off in coverage. However, like all the other corners, he is more than willing to come up and help against the run and did very well in doing so.
David Bruton, S
Snaps: 23. Stats: 4 tackles.
It was just a solid game from Bruton. He looked off in both coverage and run defense, but did have a few moments of greatness. It was really hard to get an accurate read on Bruton. At times he looked unprepared for the game, then at other times he looked overly prepared and just seemed to know what was going to happen at the snap.
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