Broncos v. Buccaneers Report Card

How did the Denver Broncos grade out in their 16-13 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday?

PASSING OFFENSE: B -- Denver's offense didn't put up the gaudy pass numbers it had through four weeks, when Jay Cutler was on pace for a 5,000-yard season, but that was part of the game plan. The Broncos knew that they didn't want to risk deep passes being picked off against Tampa Bay's zone defense, so they kept it underneath. Cutler had a solid, efficient game. He threw for a touchdown and, most important, didn't throw any interceptions.

RUSHING OFFENSE: C -- The Broncos didn't have a great day running the ball but still averaged 4.1 yards per carry thanks to Michael Pittman's 39 yards on six carries. Selvin Young had 10 carries for 38 yards, with no gain longer than 8 yards, and Andre Hall had 13 yards on five carries.

PASS DEFENSE: A-minus -- The Broncos did a great job keeping plays in front of them and not missing tackles. They ran a lot of zone defense, which confused Tampa Bay, and got a consistent pass rush. The Buccaneers completed 26 of 36 passes, but for only 181 yards.

RUSH DEFENSE: C -- The Buccaneers averaged 6.3 yards per carry, although that was inflated a bit by Warrick Dunn's 38-yard run. Denver didn't allow Tampa Bay to pick up first downs consistently and sustain long drives, so the Broncos will gladly take Sunday's effort against the run.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A -- Matt Prater was fantastic. He hit a 55-yard field goal, one of the three field goals he made. He also hit four of five kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks. Punter Brett Kern hit two of his five punts inside the 20-yard line, and there were no coverage breakdowns for the Broncos.

COACHING: B -- The Broncos completely changed up their game plan on both sides. They were careful on offense against the Buccaneers, knowing that Tampa Bay thrives on turnovers. Defensively, the Broncos had many different looks for Tampa Bay, which paid off with Denver's best effort of the season on that side of the ball.



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