Denver Broncos vs. NY Giants Individual Grades:
Peyton Manning: A+
30-42 302 Yards 2 TD
The usual godly performance that leaves defenses looking dumbfounded. Made his brother look like a Tim Couch in comparison with his play during Manning Bowl III. Moved the ball at will and continued to look ten years younger in form. MVP frontrunner he remains without question. Comments that his arm strength has improved are showing to be more than true.
Knowshon Moreno: A
13 Carries for 93 Yards and 2 TD
3 Receptions for 14 yards
Looked like the Knowshon Moreno who dominated at Georgia and was drafted 12th overall. A huge bonus that really opened up the passing game. Ran tough and showed he is light years ahead of Montee Ball in terms of who can help this team now. Benefited from some great seal blocks that allowed him to shoot up the sideline. He should have separated himself as the starter for the rest of the season going forward.
Montee Ball: C-
12 Carries for 16 Yards, redzone fumble
2 Receptions for 27 Yards
Ball committed a felony by fumbling the ball away in the endzone on the opening possession. He barely fumbled in college (once), but the play has to have an impact on how many carries he will get behind Moreno. He did a decent job in blitz pickup and had a 15 yard screen pass on a 3rd and 14 that moved the chains. His depth chart position is not in jeopardy.
Ronnie Hilman: C
One Carry for 3 Yards
Didn't get many chances outside of two snaps and one carry. At least he didn't fumble. He likely won't get that many more this season barring injuries to Moreno or Ball. Hilman is nearly irrelevant after emerging as the starter during training camp.
Eric Decker: B
9 Catches for 87 Yards
After a horrific opener for Decker he rebounded with the stability the Broncos are use too. It still wasn't a performance representative of his abilities but Manning seems to trust him more than any other receiver. He dropped two passes but caught the ball better compared to last week. He threw some great blocks down field including a highlight kill shot on the Giants ‘corner Terrell Thomas during a Julius Thomas catch. His confidence should be back but he has yet to regain full form.
Demariyus Thomas: B-
5 Catches for 52 Yards
Just had a “decent”performance and needs to get more involved. He worked the middle of the field and cleared the rest of the field for Julius Thomas and Wes Welker. More of a decoy against the Giants. He fumbled again and was lucky the team recovered it. It was a problem last year that was supposed to be cleaned up and it hasn't been. Look for him to have some big numbers against the Raiders.
Wes Welker: C+
3 Catches for 39 Yards and One TD
Welker was targeted eight times and dropped two passes that hit him right in the hands. He had a key touchdown that was more accredited to Manning’s smarts than Welker’s skills. He didn’t play as well even though is fully capable of killing defenses. Terrell Thomas gave him some trouble and was the only receiver that Thomas gave some trouble to. After a phenomenal opener Welker is still settling into his role.
Andre Caldwell: A
One Catch for 36 Yards
Had another deep catch but his bigger contribution was on special teams where he helped occupy three Giants during Tridon Holliday's 81 yard punt return. Has shown that he can step in and contribute immediately in the event of an injury to any of the trio, this was not thought of in the preseason.
Julius Thomas: B+
6 Catches for 47 Yards and One TD
Has played every single snap against the Ravens and the Giants. Continued to cause matchup problems as defenses are more focused on Demariyus Thomas and Decker, which will continue to benefit the team. He graded out negatively run blocking according to ProFootballFocus, but he did have key blocks on Moreno’s touchdowns. He can still be seen as a liability in running game but until Joel Dressen returns to fill that role the coaching staff will force Thomas to play every down.
Virgil Green: A
One Catch for 5 Yards
Denver came out with more two tight end sets in the second half which thrusted Green into the game. He had a textbook block that sealed the edge for one of Moreno’s touchdowns which was pivitol for the play to be successful. For just 27 snaps he was very effective blocking.
Jacob Tamme: INC
Only played six snaps on offlense with all of them being running plays. His lack of use in the offense could translate into a future trade even though he has a history with Manning. He plays special teams and is valuable in return coverage. His role is unknown once Dressen returns.
Ryan Clady: A+
Absolutely stonewalled any pass rush on the left side and shutdown every Giants player faced (only allowed one hurry on the QB). It is of the utmost concern that he seriously injured his ankle near the end of the game. His condition might possibly require season ending surgery. It’s a huge blow to the greatest strength on the Broncos ‘line.
Orlando Franklin: A
Teams like to blitz Denver from the right side so they don’t have to face Clady. The Giants attempted to do that on Sunday and Franklin weathered the storm decently. He got hit with one penalty and allowed two QB hurries but other than that he gave Manning enough time to do damage. Both of Moreno’s touchdowns came off of right tackle with Franklin providing key blocks including him leading the way for Moreno’s first touchdown. Franklin got tight end help but he did a great job clearing the field for Moreno.
Zane Beadles: B-
Graded out with a negative score according to ProFootballFocus and gave up the most pressure on Manning, allowing two QB hurries and a QB hit. He seemed to be in a stalemate at times with the bigger interior defensive lineman from the Giants but Beadles is a smart technician that is efficient. His play improved as the game wore on but his run blocking needs more work.
Louis Vasquez: A-
He has been a bit of a dissipointment in the run game the past two weeks, which was the reason why Denver committed so much money to him in free agency. He almost always plays mistake free football but he hasn’t been attacking the defense like the Broncos envisioned. It could just be it’s the beginning of the season and adjustment takes a while. His pass blocking however was perfect against New York, which will hopefully remain as the season progresses. He is Denver’s best interior lineman.
Manny Ramirez: A
He was awarded a two year contract extension much to the surprise of many as it seems Denver seemed to always desired an upgrade over him. Injuries to Dan Koppen and JD Walton opened the door and he has seized it. He has played mch better at center this year compared to when he filled in at guard last season. He has lead the line well and has been nearly flawless in pass protection (he has yet to allow up any pressure on Manning). He was nnoticable against the Giants, which is more of a good thing for a lineman. He might not be a Pro Bowler ever but he does a solid all-around job that is enough for the organization to know the position is being played by the right guy.