Denver Broncos Five Rising, Five Falling

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Aug 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos cornerback Tony Carter (32) attempts to tackle Seattle Seahawks quarterback Terrelle Pryor (2) in the fourth quarter of a preseason game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Seahawks 21-16. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

On the Downfall

Duke Ihenacho: After starting in 2013, Duke Ihenacho is on a rapid fall. Helping him out is the fact no other safety is stepping up to take his spot. During the game Ihenacho was out-of-place, lost in the secondary. Multiple mistakes and out of position plays do nothing but hurt him. Even his usual strength in run defense was missing.

Mitch Unrein: Lost in the shuffle. Mitch Unrein is a hardworking, blue-collar type of player who just happens to be part of a deep unit. With Austin rising, Derek Wolfe and Malik Jackson moving inside in nickel/dime situations the spot for Unrein just isn’t there. He played a solid game, but he is falling because he just did not do enough.

Tony Carter: The former “sticky-man” did himself no favors. He was beaten all night both by losing his man and by great throws. He is falling, rapidly. He saw a lot of reps with no success. He used to show he can stay with his man and get beat by size, but that wasn’t the case last night. He wasn’t able to stay with his man. Even if the Broncos throw him a rope by keeping six CBs, there are other guys who showed something for their value to the team.

Isaiah Burse: Another player who did himself no favors. Burse displayed great lateral ability to avoid tackles, but he never managed to turn it into something. He had one good return but that was not enough to cover up two bad returns. One of them was a squib kick that he tried to make something out of nothing, but failed and got tackled with no gain. Lateral ability only to fail and never turn up-field.

Brennan Clay: About ten days ago, Clay was seeing a lot of time as the #4 RB. Since then he has fallen in practice to the #6 RB and that showed in the game. He didn’t get many chances to show what he can do. With the limited chances he did get, he was a letdown. While Thompson and Bibbs made a case for more snaps, Clay made his case to be released from the team.

There are three more games to go and two cut days. There is plenty of time for the risers to slip and fall and those falling to gain traction and rise. This was the first preseason game after all.